I don’t care how much you write, or even if you are a writing savant, everyone needs to be reminded of the basics from time to time. The basics, helpful hints, random tricks, common sense, suggestions from pros — and cons ( a writer behind bars can still formulate an entertaining sentence).
1. Got something to say? Just barf it out. Write. Clean it up later.
2. Before you publish (or send it to your cousin in Omaha), double-check your message. What are you trying to saying? What’s the point of the whole damn thing? Have you hit the mark or are you wandering lost in the woods?
3. Once you can boil down the meaning of your text to a cute little tag line, think about your audience. Is the content or format of your text going to turn off certain readers? Do you care? Maybe not, depends on your goal. If you want the Catholic Diocese to publish your piece you probably don’t want to take God’s name in vein with the watermark of NuvaRing or Yasmin in the background.
4. Whether you’re writing fiction, non-fiction or poetry, you still need to grab the reader. Your first line(s) have to pop. This is especially true in today’s world of sound-bite-readers. You know this, but do you do it?
5. I love wordplay as much as the next introverted-living-in-the-attic writer but, people, please. If even you have no idea what in the hell you are saying when you read it aloud to yourself this does not mean you’ve written Ulysses for the 2000’s. No. Play with language, make it beautiful, pump it up, break it down, but for god’s sake make it so someone somewhere will read it and say “Damn. Right on, brother.” Or even “Oh, I get it.”
Stay tuned. I’ll be back — unless you need me right away. Then, please, visit me at my consulting website for Lorincz Literary Services: http://literaryconsulting.com/