Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Power Words Exercise

Take a pill note
Courtesy of Darrendean at stock.xchng

Continuing on in my Wednesday Writing Exercise theme today I want to give you an exercise to make you focus on the power of the written word. 

Tomorrow, I want you to write a note to someone and in as few words as possible, completely change their day. 

Simple. Right? Yeah, okay, you're not going to fall for that one.

Yes, it is going to be hard, but you can do it, you're a writer!

Here are just some suggestions:

I'm not a big fan of the 'I love you', unless it is really actually going to mean something to them, because it's been a bit overused and killed. 

'I'm having your baby' would obviously work in some situations, but I don't want you to lie.

The good old 'by the way, I'm not wearing any underwear' might be of use for those of you who are married. 

But even in the most banal cases, such as writing on a group birthday card, as a writer you have an obligation (I believe, and try to live up to) to make the most of each written word you give to someone else. You have been gifted in choosing the right word for the right time to evoke an emotional response. 

Don't forget that. 

Practice it as much as you can. 

And yes, it can be easier to evoke a response by wounding someone, ripping out their heart and handing it back to them, but I would prefer if you stayed positive. 

So, go ahead and try it. One note, change their day. 

ROW 80 Check In
For those who have been following my blog, you will notice that I haven't posted anything on this blog or my other one since last Wednesday, even missing my Sunday check in.
Have to admit, the day after I got my book out, I totally crashed (emotionally speaking, not physically like last time I fell off my bike). It was quite unexpected and really threw me. Am still slowly trying to claw my way back. So apologies everyone.
However, considering we are almost at the end of this round, I feel I should set some kind of goal. 

So, by Sunday I want to have rewritten the beginning of my NaNoWriMo romance: After the Winter. I sat down two nights ago to start reading through it again (not having touched it since the end of November, but with fond memories) to find that beginning was... well... to be blunt, it was crap. There were some good ideas and passages interspersed with a lot of 'oh my goodness, I actually wrote that? I thought those words would join together to make a sentence an English speaker would understand and relate to?' as well as a complete lack of intelligible pacing. It was sad. Very sad.

For a while I thought about ending it all! (Well, the book at least) But walking home tonight from work I was listening to Writing Excuses, the podcast, and they were talking about beginnings, and it got me thinking about how to restart mine. 

Their great bits of advice:
1. Come in late, get out early for each scene.
2. Make sure the setting and tone of the novel is introduced in the beginning. 
3. Come in right when the 'change' that motivates the story is happening. 
4. make sure there is motion in the first section. 

So, keeping all of that in mind, I'll see what I can do over the next few days. 

Anyone else got great advice on how to write a good beginning scene? 
(I've got some great advice on how not to, if anyone is interested :D)


  1. Buffy,

    I have never ever had a beginning stay the same in the second draft, although I have one, at the moment, that may prove to be the exception...

    I often have a very different novel, at the end, than I thought I had at the beginning. So I've made my peace with rewriting it later, when I have a better idea of where the story was meant to begin.

    My Round 2 goals will be based on the goals I set in the WANA 113 class, and will include the A to Z Blogging Challenge, April CampNaNo (I will be a rebel, finishing up previous winning but incomplete WIPs), and assorted flash fiction, poetry, and blogging seasonings.....I do so love variety...

    I will go to sleep thinking of what to write in my note....and to whom I will write it.

    1. One of my issues with fiddling with my beginnings is that I usually write out the purest form of the idea or motivating image in the beginning, and build the story from that. So to go back and find that the image isn't that good... well, it is a bit discouraging. However, I will takeyour advice, and rewrite it to match the strength of my ending.

      And how did the note go? (It doesn't even have to be a note, it could be a blog comment!)