Peggy Bechko Loves Writing About Writing

…Lucky for us!

Readers – Wonder how Writers Do It? – by Peggy Bechko (from Peggy’s blog)

Really. So you ever wonder what goes on in fiction writer’s lives that keep them writing the fiction they create or stop them, inspire them or throw up road blocks?

Frequently we talk here about nuts and bolts of writing, but really it’s all about reading and writing. Writers who follow this blog are interested in tips and helpful websites and that sort of thing.

Readers, no doubt are more interested in the inside scoop.  Correct me if I’m wrong, readers.

So, for today’s post I decided it’s time to open the door just a bit more and talk about a writer’s habits. How I write and keep it moving forward.

One of my biggies and it always has been is write my fiction at the crack of dawn.  No kidding, for me the morning is a glorious time to write.

I know, I know, a lot of writers “write all night” and “consume gallons of coffee”. Nope, not me, I love a great night’s sleep, popping out of bed all perky and getting down to writing right after a quick breakfast. My perkiness can definitely be a bit grating for others, but I’m good with it. Bouncy, perky me.Another thing has always been to give my writing priority in my life. Never did play games about it. If you’re a reader aspiring to be a writer, then you’ll just have to get down to it. I’ve written since I was in my early teens, passed up a lot of things other kids were doing so I could write. It wasn’t any sacrifice when what I really wanted to be doing was writing anyway.
When I got older I dedicated many evenings to writing the books I eventually got published. Even did research and wrote notes on my lunch hours. It was a matter of stealing time wherever I could to make it happen. Obsessive I guess, but writing was always what I loved to do, what I WANTED to do. Check out some other writer’s blogs like Mary Pax who’s a science fiction writer and you’ll begin to understand the high priority for writing thing. M Pax is always at it.Another good writing habit? Drink a lot of water.  You laugh. You’d be surprised how we writers can forget these things when in the throes of a great story. And drinking a lot of water is great on many levels. Makes you take a break from fingers clicking keys to lift the water glass to your mouth. It hydrates you and keeps those brain cells happy and fatigue at bay and eventually it will make you get up from your desk and move – if only to the bathroom.Ah, the mystery and romance of a writer’s life.Hey, did you readers think all this was easy?

Well, write when you’re tired, write when you’re stressed, write when you slept wrong and your neck hurts half the way down your back like I’m writing this morning. It’s not like these things don’t happen to a writer. It’s not like writers can just go off in the corner and whine when there’s writing to be done. There are deadlines, external and self-imposed and a good writer will stick pretty much to them with rare exceptions usually caused by some disaster.

You wonder how that book in your hand got there? Horror fiction author Stephen King tells us “Making people believe the unbelievable is no trick; it’s work. … Belief and reader absorption come in the details: An overturned tricycle in the gutter of an abandoned neighborhood can stand for everything.”

Yep, it’s that wonderful gossamer world of the writer.  Hey, if you’re an enthusiastic reader and that’s what you love being, good on you. If you’re an aspiring writer, welcome to our world.

Peggy Bechko Writes More About Writing

From novelist Peggy Bechko’s uberhelpful blog:

Writer – Tell Your Readers Only What They Need To Know! – by Peggy Bechko (from Peggy’s blog)

As writers, it’s good for us to think a bit about how the brain works and what it’s really looking for in many things, but for us the important issue is what does it want from a story?

If you read, and as a writer I know you do, you’ve no doubt come across various statistics as to the information we’re deluged with on a daily basis — even on a per second basis.

Recently I read over 11,000,000 pieces of information comes at our five senses every second. All I can say is I don’t know how that was calculated, but if true — OMG!

But, our brains, tireless filters that they are, sift through all that info at incredible speeds pulling out what we need to know from what we can, with little or no consequence, put side and ignore. With that in mind and these statistics reverberating through our thought processes, that same article pointed out that 99.9 percent of all that incoming information is instantly tossed aside.

Hmmm, that gives you, the writer, a .1 percent chance of your information making it through the filter. Not very good odds.

Now, don’t panic. The reader is there because he or she wants to be and so is happy to be absorbing the information the writer is presenting – that’s you.

But, and it’s a big BUT, that doesn’t give you license to bore or overload your reader. Those readers are still wired to filter out the extraneous material. So, that means you, as the writer, must introduce things the reader needs to know. In fact, in this situation the reader is assuming that everything the writer tells him or her is something he or she needs to know. And that means that if, while you’re writing, you add words for the sake of adding them, if you provide pointless information your reader is going to read meaning into it, even if you were typing empty words. And that being the case, the reader will read the wrong meaning into those written words since there can’t be a right one if you’re just pumping out ‘background’ that doesn’t relate to the story other than to fill space.

Okay, that’s bad. So, the solution?

Simple.

You’ve heard it before.

I’ll say it again.

Kill your darlings. Do it with enthusiasm.

Write tight and learn to recognize when you’ve gotten a bit carried away and, while the writing may be great, have created a whole spiel that’s unrelated to your story and keeping it on track.

Think about it. Provide what your readers need to know and you’ll keep them hooked through your book.

LB: Peggy Bechko Writes About Writing

My friend, the novelist Peggy Bechko has one of the most helpful blogs for new writers on the web, especially writers of fiction. I apologize for not recommending it till now, but I let way too much time slide between my last visit and one I paid today.

Here’s a sample:

Writing, Writer & The Writer’s Life – by Peggy Bechko

I’ve done a lot of articles for this blog and offered a lot of links to helpful writing sites. for the new and aspiring as well as the established writer.

Today I think I’m going to kick back and just discuss some of the less ‘nuts and bolts’ of writing and talk a little about what it’s like to be a writer.

Of course there’s a lot of writing out there and a lot depends on what kind of writing you do.  I lean to advice for the fiction writer mostly as I am mostly a fiction writer. But, I recently participated in a conversation where one faction was telling a writer that she could consider her writing only a hobby and not to think about trying to make a living from it.  Now, I suspect they were thinking of and talking about writing fiction and I can see the thought process in that direction. However if we don’t pursue our dreams, life can seem a dull place.

So, I say, if writing fiction is what you want to do, what you passionately love doing – then go for it.

Will you have to have other jobs to support you along the way?  Probably; almost assuredly.

Will it be hard work?  You better believe it.

Will you have to dedicated part of your precious writing time to promoting the book once it’s published?  No doubt about it.

Is it worth it?  That depends on how much you passionately want it.

It is a jungle out there for the fiction writer, no doubt about it.

However, you can also hone your skills at writing and earn money doing  types of writing in addition to your fiction.  You can prepare yourself for technical writing, journalism, grant writing, writing for newsletters, magazines, online, copywriting and more. If you stop to think, there isn’t hardly an area in every day life that doesn’t involve writing.

Read it all

And when I say “Read it all,” I mean it. There’s some very important info still to come.

You can find more of Peggy’s insight here, on her site. And, just between us, I’m hoping she’ll do some writing especially for TVWriter™. Please, Peggy? Please?