By Leesa Ostrander
Communication is a skill. Being a talented communicator takes practice and experience. A person does not stand in front of a crowd to give a life-alerting speech without forethought, planning and practice.
Writing is the same. Some may have talent and have to do less planning and practice. Others need to spend time learning the craft and practicing.
A daily practice can help open you mind and let your creativity move in different directions than it may have wanted to. Daily practice allows for skill building, opportunity to write without deadlines and focus on any area you so choose.
Dialogue is one area I struggle on. It is not the dialogue that is difficult it is the written connection of the actions to the words.
I love to watch conversations and see how people interact. How they use their nonverbals to reinforce their words. This dynamic behavior connects the people together. They effectively exchange thoughts and meanings, even if they are not being fully understood; they are part of the link.
By a writing practice I can reflect on an interaction I have seen and write the actions, leaving the words to only “blah blah blah.” Then I hand it to someone else and see if they can guess what the conversation is about.
My family has been good sports in this practice and the people I know least have been the most help.
I have learned from this experience a number of key elements in improving my craft. One being, the more eavesdropping I do the better my stories are. Two, I love my family; they are good sports and give me good pats on the back. Third, by writing random material, I have created a network of people that are interested in what I am doing and what I can produce next.
This daily practice is giving me much more than strong hands and volumes to look back at, it is giving me the opportunity to have a working group become a skilled writer.
Writing is a skill and a skilled writer is enjoyable to read.