Friday, May 28, 2010


"Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia."  ~E.L. Doctorow

Instead of thinking of writing as a chore, just remember how fun it is to be schizophrenic in a socially acceptable way.  If you write of an incredibly evil, chilling, mastermind villain, people will praise you.  You're an excellent storyteller, an incredible writer...  You can write about crime and murder without people wondering whether they need to put you in a straight jacket.  You can be a supermodel, a teenager, an alien, a villain, and a hero all in a days work.  The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.  Imagine the possibilities!

Today's Topic:  Does the first line of your project (novel/paper/short story) pass the "Airport Test?"  That is, if someone was browsing an airline bookstore and read the first line of your novel, would they buy it?  Make your first line the hook that snags your reader, and don't let go until the end of your story.

Just do it write now.

Monday, May 10, 2010


"Don't let anybody tell you you're wasting your time when you're gazing into space.  There is no other way to conceive an imaginary world.  I never sit down in front of a bare page to invent something.  I daydream about my characters, their lives and their struggles, and when a scene has been played out in my imagination and I think I know what my characters felt, said and did, I take pen and paper and try to report what I have witnessed."  --Stephen Vizinczey

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Importance of Knowing Your Characters

One of the most important things in writing is to know your characters.  This means that  you need to know you character like you know your friends, your significant other, or yourself.  When placed in a certain situation, how would you react?  How would your friends react?  Your character must be real enough and developed enough in your mind that you can answer the following question:  How will my character react, and what will he do? 

A writing colleague of mine was having trouble one day getting her character to the point in the plot she needed her to be.  We determined that she was trying to make her character get to a certain point, when what she needed to do was manipulate the circumstances in her book so that the character would choose the path she wanted her to go.

I feel that this technique of allowing your characters to choose their path (albeit one you have manipulated) is essential to good writing.  If your writing is mainly plot driven it can be a good story, but if you have characters who remain true to who you have made them and combine that with an intriguing plot, then the story will be doubly engaging, and ultimately more real.  

Today's Topic:  What does the word "diet" mean to you?

Just do it write now.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Writing Is Like Exercising

Writing is like exercising.  It's not so bad, once you start doing it.  Usually you end up liking it.  The problem is getting started.  Anyone who regularly exercises knows that it doesn't just happen.  You have to plan for it, and you have to do it!

Like excercise and most other things, it needs to be done regularly and consistently.  If you don't work out and then go on a marathon run to try to make up for what you haven't been doing along the way, chances are you'll get burnt out or not enjoy the experience (both of which will make you want to procrastinate once again!).  Whether you are working on a project or not, consistent and regular writing of some type is essential.

The cool thing about writing is that everyone is so different.  The same topic to different individuals will produce drastically different results.  Even assigning different individuals to write something with the same plot would result in two separate stories.  Need an idea about what to write? 

Today's Topic:  Describe Your First Brush with Danger

Just do it write now.