Thursday, October 25, 2012

Boost Your Writing Energy with Cool Resources for Writing Inspiration--Presentations, Prompts, and Paris

What if a trip to Paris, say for three months, would bring back your writing enthusiasm?   

What if you kept a daily writing journal, scribbling ideas and images that come to you as you turn on the creative faucet inside?  Would it make a difference in how often you put pen to page?

What if you had a new writing prompt every day for a year--ones that really work?  Would that boost your writing energy?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Location, Location, Location--Expanding Setting for Your Story into a Larger "Container

Realtors know that location is everything in buying or selling property.  Try to sell a house that's near a busy highway or high tension wires, and you'll learn this.  In story, location is also really important--I wouldn't say it's everything to a story, but it's as vital as good characters and strong plot.

Unfortunately, it's the aspect of writing that many writers tack on or ignore altogether.  

This week's post looks at the larger aspects of setting--beyond just the physical elements--something I like to call the container of your book.

It starts with a story about Margaret, one of my students. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Time and Location--Working with Flashbacks, Backstory, Chronology, and Transitions in Novels, Memoirs, and Nonfiction Books

A small book came my way this month.  It's called The Art of Time in Fiction:  As Long as It Takes, by Joan Silbers.  Very short, it explores how time appears in different ways in story.  It's useful for writers in any genre who are working with scenes and situations in time and space.

I read The Art of Time in Fiction while briefly stalled out with my novel-in-progress.  It's at revision, which means that I have about 120,000 words written, looking for a better shape and smoother flow.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Staying in the Room with the Writing--How to Keep Yourself from Getting Blocked, Distracted, or Stopping Altogether

So many writers come to writing with a deep love for books.  They feel that love for books will make them able to write--almost magically.  But then they learn how much work it takes to become a writer, to develop the skills and hone the actual process of writing.

Occasionally, this love for reading grows into a natural love for the writing process.  On good days, I am swept away by putting words on the page, dreaming up cool ideas, and figuring out ways to touch a reader's heart and mind.  It's the best job in the world.

Other days, I sweat it.  I am distracted too easily.  I feel stupid as I write, the words are not what I am seeing inside.  I give up at the first phone call, email ping, or view of the overflowing laundry basket. 

So, we all, eventually, have to discover what keeps us "in the room" with our writing, as short-story writer Ron Carlson calls it.  Why do we stop, when we stop--and what can we do about it?