Well, I’m a few days late, but it’s better than never. I’ve been so busy with all my goal setting, I just couldn’t put my two pennies in to make this post. If you’re wondering what those other goals besides writing are for the year, here’s a link to my new video, called 2014 New Year’s Resolution.
Well, I thought this would be a really neat idea to see if I could make a list of ten writing goals I want to do this year. I mean, if you really think about it, I could write a book simply about my goals to write a book.
So here we go.
Ten Writing Goals For 2014
1: This year, I want to try to write in my book every day. It seems in the past that I’ve neglected writing, sometimes for months, sometimes weeks…But this year, I want to be canon about my writing. And there is no minimum amount of words – I really just want to write every single day, just because I know it’s something I should get used to. Like I said, it doesn’t matter what I write because it’s better than writing nothing.
2: I want to read more. So far, from what I’ve read last year, I’ve obtained a number of footnotes that have inspired more expression inside my book. I feel like I should make the effort in reading more because I’ve seen the improvement in my writing by a great deal (no, I’m not plagiarizing). I picked up techniques from different authors, so for me, it’s kind of necessary now – if I ever want to get really, really good. I’ve actually made a goal to reach six books this year (which sounds horrible, I know), but I digress.
3: I want to practice writing scenes without periods. What I mean by this is I’ve seen great novels written, John Green’s novels in particular, which are written line by line, without periods, for many paragraphs, but lots of commas. This so happens to be the type of writing I want to get into; the words have an immediacy about them that keeps the readers venturing forward. Very little action can take place, but every line is more of a bias opinion of the world around the main character in any point of view. If you don’t know what I mean, why not pick up Looking For Alaska by John Green, and see how much inner thought he puts into each sentence without actually presenting any real action?
I want to try another technique I found from reviewing a friend’s book: when describing an action scene, show an expression/action, and then thoroughly explain it. This is a beginners way of writing, but every author has to start somewhere, and as I was critiquing my friend, I noticed how jumpy they were and asked them to clarify what they meant by their description. You are always safer writing more detail that you can later cut out. Here’s an example of what I mean: “The boy saw a fly, shivered, and then smacked it.” Why not tell us why he shivered in a bias thoughtful tone? “The boy saw a fly, something with more than four legs, which he hated, shivered, and then smacked it.” The boy didn’t actually speak, but it shows personality.
I want to improve my writing, by making sure every single expression is explained in depth. The problem with not having enough detail is that the reader doesn’t know how to feel or think at moments, and that is where the author is supposed to be the most support. These are the most poetic moments too, so over-write!
4: I want to write dialogue with a voice. There is no need to put an adverb behind “I said,” “he said,” “she said” if your dialogue can speak for itself. “What are you doing in my house!” Jake said excitedly. This might work for readers in grade school, but for a book to be taken more seriously, I want to respect my audience enough to trust they understand that this quote speaks for itself. I would not put the adverb “excitedly” behind Jake said, or I would say Jake shouted. Both work, and I want to make my dialogue speak for itself from now on. Go Stephen King! He makes strong quotes that express feeling without needing to use adverbs. All. The. Time.
5: I never want to backpedal in my writing. If a boy falls out of a vortex in his room, slowly creeps out, scared of what he might find, goes down stairs heading for the kitchen, and then thinks back to the vortex right before he steps down on the kitchen tiles, I call that backpedaling. And sometimes it’s very easy to backpedal. I saw this while critiquing a friend. I could tell they wanted to add more inner thoughts, but they were thinking about the wrong thing. What they had was poetic, but it wasn’t pushing the action forward, but instead walking backwards up the stairs and back into his room where the vortex was – not where the action was going (which was the eerie kitchen). A goal I want to keep this year is “kill my babies,” or take the good poetic lines that backpedal and make them into new forward-plot-moving poetry, which sounds just as good. Thanks, Stephen King, another great quote.
6: I want to critique more. Already, I’ve gotten great ideas from critiquing my co-authors last year, and so I want to increase the amount of critiquing I do. When I first started writing, http://www.critiquecircle.com/ was how I got involved with this type of interactive editing. I think I will go back to my roots this year, study the flaws in other’s writing and praise the good stuff I see, all while comparing it to my own work and possibly getting critiqued. I don’t see a single negative, except for not spending the time writing.
7: I want to have a daily word. Now, I’m debating whether I should just read through the thesaurus once and see if I get any ideas, but what I really think would help is if I just check out the daily word on dictionary websites and write down the good ones. This one’s pretty self explanatory.
8: I want to keep a journal. I’ve already been keeping a journal, so it only makes sense to continue to keep a journal. This is where all my notes, all my inspirational words, outlines, and some great suggestions from other writers are kept. I think it’s very important to keep a journal, so I’ma keep at it!
9: I want to learn more idioms. Unlike reading through the entire thesaurus, I think I really am considering reading the entire list of idioms and their definitions for a full list of expressions and sayings. All great stories have cleaver sayings like these. I actually have this entire list printed off and I’ve already started reading through it. Although, I don’t want to use these particular idioms, because I want to make my own, and only be inspired by these successes. Remember, be unique and have your own voice.
10: Finally, I want to blog more. Blogging is a completely different style of writing when compared to a novel. So, since it’s a variation of what I’m used to, I think it would be a good practice. Plus, I should always be writing. Plus Plus, I keep a good standing with my audience, which is always important. 😉
Last year, I found blogging, reading books, critiquing others, and keeping a journal to be proficient. For that reason, I can do more of each this year, and be more proficient, if ya’ know what I’m sayin’. The things I’ve never tried before in the past I’ve unearthed now, and am ready to jump into the new experiences. I won’t be updating on my progress, because it’s more of a personal effort on my part. But I do want you to take this and possibly make your own new year’s resolution for your writing, no matter what time of the year it is. Read another book before the year ends. Or start a blog. Whatever the case, it’s better to do something than nothing, I always say.
Thanks for reading you guys. There’s nothing more exciting then a fresh start. I hope to write again real soon (and just for your information, my actual goal for blogging is two posts a month).
Where you can find my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brista-Drake/e/B00YZGC792/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writingmime