[Instructions: Begin writing with the words "It begins..." When you get stuck, or come to the end, start over again with "It begins." Lather, rinse, repeat.] It begins with a subtle shift – so subtle that it’s barely perceptible. A glance, or lack thereof; a sigh, an averted gaze. Then it widens. Silence where there’s … Continue reading It begins… [writing exercise]
In my wanders as a writer, beta reader and editor of fiction, I've recently come across several drafts of stories with the same major issue: Unrealistic emotional reactions from characters. This is a common early draft issue, so no need to beat yourself up if your first passes through character reactions don't sit well with … Continue reading Re/action
I've been thinking about someone I knew years ago, who - like me - was a writer. And I've been thinking about how she quit her job one day, and packed up her car and drove halfway to a new place, a place she thought she could really put her all into writing and perhaps … Continue reading Inspiration is Bullshit
I write because I have to keep talking to you. Because I want to meet you again - out of time, out of memory.I want to be surprised by you again, to be drawn into your story.I want to be curious about you again.I want to hear you, and feel heard.I want to unravel you, … Continue reading I write so that we can meet again
The interminable humorist and philosopher, Douglas Adams, once said: “For us, there is no longer a fundamental mystery about Life. It is all the process of extraordinary eruptions of information, and it is information which gives us this fantastically rich, complex world in which we live.” Have we lost mystery? Is there a difference between … Continue reading Extraordinary Eruptions of Information
I'm not writing to fix myself, I'm writing to fuck myself up.
Listening to Gabino Iglesias talk about how yes, writing is hard, and you need to want to be a writer more than you want anything else. The heart of his talk? Do the work, don't give up. Ignore all the reasons why you can't. Find time to do it - on a break, on the … Continue reading Writing is hard.
I really am good at going silent. I think of things constantly that I could bring here, write about, poeticize, eulogize. But I don't, because here's the thing - I wrote a book. More specifically, I wrote a book while living with an incurable chronic illness that's slowly eroding away at my energy level. (I … Continue reading I made a thing.
So you've spend a lot of time writing and revising a story. You're getting to a point where it's in pretty good shape. Maybe you've had some beta readers look through all or part of it. Maybe you've workshopped it. Before you release it upon the world (or upon literary agents), consider pausing for a … Continue reading Sensitivity readings: An essential part of writing
One of the things that's been joyously freeing about my writing program is that we're given permission to do something important: Write badly. In order to create a sculpture, you have to start with a big block of clay, or a stone, or a chunk of wood. At first, you're just hacking pieces away and … Continue reading Write badly