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Practice, Practice, Practice : Tips and Advice • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Practice, Practice, Practice

Here's the place to share a writing or marketing tip you've used successfully and want to pass along.
Function
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Practice, Practice, Practice

Postby Function » Thu Apr 28, 2016 4:19 am

Maybe not everyone feels this way about their own writing, but I feel like my writing is like a muscle: it's strongest when it gets regular exercise. I have several original writing projects that I bounce between, which normally keeps that muscle in shape. However sometimes I have the inspiration to write, but not to create. I.e., I'm out of ideas but I want to keep my writing practice up.

Lately my practice mode is either free-writing (mostly conversations between characters), or novelizing extant non-writing media—neither of which I intent to ever show anybody, much less publish.

Do any of you engage in practice projects? What do you guys do to keep your writing muscles strong?

FoltonSmyde
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Re: Practice, Practice, Practice

Postby FoltonSmyde » Sun May 01, 2016 5:52 pm

I hadn't wrote in over a month, and decided to write a dialogue scene between my characters for practice. The scene may or not be in my book, but I wrote in anyway, because I was itching for the scene to get wrote.

I really need to make it a goal though to write every day. Seeing that my writing is improving even with infrequent writing sessions, I want to know how much better it will get with daily, even just a few minute sessions. I mostly am doing research and world building in my head, but it is funny, I should just write all the stuff I think up for practice, even if it doesn't make into the book.

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roda havet
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Re: Practice, Practice, Practice

Postby roda havet » Sun May 01, 2016 7:45 pm

I'm not one that does practice projects. Though I always try to keep my imagination going by think of different things that could happen, that has happened, or listen to my favorite music to get my creative side working. It may sound funny but when I listen to my favorite music I sometimes find things to write about. Also when I choose to watch something on television it can inspire me to write something or least put a creative thought on paper; then I can go back to it later and make something of it. I hope this helps. :)
[color=#00BF00]Dream to live, live to dream, and write to love, love to write![/color]

James A. Ritchie
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Re: Practice, Practice, Practice

Postby James A. Ritchie » Tue May 03, 2016 6:34 pm

"Practice" projects are just a way of avoiding actually writing, or so the psychologists say. I believe them. They won't get you anywhere. They will delay the time it takes you to get where you want to go.

The only way you can actually practice anything is by doing that thing day in and day out, year in and year out, over and over until you get it right. You learn to write good novels by reading good novels, and then by writing novel after novel after novel until you can write a good one.

Forget about inspiration. It's a swear word for pro writers. If you need inspiration to sit down and write, you're probably going to fail. If you need ideas to sit down and write, you're probably going to fail. Writer sit down to write novels or short stories because that's what writers do. You're right about a writing muscle, but you're letting yours atrophy each time you avoid lifting the weight of the story you're trying to write, each time you "practice" writing anything that isn't your novel or short story.

Bouncing from one story to another to another can be fine, or can be disastrous. The test is simple. How many of these projects have you finished, polished, and submitted?

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DrG2
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Re: Practice, Practice, Practice

Postby DrG2 » Wed May 04, 2016 7:31 pm

If you went into a writing program, you'd be writing lots of things that won't necessarily ever be in something you submit to be published. You might have various assignments designed to practice a particular skill (for example: write a three-page dialogue scene between two characters without using a dialogue tag; write a dialogue scene where two people are arguing, but never reveal what they are arguing about; write the same action scene in first person, third person limited, third person omniscient, and third person objective; etc.). The problem with doing such exercises by yourself is that no one is directing what you do, and no one is giving you good feedback.

If you do invest time and enthusiasm in such exercises, put a time limit on it (though I see no reason why you can't go back to work on problems you feel you have, once you complete some short stories or a novel).

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Loren Killdeer
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Re: Practice, Practice, Practice

Postby Loren Killdeer » Tue May 10, 2016 12:23 pm

Well, when I go back to my old stories I realice that there is no way I could have written that, so badly. After writing and writing I think I have got better. If its not a muscle, then I bet its a whole big process. Choosing the right words, given credibility to the character.

Anyway, I have never did writing excercises. I like to rewrite, like with the draft of a novel. No wonder why some writers hate talking about their first book!

Keep on writing, sir!
“Substitute 'damn' every time you're inclined to write 'very;' your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”
― Mark Twain




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