Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Practice the Craft

It certainly seems that I have not mastered the daily writing routine.  My life isn’t that orderly and perhaps I am not that disciplined.  So I have a number of tricks that help me return to my fiction writing.  One of my favorite tricks is to write about the writing process.  I can explore my writing habits and I can challenge or encourage the processes, depending on the effectiveness.  So that is one way that I get back writing.  Another is to devise exercises for myself, as I describe in this essay.   

“Practice the craft”

My current ‘practice the craft’ exercise concerns the transitional methods that can be used.  A transition is the movement from one thought, one action or one paragraph to another.  I have a list of common and ordinary transitions – after, at first, before long, suddenly, eventually, before and the like. 

The exercise I have devised is to take a short story written by someone else and to list the transitions used.  Then I can examine them. 

How does the transition work for the author’s purpose?  Is it effective? Do I like this?  Are the transitions used similar to each other?  What effect do transitions have on the style or the readability?  What do I think the author is trying to accomplish? 

And then I intend to do the same for one of my stories.  Is there another way?  Is this a place where my story falters?  What new knowledge can I apply? Can I do better as I practice the craft?