I’m re-learning how to write. I may have gotten straight A’s in English back in the day, but there’s no way I’m going to do that again. I’ve developed too many bad habits.
I was told that I was an excellent story teller, but when I re-read a short story I had written a few months ago… well, it sucked! –I thought it was a good first draft, but giving it time to rest, has shown me the error of my ways. It’s one of the finest cures for insomnia I’ve ever read. Unless, you’re an English major, in which case it will keep you awake nights.
I need someone to analyze my story and tell me where I screwed up, but rather than immediately going back to school, I’ve decided to start online, so when I do go back I won’t embarrass myself in front of the class.
I discovered a site called Jerz’s Literacy Weblog, which has nice selection of short story writing tips. I especially like their section titled: “Get Started: Emergency Tips.”
The first tip “What does your protagonist want?” forces you to consider the entire narrative.
“The athlete who wants her team to win the big game and the car crash victim who wants to survive are not unique or interesting enough.”
Finally The Write Life has a nice post on self-editing.
Meanwhile back at the ranch, I’m making notes on interesting people, unbelievably dull people, and events.
And so on.
(My first bad guy is going to be a bad-ass biker and I’m going to name him Wilberforce.)