Inspiration for Reluctant Writers
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Waste Not

Lazy writers waste words. They use three when one excellent, descriptive verb or adjective will do much better. That's what's called "tight writing." Having written for magazines and corporate newsletters for years, I've learned the value and necessity of tight writing. Usually, I'm given a specific word count. Rarely, I have a crappy subject and I find myself having to pad the copy, because there wasn't much to write about in the first place. More often, however, I find myself finding ways to cut out words to stay within the word-count limits. This means searching for waste and finding ways to fix it. This is especially true when writing audio or video scripts. You're given 30 or 60 seconds

La Fin

No, it's not the end of Caren Austen, Ink, but emphasis on the importance of ending well. As Longfellow put it, "Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending." In fact, some people write backward, as it were. They start with the end in mind. Others create their characters and follow where they lead. Either way, mulling over the end throughout the writing process is critical. As Longfellow pointed out, a great beginning is all well and good, but it's worthless if you end poorly. I just finished reading Jane Eyre -- again -- and it reminded me what a master (or mistress) Brontë is at building to a climax, then finishing with a satisfying close. Yet another reason to read the

Waiting for Wings

Writing, especially when we put it out there for others to read, is a lot like jumping off a cliff. We're never quite sure if we'll fly or if we'll fall. Writing takes courage. Not the kind of life or death courage of a soldier, police officer, or firefighter. It does, however, require a risk of the soul. We put our thoughts, our feelings, our very selves out there for people to respond with affection, derision, or, worst of all, indifference. Will you take the leap? Will you risk it all? I refer you to Erin Hanson's oft-quoted wisdom: “What if I fall? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?”

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© 2020 by Caren Austen Ink.