Is your writing in need of strength training?

Are your stories packing a punch? Are people clamoring for more? If not, maybe you need to hit the gym—figuratively, that is!

One of my favorite places to work out is at the  “Writer’s Digest” “gym.” I’ve shared this resource a few times because it’s an invaluable source of information. As I mentioned, I keep a notebook filled with articles on the craft of writing.

Oh, and by the way, never let anyone tell you otherwise, writing, and doing it well IS a craft. Humph! I recently heard someone say, “oh anyone can be a writer nowadays. It’s not difficult.” After I offered a few concise words and told them that it takes hard work to be even a GOOD writer, they recanted that silly notion. 🙂

Pardon me, I digress.

One of my favorite Writer’s Digest articles, “Follow These Rules for Stronger Writing,” is a must-read. It offers 13 strength-training rules that will definitely result in the impact you’re looking for which is to hook your reader and keep them reading.

The first rule:

1. NEVER LET THE TRUTH GET IN THE WAY OF YOUR STORY. Creative writing is just that: creative. If the truth prevents you from telling your fictional story effectively, get rid of the facts and invent something that makes the story work.

This is why it’s call fiction! Granted, it has to believable and if your writing is strong enough you can convince your reader of anything. Just ask J.K. Rowling. By the way, I’ve never been into paranormal, but thanks to Christine Feehan’s “Dark” series I’m a big fan. Sexy as all get out vampires, who seduce their woman (and men) into submission? Oh yeah, count me in!

::::fanning:::: Anyone else, warm?

Okay, here’s rule two:

2. NEVER USE TWO WORDS WHEN ONE WILL DO. Less is more. Usually one powerful word will do the same job as two weaker ones.

Instead of:
Andrea stared at the horrible, slithering mass of snakes.
Andrea stared at the writhing mass of snakes.

I’m a big believer that less is more.  I’m not particulary fond of reading something that goes on and on, when it could have been said in a quick, powerful way.  I wouldn’t want to do that to my readers.

That said, I’m ending my blog with this: please read the rest of the rules. Although you’ve probably seen them before, they’re always a good list to revisit. And remember, no matter where we are in our writing careers, our work can always use a little strength training.