Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Writing Rules from College

When did summer get here? Seriously. It's APRIL! My phone says the Midwest had a high today of 93 degrees, and man! Could I feel it on my way home. Mostly because I have no air conditioning and leather seats. But, the nice weather makes it so hard to concentrate at the real job when it's so gorgeous outside.

So far, I haven't done anything on my book, but my editor started reading today. I learned something. I am TERRIBLE at fleshing out my rough drafts. When I was in college, my Screenwriting Teacher/Advisor, Kate, taught me (and the entire class) three very important lessons.

The First is: "Don't Get it Right, Get it Written." It doesn't matter how the first draft goes, so long as you get it down on paper before you forget it. This has been the most important of the lessons I learned because I am notorious for forgetting really good ideas. At least I think they were good. If I wrote them down, I'd probably know. Which leads me number two:

The Second is: "Write it and See." Anytime Kate had an idea she wasn't sure about, she'd go to her professor and talk to him about it, asking would this work? Would that work? In a gruff voice, reminiscent of Perry White of Superman, he'd say to her, "I don't know. Write it and see." If there's something that you want to write, but you don't think it'll work? Just check it out. See what works. You can't succeed if you don't try. And on that note,

The Third is: "Give yourself permission to write badly." Forgiveness in the arts can be almost nonexistent. We want to be perfect the first time around. We don't want to edit our work. We want to think that the way it comes out is as good as it could ever be (or, am I alone in thinking this?). Trust me. This is NEVER True. Whenever I get bogged down by my own perfectionist writer's block, I have to remember that even the best writers had their bad days. There are more bad days than good. In the last year that it took me to write my book, there were months where I was ready to throw in the towel and give up that story altogether (I even started on another story during hiatus). After letting it stew for awhile, in the last week, I was on FIRE. I couldn't write this story fast enough. I made myself a promise to finish by this Sunday night. I finished it by Sunday night. Write through the pain and all will be well. I even have a script saved to that I use specifically for writing poorly.

The last rule is my own. I didn't learn from my teachers. Don't take yourself too seriously. Life without a little whimsy is no life at all. Think of the things that you have fun with. Experience those things. Those are probably the things you should be writing about. Find your own voice through your interests.

And speaking of interests, I'm off to watch Star Trek: Insurrection with my dad. Data (The Android)'s makeup is slowly delving into Kabuki territory in this movie, which just makes it funnier.


  1. Thanks or the great advice!!! You are all inspiring!!!

  2. Great tips.These are some important points to be considered before writing.I have identified some changes to my writing.I use the custom writing service for any writing help.Thank you so much for sharing this informative post.