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 »

Are You Networking with Other Writers?

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Writing may be a solitary activity, but we need people in our lives who are just like us to keep us going. People who understand us, and will put up with our quirks and weird behavior. That’s where networking and meeting people come in handy. It’s one thing to bump into friends at a conference, but it’s completely different when you’re at a small local event, or bonding with someone over coffee or lunch. I’ve written in the past about … Read More »

Being There: The Writer Takes a Vacation

posted in: Writing Life | 10

First off, the writer should never take a vacation. At least not from writing. Always be writing, even when you’re out there. Over the next few months, writers will join millions of other Americans in sojourning forth on vacation, by road, rail, wing, and sail. Sipping fruity drinks. Snapping pictures. Living it up. Take advantage; trips provide marvelous opportunities for writing because they throw the new and unexpected right in your face. Good writing lives in details, and there’s no … 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 »

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