Bland

I’m over 30,000 words on this revision and still clicking along pretty good. I just have one question for my characters: Why were you so bland in that first draft?

Show

“There’s an old adage in writing: ‘Don’t tell, but show.’ . . .Writing is not psychology. We do not talk ‘about’ feelings. Instead the writer feels and through her words awakens those feelings in the reader. The writer takes the reader’s hand and guides him through the valley of sorrow and joy without ever having to mention those words.”
– Natalie Goldberg, poet and writing teacher

Character prompts

Random Prompts for Character Development

Last year, I bought Natalie Goldberg’s book, Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir. A friend saw Goldberg present at a bookstore about this book and was impressed, so I bit.

Now, I’m not much into writing a memoir. My life has been pretty average. But I’ve kept this book close for the last six weeks or so as I work through the revision on my novel-in-progress. Why? Because it centers on character description and a character’s inner life, and has tons of prompts. Continue reading

Teens

I’m going today to a high school English class and writing class to talk about my writing process. It may not come up, but I’ve been thinking about what advice I would give a teen about becoming a fiction writer.

Advice on Becoming a Fiction Writer

Essentials

First, be a reader. Read widely. Continue reading

Character and Plot

I’ve been working on my plot this week – which means I’ve been working on character.

I’ve been struck again by how interwoven these two are. We artificially separate them out to talk about them, but in practice, you can’t work on plot without considering character.

  • Conflict. For example, when I tried to decide on what conflict would enhance this plot, Continue reading