Knowing when to say “No” (Part 2)

Knowing when to say “No” (Part 2)

In my last post, I used the relationship between a parent and a child to describe the relationship between a writer and their work. I said that, on the first draft, you shouldn’t tell yourself “no.” Your job is not to censor yourself. If you 

Beating Writer’s Block (Turning Writer’s Block into Building Blocks Part 2)

Beating Writer’s Block (Turning Writer’s Block into Building Blocks Part 2)

Last week, I wrote about some of the reasons why we experience writer’s block. With those in mind, here are some ideas on how to conquer it. As I see it, there are two basic ways to deal with writer’s block. The first is to 

The “Why” of Writer’s Block (Turning Writer’s Block to Building Blocks Part 1)

The “Why” of Writer’s Block (Turning Writer’s Block to Building Blocks Part 1)

A student of mine asked me recently about how to handle writer’s block. After doing a little research (just Google “how to beat writer’s block” and you’ll find about a dozen different sites suggesting a dozen different things), I came to the conclusion that there 

Writing Multiple Projects

Writing Multiple Projects

Quick bit of business (read: shameless self-promotion) before I get on to the real business. You can check out an interview with me here. Now, on to the show, so to speak. My good friend Steve suggested I write about writing multiple projects simultaneously. Of 

Very Adverbly

Very Adverbly

Good friend Kate Maruyama (of annotationnation.com fame) suggested I post a little something about adverbs. Quickly, I magnificently decided that the idea was fortuitously wrought and could be adeptly included as a post, and, if done right, would beneficially help writers. See what I did 

Planning, Plotting, and Plodding

Planning, Plotting, and Plodding

This weeks question comes from Josh Castleman, who was curious as to what my opinion was on outlining v. “discovery” writing. It’s a fairly fundamental question, and one that every writer eventually has to find the answer for himself or herself. Here, I will tell 

Kurt Vonnegut’s Eighth (and Final) Rule for Writing Fiction

Kurt Vonnegut’s Eighth (and Final) Rule for Writing Fiction

8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages. 

Kurt Vonnegut’s Seventh Rule for Writing Fiction

Kurt Vonnegut’s Seventh Rule for Writing Fiction

7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia. –Kurt Vonnegut Pneumonia, maybe, and a host of other things. Would we call this literary promiscuity? Perhaps, and the 

Kurt Vonnegut’s Sixth Rule for Writing Fiction

Kurt Vonnegut’s Sixth Rule for Writing Fiction

6. Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them–in order that the reader may see what they’re made of. –Kurt Vonnegut No one likes to betray a friend, but we sometimes feel that way when we 

Kurt Vonnegut’s Fifth Rule for Writing Fiction

Kurt Vonnegut’s Fifth Rule for Writing Fiction

5. Start as close to the end as possible. –Kurt Vonnegut Last week, I had a student approach me to ask my opinion on something they were working on. The story opened inside a hospital with the birth of a child. I liked the idea