Weeding Out the Dross

by Sarah Tun 

Writing is an art… and a science. Just like in gardening, you want to weed out the bad stuff so the good stuff can shine and breathe and spark a reader’s imagination. It’s obvious that writing is an art, but perhaps not so clear there is a science to the process of writing. The art of it is a creative process, which requires imagination and abstract thinking, the organisation of thoughts, and the ability to conceptualise in order to create a world that the reader can climb into and live in as he reads your words — whether writing fiction or non- fiction. But the science of the process of writing involves inviting others into your created world.

Writing is experimental with tests and results — aka getting others’ feedback on what you’ve written — which is significantly helpful to the process.

The earlier in the process of writing a piece you can get feedback the better. The point isn’t to hone a first paragraph or first chapter until your fingers are sore and then get feedback. No! It is best, I think, to complete and share your first draft with others to find out what they think of the characters, plot, idea behind the book. Writers think how something is written is most important, but I suggest that while the how may be the writer’s focal point while we’re in the process, it isn’t the main purpose for writing.

The main purpose for writing is to share a story or point of view with others, to enhance their lives. We writers, when in the writing trenches, can forget that.

While it is significant that how we present our offering is of the best quality we can muster — and that usually takes a few re-writes — in the early stages, we can save ourselves a lot of grief and heartache if we simply put a rough draft in front of other writers or other people whom we trust and respect, to find out if the book or story is appealing. Incidentally, it also gets our juices going, to see if we really care enough about the book to spend months crafting it.

We can weed out the dross of our endless list of ideas and story-lines when we get feedback from reliable sources.

Now, here’s an offering…

If you have a story or first chapter or the outline for a non-fiction you’re considering to write, and not sure if it’s worth putting time and passion into, approach me and I’ll offer some free feedback. And if you decide not send it to me (no strings attached), then may I urge you to show it to someone whom you trust — you know they will not steal the idea nor give you flattery or crush you totally — so that you can hear what their initial response is. It isn’t for them to determine whether you proceed with the project or not, but rather for you to glean information that will help you to decide whether this is the next great

Happy writing and … hey, it’s spring so, Happy Weeding!


(c) Sarah Tun 2017
Email: sarah@laruspress.com

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