Writing On Demand

by Michelle Griep, @MichelleGriep

I’m operating under a deadline. There’s a reason for the negativity of that word, because it’s freaking killing me. Okay, so maybe not all that dramatic, like I’m not currently bleeding out on the kitchen floor or anything. But being on a deadline means I have to write every day whether I feel like it or not. Most often I do, but some days, sheesh, I tell you . . .
So for my sanity — and yours — here is a handy dandy list of ideas to keep you on the writing track, or whatever track it is that you’re currently running on.
5 Techniques to Keep the Writing Juices Flowing

1. Find your happy writing place and go there.**For me, it’s a coffee shop. But not just any. Not the ones where I hang out with friends. There are a few select shops that once I walk through the door, I know I’ve got to yank out my computer and get down to business. If your happy place is a library, fine. A nearby park. Great. Wherever you can be most productive is where you need to be.
2. Make it a priority.**Morning is best. Your mind is the freshest. You haven’t had a wonky day yet. This is the time to crank out your most work and don’t let anything get in the way of that.
3. Stretch out the creative muscles before starting.**Read some great writing before you start your own writing. Or listen to some inspirational music. Or view some awesome pictures that make you wonder. Sometimes your creative battery needs a jump start.

4. Reward yourself.**If a triple mocha with whipped cream and an espresso bean on top is what it takes to make you feel like a little champion, then get one. Better your pants dig in at the waist a bit and you conquer the world than you feel like a loser and lose your motivation.
5. Don’t overthink it.**Just do it. Don’t worry if what you’re putting out is perfection. Chances are it’s not. At least you’ll have something to work with later on, right?

Your ability to write does not depend on your muse riding up on a unicorn and sweeping you off your feet. All it takes is for you to park your rear in a chair long enough to force out some words. Inspiration and motivation are lovely to have, but if you’re going to make it in the writerly world, you’ll have to suck it up and write on demand, whether you feel like it or not.

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Writing On Demand by Michelle Griep (Click to Tweet)





Michelle Griep
’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. Follow her adventures and find out about upcoming new releases at her blog, Writer Off the Leash, or stop by her website. You can also find her at the usual haunts of FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest.

Writers Are Magicians

by Michelle Griep

Every writer has a little Houdini in them because a great story is a slight-of-hand magic trick. Here’s how it works . . .

The writer grabs the reader’s hand and takes them into a story world. Think of this as the pulling out of the black top hat. Exposing the reader to how things are, turning the hat one way and another beneath the spotlight, showing there are no strings attached.
Then the tension of the story ramps up. The writer creates conflict for the characters, just like the magician shoves his hand into the hat, all the way up to his elbow. You know something is going to happen. He’s going to pull something out, but what? The reader expects drastic action is about to take place, everything is going to fall apart, but how?

Gah! The magician yanks out his hand. No rabbit. No roses. There’s a big, bitey piranha attacking his fingers. He flails, the audience gasps, and in the blink of an eye, the piranha changes into a rainbow glitter unicorn that he hops onto and rides off the stage.

Whoa. Didn’t see that one coming.

And that, my friends, is what a great writer does. Sets up a story. Causes a reader to believe the story is headed a particular direction, then shazam! Switches the story into a whole different direction that the reader didn’t expect.

This format works because readers like to think they’re smart, that they know how everything is going to play out, but they really want to be delighted with something they didn’t expect.


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Writers Are Magicians by Michelle Griep (Click to Tweet)

Every writer has a little Houdini in them~ Michelle Griep (Click to Tweet)

A great story is a slight-of-hand magic trick.~Michelle Griep (Click to Tweet)


Author Michelle Griep

ABOUT THE AUTHOR ~ MICHELLE GRIEP

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. Follow her adventures and find out about upcoming new releases at her blog, Writer Off the Leash, or stop by her website. You can also find her at the usual haunts of FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest.

Like what you read? There’s more. WRITER OFF THE LEASH: GROWING IN THE WRITING CRAFT is a kick in the pants for anyone who wants to write but is stymied by fear, doubt, or simply doesn’t know how to take their writing to the next level.

5 Reasons to Tell Instead of Show

by Michelle Griep

You’ve all heard it, usually at a volume ratcheted up enough to shred your eardrums to tiny little ribbons . . .

“SHOW, DON’T TELL!”

Yeah, yeah. Whatever. For the most part, I heartily agree with this rule. Showing is hands-down better than telling because, hey, who likes to be told anything? That’s about as comfortable as having your mom wag her finger in your face.
But (and I’ve always got a big but) I’ve discovered that there are some instances in which telling is a must.

5 Reasons to Tell Instead of Show

1. When you’re covering a vast amount of time.

Mundane details of everyday life are boring. Move your story forward by skipping them.

2. Inserting a quick summary.

Sometimes you need to report an event because it’s important to the story, yet you don’t want the story to get bogged down. A small summary is a useful tool to accomplish this.

3. When backstory is crucial to a current event.

Be careful with this one. I’m talking just a few words here, not entire paragraphs.

4. As a transition.

Scenes must be connected somehow or they’ll become disjointed in the reader’s mind. A sentence or two of telling can accomplish this faster than a few pages of showing.

5. For a rebound.

Secondary characters are necessary because they bring a well-roundedness to the story. That being said, they should never upstage the main personas. A telling line can kick-off a real-time response from a hero or heroine.

I should also mention that telling is employed more often in novellas than in novels because of the constraint of the length. Showing is still high on the priority list, but as Stephen King says, story is king, and if a little telling accomplishes that, then go for it.

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Author Michelle Griep

ABOUT THE AUTHOR ~ MICHELLE GRIEP

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. Follow her adventures and find out about upcoming new releases at her blog, Writer Off the Leash, or stop by her website. You can also find her at the usual haunts of FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest.

Like what you read? There’s more. WRITER OFF THE LEASH: GROWING IN THE WRITING CRAFT is a kick in the pants for anyone who wants to write but is stymied by fear, doubt, or simply doesn’t know how to take their writing to the next level.


Title Photo Copyright: goodluz / 123RF Stock Photo

3 Reasons You Will Never Get That Book Written

by Michelle Griep

Whenever I tell someone I’m an author, immediately following the deer-in-the-headlights stare, the person I’m talking to invariably says, “Hey! I’ve got this great story idea.”

To which I reply, “Then you should write it.”

That’s when Mr. Slump Shoulders takes over, and the person wilts in front of me. “Yeah, I should,” he murmurs. Then he slinks off into the sunset, and I know that book will never get written. Why? Three reasons . . .


1. Overthinking

Yeah, I get it. Thinking about writing a book can suck the living breath right out of the hidey holes deep down in the caverns of your lungs. No, really, I get it. If I dwell on the magnitude of work it takes to write a book, I’d curl up in the fetal position, too. So here’s what you have to do . . . just say no to your gnarly thoughts. You don’t have to have every plot point figured out, research a bajillion books, know all the characters and their motivations and what they like to eat for breakfast before you start writing a novel. Those things can be added in on later drafts.

2. Overstressing

Lots of people start writing a book, but then they make the same mistake I did when I first began — going over, and over, and over the first few chapters, trying to perfect them. That’s when it hits you upside the head that you’re not perfect, and neither are your words. Stress sets in as you try to rearrange phrases, sentences, paragraphs, your rubber duck collection, and all of it crashes in on you, landing you in the corner with your thumb stuck in your mouth as you call for your mama. As tempting as it is to make sure you’ve got things right before you move on, here’s a piece of advice for you . . . MOVE ON! Write the first draft. It won’t be perfect. It doesn’t have to be. It’s a freaking first draft for crying out loud so cut yourself some slack.

3. Overwriting

Some people barf words on a page like a drunk who’s been on a month long bender. I’m talking word explosion. Descriptions of characters down to their nostril hairs. Entire narratives on how the wind sounds in the beech trees at sunset. Pages and pages and pages of dialogue about the heroine’s favorite tea and why darjeeling trumps earl grey. To which I say, “Stop the madness.” Use the delete button. Fight the urge to let your fingers run too wild on the keyboard.

If you can get over these three writerly hurdles, then you, my friend, will soon be the proud parent of a brand spanking new manuscript.

TWEETABLES

3 Reasons You Will Never Get That Book Written by Michelle Griep (Click to Tweet)

You’ve got a story idea? Then you should write it.~ Michelle Griep (Click to Tweet)

Write the first draft. It won’t be perfect. It doesn’t have to be.~ Michelle Griep (Click to Tweet)


Author Michelle Griep

ABOUT THE AUTHOR ~ MICHELLE GRIEP

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. Follow her adventures and find out about upcoming new releases at her blog, Writer Off the Leash, or stop by her website. You can also find her at the usual haunts of FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest.

Like what you read? There’s more. WRITER OFF THE LEASH: GROWING IN THE WRITING CRAFT is a kick in the pants for anyone who wants to write but is stymied by fear, doubt, or simply doesn’t know how to take their writing to the next level.




Title Photo Copyright: alphaspirit / 123RF Stock Photo