Browsing "Uncategorized"
Nov 9, 2014 - Uncategorized    No Comments

How long should you wait before rereading your first draft?

We have all heard the advice.  When you finish your writing, set it aside and come back in XX days or weeks.

But how long do you wait?

Time can heal your bad writing, if you let it.

Time heals–even the writing you hated!

I usually take some time to pound out a first draft as I only have a rough idea of where I am going with it. Yes, I know the end, and I know most of the plot points, as well as the main through line before I start writing. However, things change. New characters pop up. I see better ways to do things, and as much writing is thinking and exploring, I see my story develop as I write. Having said that, I usually finish a first draft of a novel in a year or two.

But then, you want to start changing things. But wait. Cool down.

The problem is that if you jump in now, things will get messy. In a bad way. You are too close to your work, love your characters too much, and are too used to your own language and writing.

That’s why you need to cool off

So, take some time, as long as you can. DO NOT look at that piece. You need to clear your mind of it.

Then, go back, maybe after a month, or a few months, and read it over again.

So how long do you wait? As long as you can, but at least a few weeks. Otherwise, the point of rereading it is lost.

And finally, rewrite.


Nov 18, 2013 - Uncategorized    No Comments

New Scrivener for Linux is out!

Scrivener for Linux

Scrivener for Linux

The wonderful folks who make Scrivener over at Literature and Latte have just released the new version of Scrivener for Linux.  This is version  For more information and a detailed review of Scrivener on Linux Ubuntu, read my earlier review, where I compare it to other software for creative writers on Linux.

This version has several additions that have been implemented into the Scrivener for Windows version.  (Keep in mind here, though, that the original Scrivener was for Mac OS, and it seems to be the most developed version.)

If you do any kind of long writing–novels, manuals, novellas, textbooks even, I suggest you give Scrivener a try.  It’s still free, and it’s a superb but easy way to organize your files.

This link will take you directly to the download page for Scrivener 1.6 for Linux.

Dec 26, 2011 - Uncategorized    No Comments

The End of the Year or “Where have you been?”

It’s that time again.  The end of the year is coming up.


For most of us, this is not a big deal, but I think that we stop and take a few moments to look back at the last year.  What did you want to get done this year in your writing that you could not?  What did you accomplish?  Where do you want to go from here?

The end of the year is an important time to take stock of where we are in our lives and careers also.  Take a few moments, get a beer or a nice glass of wine and stare out the window.  Think about it.


Dec 7, 2011 - Uncategorized    No Comments

Can characters act on their own?

Characters acting on their own.

Most people who have read a book about characterization have heard phrases like, “Once you let your characters free, they will surprise you with the things they do,” or something like, “My characters took over the story and it went in a place I never meant it to go.”

Really?  Can that happen?

Well, maybe, I suppose.

Stories, or to be more specific plot, develops from the mix of character, setting, and situations (what is happening around them, the history/back story, and their relationships).  For example, The Odyssey is a story that grows out of Odyseus’ personality, the setting of the Ancient Mediterranean, and the situation (returning from the war, the problems in Ithaca, his crew’s desires).

It depends on the writer, but I think what is happening here is that the writer didn’t really know his or her character that well, or perhaps found new depth to the character that expressed itself in the revision, or as they wrote.

That is fine, of course.  Everyone writes differently.  I tend to have a rough idea of story in mind, but at the same time, I have already envisioned the characters for this story.  Which comes first, the character or the story?

I don’t know.  In the story I am working on now, the battle of two characters, the pair act in response to each other and their setting.

So can characters act on their own?  Maybe.  If they seem to do so, well, may be we are doing something right.