I don’t like to write, but like having written -- This is one of the most famous quotes about writing, and it's often attributed to Dorothy Parker. As a matter of fact, although she too said it, this quote remounts to the beginning of the twentieth century, and innumerable writers have used it at one time or another. The fact is that while on one hand writing is a complex task, on the other it is also an extremely personal endeavor. As a result it can't be easily pigeonholed. As a matter of fact for most writers writing can feel blissfully effortless on some days and a dreadful and … [Read more...] about Should Writing Energize or Exhaust You?
Creative Writing Tips
Professional trail runners can train anywhere from 6 to 25 hours a week. And while it's certainly true that the more you train the better you get, for the law of diminishing returns this holds up only to a point. What's more, if we swapped the training programs of two world class athletes, they would most likely end up experiencing a series of problems. In fact, professional's training programs are tailored to each one's psychological and physical make up. This means that what works for me could represent someone else's undoing. The Law of Diminishing Returns states that a point … [Read more...] about Why to Keep a Writing Log — The Law of Diminishing Returns
Quotes can be gold mines of encapsulated knowledge. However, given their nature, you should always consider them with a grain of salt. For example, Stephen King writes that the road to hell is paved with adverbs, and yet he himself uses a fair number of such nefarious adverbs in his works. Not only, to make his point he even uses adverbs in the very passage he advises against their use... I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs, and I will shout it from the rooftops. To put it another way, they’re like dandelions. If you have one in your lawn, it looks pretty and unique. If you … [Read more...] about Toying with Quotes to Improve Your Writing
Conflict, and therefore also memorable villains, is the prism you use to cast your protagonist's true colors. There's no way around this. In fact, while you could still write a "story" where there is no conflict of sort, it would be so boring readers would hate every page of it -- and would end up using your book as a door stop, hygienic paper, tinder, and so on. (As a side note, have you ever noticed how easy it is to recycle a book? I mean, a traditional book...) However, fitting your book with a brand-new villain whose heart is as black as a the depths of a coal mine and possesses no … [Read more...] about How to Create Memorable Villains — an Essential Principle
The sagging Middle is a deal breaker for most readers, and rightly so. In fact, if you have stirred their interest with a well orchestrated beginning -- indeed to the point they have forked their money to keep on reading -- they expect you to also be able to engage them till the very end. A Matter of Length First of all, it may simply be the case you’re trying to write a novel using an idea which is best suited for a shorter form — a novella, or maybe even a short story. If this is the case the best thing you can do is pretty simple, though not necessarily easy.In fact, you should cut … [Read more...] about How to Write a Novel and Defeat the Infamous Sagging Middle
When it comes to character building, while you can follow hundred of rules to make your characters as believable and compelling as possible, you can still miss the mark. The reason is simple. In fact, if you stitch together all those rules without first understanding the reasons behind them, you're bound to end up with a sort of Frankenstein's monster -- that's to say a cluster of features that don't work together like an organic whole, but interfere with one another and engender confusion in your readers. Real life tragedy For example, think of school shootings. If you examine the … [Read more...] about Developing Characters in Fiction — The Most Important Element