I receive dozens of emails a day. Some is spam but most is something I need to actually look at and respond to. On occasion I get emails from people who have written blogs or such about how to write this or that. For instance: I got one today about writing death scenes in a book. It is a short article but I think it brings up really good points. You can find that here: http://rachelbrookswrites.blogspot.com/2011/09/writing-realistic-de...
However, what I really want to talk about is something I got from a friend of mine. “Pacing – the red-haired stepchild” by Maggie Toussaint. I believe what I received were notes that someone who was part of the class took. But here is her site if you are interested: http://mudpiesandmagnolias.blogspot.com/2011/07/pacing-red-haired-s...
I will be truthful and admit that my first reaction was, “oh whatever, I know how to write good pacing.” But before I clicked delete I thought to myself, “continuing education is what I preach.” Along with this, I love to learn! So I then figured, even though I understand pacing and have learned about it that does not mean I shouldn’t read other articles and go to lectures about pacing (or anything about writing for the matter) because times do change and people do come up with new ideas. Especially since I am dyslexic and learning for me is very difficult. I have to be explained something a very particular way if I truly want to grasp it.
So, I printed out the three pages and gave it a read. Yes, I read things that I already know but, even though I know these things doesn’t mean I need a reminder. Along with this, I also obtained new information that made me think of different way I could make for better pacing in my stories!
Not only that but since I am starting to offer writer services (such as beta reading/editing) it is good for me to read these types of articles so I myself can correctly explain to writers in detail what is lacking in a part of their story.
For example, I had one novel I was going through and I found that during an action scene the writer cut off to an explanation of the history of a fabulous creature. I explained how this was the wrong move, but I could have probably explained it better by saying something like this,
“Fast paced scenes such as action scenes:
Limit setting info
Tighten the camera angle – focus on main character movements, sense, and emotion
Use details that put us in the moment (pain of a broken bone, whistling of a blade)
Keep sentences crisp and short; use short paragraphs and sentence fragments
Every word must count. Use stronger nouns and sharp verbs; eliminate modifiers”
My point is this. Continuing to educate ones self is important. Especially for writers! Yes you may have gone to college (I did!) but that doesn’t mean you should stop trying to improve your work and learn as much as possible. Learning and re-learning what you already know is good because the mind can become a forgetful place. On top of that, reading articles and going to seminars (and the such) are terrific ways to open your mind to new ideas for stories and your characters.
What is your opinion on this issue?
Do you continue to learn and take classes?
<3’s and fangs,