on The Creative Penn: Some people are naturally funnier than others, and the same is true of writers. But there are things you can learn to increase the comic potential of your writing. For the last 20 years, I’ve been trying to write funny stuff – radio sketches, humorous columns and articles, humorous short stories […]
The best cure for Writer’s Block is to write. Stephen King’s book on writing is one of my favorites. Also, Writing Down The Bones by Natalie Goldberg and Bird By Bird by Ann Lamott. Muscles atrophy when we don’t use them so it only stands to reason that writing does not improve without practice, daily.
by Michael Mohr
Today I wanted to talk about the process and act of writing. What I mean by that is the simple craft of regularly putting pen to paper. As Stephen King famously said, “Amateurs wait for the muse to come. The rest of us get working.” That is so incredibly true. When I was a creative writing undergrad at San Francisco State University, like many young [writing] students, I thought that, when the ‘muse’ came, I could then write the Great American Novel.
The truth is—any professional can affirm this—and I hate to break your heart here: There is no muse. The muse is like Santa Clause; it’s a hoax that we tell beginners to try and inspire them. Now, there’s nothing inherently wrong with that. But at some point, if you take yourself seriously as a writer, you will have to let go of the Santa Clause…
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Two things have happened this week. An old plastic bag unearthed itself at the bottom of my garden. At the time I was inspecting a hole in the fence which my dog had made. Po, my dog, was busying explaining in dog language, a complicated series of barks, woofs and whines, how he was using […]
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on Publishing … and Other Forms of Insanity: Unlike US and UK publishing houses, Australian publishers suffer from a dearth of submissions. Why submit to a publisher Down Under? All of these are major traditional publishers, with worldwide distribution, and all offer an advance and royalties. (You don’t have to be Australian to submit to […]
For those willing to pick up the gauntlet, choose at least one quote, read it out loud and then write where it leads you. Share it if you wish.
“He who establishes his argument by noise and command, shows that his reason is weak.” – Michel de Montaigne
“Every movement reveals us.” – Michel de Montaigne
“Why do people respect the package rather than the man?” – Michel de Montaigne
“Youth is happy because it has the capacity to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.” – Franz Kafka
“Remember then: there is only one time that is important — NOW! It is the most important time because it is the only time we have any power.” – Leo Tolstoy
“Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it.” – Leo Tolstoy
“If you look for perfection, you’ll never be content.” – Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
“When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all dunces are in a confederacy against him.” – Jonathan Swift
“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” – Jonathan Swift
“Laws are like cobwebs, which may catch small flies, but let wasps and hornets break through,” – Jonathan Swift
The second half of that quote is “It’s all small stuff.”
In other words…
That’s just one example of how I worry over small stuff that should wait until the damn book is finished.
Thanks go out to Janice Hardy over at Fiction University for a great reminder in this terrific post on writing first and fixing last.
Things I want to remember about writing…
- The novel doesn’t have to be planned and structured to the last detail before I start writing.
- Complete the thought and don’t worry about crossing every t and dotting every eye. Time for that later.
- Don’t worry about too many characters in a draft…
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by Michael Cristiano
When it comes to writing, there is nothing more daunting than writing a novel. Okay, maybe attempting to write a saga of twelve novels is a little bit more daunting, but let’s stick to just one for now. In my opinion, writing a novel is a little more difficult than say a short story or a poem. That’s not to say it’s more difficult than writing a good short story or poem, that’s just to point out that short stories and poems don’t generally run 60,000+ words — unless you’re Homer and write two epic poems that come in at over 200,000.
In any case, the enormity of a novel is disillusioning enough on its own, so while we’re at it, let’s disillusion some more.
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