Saturday Summation – 17 November 2012

Bits and pieces of things that caught my eye not only for my own interest, but enough to want to share with you, too…

Whoa, so I uh, went dark there for a couple of weeks. Whoops. On the plus side, at least you didn’t have to read something forced and useless under the guise of feeling I must post regularly since that’s what you’re supposed to do. Maybe let’s not mention whether any of my other posts are useless even when they’re not forced…


Writing Stuff (which is “all the stuff” this week):

A couple of people this week talked of the value behind writing with pen/pencil and paper instead of the computer. Sharon Bially talks of how it improves her own creative output and Jason Boog on Galleycat pulled together a couple of research bits for a NaNoWriMo tip-of-the-day on the manual side of writing. Of course, one of his sources was a study on children writing with this quote: “Dr. Virginia Berniger, who studies reading and writing systems and their relationship to learning processes, found that children’s writing ability was consistently better (they wrote more, faster, and more complete sentences) when they used a pen rather than a keyboard…” and it made me wonder how old the children were, because really, don’t most children write faster by hand than on a keyboard? You can tell me all you want that kids are all computer-savvy these days, but I’ve seen them type – you better believe they are faster writing on paper. In any case, I also on occasion like to write by hand and can see the appeal. If you are a fast writer, having it slow you down can sometimes be a good way to focus on the art vs getting the story down. On the other hand, many would say to just get the story down as quickly as possible – the craft comes in revision. I write slowly, so it really doesn’t make much difference to me. In fact, when the words are ready to come in a rush, I’d just as soon have the most rapid tool at my disposal, which is definitely the keyboard by far.

On the flip side, Keith Cronin has a great post that reviews the many different writing support technologies out there from text editors to notecard organizers. It’s a very worthwhile reference post to hang onto for when you are next seeking a new tool.

K.M. Weiland discusses the idea of a “delete” file when writing – the place for all of the scenes that may have started in your manuscript, but you cut, or maybe the scenes you think could have a place, but you’re not sure, yet. I call mine the “drafts” file, but it’s all the same. ie: Don’t actually delete anything. Save it all so that you can call it back (even if in a different form) if you want. The comments section goes on to talk about saving each new draft, too. (If you draft by hand, by the way, it is much harder to delete something permanently – at least for me because it is much faster to cross out than it is to erase!)

Stephen King has some great words about imagery – writing it, seeing it, including it. The best summary of what he says is that you must take time to see what it is you want to describe. Check out his guest post at

I loved this post by Fae Rowen, “Music as Writing Inspiration” because it holds so true for me. She talks of how it isn’t necessarily the lyrics that make it be a part of her playlist, but melody and/or rhythm. This is definitely how it is for me, too. Additionally, for my latest novel, I have found songs about love that work so nicely with non-romantic love in my story because even though it’s true that the lyrics aren’t always important, sometimes they are and that’s a bonus.


Song of the Week:

Speaking of songs that inspire writing, here is the latest that I’ve added this week:

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2 Responses to Saturday Summation – 17 November 2012

  1. Thanks for the blog love, Janet. You are so right about sometimes the lyrics are important, and what a bonus! Also, thanks for your thoughtful collection of ideas. I’ve always kept a “cut file” for my books, but I started the habit and justified it as the “pack rat” side of me.
    -Fae Rowen


  2. Sarah (BA) says:

    Great post. I’ll check out some of those links, so thanks. About not deleting/throwing away scraps of work, musings and half-finished stories etc: good advice. I’ll sometimes write a paragraph or ten, which is completely unrelated to something I’m working on, but experience has taught me that I’ll often find a place for it eventually. If not, then it becomes a diary entry of sorts, and I’ll stumble upon it and remember how I was feeling in that moment.


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