Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ten Writing Tips from Janet Fitch

Each Friday on literary agent Nathan Bransford's blog he writes about "This Week in Publishing." Last week he posted a link to author Janet Fitch's blog, where she shares "10 Writing Tips That Can Help Almost Anyone."

I'm always interested in discovering ways to improve my writing, so I popped over to Fitch's blog and found some insightful writing tips. Her suggestions cover: the importance of writing good sentences, picking the right verbs, varying the length of sentences, writing in scenes, and much more.

The suggestions that got me thinking the most were:

#1: Write the sentence, not just the story. I especially like her suggestion at the end.

#5: Explore sentences using dependent clauses. I need to work on this.

#9 Write in scenes. Successful writers know how to do this. I've attended workshops where award-winning writers (Dusty Richards and Pat Carr are two that come to mind) have discussed the importance of writing in scenes, so this is definitely one I need to focus on when writing.

#10: Torture your protagonist. This isn't easy for me because I want to protect my characters, especially the likable ones, so it's another aspect of my writing that needs attention.

Thanks, Janet, for sharing your writing tips and for getting me to think more not only about what I write but how I write.

If you're the curious type whose always searching for ways to improve your writing, pop on over to Janet's blog and check out all ten of her writing tips. If you do, which ones caught your attention and why?

10 comments:

  1. I always try to torture my protagonist. Most times it's difficult, so I know what you mean. Keep at it. Draft after draft. Make everything worse. She'll thank you when you finish.

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  2. Hi Carol,
    Thanks. I'm trying, and you're right. It's not easy.
    Donna

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  3. I like the this one - pick a better verb. I'm guilty of using a lot of weak verbs, especially in the first draft. After that, I try to clean them up and use ones with some oomph! I do the same with any sort of description.

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  4. Always great advice. Thanks, Donna!

    Pat
    www.critteralley.blogspot.com

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  5. Thanks Donna. You always give me more to read!

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  6. After checking out Janet's lovely post (Thanks for the tip!), I'd have to say the one about cliches. 'Course, I don't realize I'm writing in cliches-I just like the way my sentence has a very familiar ring to it :-)

    P.S. Good luck with the Chicken Soup! (Read your Twitter feed :-)

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  7. Hi Madeline,
    Yep. I'm always looking (hunting, searching) for stronger verbs to punch up my writing, too.
    Donna

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  8. Hi Pat,
    Thanks for being a loyal visitor of Donna's Book Pub.
    Donna

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  9. Hi Lisa,
    Thanks. You are so kind.
    Donna

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  10. Hey Cathy,
    Thanks. Cliches trip me up, too. And I'm keeping my fingers crossed on the Chicken Soup essay.
    Donna

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