Tuesday, 7 November 2017

What I Learned: Writing Strategies from Robert Runte

Today I would like to talk about some writing strategies I had learnt from attending a panel by Robert Runte.

A little background: Dr. Robert Runté is a retired professor from the University of Lethbridge, as well as a Senior Editor with Five River Publishing. He is also the Senior Editor at Essential Edits.

Now, starting off on today's topic:

Dr. Runte started the panel with some facts about how many students at the Master's or PhD level give up when it comes to writing their thesis or dissertation, as many become overwhelmed at the thought of writing so much!

(I could relate. *Shudder*)



He then proceeded to talk about some strategies that would be helpful and could overcome the fear, some of which includes the following:

- "killing your darlings" as in, even if there are portions in your written work that you like, if it doesn't seem to work well with the other sections, you need to take it off, no matter how much you like that part.

- on the other hand, you should also know when to stop editing or rewritings. First drafts are not meant to be perfect. It is meant to get the idea from your head out into the open on the page (or computer screen).

- Outlining your project is a great idea, but it is not for everybody. If you feel comfortable without having an outline and just writing ahead first, that is okay too.

- Blank page syndrome: sometimes you are not sure where to start writing, so you end up staring at the blank page for hours, which kills productivity. Dr. Runte had a tip to bypass this conundrum. He suggested that instead of focusing on what to write for your intended project, put the concentration on something else. Write some other notes, or about something unrelated to your project. The trick is to get your mind into a writing mode to get the creative juices flowing.

- Stop describing characters in the middle of an action. Right when there is an intense moment, if the flow of the action is stopped or paused to describe how a character looks or acts, then that takes away from the intensity of the moment, and all the reader is left with is a lackluster narrative.

With my head buzzing with all these tips and advice, I left the panel, but definitely not before grabbing Robert Runte's card from the table at front. I certainly found these tips to be of extreme use, how about you? Leave a comment below!



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