Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Writerly Wednesday - The Grammar Divas!

Happy Wednesday, all!  And a BIG welcome to new crusading followers ~ woot!  I'll be by soon.  (*if you have no idea what I'm talking about - scroll to the bottom for some awesome!)

So, this past Saturday I was lucky enough to attend a (free!) Grammar seminar put on by The Grammar Divas!  Check out their fabulous website HERE.  Oh, I'm tellin' ya!  This is EXACTLY what I needed!  It was a wonderful refresher.  Especially when I was feeling a bit like this:

Yep.  Ready to toss the whole darn WiP OUT!  (I get like this's a thing..)  Sometimes I forget about the little things that are supposed to make my writing better.  I skip over that darned passive voice and "was" becomes invisible.  To be honest, as much as I LOVED this seminar, I did come away wanting to cry a little...knowing what I'd find when I opened up my WiP again.  Revisions are hard.  But, you know...I think they just might be worth it.  And if you've got some good grammar tips on the side?  BONUS!

I know what you're thinking..."She's going to share some of the awesome with us, right?  RIGHT?!"  No worries.  The answer is "Yes."

First - some advice on editing to get you into the right mind-set, (mostly) verbatim from my Grammar Divas handout:

-  You can't edit until you have something written.  Don't worry about the technical stuff until your first draft is finished.  (This one is targeted to you edit-as-you-go writers!  You know who you are...)

-  Editing as you go does not save time.  Give yourself permission to have cheese puffs in the first draft so you don't get hung up on potential problems.

(ok, this one really spoke to me)  Writing and editing are two different skills that require two different mindsets.  Writing - right brain; editing- left brain.  Get your story down first with your right brain, then edit with your left.  If possible, take some time out between typing "The End" on your first draft and beginning the editing process.  Plan your next novel or just relax.

They also suggest that you change typeface, size, or color before printing a hard copy of your novel to edit.  You read differently on screen versus a hard copy, they say.  So the change to what you've been looking at while typing will force your brain to see it differently on the page.

OH!  And don't forget to read your prose aloud and S-L-O-W-L-Y!  This should bring to light any pacing and grammar errors.  You'll know.

ALSO - as you mark up your printout, remember to fix issues LATER.  Don't stop editing to fix things on the computer.  REMEMBER - writing and editing are two different skills that require two different mindsets.  *And take a breather before you cut all the fat found from the hard-copy editing session.  You need to get away from that inner critic telling you "see, I told you you weren't a good writer."  (it's not remotely true, of course!)   Give yourself some distance to think about what needs fixing and what doesn't.

You're wondering where the actual grammar tip is, right?  Ok - don't get your panties/boxers/tightywhities in a twist!  I'll post ALL about that NEXT Wednesday?  (Yes, I'm well aware I'm a brat!)

This is just some advice (to take with a grain of salt, if you have a different process that works for you...), ALL from the Grammar Divas, to think about before you get started and actually need those grammar tips to fix what might need to be fixed.  Hope you find it helpful.  I did!

And - one last thing...If you haven't been by Rachael Harrie's blog lately - you need to go.  Like, NOW!  Pretty please?  :)  She's launched her 2nd Annual Writer's Platform-Building Crusade.  Pretty awesome!

Join the Crusade TODAY - Feb. thru April 30th!!
You can read all about it by clicking HERE!  Now go forth and write, my bloggy friends!  And have a spectacular day ~ :)


Angela Felsted said...

Reading aloud SLOWLY is the trick. I'm just now discovering the importance of the slow part.

Colene Murphy said...

Amazing advice!! Editing as you go is a big time suck, IMO.

aspiring_x said...

it's just SO HARD to resist editing as you go!!! :) great points donea and the divas! (that should totally be the name of a retro band- OOOHH! or a wedding singer band!!!)

Talli Roland said...

These are fantastic tips. I always print out my MS to edit - it's amazing the things that you see!

Carol Riggs said...

Yep, good stuff. Argh, YES, I need to print mine out. I always hate to though...all that paper! Reading it aloud really slows me down and clues me in to words I've just used previously, however.

Abby Minard said...

Awesome tips! Love the right brain left brain thing- I never thought of it that way. And I'm an edit-as-you go. I'll try to get out of it with my new novel, because it DOES take a lot of time!

Michelle Merrill said...

Hey Donea, looks like we both signed up for the Crusade. This should be fun!

Meredith said...

If I edited as I went, I would get nothing done. Nothing. Love this advice!

Madeleine said...

That is some awesome advice. I like the idea of changing the font too because then you'd read it as though it were a different piece of work. I do tend to edit as I go and read it aloud, but i am intrigued by the left brain right brain idea. Great stuff. I love it :O)

Rachael Harrie said...

Hey Donea, great editing advice! I've bookmarked your post for my revisions :)

Welcome on board the Crusade, lovely to have you along :)



Angela Scott said...

Holy Crap! (Utah slang). I'm from Utah too AND I was at the Grammar Diva workshop in SLC. It was so good. I learned a ton (I suck at grammar for one thing).

Nice to meet you fellow crusader, Utahan, and YA writer.

I'm a for sure follower. I'll be back to see what great things you're up to :)