Monday, April 19, 2010

Step three: the board of great importance

Guten Munday! I've not yet had my coffee, so if I start to devolve into a philosophical discussion of the merits of Street Fighter 2 versus the original Street Fighter, please feel free to stop by later.

I have a tendency to forget things. Not things like birthdays or anniversaries - those are a given - but things like "put pants on this morning" and "drive on the right side of the road." Thankfully the P-i-C usually catches the first one and my fellow drivers catch the second one. However, there are plenty of things I forget on a daily basis that I have no one to remind me to do. Among those things are good writing habits.

You know the kind - don't use passive voice, show don't tell, remove sense tags for a deeper POV - after awhile they become ingrained in a seasoned writer. I, however, much like a new dutch oven, still need some seasoning. But when you're trying to juggle plot, character development, pacing, and word count, some of these more basic rules fall by the wayside. And while I could go clean them up later, it would be a lot easier to keep them top of mind while writing to reduce the amount of editing I'll have to do down the road.

Enter the Board of Great Importance. I keep a white board next to my character development post-it note-a-rama with basic writing tips listed out. In addition to the ones listed above, I also have tips like "only tell me what's important" and "don't forget to eat lunch." Because sometimes writing does that to you. But it sits in my direct line of vision in the writing room and every time I glance up to imagine a scene, my most important writing rules are there to remind me. There are lots of arrows and asterisks and underlining, but it helps me pull my thoughts together and keep the rules top of mind.

I also bought myself a pack of multi-colored dry erase pens to write with to make it fun. Mostly I've just been drawing dragons, but I think it will prove useful later on.


Tahereh said...

um, when are we going to hang out? because you are obviously my long lost ME.

just thought you should know.


Lisa and Laura said...

This is such a fantastic idea. My problem is that I remember everything about my characters, but birthdays? Anniversaries? Keeping in touch with my real life friends? I am a FAILURE. Completely. I need a white board to remind me to call my friends every once in a while. Talk about pathetic.