Above the pearly gates in Writer’s Purgatory…
…there is a question painted gold, floating letters:
“What is the Most Important Rule of Writing?”
Ahead, a vaguely androgynous guardian stood over a marble lectern, scribbling in a book with gold-leafed pages.
When she saw me, a deep frown creased her otherwise flawless face.
She asked, “Do you have your answer?”
Continue reading The Most Important Rule of Writing?
“…There is no such thing as Writer’s block…”
At least, that’s what I keep hearing.
“It’s a lie. It’s an excuse. It doesn’t exist.”
Writer’s Block is real. Every writer ever has faced it.
But – there is a serious problem with calling it “Writer’s Block.”
Let me show you…
Continue reading How to (Actually) Cure Writer’s Block
Last week, the ‘Front Page of the Internet’ went insane. Again.
This is the perfect time to talk about ownership, authorial intent, and why you have no control over what your audience thinks. And, hell, why not start a discussion?
Continue reading Who cares about authorial intent?
Didn’t you know? A bad outline is the death of a good story.
How can you be creative when everything is already planned out for you?
No emotion in the writer, no emotion in the reader.
How can you follow this rule when you already know everything that’s going to happen?
Like an overbearing parent, a detailed outline can suck all the danger and excitement out of your next story. Here’s a post from NY Book Editors that explains all the problems writers, especially newer writers, cause for themselves whenever they outline their work.
So that’s it? All this talk about how dangerous outlines are, let’s just forget about them?
Please. If not for your sake, think of your readers. You gotta outline.
WHY? You’re a creative person, and you’ve got a million ideas, and whenever you sit down to write, you always seem to come up with more. What do YOU need an outline for?
Continue reading How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Outline
Redemption [ri-demp-shuh n] noun. –
1. an act of redeeming or atoning for a fault or mistake, or the state of being redeemed.
This is for you, George Miller. I don’t know if you chose the wrong theme for your film, or you forgot what you were writing halfway through, but if you want a lesson on choosing a theme, then go read this. It might help you focus on the right theme next time (the word you were looking for was ‘salvation,’ not redemption).
Now that’s out of the way, let me tell you what I thought about Mad Max: Fury Road:
Continue reading What’s Wrong with Mad Max: Fury Road?
This was the last thing Swen said to me, before he jumped off the cliff: “I’m going to do something that you will never forget. Witness me.”
As he fell upon the war band, I watched as a car, covered in spikes, collided with his body. I watched as the explosives fell from his hand, undetonated, and his body impaled on the car’s spear-covered hood.
But Swen died with a smile on his silver-stained lips. And he did not die in vain.
Weeks passed, the brothers were killed, and the fortress fell, but still, I could not rid myself of Swen’s dying words. It was only after the water began to run again, when the sanded bluffs turned from red to green did I fully realize Swen’s message.
Continue reading Why You Need a Theme – And How It Can Kill Your Writing
“The Word of Wigaldir calls you!”
“Eternal life in Enga’s arms.”
“Fear not, sinners. Lether the Blessed will bring us to salvation!”
Like the mating calls of jungle birds, voices sailed over our heads, clamoring for our attention. Bristling with energy and humid with sweat, a forest of limbs and bodies slowed our passage through the bazaar. My guide, a woman half-hidden under a shawl, kept one hand tightly wrapped around my wrist as she pulled me through the Tangle. Bodies pressed in around us.
“What does any of this have to do with my stories?” I shouted over the din of people and prophets.
A girl with golden coins covering her eyes singled me out in the Tangle, writhing as she spoke, “Come, and worship at the altar of Satina with me. The sensual tongue-”
Continue reading Too Many Names? A Tip for Cleaning Up Your Writing