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WWFC: War of the words

The mantra, “the pen is mightier than the sword,” is supposed to mean it is better to use your words in an argument rather than act with violence. In writing, however, the pen often has difficulty explaining the sword’s movements with as much elegance as a lighter middle scene.

Specifically for me, writing action or fast-moving scenes is hard in that I tend to add in too much description or over-explain how exactly my characters dodge an attacker. By the time I’m done, the story tends to sound more like a complicated set of dance moves rather than a tense fight between two characters.

It’s not just action scenes, either. Sometimes the trouble comes from simply writing yourself into a corner, without having the momentum in your thought to find your way around your writer’s block.

Of course, in these situations sites like Write or Die or Written? Kitten! can be helpful in working past a small bit of writer’s block. Sometimes, however, it is more helpful to brainstorm with a friend or another writer about your dilemma. Interacting with a community of writers and sharing ideas with them can be a wonderful tool to moving past a difficult point in your plot—many times the ideas they come up with feel more unique and understandable to your reader and can get you from point A to point B fairly smoothly.

When your issue, though, is just that you are over-analyzing a scene like the action scenes I wrote about above, a much more creative and slightly unorthodox method of collaboration can be in order. [pullquote align=”right”]Want to try your hand at a word war? Use this link to access an online timer! http://www.timer-tab.com[/pullquote]Word wars are timed writing sessions in which you compete against another writer for the larger word count. With their ability to bring out a competitiveness in writing and the way they encourage you to write faster without thinking too long on each description, word wars are an interesting method to use in working around a difficult writer’s block.

So, the next time you find yourself struggling with an action scene or any other fast-paced plot line, try challenging a fellow writer to a word war. They can be a fun and creative way to increase your word count and can help you get through a difficult bit of writer’s block by harnessing the competitive spirit we all possess.

[divider top=”no” style=”double” margin=”25″] [box title=” Today’s Excerpt: ” style=”glass” box_color=”#431505″ title_color=”#e7e2da”]

“Mom rolled her eyes. ‘I’ll be up in a minute.’ Her words signaling our dismissal, we turned and skipped up the path to the barn, laughing at our own antics and simply happy to be back at the barn.

Despite knowing who I was riding, I still paused to glance at the ride list in the entryway, noticing that Madison was the only other student in our class that day. I grinned, seeing that she was on Taterbug. Ducking into the second tack room, I grabbed Legs’ groom box and an extra lead rope, heading off to her stall in search of her halter and to see if she was out in one of the lots.

As I rounded the corner, I found her stall empty as I had suspected, since most of the horses had been loose in the 40-acre lot as we pulled up to the barn that day. Setting my things down, I took her halter off of the hook by her stall and attached it to my extra lead rope, slinging it over my shoulder as I got ready to go out to the field in search of my horse.

‘Good morning, Jessica,’ Suddenly, I heard Colby’s voice as it carried across the barn. ‘Is your sister here?’

‘I’m here!’ I answered, hollering back so she could hear me. I watched as she peaked her head out of the people aisle, looking around the barn until finally spotting me.

‘Why don’t you and your sister get some grain from the feed room and then go catch your horses from the 40-acre? Nicole, you won’t need any. Jessica, though, come with me and we’ll get you some sweet oats since we need to use them up—they’re about to go bad.” I nodded, setting the rest of my things down and going to untie the gate out to the pasture.”[/box]

By Nicole Schroeder

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