The Writing Life: Idea Generators

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Where do story ideas come from? Characters? Settings? We all live in a rich and textured world that teems with possible stories, but they can seem so elusive once we sit down to write. It seems easy to break a story line when we’re sitting in a conference panel and the speaker takes elements from a dozen different participants, but how do we translate that to our own work at home? The most important step, in my experience, is to … Read More »

The Writing Life: Making Time To Write, Part II

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Now that we’ve all been practicing saying “I am a writer. I need time to write.” to ourselves, say it out loud and then plant yourself in a place that works for you and write. Sounds easy enough, right? But doing so can be hard for a variety of reasons. Let’s brainstorm some solutions to the most common barriers to finding time to write. Often, the best way to get around the endless duties of work and family life is … Read More »

The Writing Life: Making Time To Write, Part I

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Writing fiction is an odd choice of preoccupation. If you play tennis or golf or surf or run marathons, you can at least say you got your exercise in. If you paint or make pottery, you have a finished objet d’art to show off. Music? Your friends and family can sing along. Gardening? A beautiful yard or produce to share. Playing video games can be active and social. Reading is often considered time well spent for the mind and spirit. … Read More »

The Writing Life: Losing Yourself Part II

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Losing Yourself Part I discussed the need to lose ourselves within the character whose point of view we’re writing in order to rise to the top of our writing craft and create characters that stay with readers for a lifetime. But how can we do that? What makes us afraid to sink ourselves deeply into a viewpoint different from our own? And how can we alleviate at least some of those fears? No doubt, most of us have already discovered … Read More »

The Writing Life: Losing Yourself Part I

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What are writers but actors who get to play all the parts? And the most basic tenet of actors and writers? Become your character. Literally millions of us have playacted and beyond that, had some brush with the art of drama in a more structured form. Millions of us learn our languages, learn to communicate in written form, learn to write in the voice of our perceived or imagined selves, someone historical, famous, infamous, or completely made up. As writers … Read More »

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