It's football season, and I for one am really glad. I like football. I have teams that I root for, and teams I'd just as soon shoot...well, maybe not really. Still...
Okay, so what's the scoop here? Why I am using football and writing in the same sentence? 'Cause they're so similar! Really. To be a professional athlete, whether it's football or another sport, requires dedication, time and hard work. It also means you do a lot of preliminary stuff before you get to journey's end: the regular season game, or the story or nonfiction piece you're working on.
Football players work out...hard. They lift weights, they spend time in the gym strengthening the muscles they need for the task at hand. They run wind sprints, they practice receiving the ball, kicking and working on footwork with the tires.
So do writers work out...just as hard. We read about the right way to use plot, point of view, conflict, and so forth. And we practice what we read. We let our writer friends help us see what we're doing right and what needs work.
And, hopefully, the end result for both the professional athlete and the writer, is a slam dunk score, i.e. finished, polished novel.
What about you? What are the preparations and practices do you utilize to create and polish your piece of writing? I look forward to hearing about it.