Writing under pressure–when your story goes awry

wreck - Peter Rey - writing under pressure

As explained in Never Too Late, the distinction is more just a matter of degree, but some writers do need to outline their stories in detail before they can write even a single word. Instead, some others write one word after the other following only their instinct. If you, just like me, are a pantster, occasionally you’ll end up discovering that  you no longer care about the story you’ve been writing, or that you don’t know how to go on. These are some of the typical drawbacks of being a pantster, but they need not be feared. Let’s see why. Keep going Generally,…

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6 easy tips to stop procrastinating and start writing

Tracks with no train and a barren landscape

I don’t know what stop procrastinating means when it comes to reading. I mean, I find reading not only fun but also deeply rewarding. I’m one of those people who, when enter a lift, can’t help reading for the umpteenth time the notices about maximum load capacity and safety regulations. Stop procrastinating – easier said than done. Writing instead is another kettle of fish. As rewarding as it can be, sometimes can also be terribly frustrating and difficult. It is therefore understandable that writers often procrastinate their writing sessions. For sure, for me taking the plunge has always been quite hard. So much so…

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When is it the time to stop editing?

Peter Rey - Editing

When is it the time to stop editing and honing your work and instead just publish it? This is an interesting question. And just as with all interesting questions, the possible answers are innumerable. In my case, when I write a first draft I repeatedly change name to my characters. I use invented words, or Italian or Spanish words. If I happen to read a particularly gripping book, usually I absorb from it at least a couple of scenes, and my writing style too changes slightly to mimic in part the one of the book I’ve been reading. If I…

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E-readers or traditional books–which are the best?

I’ve been using my Kindle since January 2011. I must admit that since the moment I powered it up, I read on it, or on some other kind of e-reader, all the fiction books I bought. For me this overnight change wasn’t the result of a visionary revelation. More simply, it was the natural consequence of a feature that e-readers and electronic gadgets in general offer. Namely, the ability to change the size of the text. In fact, I suffer from lazy eye, and back in 2011 reading was becoming a problem for me because after not even an hour my…

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Survive reading a bad book

survive reading a bad book - Peter Rey

It happens. You can read all the excerpts you want. You can ask your friends. You can have already read several other books by the same author. It doesn’t matter. If you love reading, and consequently actually read a lot instead of only saying so, sooner or later you’ll come across a book that sucks. It’s an inescapable truth. Like the ubiquitous nature of gravity–no, there’s no place where gravity is zero. Only places where you’re in a free fall, sorry for the digression. A book that sucks, I was saying. Well, most of the times this is fine. After all,…

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The first book in a series

You’re reading a book. It’s the first book in a series, and it’s so well written and with such an interesting plot that you feel certain you’ve found an indie able to write as well as anyone of the big names–and an indie writing right in the genre you prefer! You turn a page after the other. You die to know how it ends. It doesn’t matter if it’s a whole planet that’s in predicament, if the hero’s sanity is about to be shattered, or if June is about to leave Anthony for good. You need to know how it ends. Sure,…

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How to edit your first draft

how to edit your first draft

You might have read somewhere that certain writers don’t revise. Simply, they write their stories as they come to them and that’s it. Legend would have it that their first drafts are so perfectly written that they don’t require any editing and can instantly be turned into books. Well, as this article points out that’s nonsense.  The simple truth  is that more often than not first drafts are a mess. They are full of holes and the writing is a long way from compelling, to say the least.  This notwithstanding, first drafts are important because once you have finished one, you can look…

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Creative writing tips–write what you don’t know

We should always keep in mind that creative writing tips are just like signposts. They don’t make a story. But when there is a story, then they can help us to make it shine at its brightest. In my last post  (write what you know–what does it really mean?) we have seen how such a piece of advice can be misleading if interpreted too narrowly. Indeed, if we wrote exclusively what we have direct experience of most likely we would end up finding our writing sessions to lack of any sense of wonder and discovery. Besides, chances are that our…

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Write what you know–what does it really mean?

the call of the wild

Time is money, they say. But that’s a simplistic equation. Simplistic and outright wrong. In fact, unlike money, time is a resource we spend in any case, continuously. I mean, I’ve never seen the hands of a watch going backwards, remounting the stream of time like salmons do with rivers. Besides, my birthday’s cakes always sport an ever growing and depressingly larger number of candles. Indeed, we shouldn’t kid ourselves. Once childhood is gone, time really flies. So, given that we’re going to spend it in any case, we might at least try to optimize the way we make use of it.…

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