What I’ve Learned about Writing Summer ’11

It amazed me last summer how much I learned about myself as a writer.  Last summer I learned that writing exercises can blossom into full characters and book ideas.  I learned the magic of moving scenes around and the changes it can have on your narrative.  I learned how to read as a writer.  This summer I definitely grew too.

What I’ve learned in Summer ’11 about my writing:

  • I’m a better realistic fiction writer than I thought… or wanted to be.
  • I learned there are two threads in a narrative, emotional and action.  I’m pretty darn good at the action side, but sometimes neglect the emotional thread.
  • I’m pretty darn good at creating a plot skeleton in my first draft.  *pats back*
  • I’m not so good at deciding on a point-of-view and sticking to it.  *shakes head*
  • I’ve had a lot of experiences.  And those experiences are going to come out in my writing subconsciously.  It’s then my job to use them… and disguise them!  Because I’m not writing an autobiography.  I’m a fiction writer.
  • I’m not a wordy or verbose writer.  I’m precise.  And it’s totally okay if I don’t have long, elaborate descriptions.
  • Part of the reason I’m okay with not being wordy: Readers usually can’t remember more than three details when you’re describing something.  (Learned that in class last night.)  And I noticed that I tend to describe things in threes anyways.  So pick three GOOD details instead of describing every last little thing.
  • I can crank words out!!!  Never thought I’d write over 60 pages in such a short amount of time while also doing reading and critical analysis.  I have no more excuses over the school year.  I can make it happen.
I’m sure there’s more that I learned, but those are the biggies.
One thing I want to learn:

Is there a way to figure out your “word count for the day” when you’re revising?  (Like deleting whole paragraphs and writing new ones)  Without stopping to add and subtract constantly?

Would love to know!
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