Tag Archives: Grammarly

Writing Fiction – More than a year has passed

More than a year has gone by since I began writing my first novel. I’m 47 Chapters and 68800 words into it, and I’ve learned a lot about writing fiction in the process. There have been some breaks in the writing process here and there, as I have taken two fiction writing courses on-line. They were useful at the time since each provided me with a useful framework for writing fiction.

My progress is hampered by an uncontrollable urge to edit my work. Not a good thing because it breaks the flow of writing. On the other hand, by constantly reviewing my work I have become more in tune with my characters, their needs as people in my fictional world, and how the interact and respond to that world.

I once wrote that I make use of technical supports available on-line. The big three for me are, Grammarly, NaturalReader, and now AutoCrit. These are essential supports which compensate for a moderate form of dyslexia. Without these tools I could never hope to produce anything of merit. These are useful tools for any writer.

The greatest insight into writing fiction to date is that technique is important, but without creativity there is no story. Although the support services promote good technique, more critically, the promote good rewriting and attention to structure and flow.

I need to get back to my manuscript now, so I’ll end this short post. More to follow.

L. A. Weiss

My first work, a work of non-fiction is  Through a Lens of Emptiness  

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The Intensity of Work

I have been writing with an intensity that I had yet to experience. Since my last post five days ago, every spare minute has been spent working away on my rewrite. My focus has been on clarity, clarity , clarity. The sections of my book that have occupied my time these days are those that set the stage, so to speak. These are very important sections to say the least. You may recall that my book is a work of non-fiction, but I have not said much about it.  The book is comprised of  three main sections that fit within a developmental sequence. While each section is distinctive in character, and could stand on its own as an extended essay, they lead nicely one to the next, from start to finish.

The first section sets the conceptual base and philosophy for the second. The second section is an extended analysis of important elements looked at through the philosophical lens of the first, and is somewhat confession like.  The final section is a synthesis of ideas provoked by the first two sections of the book, which is essentially revelatory. This all sounds a bit heavy, but I am striving for the feel of a series of extended chats between acquaintances that get to know each other better over time. I cannot help but think of a Dickens’ title as I write all this, “Great Expectations” indeed.

The philosophy that initially directed my writing has matured over the last eighteen months in ways I could never have anticipated. I certainly believed in my message from the beginning of my project, but as I became more and more committed to producing the best book I can, my initial philosophical motif grew into a surge of thought that revealed a greater theme than the original.  That original philosophy has developed into the modus operandi for confronting each day and each task. The act of writing has become transformative. At the age of sixty-seven, that was a bit of a surprise. Old dogs do learn new tricks after all.

My writing project was originally just another challenge to be faced in a lifetime of taking on challenge. If you have been following my blog, you may recall that am a mild to moderate dyslexic who has a serious spell check and “Grammarly” addiction ( Grammarly is a commercial grammar checking service available at www.gramarly.com.) The project has evolved and become much more, now driven by an intense desire to communicate my ideas to others. Writing has also become a therapy for the literarily  challenged (me). If I were still a practicing special educator, I would have my students write, write and write some more. Of course they would need support to write correctly, but I am certain that the exercise would cause a few writing and language based neurons to make some new connections.

I took a break from writing to write this blog, but forty-five minutes is all I can spare. I was on a role today, and I want to get back to what I was doing before I lose the thread. I have been thinking a bit more about Yin/Yang relationships so I wouldn’t be surprised if those thoughts show up in my next entry. Until then . . .


PS. I am a proud Canadian today. Alice Munro, the great short story master, has been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. A great day for Canada. A great day for women. A great day for the art form that is the short story. A great day for literature.

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