I am an occasional fan of doom and gloom. Doom and gloom are interesting! As a storyteller, I am intimately attracted to conflict, to drama, to signs of beautiful disarray. And looking at the options for storytellers, it’s easy to see big soggy clouds hanging over all our heads, dumping rain and hail and dead otters on our fool heads…
Advice You Should Probably Ignore
“What’s the secret to writing?” Or, even better, “What’s your secret?” My secret is long-kept. It’s a brash, brassy alchemical recipe that, frankly, most writers simply cannot replicate. Its hoary, frothy reagents are direly specific, pointing the way toward forgotten and forbidden penmonkey magicks-with-a-k-and-made-plural.
For me, the middle is the hardest part of writing. It’s easy to get the stallions moving in the beginning — a stun gun up their asses gets them stampeding right quick. I don’t have much of a problem with endings, either; you get to a certain point and the horses are worked up into a mighty lather and run wildly and ineluctably toward the cliff’s edge.
You’ll notice a pattern in this list, and that pattern is: the first chapter serves as an emblem of the whole. It’s got to have a bit of everything. It needs to be representative of the story you’re telling — other chapters deeper in the fat layers and muscle tissue of the story may stray from this, but the first chapter can’t.
Time for my annual, “Nope, you shouldn’t be writing, quit now, run away, go on, shoo” post. This time, in the form of the “25 things” lists that all you crazy cats and kittens seem to love so much. 1. It’s Really Hard OMG YOU GUYS. Writing? It’s hard. It’s like, you have to sit […]
I keep noodling on the idea of how you earn — not build, necessarily, but earn — your audience as a creative type. I’m not sure I have all (or any of) the answers, but here’s a good shot at it. Note that this list isn’t meant to be a bunch of checkboxes — you don’t need to do all of these (or even any of them, beyond the first). It’s just meant to offer thoughts and options.