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writing-productively

How to write productively

writing-productivelyI have researched and found that most famous writers from the past used a technique for writing. Almost any famous writer you could think of woke in the morning and grabbed a pen and started writing. Our best writing is done when our minds are tired but who feels like writing after a long day and we want to sleep. So the alternative is to write at waking, with the imagination full from all our dreams and the mind is still waking up.

Remembering that you need to write at some point in the day and forcing yourself to do so, as we all know, leads to writer block and frustration, causing us to harbor a distain for our passion. Learning this technique brings back the joy and self-confidence. Just imagine loving to write again.

Waking up and bringing the mind to full functioning through writing is a win, win situation. You are productive and what better way to start your day than a satisfying round of doing what you love. I have been practicing this for the last few days and have been adding chapters to a story that I gave up on writing a year ago. I find I can’t write fast enough. I have to use pencil and paper because firing up my writing program starts my mind thinking about that and not about the fleeting thoughts floating in my head.

You literally have to rise out of bed and immediately start writing. You will lose your dreams if you don’t start right away.  For the first time in years I love waking up. The productiveness adds something that I carry with me through the day. Write all you can then go to the bathroom or smoke or get some coffee but return right away to jot down any other info you recall. Milk your mind like a farmer milks a cow early in the morning. Before you know it you’ll have buckets full and might even start to make some cheese…..Oh no I didn’t…. snap. Hey, I was going to use the phrase, “Milk those mental utterings.” So consider yourself lucky.

Mind you, you might not awaken with material that fits into a project you are working on but you will want to write it down anyway. No matter how odd or silly, save and savor these golden nuggets for poems or short stories or whatever prose you like.

Find your best time for writing and stick to it. Practice this and I assure you it will bring you new life to your writing.

About the Author


forgewrightRobert Hatfield hails from mid-western Ohio. Comedy and Adventure stories are his passion. Editing and Reviewing are the fields of work he enjoys. Writing has been an interest for the past 25 years and he now has the time to pursue it. As a Moderator on Thoughtsinc.net, he welcomes any questions or requests for help.

This article is for use by Thoughtsinc.net

moby-dick-illustration

Call Me Melville

moby-dick-illustrationAugust is a great month to be born. The amount of literary talent born into one of the hottest months of the year is huge and includes everyone from Lord Alfred Tennyson to Mary Shelley. Herman Melville, author of the classic Moby Dick, was born August 1, 1819 in New York City. Well known for writing what is considered to be one of the greatest American novels ever written, there are many less known facts about him.

Born into a well to do, refined family, it became quickly evident that he did not fit in. His own father stated he was “backward in speech and somewhat slow in comprehension.” Sent out to sea as a cabin boy to earn money for his family after they were forced to file bankruptcy, he was unfulfilled with this position. Jumping ship with a friend, he was held for four months as captives by the cannibalistic Typee people in French Polynesia. He turned this experience into his first novel, Typee. This book brought him some success as a best seller but soon lost notoriety and he never recovered in his lifetime.

Melville worked diligently to write Moby Dick and was most likely thrilled when it was published in 1851. However, it proved to be a commercial failure thanks to the critics of the time.

“This is an ill-compounded mixture of romance and matter-of-fact,” wrote  the London Athenaeum.  “The idea of a connected and collected story has obviously visited and abandoned its writer again and again in the course of composition. The style of his tale is in places disfigured by mad (rather than bad) English; and its catastrophe is hastily, weakly, and obscurely managed.”

While he wanted to give public lectures on literature, this too was unsuccessful and needing to make ends meet, he became a customs inspector. This would remain his career until he retired.

Melville was all but forgotten by the literary world at the time of his death, but the 20th century Americans revived his works and Moby Dick is thought of as a masterpiece in world literature.

About The Author

Robert Hatfield hails from mid-western Ohio. Comedy and Adventure stories are his passion. Editing and Reviewing are the fields of work he enjoys. Writing has been an interest for the past 25 years and he now has the time to pursue it. As a Moderator on Thoughtsinc.net, he welcomes any questions or requests for help.

This article is for use by Thoughtsinc.net

 

copyright-symbol

Plagiarism- You be You, I’ll be Me.

copyright-symbolWriting has rules. Your ability to understand and follow these rules will determine your accomplishments as a writer. Knowing how to structure what you are writing with proper spacing and punctuation as well as spelling may determine your level of professionalism, but Plagiarism will ruin your chances of being respected as a writer and can land you in serious trouble.

Our friends at Wikipedia describe plagiarism as “The wrongful appropriation and purloining and publication of another author’s language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions and the representation of them as one’s original work.” Even this definition has references listed showing the Random House Compact Unabridged Dictionary and the Oxford English Dictionary as their sources.

When we write a story we are hit with ideas to write about and work hard to properly structure the writing. It is also important to research our own ideas online to discover if the idea is our own original thoughts or are we remembering something we have read before. Using someone else’s work, even unintentionally, can lead to trouble especially if it had commercial value.

Singer and Songwriter Michael Bolton swam in hot water with his release of “Love is a Beautiful Thing” in 1991. The song had the same title as a song written by The Isley Brothers from 1966. The lyrics also had similarities, enough so that a jury found that Michael and the companies that produced the record were guilty of copyright infringement and ordered them to pay over 5 million dollars. Bolton admitted to being a fan of the Isley brothers but demanded that he had never heard the song. Intentional or not, Plagiarism is illegal.i

Drawing the line

When using another writer’s words we must give them the credit for their work. Let’s look at a couple of instances we can use as a guideline to determine if we have properly used material.

Common Knowledge: Let’s say you were writing a story about medieval times. We all know about knights and princesses as well as dragons. You could write about them all day long without a problem. However if you were to name your main character The King of Hearts and created similar characteristics as the famous King of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland then you might get a phone call wanting an explanation. True, you could use the name and create the character in a completely different way, but your readers would probably note the similarity and be unimpressed with your usage of it.

Copyrighted Material: This material is protected by law and cannot be used without the owner’s permission. If you contacted the owner of Alice in Wonderland and they agreed to give you permission to write a sequel or use the character then you can use the character in your story. Then include a copyright notice somewhere in your book that references the material you used.

Footnotes: When using another author’s articles to write your own you may want to quote them. You can immediately reference them as the author of the quote or use a reference tab which will take them to your footnotes at the bottom of the page and tell them the author there.ii

Original Work: This is the real meat and potatoes you need to know about when writing. How do you know your work is original?

If the information in this article were used for writing another article by an author it would be ethical for them to reference this information as the original work.

When you know that you have written material whether it is an article or a fictional story and it cannot be found anywhere else and is new or predates any other material then you know it is original.

Take them time to research your own writing to be sure that you are not remembering someone else’s work and that the dream you had last night that inspired that writing was really heaven sent.

References:

i This information was retrieved from an article by Jeff Gordinier in Entertainment Weekly entitled “Law is a Wonderful thing.”

ii I wrote this Sentence from general knowledge and have no one but myself to reference. Ain’t I quaint?

About The Author

Robert Hatfield hails from mid-western Ohio. Comedy and Adventure stories are his passion. Editing and Reviewing are the fields of work he enjoys. Writing has been an interest for the past 25 years and he now has the time to pursue it. As a Moderator on Thoughtsinc.net, he welcomes any questions or requests for help.

This article is for use by Thoughtsinc.net

 

retro-microphone

Voices in Your Head

retro-microphoneWhether it’s a poem or novel, all of your writing will fall flat if you don’t get the voice right. The voice of a piece is your voice, the voice with which you whisper your story into the readers’ ear. And just like telling a story verbally, if you don’t adopt the right tone you will cause frustration and confusion.

Here are just a few voices used by authors:

First-person: This means actually taking on the voice of your lead character and telling the story as they would tell it. It is immensely powerful and allows you to discuss emotional reactions in detail, but it’s not without limitations. It’s ultimately an illusion and, if you break voice or say something that’s not suited to your character, you will shatter the illusion.

Unreliable narrator: A cousin of the first-person, this is where you allowed the truth to be altered by the emotions or prejudices of the main character. The trick is to include a few details that don’t quite sit with the overall story, making your reader gradually lose trust. American Psycho is an excellent example of this difficult technique.

Third-person: Once upon a time, almost all fiction was third-person, though it is increasingly falling out of fashion. Third-person is great for big stories with multiple plots as it allows you to move around between each strand. Be careful of dipping into the emotions of each character though, as this usually feels tacky to the reader.

Omniscient: Essentially, this is when the author moves around like a god, freely jumping into the minds of each character whenever they see fit. It’s something that almost all fledging writers do by mistake, and most editors and creative writing teachers will soon tell you to stop. That’s not to say it can’t be done at all: Frank Ronan’s novel Dixie Chicken does this with abandon, sidestepping the inherent problems by allowing God himself to be the narrator.

So what’s the right voice for your story? Nobody can say. You just need to listen to the story and see if you can hear the voice it wants to be told in.

 

Robert Hatfield hails from mid-western Ohio. Comedy and Adventure stories are his passion. Editing and Reviewing are the fields of work he enjoys. Writing has been an interest for the past 25 years and he now has the time to pursue it. As a Moderator on Thoughtsinc.net, he welcomes any questions or requests for help.

This article is for use by Thoughtsinc.net