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Anne R. Allen's Blog


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Anne writes funny mysteries and how-to-books for writers. She also writes poetry and short stories on occasion. Oh, yes, and she blogs. She's a contributor to Writer's Digest and the Novel and Short Story Writer's Market for 2016. 

Her bestselling Camilla Randall Mystery Series features perennially down-on-her-luck former socialite Camilla Randall—who is a magnet for murder, mayhem and Mr. Wrong, but always solves the mystery in her quirky, but oh-so-polite way.

Anne lives on the Central Coast of California, near San Luis Obispo, the town Oprah called "The Happiest City in America."

Anne blogs at Anne R. Allen's Blog...with Ruth Harris 
and at Anne R. Allen's Books

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The 10 Commandments of Highly Productive Professional Writers

by Ruth Harris

I've known and worked with a lot of professional writers over the years (decades).

Some work first thing in the AM, others in the PM, some don’t get started until near midnight. Some write sober, some don’t. Some write on a computer, some on legal pads, and some write on tablets or even phones. Some edit as they go along, perfecting each sentence before going on to the next. Some keep strict, almost corporate office hours, some write irregularly but in hot rushes of productivity.

Others write a first draft as fast as they can, then go back to edit and revise. Some outline in detail. Others work from a jotted list of scribbled notes. Still others let the characters do the work. Some brainstorm the plot with a trusted friend or spouse. Some work with a crit partner/ editor/beta reader getting comments and guidance along the way. Others won’t let anyone see their work until it’s finished.

Bottom line, there's no ONE way to get the job done and no ONE way will work for every writer. Still, no matter where, when or how writers write, certain general rules seem to work well for most people most of the time.

1. Thou shalt hold thy nose and type.

Anatomically impossible, of course, just like another frequently suggested act but writing without over thinking has positive payoffs:

  • When you write without censoring yourself, you get the engine running. You quash the inner scold, that mahatma of negativity that rains on your parade.
  • Writing while holding your nose doesn't give you time to second-guess yourself.
  • Even if you have an outline, writing fast gives you the freedom to stray when a better idea or that fabulous plot twist pops into your mind and surprises even you.
  • You avoid obsessing over whether your hero should be blond, brunette or a power-baldy à la Bruce Willis. You can always figure out the details later and, more often than not, as the character engages and develops, hair color (or lack of hair) will become obvious.
  • Writing freely increases your chances of "getting into the flow" and gaining access to your sub-conscious or what Stephen King calls "the boys downstairs." Those "boys"—or girls if you're of the female persuasion—are the ones who come up with the dazzling and unexpected (even to the writer!) plot twist that causes a reader to gasp—and keep turning the pages.
  • As you watch the words and the pages pile up, you give yourself the gift of a sense of accomplishment. Where there was nothing, there is now something. The fact that there’s "something" where once there was nothing builds confidence. Besides "something"—even if it’s the notorious lousy first draft—can be revised/edited/rewritten. Or deleted if it’s that bad. Which is probably isn’t
  • But, you ask, won't writing fast add to the "tsunami of crap"? The answer is yes/maybe but so what? No one except you has to read it and, besides, writing slowly and agonizingly can also result in unspeakable crap. So, you choose.

2. Thou shalt write. A lot. 

Commandment 2 is a close relative of Commandment 1. Professional writers turn out copy, they meet deadlines, they get the job done and the more they write the better they get. Same with any job, career or profession.

Do you want a surgeon who's just out of med school or one who's done hundreds of knee/hip replacements? See what I mean?

3. Thou shalt not give in to temptation. 

You know the Internet is full of enemies: email, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, Candy Crush and Words With Friends. Now meet the allies:

  • AlphaSmart Neo ($39), a lightweight, hand-held dedicated writing machine sans internet connection. Many find the AlphaSmart ideal for first drafts which can be uploaded to your PC or Mac.
  • Go retro with a notebook, legal pad and pen, or even a typewriter.
  • Install distraction blocking software like Freedom (Mac, Windows, Android) or Anti-Social.
  • OmmWriter for Mac, PC and iPad ($4) presents a calm, peaceful environment, aids concentration and helps get you into the zone. "Discover the bliss of single tasking."
  • Full-screen, distraction-fighting writing tools: Scrivener (Mac and Windows), Ulysses (Mac), FocusWriter (Windows/Mac/Linux, FREE) or WriteMonkey (Windows, FREE).

4. Thou shalt respect thy genre. 

Successful writers of horror, romance, thrillers or mystery read widely in their genre. They study its conventions, know what readers expect and they do NOT let them down. Period.

  • No unhappy endings for romances. Readers want the HEA and that's what the pro delivers.
  • No "revelation" at the end that the whole book, the characters, their trials and tribulations, was the MC’s dream. We're writing compelling fiction here, not a shaggy dog story.
  • No tearing up in tough-guy noir. Hard edges, dammit!
  • No blood and guts in a cozy mystery.
  • No weepy heart-to-heart confessions in action thrillers.

Don't think you will reinvent the wheel. Pros know better. Find out more about the subject in my earlier post "know your genre". And here are additional resources get you started:

  • How to write a romance from the experts at Harlequin.
  • P.D. James tells how to write a mystery.
  • The Five Cs of writing a thriller.
  • Seven steps to writing science fiction.
  • Chuck Wendig on 25 things to know about writing horror. (Warning: strong language.)

5. Thou shalt keep it real. 

Successful professional authors don’t clutter their minds with gauzy notions of "literature" or "art." Instead, they are experienced, disciplined and competent storytellers and entertainers who understand that craft matters. 

Great books are about characters, plot, setting, if "art" is the outcome, great, but, as in building a house, don't rely on wishful thinking when what you need is a hammer and some nails.

6. Thou shalt learn to bail thyself out. 

One of the great old-time pulp writers (200+ books) once told me "Each book is a pain in the ass in a different way." What he meant was that at some point each one is going to present a problem.

  • A plot going nowhere.
  • A plot hole big enough to need planet of its own.
  • A boring/stupid/addled/DebbieDowner character.
  • A villain that wouldn't scare a two year old.
  • A MC who can't get out of his/her own way.
  • Too much/not enough background/research.
  • Too long.
  • Too short.
  • Too much tell/not enough show. Or vice versa.

You name it, sometime, somewhere, in the course of writing a book, you will get stuck. Professional writers have learned how to bail themselves out. Whether it means going back to the beginning and starting again, a light rewrite, a total revision, a personality transplant (for a character, not the writer—lol), the pros have learned how to get themselves out of trouble.

First aid for boo-boos:

7. Thou shalt put thy butt in the chair and face thy crit group/beta readers. 

 Your crit group/beta readers say your characters are stereotypes? They hate your MC. They think your love scenes are boring/soapy/ unbelievable. Are they right? Do they know what they're talking about? Do you agree with them? Should you agree with them?

  • They say your plots are creaky? Are they?
  • They don't like the way your book ends. Or begins.
  • They have a thousand opinions and they can leave you confused or, even worse, paralyzed.
  • Belinda Pollard discusses beta readers and crit groups and the differences between them.
  • Anne sifts through the evidence, profiles the different flavors of crit groups, and tells why you should ignore your crit group—and how it can help.

8. Thou shalt accentuate the positive.

I read a while ago about an in-demand sports psychologist whose theory is that if a golfer is a good putter, s/he should practice putting until s/he becomes a superb putter. This shrink’s approach was not to focus on correcting an athlete's weaknesses, but on polishing his/her strengths to the highest possible level.

Writers can take the same approach: write what you're good at. Do more of what comes easily and work on your strengths. Snappy dialogue? Sheet-scorching sex? Evocative descriptions? Slam-bang action? Whatever you love to write will certainly be one of the keys to making your book stand out.

9. Thou shalt park thy ego and learn to edit thyself. 

Heresy coming from an editor, I know, but professional writers are often excellent editors of their own work. After years of experience, they have learned to recognize their strengths and weaknesses. They have developed the ability to look at their own work objectively and their approach is practical: what works stays, what doesn’t work hits the cutting room floor, aka the delete button.

The ability to self-edit comes with time and experience but it’s a goal for beginning writers to keep in mind.

Here are a few ideas for learning to edit your own work.

10. Thou shalt suck it up. 

Rejection and rotten reviews are in your future. Guaranteed.

  • Writers from JK Rowling to Kurt Vonnegut react to rejection in this piece on famous authors talking about their rejections 
  • James Altucher gives sane, sensible advice about what to do when you've been rejected.
  • RH on the down-and-dirty behind-the-scenes real reasons for rejection.
  • This advice from a clinical psychologist on how to cope with rejection focuses on romantic rejection but much of it is also applicable to rejection from an agent/publisher or even a negative review.
  • A professional counsellor explains how to cope with criticism.

10+1. Now that you know the 10 commandments and pledge to obey them, go forth and hit it out of the park. ;-)

What about you, Scriveners? Do you find bliss in single-tasking?  Are you following these "commandments"? Do you have any to add to the list?  What is the most important rule you follow for your own writing? 


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  • Efficiency expert Howard Hopkins has just retired. His wife married him for better and for worse—but not for 24-hours-a-day.
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They think.


MARK TWAIN HUMOR CONTEST  Entry fees: $12 Young Author or $22 Adult. 7,000 words (or fewer) of any original work of humor writing. Submissions must be in English. Submissions are not required to be in the style of Mark Twain or about Mark Twain. 1st Prize: $1,000 (Adult), $600 (Young Author). Other cash prizes! Deadline July 10, 2015

Saturday Evening Post Great American Fiction Contest. Entry fee $10. Your story should in some way touch upon the publication’s mission: Celebrating America — past, present, and future. Think Norman Rockwell. No profanity or graphic sex. Any genre. No previously published stories, but they can have appeared on your blog. Between 1,500 and 5,000 words. Deadline July 1, 2015

PULP LITERATURE'S The Hummingbird Prize for Flash Fiction $10-$15 ENTRY FEE. Winner published in Winter 2016. First Prize: $300 (Runner up: $75). For unpublished short fiction up to 1,000 words in length. Contest Opens May 1, 2015 and closes June 15, 2015

Ink & Insights 2015
 is a writing contest that comes with a detailed critique. Send the first 10,000-words of your book. The entry fee is $35: pricey for a contest, but a fantastic deal for a critique. Each submission is read by four judges who score 18 areas of your novel. This looks like a great opportunity! Over $5,000 cash and prizesDeadline May 31.

Writer's Digest Writing Compeition. This is their biggie. First prize is $5000 plus your photo on the cover of Writer's Digest. Entry fees are a little pricey at $25 for a story, $15 for a poem but there are lots of big prizes. Categories for many genres of fiction, Creative nonfic, essays, screenplays, and poetry. Early Bird deadline May 4th.

WOW Spring Flash Fiction Contest: Fee $10, or $20 with critique. The critique is a fantastic deal. These quarterly contests are judged by an agent. 750 words.  First prize is $350 plus a $500 publishing package, publication and an interview. 20 prizes in all. Enter early. They only take the first 300 entries. Deadline May 31.

WRITER ADVICE FLASH PROSE CONTEST $15 ENTRY FEE. Flash fiction, memoir, and creative non-fiction running 750 words or less. First Place earns $200; Second Place earns $100; Third Place earns $50; Honorable Mentions will also be published. Deadline April 21, 2015.

The 2015 Bulwer Litton Bad Writing Contest. Wretched Writers Welcome! This is the "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" Bad Writing Contest! Write the worst opening line you can come up with (about 50-60 words). Must be a single sentence. NO FEE. Small cash prize. Deadline April 15

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Blogger Melodie Campbell said...

Right on the mark, as usual, Ruth! I particularly like your comments about genre: "Don't reinvent the wheel. Pros know better." So many of my students are keen to write something so incredibly new and different, with the goal that folk will naturally fall all over themselves exclaiming about the brilliance. I keep telling them, "Leave the gimmicks. Just write a damn good story."

March 29, 2015 at 10:11 AM  
Blogger Linda Maye Adams said...

There's one missing -- and there are even pro writers who don't this. You have to keep learning. There are some writers who think, "My book is published. I'm an expert now. I don't have to learn anything else." They end up not doing many books and disappearing in a few years.

I also have to draw the line at even thinking the writing is "crap." Where does that come from? Why do writers assume that what they write is crap? It's hard enough send out submissions and getting rejections without starting out thinking that a story is crap. It's honestly a phrase that needs to disappear from every writer's vocabulary when referring to their story.

March 29, 2015 at 10:13 AM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Melody—Yes. As you say, the wheel's been invented. Maybe we should go to work perfecting appliance repair instead. ;-)

March 29, 2015 at 10:16 AM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Linda—Learning is baked in to writing, the more you write, the more you learn. It's unavoidable. :-)

Of course some writing is crap. The point is, no one with a tenth of a functioning brain cell is going to submit a story while it's still in raw draft.

March 29, 2015 at 10:19 AM  
Blogger Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Too short? I face that almost every single time.
I've written best with set goal (word count) every night. That's why NaNo works for me. I also outline to death, so even though I'm writing fast, it's not all crap.
Excellent list, Ruth!

March 29, 2015 at 10:27 AM  
Blogger sue mcginty said...

This is pure gold. It may change my writing life, or at least my writing habits. turning off spell checker is brilliant. --s

March 29, 2015 at 10:36 AM  
Blogger Jeff Bushman said...

Excellent ideas. I will be saving this article for future use.
My big problem is genre shifting. I like to write different things all the time.
It's either that or I have ADD. My wife seems to think the latter.

2015 A to Z Challenge Ambassador

March 29, 2015 at 10:38 AM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Alex—Crap? From you? Jamais! ;-)

March 29, 2015 at 10:41 AM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Thanks, Sue. Forward progress is the name of the game. Anything that interferes needs to go--only if temporarily or for strategic reasons. Onward!

March 29, 2015 at 10:43 AM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Jeff—I have to admit it: I'm a wife so you know whose side I'm on. lol Meanwhile, genre shifting will keep you fresh & energized. I'm for it.

March 29, 2015 at 10:44 AM  
Blogger CS Perryess said...

Hey Ruth & Anne,
I'm particularly fond of "Thou shalt suck it up."
And the links are fabu.

March 29, 2015 at 10:45 AM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

CS—Ah, yes. Words to live by whether you're a writer or a rock star. ;-)

March 29, 2015 at 10:47 AM  
Blogger Wm. L. Hahn said...

Ruth, what is wrong with me- I see this list and every item makes perfect sense, but something deep within me just rebels! I'm laughing, nodding, growling and shaking my head at the same time- there's another anatomical impossibility for the list.
- Write fast and stick to it? Just this morning, I wrote one paragraph, jumped up and walked away, two hours later realized where I was starting to go wrong. Now four paragraphs! But better. Such is the life of the day-job dilettante.
- Turn off the spell-checker, genius! But I'll see you and raise. I write epic fantasy, my drafts run to 150k+ before I can even see the turn for home. In MS Word, the spellchecker turns ITSELF off (seriously, it reports needing too much memory for all the proper nouns, and all the red lines conveniently disappear).
- Maybe I'm a masochist, but I can't wait to edit myself. I love catching the repeat words (my worst tendency), seeing the voice corrections, slapping in the better word choices (verging into polishing). It's the best thing about finishing the first draft of a chapter, looking forward to the half-dozen times I'll come back and read it again.
-And respecting the genre (#4), I never stray because I only try to do one thing (and it's not really writing, in the strictest sense). I think we see the genre-bending in those times where the sales are lousy, or it's out of favor. Maybe natural. But I hate it myself and that's just one place where I couldn't agree more with you. Even while I'm getting my dander up!
Thanks, terrific thoughtful list.

March 29, 2015 at 12:40 PM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Wm. L.—Figuring out where you went wrong and ending up with 4 paras is definitely progress. If the notion of "writing fast" appeals, next time you feel yourself picking up speed, just go with it and see what happens. Nothing terrible, I guarantee you. The worst? You'll delete it. No tragedy.

As to your self-diagnosis, I lovelovelove editing. IMO editing is the difference between the amateurs & the pros. The main reason for getting words down is that then you can edit. No words, no editing. Pretty simple equation!

March 29, 2015 at 1:57 PM  
Blogger LuAnn Braley said...

I think I get about as far into these commandments as I do the 'other' ones before I'm doomed. Excellent advice and cleverly worded! Thanks, Anne!

March 29, 2015 at 2:39 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

LuAnn--We all find some tougher to follow than others. :-) This post is 100% Ruth's. I just format her posts for the blog and try to do without breaking any links.

March 29, 2015 at 3:07 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

March 29, 2015 at 4:00 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

I might have committed a sin or two of the above. A useful article, & links.

March 29, 2015 at 4:04 PM  
Blogger Diana Stevan said...

Ruth, what a fabulous post!

I'm about to go on vacation for two weeks and for the first time won't be taking my laptop. I'm just packing a journal and pen. I've been mapping ideas for my next novel in my head and can't wait to jot them down.

I'm going to bookmark this post for future reference.

March 29, 2015 at 5:08 PM  
OpenID andreadalling.com said...

Ruth, these are great, but I couldn't disagree more with #1. Yesterday I wrote 4000 words of carefully crafted prose, today another 2000. I do so much better if I take more time to get it right the first time than if I have to edit a bunch of crap, and basically rewrite every word. Nothing demotivates me more than that. I don't have an inner critic - I have an inner cheerleader - so maybe that's why this approach works for me.

March 29, 2015 at 6:18 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

andrea--Congratulations! You must be the first writer in history to write 6000 words of perfect prose (in less than a day!) that will never need a bit of editing! How fantastic it must feel to know you are that one human who has ever lived who has achieved godlike perfection! I hope you' have alerted the media.

March 29, 2015 at 7:52 PM  
OpenID andreadalling.com said...

Anne, I'm not saying that it's perfect and won't need editing. It will need plenty of editing. I'm just saying it's not crap and won't need a total rewrite. I'm not the only author I know who disagrees with the advice about fast drafting and not editing as you write. The advice is so ubiquitous, I assume it's what works best for most authors. But it's not the right path for everyone.

March 29, 2015 at 8:09 PM  
OpenID paulfahey said...

This is such a great post I don't know where to begin to praise it. So I'll just say, Ruth, with this post, you hit it right out of the park. And then some. Wonderful. Wonderful. Paul

March 29, 2015 at 8:49 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

andrea--6000 words in two days is very fast writing indeed, especially for a new writer. You do deserve cheers. But I worry when any writer imagines a first draft to be perfect. Too many newbie writers self-publish first drafts without any editing. It's not fair to readers, and contributes to the idea that indies are creating a "tsunami of crap". Some people have an inner critic and others have an inner Narcissus. We need to find a balance.

March 29, 2015 at 10:01 PM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Mark—Only one or two? You're qualified for sainthood. :-)

March 30, 2015 at 4:33 AM  
Blogger Rona Simmons said...

I'm waiting to meet your staff of twenty that allows you to be so incredibly productive! What? There's no staff of twenty?
A great treasure trove of ideas. Thank you so much for sharing -- now I have to sign off of social media and get back to the main event!

March 30, 2015 at 4:35 AM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Diana—Switching from keyboard to pad & pen (or vice versa) can be very liberating. Lots of good creative work emerges this way. Have a ball on your vacation!

March 30, 2015 at 4:36 AM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Paul—Just want to say that if I did in fact hit it out of the park, I did it without steroids or PEDs. ;-)

March 30, 2015 at 4:38 AM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Rona—What staff of twenty? At least forty, last time I counted. ;-)

March 30, 2015 at 4:38 AM  
Blogger Bernardo Montes de Oca said...

Hello everybody! This was a very good post. Creative and enlightening. I've taken the liberty of printing them out. I have not sold myself the idea of writing software and I fall victim of the "Oooh, let's watch this youtube video" lack of discipline. I'm thinking I should start.

March 30, 2015 at 6:18 AM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Bernardo—Thanks for the kind words. I have a different view of "lack of discipline" and think it's a message from your unconscious telling you you're not ready to write. Why not, is the answer only you can supply &, once you do, you'll find that your "lack of discipline" magically disappears.

March 30, 2015 at 7:23 AM  
Blogger Christine Ahern said...

Wonderful information and inspiration, Ruth. Thank you. I love "thou shalt suck it up" Ha! So true! I shall refer to this and the links often I do believe.

March 30, 2015 at 8:19 AM  
Blogger Lily Silver said...

Thanks so much. As usual, a wealth of knowledge in just one post! I will be referring your blog to my writing peeps.

March 30, 2015 at 9:42 AM  
OpenID andreadalling.com said...

Anne, I'm not a new writer, I'm an Amazon best-selling author who's been writing fiction seriously for 12 years. I know my first drafts aren't perfect. I revise and polish, then send the manuscripts to critique partners, beta readers, and an editor/proofreader before publishing. My objection to commandment #1 is the assertion that if the first draft isn't crap, then you're doing it wrong. The first draft can be rough without stinking. The advice to write without editing has been a terrible impediment to my progress. No one process works for every writer. I'm able to fast draft while still producing a draft that's fairly clean (yet still far from perfect). Because the advice to fast draft without editing is so ubiquitous, I wanted to provide an alternate perspective for those who might be struggling with this advice. It's one way, but it's not the only way. People like me, who don't have an inner critic, may actually benefit from editing while we write in order to silence the inner cheerleader.

March 30, 2015 at 9:43 AM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Thanks, Christine!

March 30, 2015 at 10:12 AM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Lily, thanks for the kind words!

March 30, 2015 at 10:12 AM  
Blogger Jennifer Jensen said...

Editing is the reason I'm a writer, not an off-the-cuff speaker!

March 30, 2015 at 1:22 PM  
Blogger Jennifer Jensen said...

I read the opening and expected the first commandment to be "Write!" Glad it showed up second. :)

Right now, I'm especially hitting the "not enough research" part of things - I'm in a time period where the particular details I want aren't really available. But if I've done the research I can, then I can feel free to invent.

I also love the idea that a pro knows how to bail herself out. When I get stuck or something isn't working, I'm the one who has to find the answer or the story will never become a book. Thanks for the list and the laughs!

March 30, 2015 at 1:28 PM  
Blogger Eileen Goudge said...

Great post, Ruth! I second all of the above. The key is to write, write, write and worry about the details later. I usually don't bother with research until the second draft. It's all in the rewriting. Thanks for reminding us.

March 30, 2015 at 4:28 PM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Jennifer—Thanks for the kind words. Glad you enjoyed the post!

March 31, 2015 at 3:58 AM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Eileen—D'accord! As all pros know, it ain't the writing, it's the rewriting. Plus the revising, editing, rethinking. :-)

March 31, 2015 at 4:00 AM  
Blogger Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Anne, be sure to stop by today - have a surprise for you...

April 1, 2015 at 4:42 AM  
Blogger Karen Walker said...

Anne, hello - I found you because Alex told us about you on his blog today. So glad he did. There is so much here that is helpful to me. Thank you.

April 1, 2015 at 6:54 AM  
Blogger DMS said...

Heard about you on Alex's blog today! Lots of great advice here. I have been working on getting my butt in the chair to write. Great reminders! :)

April 1, 2015 at 8:58 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Alex--Thanks much for the shout-out for our blog! We're honored!

April 1, 2015 at 9:03 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Karen--Ruth and I both welcome you! Stop by on Sundays, when we have new posts.

April 1, 2015 at 9:03 AM  
Blogger Trisha F said...

This was a great post :)

I have never had a problem writing at the speed of light, pretty much. I am good at not caring what spews out onto the page in a rough draft.

April 1, 2015 at 6:31 PM  
Blogger Melissa Sugar said...

Hi, I just popped over from Alex's blog. He is singing your praises and you certainly deserve it. Learned a lot from this post. I bookmarked your 5 C's for writing a thriller a while back. Now I have a ton of more articles I am eager to read. Butt in chair, I get, I just don't always do it. I love Rachel's book and it helped me get into a habit of writing more and enjoying the scenes I write. I write everything with a certain fine point blue pen and a favorite type notebook then I transfer my handwritten scenes to Scrivener. Scrivener helped me get a little more organized. It's definitely more time consuming to handwrite first, but for some reason I can get into it more and the words and creativity flow much easier than when I try and type a first draft. It just doesn't work for me.

Thanks for the tips.

April 1, 2015 at 10:42 PM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

DMS—Welcome! We love Alex and are thrilled to see you here!

April 2, 2015 at 4:34 AM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Trisha—Thanks for the kind words. Writing without self-censoring can be super creative and a rough draft is just that: a rough draft that can be revised, edited, refined or even deleted. No one'e business except yours and your computer!

April 2, 2015 at 4:36 AM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Melissa—Thanks! I ditto you on Scriv love. :-) Altho I mostly compose via the keyboard, when I get stuck, I often switch to pen and notebook. Can make a huge difference so I totally get where you are coming from.

As a pen and notebook obsessive, I must ask which pen? which notebook?

April 2, 2015 at 4:41 AM  
Blogger Louis Shalako said...

Thank you for # 9. I have waited a long time to hear that one.

April 2, 2015 at 12:17 PM  
Blogger Beverly Fox said...

These are utterly fantastic. I'm printing these out and hanging them on my wall!

April 2, 2015 at 12:28 PM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Louis—The longer you write, the better you get at editing. You begin to see your characteristic faults & figure out how to avoid them or improve. Comes with the job!

April 2, 2015 at 1:00 PM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Beverly—thanks! enjoy the view! :-)

April 2, 2015 at 1:00 PM  

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