#writingcraft: Gathering Tools

[The woman in the photo isn’t me but her expression is how I feel sometimes when I’m writing.]

I’m the type of person who wants to do things my “own” way. I put the word “own” in quotes because it’s rare the idea is an original and instead, I’ve lifted it off of someone or I’ve seen it someplace and have adopted it as my own. Albeit, usually I find myself backtracking to admit someone else’s recommendation should be looked at more honestly. I guess I don’t have a problem admitting I’m wrong about something.

I did things my “own” way when I wrote that first draft I mentioned in my post last week. I wrote by the seat of my pants in the yWriter program. It isn’t any wonder the story is just a mere skeleton. I relied on my memory to remember the tips I had read on various blogs, hoping I was making the story compelling. As to be expected, my recollections failed. Reading it, once I had finished, proved I had blundered relentlessly. No doubt about it. It translated into something resembling stained sixty-year-old wallpaper.

Yes, I’ve read those blog articles stating the first draft is usually garbage. However, there is usually something to be salvaged in them. If you read mine, you would most certainly believe it’s worse than that and may tell me to dump it in the nearest trash bin. Still, I’ll keep it for now because it will serve as my point of recollection during my second go-around.

I’m trying someone else’s suggestion with this second draft. Janice Hardy’s blog, Fiction University, is chalked full of writing tips that are full of common sense. She also has several nonfictional books out that give practical advice about the craft. I bought her books Plotting Your Novel: Ideas and Structure and Plotting Your Novel Workbook: A Companion Book to Planning Your Novel: Ideas and Structure. I’m praying this will assist me in get my act together so I can create a draft that doesn’t suck. From there I can start asking for beta readers and begin toiling on the grammar and choice of words I’ve used.

In addition, although I’ve transferred the rtf of that first draft to yWriter, I decided to write draft 2 in LibreOffice, putting in the indentation for the first line of each paragraph and having the entire piece double-spaced. As much as I like yWriter, the window where I would be writing my scenes has become a little daunting to me. I had talked a little about this fear in my last post but, at the time, I didn’t comprehend what was causing it. I, now, know it’s that window in the yWriter program although I still can’t figure out why. With my first draft, I felt cozy writing in that window. I wonder what has changed? Anyway, I’ll be using my yWriter for all preliminary writing [development of characters, settings, and whatever else that comes before chapter one is written] and having a Word document [via Libre] for my actual story.

The third tool I picked up is to help me with reading my drafts. The Windows store has the NaturalReader Free as an app. It’ll read text without putting in the grammar tags. In other words, it really does sound like someone is reading to me. It’ll be a great assist to improving the content and wording.

§

I’ve thought about letting this story sit for a while longer but my creative juices aren’t flowing so I can move on to something else. My muse insists on me finishing this project before going on to a new one.

Does your muse bully you like mine bullies me?

“You do not attain success when you associate with those in high positions, It comes when you accept yourself and realize that only you can take yourself to where your heart truly lies.”
― Michael Bassey Johnson

 

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14 Replies to “#writingcraft: Gathering Tools”

  1. Sometimes I always feel that way about a first draft – that it is too nonsensical to work with. In times like those like you said, best to put it aside because maybe when you come back to it, it won’t be as bad. If I come back to it and find I can’t make any sense from it, I usually tell myself it was a good try.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve used that logic on other stories I’ve written but this one is different. I’ve been wanting to tell this story for a long time. I’ve thought about it off and on for years. I need to get it written.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I can relate to doing things my own way, only to discover my own way is rife with missteps and self-imposed misery. At the moment, my focus is on my writing process and work habits, because those are bigger impediments to my writing than the words on the page. It’s a constant learning process, isn’t it?

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  3. It seems like how we write, how we plan and what technology (or analog elements) we choose to work with is like sleeping. We have to be comfortable before the magic comes. I know I’ve spent lots of time “organizing” when I could have been writing. I’m not sure what will happen if I ever decide to take on a longer writing project. Good luck.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do a lot of organization like you. I get to the point where it bores me to death and I try to write. However, it isn’t long before I get stuck because I need to do more planning of the scenes or more research is needed.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Good list, Glynis. I tried the desktop version of Natural Reader and was sorely disappointed–and I paid for the privilege! There was no flow to the reading. I switched to Adobe’s free one (with Acrobat) and was much happier. I’m glad to hear the app is better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d do the reading out loud myself but I have a strong tendency to yawn when I read out loud. When my son was young, I had a terrible time reading him a story. As soon as he was reading, I was making him read to me. This app is a lifesaver for me.

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