The Importance on Learning to Write
Okay, so I often talk about Lord of Columbia, the first book due to be released in September, but I want to touch on Comeback Kid, as it deals with the inspirational portion of My Freedom Flame.
I often talk of libertarianism entwined with inspiration. While Lord of Columbia preaches my take on the principles of liberty, Comeback Kid, whose first draft I completed before completing the first draft in Lord of Columbia, is all-inspiring.
Some have asked me about Comeback Kid, as those I’m close to read the first draft, but I completed this thing before I even learned to write, which is the main point of this article. Okay, so while the story was interesting, ever since I’ve taken a few courses on writing and read a few books on the craft, I saw one thing: I DID EVERYTHING THEY SAY NOT TO DO!
A Few Basic Tips
While I’m nowhere near a writing expert, as I’ve only had a firm grasp on writing for six months, I can give you a fountain of tidbits I’ve discovered. Without further ado:
1) Don’t be omniscient. These days, keep everything to one point of view. I like to think of the point of view characters as me, and what I would or wouldn’t know in this story. Just as we don’t know everything in life, our point of view character doesn’t know everything, either. Since the point of view character’s senses are all the reader has to work with, so do we, as the writer.
2) Don’t be passive. Instead of stating ‘She was running down the field,’ state, ‘She ran downfield.’ Using active voice adds power and as you can see, I cut three words from the initial sentence. The shorter the text, the greater the power.
3) Show don’t tell. Okay, so I had a lot of trouble with this. For one, I wrote a lot about the Cleveland Browns and sports in general, which is telling. When one switches gears to writing fiction, showing action rather than saying what happened speaks wonders. Instead of stating, ‘It was hot,’ say, ‘Todd tore off his tank-top and wiped sweat from his forehead.’ Action speaks volumes.
4) Omit written-ese and on-the-nose writing. In other words, we don’t need to describe every detail of every scene. Get to the action and use character action for description. Let the reader’s mind go to work. For instance, if I write a scene in a dining hall, I’ll use my characters to describe what’s contained in the scene. Written-ese is just a language novice writers use, which I’ve used in the past. Instead of saying something one way and writing it another, just write it how you’d say it.
5) Use minimal dialogue tags. Trust me, it’s a technique I’ve read about recently and have since incorporated it into my own writing. It’s taking an extra edit or two of Lord of Columbia, but it’s worth the wait, because it reads much, much better. Comeback Kid is going to have a much easier time around the block since I’ll be minimizing ‘said,’ and nothing else (gasped, wheezed, remarked, etc.). Instead, it goes straight back to action. Character provides action, a little bit of dialogue. Action, then dialogue.
These five techniques will improve your writing for the better, and the inspirational tale of Comeback Kid will definitely go through fewer edits than Lord of Columbia. With Lord of Columbia: Northern Knights launching in September and two subsequent books (I’m thinking December 2018 and March 2019), Comeback Kid will make its debut in the summer of 2019, with a second Lord of Columbia trilogy to be released soon after.
I don’t know about you, but my writing life is going to be filled up from now until my 29th birthday in 2020.