Trifles are defined as insignificant, or things that should not considered important. That’s as a noun. As a verb, trifles is showing a sexual attraction to someone just for fun, or spending time in aimless activity. Wasn’t there a Star Trek episode with Trifles? Little furry creatures? Oh no, a quick Google tells me they were Tribbles. We’re safe from them for now.
So much of our language is changing over our lifetimes. My piano teacher spoke with elegance and used the word trifle. I remember her very well, a kindly old lady from the neighborhood. I was so excited to take lessons. I walked across the street and over one house to her home. She wore typical granny-type dresses and shoes, always a dress, wore her hair in a bun. She could play piano quite well. I do wish I would have practiced more, I could have been good. Kids never realize what opportunities they have – or shall I say many kids don’t realize? I didn’t. I did play the organ in Church, though, from sixth grade until eighth grade. Then I just quit.
I hung out with Joyce Zagurski, a girl I rode the bus with, and I also knew her from our neighborhood. I always thought she was an only child, but she did have a brother quite a bit older than she. Her parents were quite a bit older than mine were. Last I heard, she worked selling cars. Kind of a surprise, since she was kind of shy. But then, I was too.
When I first started to dabble (or trifle?) with writing, of course I joined a lot of mailing lists. As I’ve learned to narrow my focus on information, many of these are unsubscribed to right now. The pertinent ones still make it to my writers inbox. I subscribe from Mary Adkins, who is an author and a writing coach. She is offering some good classes on writing, I will sign up for a couple. I printed and kept an article, called “5 Writing Rules I Broke, to Sell My First Novel.”
Adkins says there are 5 writing myths:
#1 – Write what you know
#2 – All First Drafts are S*&^
#3 – A writer writes every day
#4 – Show, Don’t Tell
#5 – Learn the Rules Before You Break Them
I find this interesting.
Writing what you know should put you at an advantage; writing what you don’t know stretches your knowledge, you expand your thinking, you learn to use imagination. It is frightening yet exhilarating. Your fire is fueled by gaining confidence in a new arena.
All first drafts need to be edited. Over and over. My original book is probably going to be a sequel or two. In the midst of having over 50K words, I reached a point where I decided the backstory was so important the story needed a prequel. I’m sure that original manuscript will be edited within an inch of it’s life, but I would just say it needs improvement.
A writer writes every day. They might. If they have a day job, kids, elderly parents, it would be hard to make the time. I do write every day, even if it’s this blog. And just like writing fiction, some days are good, some are not. I know that, and I hope you all understand. It’s pretty important.
Show, don’t tell. Sometimes, you have to tell. Telling is stating a character’s thoughts and feelings. Showing is describing the character’s actions. Adkins refers to her favorite book on craft, The Making of a Story, has information on doing both. With practice, a writer learns how to do this. I’m practicing every day.
Learning rules before breaking rules? Adkins’ truth is learn the reasoning before taking rules seriously. Use rules as guidelines to make writing easier, not restrictive. This makes sense to me, at this moment in time. I’m looking forward to the workshops, one a month for the next three months.