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You can call me Hal.

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Every day, in every way

I'm sure we all want to improve our writing -- our fiction. Certainly, my writing has improved from when I started. But I want to be more consciously working on that. I'd like to make my stories more emotionally complex, for one. So now I just have to figure out how to go about that.

As well, I'd like to make some of my stories more plotty, which is not my strong suit at this point. I suppose there, all I can do is read up on plotting and try to do it.

One thing I did try this year is to "pre-edit" less when I write. I have a tendency to agonize over every sentence and it's hard to get a rhythm going. I'm trying now not to worry if each sentence is perfect as soon as I write it and to take more time in revision. I'm not as good at this yet as I'd like, but I think it's helped me. contrelamontre challenges were certainly good for that.

Is there anything specific that you do or have done to improve your writing? Exercises? Books you've read? Change of style? Have you tried anything new recently or do you plan to?

I'm not a resolution-making person, but this seems a good thing to think about as we head into the new year.

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I haven't commented in your journal before, so, hello!

What you said about contrelamontre; that's true for me as well. It's helped me get over the 'agonising' stage and made me realise that I could write something in an hour and not have to go back over it for endless edits. I could just leave it and be fairly happy that it didn't make people want to stab their eyes out. Of all the writing excercises I've done (which is not many, admittedly), it's been one of the most useful. The other good thing was doing NaNoWriMo, as it forced me to plot and it forced me to write large amounts very quickly. I was scared of plotting- constructing one seemed a thing of great mystery, but now it seems at least doable.

I haven't commented in your journal before, so, hello!

Welcome! And congratulations on doing NaNo -- I'm impressed. How did you go about concocting your plot?

Thanks! NaNo was a great deal of fun, but very hard too.

I started thinking about the plot about a month before, but it wasn't until the last week in October that I really settled down. I made charts! And timelines, and character notes, carefully noting what was happening inside each characters head at certain points in the timeline. I'd never used techniques like that before and found it an important prop as it helped me to remember important plot/character points and gave me something to refer back to when I got a bit lost. And it seemed to work. About halfway through writing I got stuck in the plot and had to spend about 3 days rethinking the middle and end parts of the story. I went back to my charts and timeline and rewrote them. Spending time mulling over the plot rather than writing was more valuable at that point than simply churning out words.

The plot changed as I wrote the story, but starting out with a fairly firm idea of where the story was going helped a lot.

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