Today’s Writing Tip: CUT IT!

"Writing", 22 November 2008

“Writing”, 22 November 2008 (Photo credit: dr_ed_needs_a_bicycle)

You’ve written the most brilliant line of literature in the history of the world. Your minutes, maybe hours, of stringing together the perfect adjective with the just-so noun, vibrant verb and exact pronouns that will make your readers weep at your incredible writing has produced remarkable results.

…But it just doesn’t fit. In fact, every time you read that paragraph, you secretly cringe, knowing that the one line that would bring you world fame just doesn’t work.

I hate to break it to you, but it’s time to do some cutting. Don’t get me wrong–I’ve written some of those lines myself. But I’ve discarded them. Painful as it has been, I’ve done what’s best for the book as a whole, and just chopped those suckers out.

So, save that line to another document somewhere. Maybe someday you’ll get to insert that sentence into the right chapter or book somewhere along the line. We can only hope. We do want to know your brilliance, after all. But, in the meantime, spare us the pain of a wrongfully placed chuck of genius.


Today’s Writing Tip: PUSH IT!


Writing (Photo credit: jjpacres)

Okay, so last time I advised that you get up and move around between chapter breaks.  Well, now, I’m going to tell you to sit still.  When you hit those walls and can’t come up with anything to write (ugh…how I dread those moments), ignore the feeling.  I’ve had to do this several times while revising Nobody’s Girl.  I’d already written the rough draft, but during revisions, I mark the pages, indicating what needs to happen to fix the section.  And I have the urge to run away.  But that won’t get it written.  So, I grab a cup of tea, suck back half of the glass, and breathe out slowly.  Then I chuck out the words onto the page, doing what I’m supposed to do to fix it.  And then I fix what I just fixed.

You might need to walk around the block once or something, but if you do, make yourself to then sit down and force out the words.  Just spew out what comes to mind.  It’s a rough draft, or the second revision, or whatever, anyway.  It’s okay if it’s a little pathetic.  All writers go through that.  So, push yourself.  And just write.  Seriously.  You need to.

You Know Him as Jimmy Bennett


(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Oh, you screaming groupies.  Get a grip on yourselves.  Jimmy Bennett isn’t perfect.  Once, he was that gangly giant in Mr. Beck’s math class.  Yes, yes.  I know you’ve only known him as the rock star since he and the other Jays got discovered back in 1974.  But I know him as Jamie, my best friend and childhood hero.

Seriously, calm down.  His long black hair and intense green eyes are just his good looks.  He can be a jerk, too.  He once blew smoke in my face, literally…

But, yeah…I get why you daydream about him.  I’ve been dreaming about him since the 4th grade.  Of course, you probably stand a better chance with him than I do.  I’m just Tess, the sound tech.  One of the guys.  So I guess I’ll just keep dreaming alongside you.

Just stop pushing, please.   That was my foot you just crushed.


Today’s writing tip: MOVE IT!

push ups

push ups (Photo credit: sun dazed)

Get up and move!  Yeah, yeah…you’ve heard it before.  But, seriously, you should.  And writing, like any “desk job” has some health issues if you sit around all day not moving…lots of information out there showing that being inactive for hours on end will shorten your life, worsen your health and decrease your focus and energy.  So, while I finish up editing Nobody’s Girl, I force myself to get up every chapter break for ten minutes or more.

I spend at least 10 minutes moving around.  Walking, doing push-ups, planks, jumping jacks.  Whatever gets me off my tushie.  Being active, as often as possible, for even a couple of minutes at a time, makes all the difference.  Better concentration.  Better energy.  Better health.  Better book.  Can’t beat that.

Who is Tess Brenner?

Tess Brenner welcomes you into her world as the best friend of the Four Jays, the legendary rock ‘n roll band of the 70s and 80s.  Yes, you’ve heard of her before.  You know their hit, Nobody’s Girl?  Well, that was written about her.  And, hey, so was Sunday School Girl, First Grade Teacher and at least three of your other favorites written by Jimmy, Jeff, Joey or Jack.  Ah, yes, now she sounds familiar…

Nobody’s Girl by new Christian romance novelist, Juanita Millhouse.  Releasing in August 2012.