Full list of SWING (WRITING) TIPS
BIC. Hero? Intensity. Kill Off A Character. No Duh. BS. Ruthless Words. Transitions. Five Senses. Immediacy. No Excuses. No Fear.
First week: BIC. Hero? Intensity and POF (presumption of failure).
Second week: Kill Off A Character. No Duh. BS.
Third week: Ruthless Words. Transitions. Five Senses.
Fourth week: Immediacy.
Now : No Excuses. No Fear.
These two are vastly different from the other swing tips. And these two hurt. They are internal, they are part of me. They may not appear inside any of you. But for me they are the most real things in the world. My own personal dragons to slay. The nitty-gritty of what goes on inside me at the *worst* writing times. Like now. Skinwalker is out, officially. I am doing PR and interviews, like the one at David B Coes’s LJ site today (thank you David! Hugs!) and an ongoing one for romance writers which I’ll post here later in full. *And* I have a 17 day turn around for a major rewrite on Blood Cross that is wrapping my head around inside. I am at the end of what little energy and stamina I have. So, today, especially, these are for real for me.
- No Excuses: This isn’t something that I look for in every scene, but rather something that I look for, watch for, see coming, in every manuscript, and again in every rewrite. It is the time, the one single dark moment, when I want to stop. When that moment hits, it is paralyzing. It steals over me in a heavy cloud. I know that I haven’t reached the goal for that day. I am at that point in the manuscript or rewrites where nothing, but nothing, seems to be going right. Every bit of dialogue is flat, the final scene is a hundred pages away, or the little things in the rewrite are done and now I have to tackle the big things and they look like a *mountain* of work and I don’t see the end. Not anywhere. I am tired. Drained. Close to the edge. It is just too hard to go on. It is also when the dreaded but nonexistent Writers Block usually appears. If I didn’t have a contract and a freaking deadline I’d shove it under the bed, close the file, burn the paperwork, and quit. Find something else to write. Something that works. Something fun. Something shiny and new. God, I *hate* this manuscript, this character this story. I Just. Want. To. Stop. Yeah. Me. I want to quit. Usually I say, “No play until I do the job.” BIC, right? Usually. Well, No Excuses is indeed similar to BIC. But it is more. It is that thing inside a commercial writer that separates him from a happy dilettante. I don’t have any wise words for you here. I don’t know why some writers push on through and finish a book or a rewrite and why some give up. I don’t know. But for me it is No Excuses. It is when I keep working even when I hate it. It is what drives me back to the keyboard or the hard copy to *finish the damn book*. No. Freaking. Excuses.
- No Fear: This, too, isn’t a scene by scene tip I watch for. It is internal and amorphous and nebulous. It is pride. It is worry. It is the old pocketbook. It is fear that I may never write again or may never sell another book. It wakes me up in the middle of the night. It brings on depression if am not careful—and I’ve struggled with depression many times in my life so I can see it coming. But no one can help me with my fears. They are mine to do with as I please. Mine – to do with as I please. I can fight them, injure them, slay them, treat them with medication. But I must always remember that my fear is owned by me, not the other way around. I *can* do this! There *will* be another story. And if I have to start my career over again someday, well, practice makes perfect. I’ve done that before and I can do it again. Because *by God* I am writer.