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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Writing Guidelines

I posted this on my personal blog at Whiskey Dreams a few weeks back.  Since I never shared it here, I thought I would revamp and update it.
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I've been writing for over forty-five years, and in that time, I've developed a foolproof method for getting down to the business of writing a story.  It's sort of like a 12-step program, only mine is actually a 13-step, far more painful process.  Sometimes it actually works, and sometimes, it just causes more stress than it ought to.


When the muses fail, I've found that an inspirational picture aids in writing, so if I happen across a good looking guy or pretty woman in a magazine, I cut it out and pin it to the wall beside my computer.  Then my grandson comes in and colors glasses, a mustache and zits all over the face, and my muses turn to comedy.  Music doesn't help my muses.  It distracts them.  Some people can write to music, but I need silence.  Individual preference, and I would never try to inflict my preferences on anybody else.  To each her/his own.  I do like music when I'm driving, but not when I'm writing.

My inspiration usually comes randomly, but I've found that it helps to read.  I can't watch TV except for wrestling shows or an occasional comedy, so I've come to rely solely on my reading to put me in the writing mood.

The beauty above is Tara (aka Victoria), one of the very best wrestlers alive.

Anyway, here are my personal set of guidelines in case writer's block ever sets in.  :)

1.  Obtain a cup of coffee
2.  Sit in chair facing computer, fingers on keyboard.
3.  Bring up MS Word (or other word processing program)
4.  Write an outline, character names, plot.
5.  Go get more coffee, then resume
6.  Stare at screen a minute, then log into Facebook.  Harvest crops at Farmville.  Check email, read the Yahoo news, the local news, the weather page, then check out groups, blogs and received links.  Read the wrestling news at WrestleZone.
7.  Write a blog and download some pictures from the net.  Upload some of pics in Picaso.
8.  Close browswer.  Go back to the story and stare at it some more.
9.  Go get more coffee that has gotten cold.  While it's reheating in the microwave, grab a few cookies. (vanilla wafers are my favorites!)  Feed the dogs, cats, rats, fish, etc, and make sure they have plenty of water.  Wipe the counter off and wash the dishes somebody left in the sink.  Do a load of laundry and fold all the clothes somebody left in the dryer.  Reheat cooled coffee once again.
10.  Go back to the computer.  Eat cookies and drink coffee while reading the outline.
11.  Change the entire plot and all the character names.  Think of something new.
12.  Start writing, and this time, actually put some words on the page.  Any words, even if they don't match the outline.  Just so there are words.
13.  Save work for later and go back to the kitchen.  Time to cook supper, so try the writing thing again tomorrow.

1 comment:

Ryan said...

If you would like to come to my house when you need to do number 9 on your list you're more than welcome too:)