Get Writ* - A monthly writing advice column for the things that may not matter
I had a great idea last year that I am finally able to put into practice: writing advice for people who support my Patreon.
I've written the first entry for the public to enjoy, and I will post it on here, but the others will be under the umbrella of the paying patrons category. That said, for just $2 you could fall under that umbrella and enjoy my terrible puns monthly!
For the moment, though, here's what Get Writ* will offer as it goes ahead:
That was, is, and will remain, a terrible pun that I refuse to apologize for.
WELCOME TO GET WRIT, A MONTHLY PATREON POST FILLED WITH AWKWARDLY PHRASED WRITING ADVICE FROM YOURS TRULY.
The first post is free to all and one, and one and all, but the ones following will be for Patreon supporters only. HOWEVER, all it takes is just $2 a month to have access to those, so if you're feeling up for helping an exhausted and occasionally hungry writer, I will greatly appreciate it!
This month, I wanted to cover possibly my favourite thing about writing, something I personally choose to concentrate on constantly in my work, and something that most people probably don't think about particularly frequently... MUNDANITIES.
We're talking simple things, things most of us take for granted because we experience them every day in our lives. But why? If writing is something we use - as writers and readers - to escape reality and the mundane within it, why drag the mundane with us?
Because there is nothing worse than a book you can't get immersed in. A book that feels that it falls just a bit short of the escape you desperately need. Like a portaloo where the door doesn't quite lock.
The beauty of mundane things - the stuff we take for granted - is what makes everything so real. It's what allows us to connect with a story, and the characters within it, without realizing we do. Something so ingrained in our psyche, so normal that it's become routine, is something that we will inevitably and immediately miss when it's not there anymore. That is why I am such a fan of the little things that don't matter. Let's see if I can convince you to love them as much as I do.
Here we have two sentences:
"She walked to the bathroom and turned on the light"
"She walked to the bathroom, her feet clicking against the cool tile, and turned on the light."
I'm not sure if this is just something that happens to me, but when I walk on tile, or laminate flooring, or wood, my feet stick to it and make a bit of a clicking sound. Something that little makes me feel a lot more immersed in the story, because that's something I experience. And even if you don't, the idea that someone's body is responding to their surroundings should elicit a response from yours. That connection, slight as it is, is why I find the small things matter.
The four seasons, the five senses, those are the things that occur every day, every moment, that we process, store away, and never consciously notice. But we notice when it's not there.
Sometimes, all you need is a subtle mundane detail to get a message across, that would otherwise take several sentences.
"Outside, the wind was blowing still. The static made the hair on her arms stand on end as surely as the cold did."
suggests a storm is coming just as surely as explaining that one is on its way.
Another amazing thing about the little things, is that including them in your writing forces you to stop, once in a while, and actually take the world in. So often we are stuck on our phones or behind a screen and we don't notice. We don't notice how coffee smells in a coffee shop and how the smell goes away when you walk outside; we don't notice what sound our feet make on the pavement and how the sound changes when we walk on the grass; we don't notice how loud the world is around us until we concentrate actively on every noise we hear.
But... you did just then, didn't you?