Ahoy, folksies. I have a new idea! And it stems from my perceived inability to write tension without a threat of violence. But before I get all ahead of myself, let’s take a breath and explain. Athletes need to warm up (well, not according to Tallahassee from Zombieland, but whatever) and writers do, too. Because time—our most valuable yet most infuriatingly difficult to use resource–is limited, one might as well make the warm-up also developmentally worthwhile. I mean, want to get that swole writer bod? Then never spend a word willy-nilly.…
When I meet a new writer, musician, artist, or any other creative type, the foremost question that intrigues me is: “how do you keep yourself on track?”
When you find yourself truculently bedighting your scrivenery with inimical prose, serried and thick as chaparral; I, for one, recommend elision instead. Otherwise, your writing may appear solecistic, and you, as a writer, solipsismal.
When someone asks for “description,” do you answer with “leave nothing to the imagination?”
Well, as you may know, this isn’t too classy, and although some folks may enjoy that, most probably don’t.
I’d like to borrow a tired chiché from my music education experience, which is that the “practice makes perfect” mantra is misleading. Practice makes permanent is more often true. Only perfect practice makes perfect. Which raises the question: how does one practice writing?
Research is, in the end, borrowing or reusing ideas for a different end goal. So, when perusing the dusty halls of human experience, remember to bring your notebook.
In a society that so values monetary success, understand that the immediate lack thereof is not a sign of failure, nor is it a symptom of bad writing or flawed ideas, though that’s an easy go-to excuse.
According to me, there are at least 100,000 known writing strategies. Maybe even more (and that’s why we shouldn’t destroy the rain forest). Working at a college writing center has really opened up my eyes to all sorts of writing processes that professors recommend, and even though most of them have nonfiction, academic papers in mind, I think that we creative folks can glean something from their recommendations. The particular process I have in mind is called the Madman, Architect, Carpenter, Judge, brought to you by Betty S. Flowers, and…
It’s snowing again in Northern Virginia. There’s not much accumulation, mind you, but a friend of mine pointed out how oddly we Northern Virginians react to snow. As he says, we know that it’s going to snow every year, and yet it still manages to catch us off guard.
Have you ever read a book with long passages of description? At first, you may engage, similar to how I used to vow to use my planner at the beginning of every semester. And then interest falters. Some descriptive paragraphs feel like a mud slog. I admit that even I start to skim over fat paragraphs, purely for self-preservation, after a while, and I LOVE description…