Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Finding Clarity in our Words
There are questions we can ask ourselves before we even begin:
What exactly do I want to achieve? Sometimes when a scene refuses to work, it’s because we may have lost our direction, or we’re unclear about the scene’s purpose. Asking this question will help us find clarity. It will also help us with the decision to save or toss scenes.
Who is my audience? With whom do I wish to communicate? Often we tell ourselves, “I write for me”, but, if we want our words heard and our stories read, then our audience is greater than ourselves. We need to know who it is we wish to connection with so we can adjust our writing.
And then there are questions we can ask ourselves when we edit:
Have I said what I meant to say? So often we think we are saying one thing, only to discover we’ve said something else. Often we will need to go back and remind ourselves about the purpose.
Is what I’ve said relevant? Often we can waffle on and lose ourselves in the joy of description and discovery. We need to remind ourselves our readers won’t always share the same joy especially if they sense us waver from the path of our stories.
When your words threaten to become mud, what do you do?