I recently added my sons' school pictures to wall frames. Older pictures were stacked behind the new ones, and as mommies do from time to time, I waded through those older photos.
My sons had transformed little by little. From gapped-toothed to braces. From chubby cheeks to lean faces. From slender arms to muscles. I didn't notice the small changes taking place each day until, BAM, my 14 year old was taller than me.
It reminded me how we writers sometimes ignore our own transformations. Maybe we don't notice our improvement because we're focused on all we need to learn/fix/change. Sometimes it's nice to not only focus on where we're going, but to appreciate where we've been.
I'd love to know the ways in which you've grown as a writer. Here's a small sampling of my lessons learned:
- Adverbs--replace or delete
- Avoid info dumps
- Don't begin each sentence or paragraph with the same word
- Restructure clunky sentences
- Avoid beginning the story or scene too soon
- Each scene must have a purpose
- Find and replace addictive words
- When reading other books, pay attention to story structure
Each writer is a work in progress, and we should appreciate our growth. If you were to read an early manuscript, what changes would you notice most? How have you grown as a writer?