As I wrote in a previous post, I believe every writer would benefit from note taking. However, it's also undeniable that you can have too much of a good thing. In fact if you take notes for just about everything you come across and find even slightly interesting, you would end up literally swimming in a sea of loosen notes, post-its, and notepads. If you had endless stamina and time at your disposal you could dive into this sea and go fishing for tasty literary preys. But given that we live in a universe where our human resources are limited, we have to accept the ugly truth. Namely, that … [Read more...] about A Simple Way to Sift Ideas and Choose the Best Ones
Writing fiction requires a balanced mix of concentration and carefree madness that can be frustrating to strike at times, but whose fruits give me a deep sense of accomplishment. However, even if when I write I can jump from place to place in the blink of an eye, and can take on as many different personalities as I want to, my body isn't impressed by any of these mental feats. Not in the least. On the contrary, after a while I've been sitting at my desk pounding on the keyboard (and pounding is just the right word, for it's not a rare occurrence that of my wife asking me to be a bit … [Read more...] about How I Keep in Shape and Improve Productivity
When it comes to writing habits, the advice you can come across is all over the place: You should write every day. You should write at least six days a week.You should write a certain number of words every day. You should write early in the morning, to be more energetic. You should write in the middle of the night to avoid distractions. You should write in a bar, or outside, in a park. You should write in the solitude of your turret. And on and on and on… The list is so long and full of contradictions, it’s bewildering. But it needs not be that way. Not at all if you keep in mind a … [Read more...] about Writing Habits or Daily Rituals. You Can Call Them as You Want — Just Write!
Over the last few days I’ve been reading a book by Francine Prose, Reading Like A Writer. I must say I found it an extremely pleasant and fruitful read. First of all, there are several passages from books I didn’t even know and that I’ve added to my already long list of books I want to read. Secondly, I appreciated the author’s approach to writing rules. In fact, while acknowledging they can be useful, she also clearly states it’s never a matter of rules being right or wrong, but of them serving the writer’s goal, and of the writer’s ability to bend them in an effective … [Read more...] about Reading Like a Writer — A Review and Some Considerations
While it's true that first drafts are often pretty messy, it's also undeniable that some writers come up with first drafts that are remarkably clean. Of course, maybe they are so incredibly talented that they only have to listen to the words they hear in their heads to write yet another masterpiece. However there's hope also for all those writers whose first drafts tend to be rebellious messes that require several passes to really shine. In fact, while a perfect first draft is next to impossible to nail down, a decently clean first draft is an entirely different beast. Knowledge Is … [Read more...] about 3 Easy Tips to Write Cleaner First Drafts
When you open a book written by a terrific writer, you can be pretty sure that if you take the time to read and analyze it, you can learn a lot about the way a story should be structured, and how words should be strung together to form that elusive thing we call strong writing. Also when you come across a badly written novel you can learn a lot. At the very least, about the mistakes you should steer clear of. Things like over-reliance on cliches, lack of logical consecution, word choices that paint only vague pictures. A badly written novel, if it's been traditionally published, can also … [Read more...] about Can a Mediocre Writer Be a Good Teacher?