Sunday, May 6, 2012

My Favorite Writing Sayisms


by Maria Geraci

Is sayism even a word? Not sure about that. I'll confess, I'm one of those people who always messes up phrases. For the longest time I thought the saying was "Up and Adam” which made no sense but I figured it must make sense to someone since everyone was always saying it. I also got confused when Coldplay came out with Viva La Vida (I thought it was called When I Ruled the World), mixing it up with Ricky Martin's Livin' La Vida Loca. Not that the 2 songs are remotely similar, but well, hopefully you get my grift. I mean, my drift.

So this thing I do with phrases also runs true with my own personal writing sayisms. I just tailor them a bit to make sense to me. I have several printed out on index cards placed over my computer for me to look at for inspiration. Here are my favorites truths:

If I don’t know how this novel is going to end, then neither will my Reader.  It’s the sayism that finally gave me the permission to stop plotting. And trust me, I wanted to plot. Desperately. But I suck at plotting, just like I suck at writing outlines. I’m a pantser and I’m okay with that.

Write Like No one is ever going to read this stuff. Or, in other words, Shut up, Internal Editor. Whenever I begin to think “oh, I can’t write that,” I look up at the index card with this sayism and shrug, “What does it matter? No one is ever going to read it anyway.” Honestly, this is when I come up with my best stuff. It’s what lets my voice come through.

Kill your ellipses… Because I simply cannot kill my darlings.

Show AND Tell. Because occasionally you have to hit the reader over the head. Just occasionally, mind you.

Write almost every day.  Because almost every day is better than none and every day is too impractical (like most professional writers, I also have a day job and a family).

And my favorite sayism of all time:

There are 3 rules to writing and someone out there knows exactly what they are. In other words, never stop learning, never stop listening to advice, and never stop improving your craft. 

How about you? Any favorite writing truths you swear by?


Maria Geraci was born in Havana, Cuba, and raised on Florida’s Space Coast. She writes contemporary romance and women’s fiction with a happy ending. The Portland Book Review called her novel, The Boyfriend of the Month Club, “immensely sexy, immensely satisfying and humorous.” Her fourth novel, A Girl Like You, will be released August, 2012 by Berkley, Penguin USA. For more information, please visit her website at www.mariageraci.com

16 comments:

  1. interesting blog. It would be great if you can provide more details about it. Thanks you





    Picture Flipbook

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  2. Love this! It's hard to turn off that internal editor for me, too.

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  3. This came right on time for me. Thanks for the wonderful post. Man, I wish I could quit ellipses.

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    1. Thanks, Ernessa. Ellipses are like my chocolate. I love them, but I end up taking about... oh, 3/4's of the originals from my final draft;)

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  4. Karin GillespieMay 7, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    No! Not the ellipses! Funny post. If I had a rule, it would probably be whenever you think you're done, let the work cool for a month and see if you're really done.

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    1. Good one, Karin. That would be part of my "let it marinate" sayism :)

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  5. This is too funny, and I can so relate. I'm a pantser too, and probably a rule for me would be "Don't fall for the new plotting gimmick/arc/chart/graph/3-act-play/snowflake/cat-saving method" It won't work. Not for me. :-) I keep thinking there will be this magic method that I can actually stick to and will be so much easier than my pantser ways. But it doesn't matter how many hours I spend lining it all out, it all goes off the rails by page two. The second part of that rule would be "Embrace your own wacked out ways. They somehow work for you."

    Love this post, Maria! I feel ya!

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  6. "Embrace your own wacked out ways." That one is going up on my bulletin board. Love it!

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  7. Wonderful post. My favorite writing truism? Show up every day and write. No exceptions!

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    1. Great sayism, Christine! Butt to chair works every time :)

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  8. I sooooooo suck at plotting. And I agree with Sharla. I have to stop falling for the "cure" that will relieve me of my panster-ness.

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    1. I suck at plotting too. I dream of an index card filled bulletin board in color coded pen that tells me exactly what is going to happen next. Alas, never going to happen!

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