Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Learn to write part 2 
 By: Joe P. Attanasio

I will assume that you read part 1 of this blog and that you wrote at least one short story. If you did not write a short story, go back to part one and write something. You cannot learn to write if you don’t try.

You now have a ‘first draft’ of your story. A lot of writers will tell you that this is where the real writing begins, polishing your draft. This is also called editing and rewriting.

Many word processors like Microsoft Word will underline text in red or blue that is used wrong or spelled wrong. In addition, many of these have a spelling and grammar checker that will help you find possible mistakes in your writing. I hesitate to use the word mistakes or errors here and these programs will miss many things and ‘flag’ or color things that are alright or passable. Still this will go a long ways toward helping you with grammar and spelling. As a bonus, if you thought a sentence or word were fine and discover what was wrong, you will be teaching yourself better grammar and spelling.

Certain web sites can also correct grammar, punctuation and spelling. This site has a free trial but requires signing up for a monthly plan that you can cancel: http://www.grammarly.com/

Once you are satisfied that your short story is mostly polished, have a friend or relative ‘proof it’ by reading it. Even though a story may be free of spelling or grammar errors it may be confusing to read. You need someone else to read it and let you know. It may not seem confusing to you, but it needs to be clear to others also.

Make any necessary corrections and then you will be ready for the final step.

Post your story online and see what readers think of it. This can be Facebook, a blog or a website where writers post and others comment.  

Places like:

You don’t need a picture or even a bio if you don’t want to post one yet.
You need a unique username like: NC17665 or Lucy2014 etc.
You need a password like: snowbunny41, or boogaloo4
Both of these are usually case sensitive. Write them down so you remember.

About these sites: People often don’t comment on your work unless you comment on theirs. This is good because it allows you to see how other do things and you can build friendships in the writing community. Many writers still use these sites for feedback and sharing.

Part 3, the final part in this series is now posted.

Look back in my archives for past blogs that might interest you.

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