Friday, July 15, 2016

Write Like You Mean It by Jan Cline


Jan Cline
Do you ever struggle with feeling that no matter how hard you try to create a piece worth reading, your words lack substance? Then you’ve come to the right place. Author  Jan Cline shares three great tips for adding dimension to our work. ~ Dawn







Write Like You Mean It

I think all writers experience it. That moment when you realize you’ve been racking up word count on your project without really thinking, feeling or meaning what you’ve written. Some days are just like that – lacking in the deep level of effort it takes to make our words sing.
  
There are several reasons we get on the mindless writing train, and I believe there are fixes to the habit. Let me share a few things I have done in the last few months that has given me new energy for my writing life:


  • I am more conscious at gathering memories that I can use to enhance my story-writing.

It’s true that all our experiences get infused into our writing. It seems that the most impacting writing comes from our unpleasant, sad, painful, or emotional experiences. Allowing ourselves to tap into those feelings as we write will help us pen a message that will ultimately land in the heart of our readers.

Facing unpleasant memories will translate onto the page, and help you to connect with your readers. Your characters need your experiences channeled through them. I know, that sounds pretty bizarre, but I think you know what I mean.


  • I am more committed to striving for excellence in my writing.

We all want to do the best we can at whatever we happen to be working on. Whether it’s writing, crafts, cooking, speaking…not many of us are willing to be mediocre. At least that’s what we tell ourselves. Actually, much of time, I have settled for less than I was capable of, mostly because I felt the pressure to perform with quantity rather than quality. I skipped the steps that were crucial to taking my writing to the next level. I find I must force myself to examine every sentence and be intentional about making it better. I want to stop settling for mediocre and truly mean every word.


  • I’m listening more to my characters and to the information I gather for my non-fiction projects.

You can fill out character profiles till the cows come home, but until you let your characters occupy some of your imagination, they won’t evolve into the 3 dimensional people you want them to be. I try to practice the art of day-dreaming about my characters, putting them in mental situations and let my imagination create how they might handle those situations.

With my research for non-fiction writing, I’m learning to do more than just regurgitate information. I debate with myself to get to the bigger picture and deeper meaning of the material.

I have discovered the little things we do to go outside our creative box translate into art that impacts our world. I encourage you to seek out your specific secrets that will make your writing more authentic. Readers will appreciate the sincerity in your words. Write like you mean it.

Keep reaching,
Jan





Hana Kato and her family are nearing the end of their confinement in a WWII Japanese American internment camp. Her beloved Papa has been taken to prison, and Hana works hard to keep the family together until he can join them in preparation for their release. Surviving the attack on Pearl Harbor, and years of enduring difficult living conditions has tested Hana’s faith and trust. Although she stays strong through trials and tragedy, her resolve is weakened as she fights her affections for two men. Will she choose the rebel Japanese young man? Or will the bright Caucasian doctor she works with win her love?

Emancipated Heart will hold your attention with a setting of an interesting era in American history, and a lesson in true loyalty, love and forgiveness, told through a Christian worldview.




Jan Cline is an author, freelance writer, teacher, and speaker from the Pacific Northwest. She has recently released her first novel, Emancipated Heart, and is currently writing the first book in a historical series. She was founder and director of the Inland Northwest Christian Writer’s conference which ran for 5 years. She now devotes all her time to writing, speaking for women’s groups and writer’s conferences, remodeling a lake cabin, and playing with her grandchildren.

To learn more and connect with Jan, please visit these online sites:

www.jancline.net        
Twitter:@Jan_Cline





6 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing what you've been learning, Jan.

    I, too have found that daydreaming about my characters and story is one of the best ways for me to discover new and important pieces about my characters and their stories.

    I've also recently realized that I need to pay attention and jot down personal experiences - mine and other people's - that might spark story ideas.

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    1. My pleasure, Dawn. I know I'm not alone when it comes to opening up to new ideas for creativity.

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  2. Great article Jan! Great points to remember.

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  3. I never thought about daydreaming about my characters! Excellent idea. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Hi Terri, I tend to see my stories as movies in my head. That's kind of how I daydream about my characters - by putting them in a movie-like scene. Blessings!

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