The Amateur Guide to Amateur Writing pt. 2

Continuation from the last post no one read or enjoyed….

 

Supplies

            A pen or pencil, a notebook, a smart phone, a computer sometimes, a hand, a brain of questionable quality, a child to distract you from getting anything done, just to name a few essential supplies.

I really like using the classic composition notebooks; they are 100 page soft covers, regular ruled. I have a few of these laying around so I can work on multiple pieces at once but its easy to rummage through a 100 pages if you want to work on multiple projects in one book. If this wasn’t obvious, I hand write all my fiction, I started initially typing out everything but didn’t get very far. Not sure why, I just find typing my work to be lacking in quality for me personally.

I haven’t began a deep editing process yet so I can’t really say what I use for that but I plan to do most of it on a laptop. Or I may just burn everything so no one ever has to read any of my attempts at stories. Notebooks burn much quicker than laptops so that’s another notch for handwriting. Really though, do what works best for you.

I don’t take a ton of notes throughout the day but I like to quickly jot Ideas when I can. So just using my smart phone to quickly jot a few notes and summaries. This will probably change though as my process evolves, I just don’t like carrying too many things.

 

Rough Writing

 

I have already stated that I hand write everything….except this post which is violently being typed away on an old MacBook Pro. If you find that typing while creating works for you then by all means do it, you are probably much faster at typing anyways.

That’s the next thing, I definitely recommend writing initially for bulk and for speed. Get everything out there, it’s like having a good bowel movement, you’ll feel much better once it’s all on paper. I know most people go in the toilet or a diaper but I think you get the gist. If you get stuck, keep going, you are writing a rough draft and that means you can worry about fixing it later. I can’t say how many times I just can’t think of the word I want to use and end up putting a boring placeholder in its place.

Trust me, I have no idea what I am talking about. Well actually I wouldn’t really say these things if I hadn’t also read popular authors saying similar things. It also helps that I’m not trying to sell you something in my posts, my ulterior motive is to melt your brain not manipulate it.

 

Coffee

Look how cool and hip this stock coffee image is. Just google coffee. Way easier than taking a picture on my stupid iphone of my crappy coffee.

Truly the essence of getting anything done is coffee. Also what’s the point if you don’t have any? If you don’t understand why this isn’t under supplies, well I don’t either.

 

This is pretty much it for my writing guide, pretty lame huh? Honestly I am still surprised you are still here. Its more likely you aren’t here and a tree fell on you in the woods and no one heard it because your eardrums immediately exploded and no one else was around. I’ll send you some flowers.

The Amateur Guide to Amateur Writing pt. 1

After writing fairly consistently for half a year I have crafted what some would call a process. Others might call it a pointless arrangement of actions leading to nothing but I think process has a nicer tone. So here is a guide to my amateur process that you can read and incorporate. More likely you will find my writing process to be completely lacking and to you I say, “please comment!” I would love to hear alternatives to how I do things.

What is the origin of my process? The Internet of course, well blogs and such really. Mostly my process is based purely on what has worked best for me. That should be the number one priority because writing in a comfortable manner is the only way I can even get anything done. This will come up a bit more in this post. So here is my guide to amateur writing.

READ

Read, read a lot. In fact I now read directly before I write. Also read different genres, writers, and era’s to really expand your taste and writing style. I can’t tell you how much I have learned and observed just seeing how differently people write. That being said, let what you learn from reading flow naturally from your writing, don’t try to emulate authors who are good, but don’t not do that either. So read and keep reading.

If you don’t have as much time to read as you would like then listen. Having stories read to you in an audio book fashion is for me completely necessary. It helps me better understand the flow and voice of a novel. If you haven’t heard Neil Gaiman read one of his stories you are missing out. It’s literally an author reading you his writing in his own book. Listening to audio books is what made writing comprehensible. Having a story told to me clicked into my brain how to write. This may not happen for you like it happened for me but it can still help. It puts into reality that writing is just you telling a story in your own voice put onto paper.

So what am I reading you ask? Well you probably didn’t actually ask that but I am going to tell you anyways. The Modern Library Writer’s Workshop. This book is the bible of creative writing. It answers so many questions you have and ones you didn’t know you needed the answer to. The author, whose credentials are outlandishly legit, incorporates popular and successful writers point of views and his experience as a professor to give you a magical book that will inspire and help you build your craft. I have been mulling over this one slowly, trying to incorporate its ideas into my process. I am not even halfway through and yet I knew how great this was just reading the introduction.

Other than this book on writing, which I plan to find another once I finish this one, I mostly read fiction novels. That’s what I enjoy most and that’s what I want to write. I will confess that though I am mostly writing short stories and flash fiction right now, I am not reading much in these formats. Though I plan on remedying this fault soon.

 

I realize that this blog is pretty long already and will probably be splitting this guide into a few separate posts throughout the next week or two.  Also I kind of like the title of this post for the overall blog.