Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Four Stages of Writing Practice--Where We Are Strong and Where We Can Fall Down


I was asked to teach a workshop on the stages of creative practice.  I spent weeks thinking about my own writing practice, and what I've witnessed in students, clients, and colleagues over twenty some years of teaching.  Are there stages of anyone's practice, and what did this mean?  Scouring the internet didn't help.  Many writers discussed their practice--how they approach their writing each day--but few had distinct steps.  Some had rituals.  Some knew how to begin or end.  But what about the murky middle, when you're in the midst of writing and things aren't going well?  

I took it as a laboratory experiment.  I began making notes about what happened when I sat down to write.  Where did I move from one kind of activity, internal or external, into another?  

Friday, August 24, 2018

Readers Don't Care Who Publishes Your Book--Really!

One of my private amusements is the serendipity surrounding how well my different books sell, or not.  And how that really doesn't align with who published it.  A writing friend was bemoaning this with me, feeling bad about her small press status versus a Big Five publisher.  But her book has sold well, very well.  While other writers I know, published by a top echelon press, sell fewer copies. 

Friday, August 17, 2018

How Much Research Is Really Enough? Building Worlds, Bringing Back Worlds

A writer from Minneapolis recently sent me a good question about research.  He wondered how much and what kind of research a writer should do when writing historical novels.  I've gotten the same question from writers working on fantasy or sci-fi novels.  When is enough, enough?  When do you stop researching and start writing?  Or vice versa?

Friday, August 10, 2018

Wounding Event--The Backstory That Drives Your Narrator

A short post this week:  I'm just returning from teaching at a writing retreat and wanted to share this article in Fiction Writers Review by Michelle Hoover, on the wounding event, a pivotal moment of backstory that drives much of the internal quest of your narrator.  If you have trouble accessing the link, go to www.fictionwritersreview.com and search for "wounding event."