Saturday, January 29, 2011

How to Work with the Four Levels of Transition in a Book: Smoothing the Reader's Ride

Successful transitions allow a reader to move through your book, from beginning to end, without getting frustrated or bored.  Or taking two steps back to reread something that wasn't clear.  But transitions are the last thing we think about when we're creating our books.  It's only when we read the manuscript at draft that we discover awkwardness, sections that jump around, or are too fast or slow.

How does a writer craft good transitions?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Finding Creative Balance: Making Room for Your Writing in Your Life

Years ago, I gave up on New Year's resolutions.   Lots of people promised themselves the moon, but everything fell back into stasis by February.  Me too, back then.  I couldn't ever figure out how to make real, lasting transitions from what I was to what I wanted to become.

But I am still attracted to the possibility of change, especially in my creative life.  So I love

Monday, January 17, 2011

How Tall Do You Want to Grow? Taking Risks toward Reaching Your Goals

I subscribe to an e-newsletter from life coach Cheryl Richardson, author of many books including one of my favorites, Stand Up for Your Life!  Cheryl sends out a weekly inspirational essay with an exercise.  This week was about the choice to take risks--or not.

She shared a story of a woman who took a relationship risk.  After two decades of being reluctant to step forward and start dating, this woman finally approached a man who lived in her building and suggested they go out for coffee.  It turned out well, and now

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Community and Rhythm--Two Keys to Producing a Book

It's deep winter here in northern New England, and I'm thinking about summer--quelle surprise!  As the furnace tries to warm my cold toes in their sheepskin slippers, I'm remembering a beautiful lake that stretched to the horizon, blue sky and warmth, and sitting in an Adirondack chair on farmhouse porch.  This wasn't just any farmhouse porch; it was on Madeline Island in Lake Superior, far from my normal life.  I had my laptop on my knees and I

Monday, January 3, 2011

Are You a Memoirist or a Novelist? More Ruminations on Proust, Memory, and Writing the Truth

I received an eloquent email from a reader in New York, who had some thoughts on my recent post on memory and truth.  I am sharing it in its entirety below, hopefully to stimulate some discussion among readers and at least get you thinking (and possibly researching on your own) the ever-changing and fascinating field of brain science and how it applies to us who are writing books.

I get this question so often in my classes:  How can I accurately write memories