Saturday, November 20, 2010

Writers, let's flex some muscle!

Hey Ryan, writers have muscles too.

Here are a few ways writers can flex their writing muscles (in front of a computer, not a mirror):
  • Create a character that's a wee bit unlikable. Getting the reader to care about them isn't an easy task.
  • Play with point of view. First to third? Third to first? Alternating?
  • Consider changing the tense. Past to present, or vice versa. Staying on "tense alert" keeps us on our toes.
  • If we're used to writing a female pov, we can try telling the story from a guy's point of view.
  • Twist our regular genre into a pretzel. Dipping our toes into unfamiliar territory can be daunting, and exciting.
With my current manuscript, I'm definitely stretching my writing muscles. They say, "Nothing is wasted," and I believe that. This project is giving my skills a good workout.
Can you share any tips on how we can flex our writing muscles?

And feel free to stick around and stare at Ryan Reynolds.

photo credit: Google Images

31 comments:

  1. LOL--stick around and stare at Mr. Sexiest Man Alive. :D These are great tips--I tried writing from the male POV once. It was fun. Short sentences, just the facts ma'am. Uncomfortable w/emotions... Is it a stereotype if it's true? ;p

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  2. I totally respect that you lured me in with that picture of Ryan. *sigh* Okay, on to the post... I recently wrote a novel in a guy's POV and I loved it! I haven't tried first person yet but I plan to someday. As for tense, sorry, I HATE present tense. It just doesn't sit right with me. Someday maybe I'll force myself. Thanks for the great tips, and the picture!

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  3. Hi,

    Momentarily preoccupied with six-pack!

    (((throws iced water to face, and can now concentrate on what is being written)))

    Oooh yes, me loves writing male POV. Have just done so with letter from hero to heroine in my latest WIP: can be seen on my blog at present in the "We Can Do It Blogfest!" That said, there is male POV at intervals throughout said book. It's fun wearing the trousers and acting like a guy by way of a character. Have to say I prefer third person POV, but nothing wrong in letting rip from the inside of a character's head: which is achievable even through TP POV.

    Thought provoking post! Writer muscle stretch -hee hee, conjures mixed array of imagined scenarios. ;)

    best
    F

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  4. so those marvelous abs that Ryan is sporting on his tummy, we, creative souls, have them in our brains? :) That's comforting to know.

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  5. It's always a good thing to stretch yourself as a writer. One thing I like to do is to try a new genre. That really gets the creative juices flowing!

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  6. I don't have any kind of muscles like that.

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  7. Oh that's just not fair. I don't have time to drool over pictures right now. But well, okay, maybe just for like a minute. Or forty...

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  8. Ha! Yes, writers, let's take a moment to stare at the beauty of Ryan Reynolds.

    Ok, now back to work!

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  9. Dang it! I got my keyboard all wet with drool!

    I'm trying to make my bad guy appealing. Not in an "I like that guy" sort of way. Just in a way that will cause people to not be turned off by him, to want to know what makes him tick, and to see what he does next...

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  10. *Sigh* Ryan Reynolds is definitely inspiring. Thank you for the tips and the wonderful image!

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  11. Gret suggestions! I like to step outside my comfort zone (and genre) sometimes to write something that scares me.... like a thriller or horror. It builds confidence when we learn we can write more than just one category.

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  12. Hi Julie! I've seen you over at Adventures to Children's Publishing. Great to visit your blog! (about time, huh?)
    Nice post...I've experimented with male POVs, and my last novel was a foray into sci-fi (LIGHT sci-fi), and my WiP is either dystopian or post-apocalyptic. But I don't really like present tense, or first person...I'd try a first person before I'd do present tense. :)

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  13. Nothing like a guy w/ a 6-pack -- & I don't mean of Bud!

    You really have some excellent suggestions here & I agree w/ all of them. They should make any writer who tries them ever more aware of the process.

    I advocate writing way early in the morning, or at a time when you're not really awake, so for some people that could be late at night. When you're tired you can sometimes flick on a creative switch & surprise yourself. It doesn't work all the time, but it's worth a try.

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  14. Thanks for the inspiration. I have given you an award over at my blog, soimfifty.blogspot.com

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  15. Ok, so who is this guy??? Am I the only one who doesn't know him?

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  16. Okay, I so almost used him for a Hot Thursday...he is now in a fight with Chris Pine for position of secret boyfriend in my life : 0

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  17. And he was in X-Men, a little bit part, going to be Green Lanter, and mostly weird, not so big movies until recently

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  18. Oh, yum. You make flexing our muscles so...pleasant (*grins*). Great post, I enjoyed reading this :)

    Rach

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  19. Esp. if we're still learning craft and pursuing publication, it's important to stetch and try new things so we can grow. Even if those efforts are just practice. Great reminder.

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  20. The six pack was huge distraction, Julie. Its with extreme difficulty I managed to prise my eyes from it to read the points. Great post and great pic. :)

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  21. I'm trying to stretch my muscles by not letting my characters solve their problems too soon. I tend to get them into trouble, but then solve it too quickly. I'm trying to be much meaner :)

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  22. I think POV is a great way to stretch our writing muscles - for me, anyway. I always love peering at things through different eyes.

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  23. Inadvertantly did the first one with my book's main character.
    And thanks but I already have a Reynolds complex.

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  24. Hi Julie, thanks for visiting my blog! And in case you don't get back to see my response to your comment (and since you don't have an email attached to your profile), I wanted to letcha know I'll have a REALLY cool guy-type dragon posted tomorrow, stay tuned! Your son might really like it. :)

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  25. Mmmmm...Ryan Reynolds. I had a tip, but lost it while staring at his abs - lol. These are some really great tips you've compiled here -- I'm definitely going to try some of them out!

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  26. Your post got me thinking, Julie! I've never tried writing in first person or writing in the present tense, so those would definitely be some bench-press muscle-building approaches for me. Also, writing poetry or short stories would also stretch me.

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  27. A moment, please, while I fan myself. Why hello, sir.

    This post has really got me thinking as well. I've written from a male and a female point of view, but now I think about it, I do avoid first person. I think I might give it a try for a little--it might be the perfect tool to help me get to know a character who still feels a little flat to me. Thanks!

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  28. I spent last week writing a picture book. Totally stretched those writer-muscles

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  29. Some very sweet eye candy, Julie! Definitely going to try to stretch the writing muscles today - moving first five chapters of ms to the middle of the novel. Thanks for stopping by my blog and very glad to have discovered yours. - Stasia

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