Claim Your Writing Space

This article is posted in Brain2Page.

__________

Where do you like to write? At your home office looking out a big bay window on the sand and surf? Curled up on the couch with a blanket and your laptop, sipping a hot cup of tea? At the library using public computers in near tomblike silence? At a coffee shop with your tablet, a cappafrappalatteccino and your headphones? Continue reading

I Wrote An Epic But Fell Into The Plot Holes

This article is posted in Page2Print.

__________

There are times when I enter a sort of revision fugue, where I’ve been writing and rewriting the same words, sentences, paragraphs, scenes, chapters, stories to the point that I can’t reliably tell what’s going on anymore. I come out the other side with a net wash. I may have been editing for three hours straight, but when I look at what I’ve been working on I honestly can’t see the work anymore. All I see are letters mashed together in some semblance of order. Continue reading

Write It Down, Write It All Down.

This article is posted in Brain2Page.

__________

This one will be pretty short. Probably. Maybe. Just go with me on this.

In a previous post about Maintaining Momentum I spent a lot of time talking about a lot of different things, all of them designed to keep you striding forward confidently and quickly. But one thing I barely mentioned is the concept of Saving Everything, which has nothing whatsoever to do with maintaining momentum, and everything to do with future inspiration.

Doesn’t matter where you are, who you’re doing, why you’re running from the police, when you’ll hit the ground, or what your fortune cookie says. Continue reading

Writing Lessons From Ice Sculpting

This article is posted in Page2Print.

__________

Imagine a block of ice. You take your chisel and hammer and you go to work, making small nicks and grooves. You know what it looks like, you just have to get there. The first thing you do is knock out the basic shape of the sculpture. We’ll say it’s a banana. You like bananas, right? It’s a damn banana. Continue reading

Big Words Don’t Make Big Ideas

This article is posted in Brain2Page.

Anyone who read my first novel knows I was fond of big words. I went out of my way to use words like “peripatetic” and “eructation” simply because I knew them. It took a while to understand that this was a mistake. I’d artificially raised the bar for people to read and enjoy my novel with absolutely no gain.

When I was younger (and not very much younger) I had this mentality that “I’m writing for people like me” when “people like me” was a flimsy, shifting concept. Also a pretentious asshole.

My misconception was that the ideas would seem bigger and more intelligent if the language I used was bigger and more intelligent. This can be true; my grandmother read part of my first novel and then immediately put it down when she got to some words she didn’t know. The sentence structure was too complex for her. Her perception of the novel was that it was incredibly smart; too smart for her.

I had artificially raised the boundary to exclude people based on just a few words and needlessly complex structures. Continue reading

Grammarian Grumbles – A Good Adverb Is A Dead Adverb

This article is posted in Page2Print and Grammarian Grumbles.

__________

He groaned audibly¬†as he looked like he was going to vomit. Silently she picked up the knife, hoping he wouldn’t hear it. He said sarcastically, “Of course I’m going to pay you back.”

I write frantically, because I only have so much time tonight.

The adverb. What a misunderstood and overused concept. Is there ever a time when you’re writing and you throw an obvious adverb out there that your first thought is “that was a good idea”? Continue reading

Dreams Should Stay In Your Crazy Head

This article is posted in Brain2Page.

__________

Being one who is inclined to creativity, even in the less visual form that writing takes, I often have very vivid dreams that tap into whatever the hell is going on inside my weirdo head. I have an entire document – a dream journal if you insist – that chronicles the silliest, the scariest, the downright most awesome, and even the ones that make me question my psychotic profile.

The compulsion to turn these dreams into a story is strong. I have several unfinished manuscripts and even more short stories that started out as dreams. Yet I have never finished one. At some point there’s always this illogical transition that completely interrupts the entire sequence of events, and coincidentally enough it is that illogical transition that makes me want to make it into a story. But how the hell am I supposed to fit a serial killer murder mystery into a slice of life story? How should I make this ridiculous horror monster make logical sense in my court-room drama about getting divorced (when I’m not even married)? Continue reading