It’ easy to use certain words and phrases over and over again. So, when you’re done writing a scene, take advantage of your writing software’s “find” function to see how often words appear in your prose. Now go through and cut the ones you can or re-write the sentences to eliminate the repetitions.
As summer break begins, don’t let those lazy days beckon you to get lazy with your daily writing habits. Make a list of scenes that you want to write this month. Then for the first half of the month, write a summary of what needs to happen in each scene. It’s okay just to “tell” what needs to happen in each, but try to be as specific as possible. Then for the second half of the month, go back through each scene and replace all those telling moments with action, emotion, description and anything else that helps you “show” your readers what’s happening.
When it’s time to tighten a scene, study your characters’ thoughts and feelings and ask yourself what purpose they serve. If they don’t help your readers understand the character’s motivations, consider cutting those lines.
Another month has passed since our Write by Midnight challenge ended. We hope you’re still sticking to your daily writing habits. In May, think about how to make the most of the writing time you have. Try this technique:
- Determine how much time you want to write on any given day. 30 minutes? An hour?
- Now, set a timer for half of that time. Write freely until the timer lets you know to stop. Just get the scene on the page.
- Then, reset the timer for a second round. This time, go back through what you wrote and make it make sense. Flesh out the scene with description, introspection, dialogue or whatever else you think the scene needs to be worthy of your name on the cover.