Thursday, February 24, 2011

Write like a Truck Driver

I was hunting for a quote for a blog and ended up giving up and making one up.  The more I got to thinking about it the more I liked it.  Most people don't think much about truck drivers unless they are tryIng to get around one on the highway.  Some of you may have one for a relative - well we kinda stink up the place so it's hard to keep us hidden forever.  Sometimes you like to yell at us for tailgating you after you forgot stuff is 'closer than it appears' and whipped over in front of us - thats ok - I will smile and wave at you and slow down so you don't die of stupid - sorry you flunked that physics class.

But I say you should write like a truck driver ----

Know your destination for the day and write to that place.  Is your main character going to get kissed - write to there and stop.  If you feel like it, take the next load - but we all need a good meal and a shower - DOT gives you permission to take a break and rest.  If you have reached your destination -you earned it - enjoy.

There are only two seasons on the road -- winter and road construction -- write anyway.
We all have crap that interferes with our writing - we have relatives and friends and jobs and kids and every excuse in the universe to get side tracked, off tracked, stuck and lost.  If they love you, they will figure out that they can find the ketchup and the forks all on their own.  Give them a chance.

Keep a good map handy in case you find a low bridge and have to reroute!
Funny how a truck is 13'9 tall and some bridges are only 13 foot - If you are not careful you may top a trailer.  That means you peal the lid back like a tin can and cost alot of time and money.  Watch for low bridges ----  If a scene isn't working find another way to get there.  Fix plot holes as you go rather than be determined to make your trailer fit where it won't - just cause you like that line or some little bit of humor.  Go back to where it doesn't work and find a new way to get there.

Chicken lights are soooooo pretty. But they are a bunch of work.
Have you ever wondered why some trucks look like they are having a competition on who has the most lights all over the truck? (psst its cause they are - truck drivers love pretty lights - think of it as instant popular sauce - The biggest complement you can hear is - Cluck Cluck - or bring it on back over Runway) Let's call chicken lights what they are - I am successful and I can afford these dang things - look at me.  In other words don't hide your writing in the dark - You have invested life, time and sleep into your novel.  Shine it. Light it up -Edit it!  It is alot of work but agents need chicken lights.  Your MS rough is a big ole ugly truck - now give it some chicken lights so it looks pretty in that big ole truck stop slush pile!
Now Get Outa here, Kick it in the Big Hole, and keep the rubber side down.  Coops have the big word out and pappas got a doughnut - is all clear back my way....
 Cluck Cluck

awwe thanks for the flowers....

P.S.  One last thought if you are a writer of TV scripts, movie scripts or novels and you want a big ole truck to ram into one of your poor tragic characters --  DON'T HONK THE HORN!  No truck driver in the history of accidents honks the horn!  We are not 4-wheelers.  First my feet stomp on the breaks, one hand on the wheel one on the trailer hand valve.  I am going to try not to kill you and try not to jack-knife my home and livelyhood at the same time.  Now my breaks will lock up and smoke like crazy and I will be looking for an escape option. I don't have a hand for the danged horn!  I howl every time I see it.  You see a big Peterworth barrel down on poor little victim-tagonist - and the truck never hits a break (break lights don't even light up) and he just honks? 

Anyone may enter this contest over on Young Lit Six
They are giving away a whole book critique by them, a first chapter critique and a cool graphic for your blog to celebrate the big 100!  Givem a Flash Flash - and be sure to enter!


  1. This is awesome!!! I've never really thought about truck drivers...except when their beside me on the highway and I either speed up or slow down because I am paranoid they are going to veer into my lane and crush me! I also never like to be behind or in front of a semi...ANYWAYS. I think writers should write like truck drivers!!!!! (Except we shouldn't scare people - unless we are trying too!)

  2. Thanks for joining me, HowLynn, shall follow your blog with interest. Carole.

  3. That is an AWESOME post! Write like a truck driver - very good advice and so well written.. is this what you do when you're not blogging or raising a child?

  4. This is so awesome and clever! I've just learned a heck of a lot about truck drivers. And the horn thing? I've never written that in, but it's good to know.

  5. Love this post, especially "There are only two seasons on the road -- winter and road construction -- write anyway." So true!

    Glad to meet you. Thanks for the follow. I look forward to checking in on your journey from time to time, too!

  6. Intel is awesome - that top picture actually was my truck. The company we worked for wasn't so great but Intel is a fantastic bunch of people.

    I don't have a job right now - So I write all the stuff I couldn't while on and off the road. I still wrote - while I drove but it was mostly crap honestly. I started a hairbow business - but the economy has bottomed it out - nobody has money for 20$ cheer bows or 50$ for little Miss whatever bows now. So I am poor and laughing the whole time - because we are happy still. I have true love and I have a little more than that - I have my blue apples.

  7. Sa-Weet!~ I would have never thought to compare the writing to truck driving, but it is SO true! thanks for this fantastic post!

  8. What a great post. I love the analogy. Thanks :)

  9. I love this analogy. Great advice in there too!

  10. That's such a fantastic way to think about writing. Thanks!

  11. Love the two seasons true, so true!

    BTW, I decided to give everyone who asked for one a query crit this month. Email me yours if you want me to do it (my email is in my bio).

  12. Thanks! This was a great post!

  13. Such an original analogy--at least I've never heard anything like writing compared to driving a truck. It works though and it's great advice.

    Tossing It Out

  14. This is such a great analogy, and awesome advice! I've never thought about it like this... but it's so true :)

  15. I LOVE huge trucks. LOVE them! So this is a great post. Great advice :)

  16. Great post! Delighted to have found your blog.

  17. Great blog! Keep up the good work (:

  18. That animated spider scared the willies out of me.

  19. Hello, Howlynn,

    Finally made it over. I am editing my short story and using you FANTASTIC suggestions...