Welcome everyone to the 4th and final week of our blog series Writing Craft: Reading to Write! To wrap up our blog series, today we’re going to put together everything that we’ve learned so far and give writing craft a bit more perspective when it comes to brainstorming and revision. If you haven’t already, go ahead and read the previous 3 blogs on writing craft (an overview), finding your purpose, and developing your voice because each week of our series has been building to this.
Writing Craft as a Tool for Prep Work and Revision: I know over the past few weeks that I’ve been saying over and over that writing craft is a skill that you develop and hone over time. But writing craft can be so much more. I myself like to use writing craft as a checklist of sorts as I’m preparing to brainstorm or getting ready to revise. It’s important to understand that this is my process, and it may not be yours, which is perfectly fine. I’m simply sharing with you my process and how I’ve developed my craft.
In preparing to brainstorm, I make a list of all the elements I want to make sure I knock out of the park or need to spend extra time with. I make a note to pay extra attention to how I develop my characters if I want my readers to make strong connections with them. I make myself a note to take more time writing dialogue, for whether the story is mostly taking place in scenes or in prose, what dialogue is there needs to be on point. And because I know that I struggle most with pacing, I take special care with how quickly I want events to unfold, which usually means I spend a lot of my time worrying about and tuning my pacing.
In preparing to revise, I use the list of craft elements I created in brainstorming as a checklist. I will reread my draft many times each time focusing on a different craft element. I spend some time with each making sure that they’re as developed as possible. My final revisions are usually looking at how each of the elements are working together. Now this may seem like a lot of work, but really it’s about creating the best story I can. Once your work is out, it can’t be taken back, which is why being intentional about the writing process is so important.
Use Reading to Develop Your Writing Craft: Like I’ve said many times before and during this blog series, the best writers are avid readers. Reading can be an important tool in developing your writing craft because you can see writing craft elements in action. You can see how a writer uses each element individually and together for a bigger purpose. It’s not about stealing or copying their work; It’s about seeing how others use writing craft to help you figure out how to develop your own. Being intentional about reading is being intentional about writing.
Building Community: Being a writer means being a part of a community that shares their stories, their process, and their feedback. If you’re feeling a little lost as a writer, as a reader, then find someone, some group of writers and readers to help. If you can’t find one, build one yourself. If you want a community like the one I’ve described, then foster that atmosphere yourself. If you want people to be open about their process with you, then share your story. Ask them genuine questions and just maybe you’ll find that community you’ve been looking for. You are not alone in this.
Being Intentional: Finally, if there is anything you get out of this series, I hope it’s this: being a good writer means being intentional. It means being intentional about the time you take to read and write each week. It means being intentional about genuinely interacting with the community you want to be a part of. Sometimes life happens and you’ve got to change your schedule. That’s totally fine. We’re all human and understand that life can get in the way. But, be intentional about getting back on track with your reading and writing. If anything, just be open and do what you can. That’s all anyone can ask for.
Thank you all for joining me during this series. I truly hope that this series helps you understand writing craft a bit more, and how you can continue to develop your craft. It just takes time and intent. If you have any questions or if you’d like to see more blog series like this in the future, please let me know in the comments or on social media. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for being a part of the Wilde About Books community.
As always, happy reading and happy writing!