What moves us to take on a writing career? First, the spark. Then, a sense of determination. And a love of hard work. But at some point, as for our stories’ protagonists, we run into problems that present difficult choices. Here are two of the most common obstacles we face. The Inner Problem The inner […]Read More Writing Tip 30. Overcoming Obstacles to a Writing Career.
First, imagine yourself happy at work. Imagine dealing cheerfully with interruptions and returning to work. Picture a great spot to write. Better still, imagine several great spots, because a writing career shouldn’t depend upon a particular spot, or even a particular time of day. Second, settle your mind on your next step. Just one next […]Read More Writing Tip 29. Imagine Your Ideal Writing Day.
“You know that Pepperidge Farm bread, that stuff is fancy. That stuff is wrapped twice. You open it, and then it still ain’t open. That’s why I don’t buy it, I don’t need another step between me and toast.” -Mitch Hedberg. Less steps, more toast. I mean, more words written. There are heartbreaking circumstances in […]Read More Less Steps, More Time to Write. Writing Tip 28.
Some days the story almost writes itself, doesn’t it? So, how can a writer keep and grow the confidence that feeds authorial mojo? Maintain Writing Confidence. Dismiss the chattering, critical interior back-monkey. Your deep interest in the work is a great sign of talent. That said, keep an open mind to adding new skills. Relax, keep […]Read More Ready, Steady, Write. 3 Steps. Writing tip 27.
You owe it to all of us to get on with what you’re good at. -WH Auden. I’ve been working on a re-issue of one of my murder mystery novels, this one set in 1934 Hollywood and starring an amateur sleuth schoolteacher with ambitions to star on the silver screen, who finds the dead body […]Read More Welcoming Revisions.
I walked and made no effort to think – an old trick from my writing days. Work your body, rest your mind, let the boys in the basement do their jobs.–Stephen King, Bag of Bones. Writing conferences are thick with authors for whom Stephen King’s On Writing is a great support. Stephen King’s words certainly […]Read More Summertime Writing, When the Weather is Fine.
There are so many great ideas and tips available to us for writing and for managing our writing careers within the context of our lives at large, that we could spend our whole days saving time and never get a word written, a meal cooked, or the car washed. To find and apply the tips […]Read More Writing Tip 25. Tag Lines Create Storytelling Magic.
Narrative styles vary , and rules evolve and transform like people do. For example, the passive is out of fashion, poor dear, even though when, used properly, it’s a great lens for keeping the focus on the central conflict. Narrative structure is a little more of a touchstone, and the four tweaks listed here may […]Read More Writing Tip 24. Four Small Tweaks, Big Style Rewards.
Ask an acquisitions editor, why reject stories by good writers? The answer is often, I can’t tell what this story is about. This response, or its cousins The conflict was slow to emerge, or There’s no story here, shows that structural problems are spoiling the party. But developmental editors are pricey. You see their ilk […]Read More Writing Tip 23. Story Editing How-tos.
EXT. SPACE AROUND THE DEATH STAR Vader’s ship spins out of control with a bent solar fin, heading for deep space. INT. DARTH VADER’S COCKPIT Vader turns round and round in circles as his ship spins into space. -George Lucas. Star Wars IV, A New Hope. Spinning that Vader craft out into space saves a […]Read More Writing Tip 22. End With a New Beginning in Mind.