Rules Of The Game
I have always enjoyed writing. It feels, almost, sensual. When I was a child, I looked forward to going to Aunt Jan’s house. She had, maybe our family’s only computer. My cousins and I played games. They were always better than I was. They also had an old, manual typewriter, which I found more interesting than they did. An urge to write, something, anything, left me tingling and excited. Eventually, Aunt Jan gave me that beat-up old Royal.
Keys stuck, ribbons got so old I could hardly read what they spelled on notebook paper. But, I could write. I started with poetry. I wrote stories. Sometime, I pretended I was reporting stories. I outgrew it. One day, I got my first computer. I tried college. Eventually, I moved on with my life. Then, one day, I found my old typewriter.
My itch to write was back. I feel like I have novels inside me, waiting to come out. But, I want to write it properly. But, I’ve never wrote much in school, and never took their writing classes. Now? Who has time for school? So, I wrote stories on some of those kinds of sites. Soon, I wasn’t writing stories they wanted to read. I wanted to write about complex characters in exciting situations. They were looking for something more…primal.
So, I joined WordPress. Later, somehow, I discovered Scribophile, a site for writers to explore their talents, and get feedback. As I began my journey, I discovered I had bad writing habits. One of them was adverbs. Adverbs have bad reputations. They lead to weak and lazy writing. They also lead writers into tell not show traps. If I replaced an adverb – weak verb pair with a strong verb, I could save one word for something else, and transform my writing.
But, what were those things? With Google I found lists, lists, and more lists. Alas, looking at them didn’t help much. To improve my skills, I needed to…use them. Ugh.
Only, un-ugh. If I wanted to be a writer, shouldn’t I write? Couldn’t I pick ten random words off my list, and write little stories, using them in the order I picked them? And, what if I wrote serial stories? And what if I wrote about three different characters? And what if I kept my story under five hundred words?
So, I did.