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Is Writing A Job? (standard:Editorials, 593 words)
Author: G.H. HaddenAdded: Jan 09 2006Views/Reads: 2330/0Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Originally, this was a simple response to a post. Re: Is writing a job?

Originally, this was a simple response to a post.  Re: Is writing a job?

I do believe writing should be treated as a job as much as possible.  I
hold down a "regular " 9-5 that pays the bills and still manage to 
write three good stories a year.  Not many you say, but how many of 
those stories you bang out are really good? 

Don't force a story to come, just let it flow...Most good stories stem
from dreams.  My advice is to have a pad of paper near the bed, and 
when you awaken from a dream that is particularly vivid, write down the 
details.  Also, write down sentences and phrases that pop into your 
head at night, or any time of day.  I even do it at work. 

When you're thinking of a particular story, the phrases and sentences
you jot down become paragraphs, filled in later.  In this way, the plot 
fleshes itself out similar to the elements of your dream(s) to stitch 
together a first draft of a story. 

Play with it then, move text in blocks if you have to, and use the net
to do research.  If you talk about a 357 magnum in a story, get to know 
what the gun is, how it works and what actual users think and feel 
about it.  Then you can accurately describe it in a story. 

When all this is done and you have a first draft, leave it alone for a
while, and then come back to it a few days later.  Clean up the text, 
invent new stuff, cut out unnecessary stuff, clarify stuff, and if you 
use the same words over and over, break out the thesaurus. and are your friends for accurate 
word usage and slang expressions respectively.  Those are only two of 

Lastly, let it sit again for a while.  Then read it over and over.  Does
it make you proud?  Do you think you can do better?   I always find 
something that can be improved, but eventually the last time I read it 
I find it finished.  Nothing left to change. 

Them the story is done, right?  NOT!  There is a button on your word
processor that checks spelling and grammar.  Use it!  Editors say it 
over and over, ad infinitum.  Make sure your grammar, spelling, and 
structure is at the best of your abilities.  There are English grammar 
websites out there if you need help.  Don't be afraid to check them 

Only then is your story done.   If possible, you should show it to
friends to comment on, before posting or submitting for publication.   
When you do so, take their suggestions under advisement.  Consider if 
their changes are of merit.  If they are, change it.  If not—then leave 
it alone. 

Lastly, if you follow this process of creating, stitching, research, and
editing, then you should end up with a reasonably professional story.  
It can take a few hours, or it can take a few months.  Whatever.  
Either way, you've treated it in a professional manor, even if it is 
only a hobby. 

PS: This is only a post, right?  Well, that didn't stop me from pasting
the text in MS Word, editing and cleaning it up and making sure it is 
as "clean" as can be.  Now that I've done this, I think I will put this 
in the main site as an article of non-fiction.  BTW, it took me exactly 
one hour and two minutes to finish this fully.  Excelent time.  Stop 
the clock...NOW! 

--G.H. Hadden 


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