Almost every mistake I’ve ever made as a writer comes down to what I call a “Writing 101” mistake. I’ve been writing for a living for umpty-bum years at this point and you’d think I’d have graduated to at least Writing 102 mistakes, but no. It keeps coming down to the basics.
It usually happens because I think I don’t have to bother with the basics because, after all, I’ve been doing this for umpty-bum years now and it should all be second nature to me. Or because I’m behind in my deadline and don’t have time to bother with all that stuff.
Here’s a helpful clue. When you’re running late, you only have time to do the job right. Take a deep breath, clear out the cobwebs, looks at the basics, and work carefully. It winds up saving you time.
I need to have that pounded into my head with a very large mallet every so often.
What are the basics? To start off it’s the classic questions of who, what, when, where and how. ...
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