Writing: The Polishing Stage

I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned it here before, but I’ve been writing a collection of short stories. I finished a rough draft of the last story this week.  It has taken me about a year to write ten acceptable stories, and what a pleasure its been!

I’m new to writing, and so still learning the basics.  I’ve gotten more confident, but still making so many mistakes.

Some things I’ve learnt:

  • Ideas take time.  Let them slosh around till one “bites” . Only write about something that excites you.
  • Don’t listen to the doubts that stop you from writing.  Listen to the doubts that make you want to change the story.
  • Don’t try to get it perfect first time round.  Just get the words out on the page, even if they are all wrong, just move on and write the whole thing.  You can always go back and change things later.
  • Don’t push on until you can’t write anymore.  Rather stop when things are going smoothly.  That makes it easier to pick it up again, and gain momentum.
  • When you are in the middle of a project, don’t start reading from the beginning again every time you pick it up.  Just go to the end, maybe read the last paragraph again, and just go on from where you left off.  Otherwise its difficult to get going, and you end up going over and over the beginning and lose energy for the ending.
  • Keep telling yourself what the story is really about.
  • When you find yourself worrying that the audience wont “get” something, you’ve probably just written a long and boring passage about something peripheral to the core of the story.

Now I’m working my way through all ten stories, and with Brendon’s help, finding all the “dead” spots.

It’s as though each story is a piece of wood that I’m tapping at to find the hollow places.  Then I can dig out the rotten bits and smooth the rough places.  Hopefully I will soon have ten finished stories.  Then the next challenge:  Getting published! 🙂

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jesse
    Nov 12, 2010 @ 13:19:14

    Very sensible advice!

  2. pavinee
    Nov 22, 2010 @ 14:51:32

    I think most of your advice here can be applied to any art project.

    I always have doubts on my design, always wondering if my client going to like it. But I learn to listen to my own doubts, if I myself don’t like it, I change. 🙂

    Also, I agree with ‘Don’t push on’. Creativity comes when you don’t think of it at all !

    Good luck with your writing. I already want to read your work!

    By the way, I notice that you have my link on your sidebar. I think I forgot to tell you that the blog has been switched back to Thai only. Would you like to change the link to my English blog here?


    Thanks. Always enjoy reading your blog 🙂

  3. mashadutoit
    Nov 22, 2010 @ 16:37:28

    Oh – Oops Pavinee, I forgot about that link.

    I went and changed the one in my GReader, but not here. Let me do it right away.

  4. Jayson
    Nov 22, 2010 @ 18:54:10

    Dig your art, so I imagine the stories are gonna rock. I am also pretty interested in writing (though really new to it) and am very interested in how this works out. Be sure to keep twitter folks updated, “okay”.


  5. mashadutoit
    Nov 23, 2010 @ 07:17:42

    Thanks Jayson – I’ll do that! Although I suppose it will be a while before there is anything to report! (^_^) * *

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