Established in 2006, MWA is an internationally-based collaboration of Muslim women writers and advocates working together to counter negative and inaccurate perceptions regarding members of the Muslim community and the Islamic faith.


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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

MWA Members Collaborate on Writing Tips

Aishah Schwartz: Let's make a list of MWA member writing tips! (1) Always look for ways to rephrase when you find yourself using the same word twice in one sentence. (2) Check for duplication in how you start subsequent paragraphs. (3) Always proof-read with a printed copy and pen; you'll be amazed at what you didn't see on your computer screen! (4) Share drafts with a trusted pair of second-eyes; ideally someone who will call it like it is.  (5) Let it simmer. If you can walk away before publishing or sending for publication and look at it with fresh eyes the next day, you'll be amazed at what you will do next.

Perishan Hussein: Some writers even recommend not looking at it for 6 weeks.

Aishah Schwartz: That's a strong person! lol

Perishan Hussein: Well what they recommend is to move on to your next project while you are giving that piece a rest. That way when you go back to read it you are not still floating on the high of finishing a project.

Perishan Hussein: Stephen King's book On Writing is an excellent book on this. He gives very good advice and he will even read your work and advise you on it. I highly recommend it.

Aishah Schwartz: So what might you be working on these days habibty? I'm already thinking about the MWA Ramadan blog.
Muslimah Writers Alliance Celebrates Ramadan
MWA members share their Ramadan experiences, journals, recipes, pictures, poetry...See More

Julie Mair: 1) Always read your work out loud to yourself to see how it will "sound" to someone else reading it; 2) sit on your work for a few days and then review it; 3) Enjoy the process!

Julie Mair: "For a few days" is for shorter articles. Novels would require a much longer time.

Aishah Schwartz: I agree. Reading work out loud helps you smooth out how it reads.

Elizabeth Lymer: Agreed. And I think: rest an article for a few days, but preferably nearer a week, book-prose for a minimum of 6 weeks and poetry for 6 months before beginning the towards-final-version revising-again journey. Tips on surviving the wait: 1) Work on other creative things, catch-up with family and friends and do the housework you avoided while writing 2) List keywords from your (memory of your) writing and search hadiths and the Qur'an for inspiring on-topic reads 3) Email your writing to some friends so that you can look forward to reflecting upon their feedback inshaaAllah

Janette Grant: I'd say make an outline of what you want to say, research the points that you want to include and take at least five minutes to visualize the entire article and who you are speaking to. I've only just started doing this but it helps alot.

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