Being There: The Writer Takes a Vacation

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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 »

When you’re stuck, write.

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Every writer hits a brick wall now and then. You can’t move forward and there’s no going back. You can sit there, wailing at the ceiling, tearing at your hair, and gnashing your teeth, but chances are it’s not going to get you moving anytime soon. What do I do when it happens to me? I write. Wait. Didn’t I just say I was writing and got stuck? And then I said the solution was to write? Right! Here’s how … Read More »

21 Ways Not to Finish a First Draft

Writers can come up with a lot of reasons for not finishing a first draft, and some of them even sound plausible. I know the real reasons. (And I’ve got a solution.) Fall in love with the thrill of new ideas, but don’t fall in love with the work it takes to execute them. Need to begin at the beginning and make it perfect before you move on. Wait to find the time to write. Leave the work before you … 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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