Friday, November 22, 2013

I need to take it back to the basics

I have figured out why I haven't been in the mood for writing. I am the kind of writer that likes listening to music when I write or even when I 'm simply trying to get into the mood to write. At the moment I haven’t really listened to any new music and none of my old stuff really compels me to write at the moment, probably because I have used them to write my old work. Now I need new inspiration. It also doesn't help that I don’t know what kind of music I am really in the mood for. I will know when I hear it.

I have decided to focus all my attention on learning writing techniques and understanding them. So I won’t be doing any writing until I have learnt how to fix the mistakes that I have been making for the past 10 years. What is the point if I am just going to keep making the same mistakes over and over? So I will be learning and reading. My brother made an interesting point the other day, about how I don’t really understand all the rules about writing, because I write in English and English is not my first language, meaning I didn’t really learn all I had to. I just assumed what I knew would be enough.

Some of my writing mistakes are:
  • I tell instead of show.
  • I write in the passive voice, instead of the active.
  • I am not good at descriptive writing.
  • My dialogue writing is not very good either.

These are only a few mistakes, but to me they seem like a huge deal and I am well aware that they are the writing basics. Now you understand why I am rather going back to the beginning so that I can learn how to write. I can’t believe I actually thought my work was good before, when all these mistakes were there all along and the funny thing is that with all my writing books, I didn't realize I was making all these mistakes.


  1. We all make mistakes, Murees. I make them all the time. But that's how we learn. When I first started to write, I didn't want anything conflict in my stories, in other words, I didn't want my main character to struggle at all. Yikes, they must have been boring stories. Don't be discouraged. You'll surprise yourself with what you can do.

  2. We all have to do this from time to time, however long we've been writing, so don't worry.

  3. Hi Murees - sounds like you've made some important decisions .. good luck with moving forward.

    I know many people write short stories, or articles in all sorts of genres and submit them to competitions ... gets the flavour into the brain ... that might be a way to go ...

    Cheers and enjoy the Cape Spring!! Hilary

  4. If I'm ever in a really bad mood, I can usually pin it down to the fact I haven't listened to music for a while. I need music.

    I'll hopefully have your next chapter with you by Monday :-)

  5. Interesting that you remark on music the same day another writing blog, the Kill Zone (primarily for mystery writers, but good, solid writing advice throughout) takes about using music as inspiration.

    But yeah, those are four biggies, especially active voice using strong verbs, and dialogue that sounds like real people talking. Try reading your dialogue out loud. That ought to help. Or, instead of writing the dialogue scene, have a friend over and improv the scene as two characters, then write it down. Nothing kills a story deader than wooden dialogue.

  6. Don't be too harsh on yourself. Often we think we're doing so much worse than we are, because we expect perfection out of ourselves. Well I have news for us: even the greats who utilize 4 different editors andspend decades creating the perfect storm end up with mistakes and poorly turned passages. Look at the good and don't get discouraged, eh?

  7. A very brave post Murees. Just don't forget, the way we continue to learn is to keep practising, so keeping writing. We all hope for continued improvement. Going back to the things you need to revisit will make your work stronger. Wishing you all the best with it. x

  8. you are already finished with the hardest part.. u know where are mistakes.. all u need is lil time..
    u'll b bck on track in no time :)

  9. Deanie - Thank you for always being so kind and encouraging.

    Carole - Thank you for the honesty. I guess now is just my time to learn.

    Hilary - Thank you. Yes, it is wonderfully hot already.

    Annalisa - Thank you, but really please take your time. Music is so important.

    John - Very true John, thank you for always being honest with me. I need to get a lot of learning done. My writing definitely needs it. Music just speaks to my soul sometimes and helps the writing.

    Crystal - Thank you. Your words are very inspiring and the fact that even the best writers make mistakes made me smile, so thank you.

    Rebecca - Thank you for being so kind and honest. I know my writing will be better in the future and that i really need to work on it. You are always so encouraging, thank you.

    Jyoti - Thank you. You words are really nice and they made me smile.

  10. It's good that you've pinpointed your mistakes so that you know what to fix. And don't worry about the timeline. Some of us (like me) have been writing and making mistakes and fixing them for years. The good news is that the writing really does get better. A critique group helps with that too.

    But I'm curious: What is your first language? You seem to navigate English very well.

  11. Elizabeth - It is nice to know that even experienced writers have things to fix. It does make me feel better, thank you. My first language is Afrikaans.

  12. I'm excited to see how this experiment works out for you- as far as focusing on writing techniques. If you have a positive experience, I may try and do it myself!

    Keep us posted! I love hearing from you, especially about your adventures.

  13. Katie - Thank you. You are so kind and always positive and encouraging. I don't know if you want to just focus on writing techniques. Right now it is driving me a bit crazy. There is so much to learn.


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