Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Rhythm is gonna get you

With all due respect to Gloria Estefan and her fans, her music stinks. But that lady knew how to put together a catchy tune.

There's something to be said for rhythm in writing, as getting into a good flow while you're writing can be important. I've found myself reading the stuff I've written out loud, and if it doesn't sound good - if it's choppy or rambling or incoherent - I hammer the backspace button and rework the darn thing. This technique is proving to be very helpful. If my ear hates it, so will a bunch of readers.

I'm not saying I have to write in iambic pentameter or anything, but words that don't sound good probably don't read very well, either.

The actual act of writing should also be done with good rhythm, too, I've found. I'm closing in on finishing my first draft, I can feel it. I'm probably a week or two away. Now is not the time for me to slack off.

I have gotten into a groove of writing right away when I get up, and usually once more in the evening. I missed one of those sessions yesterday, as I didn't write in the morning. It threw me all out of whack, and I spent valuable time today scratching my head while trying to get back into the old routine.

I was shocked at how used to this my brain had gotten, but I learned a valuable lesson from all this: Write every day. No days off. Stephen King said in his great book On Writing that he never takes a day off when he's in the middle of something. Not Christmas. Not his birthday. Not his wedding anniversary.

Now I know what King was talking about. And he might know a thing or two about writing.


  1. Yeah. Taking a day off can really mess with your flow-at least it does for me!

  2. Yeah... I read On Writing and was totally inspired... but I don't write every day. Eek! Yes, King makes me feel guilty that I'm not awesome enough. But I DO think about my book every day, and I feel like a lot of my processing happens then so I'm more productive when I do sit down!