Until the last year, I believed that the small tweaks and grammar corrections I made to my writing constituted “rewriting.” I heard about people starting over with their rewrites and thought “well clearly they didn’t have this amazing base for their work that I do.” That overhaul rewrite was for other people, not me.
This has got to be some of the best advice on novel-writing (or any creative writing, really) I’ve read in awhile. I finally feel, like the author Elizabeth Percer, that I’ve reached a point where I trust myself and my process.
Elizabeth Percer’s latest novel, “All Stories are Love Stories” is available through Harper Collins Publishers.
Today a friend of mine who has written plays and stories for decades made a Facebook announcement. He had received his 50th rejection. It was with humor and a grain of salt he commemorated the occasion, and it drove home for me the importance of having the right attitude about your setbacks. Continue reading
A few years ago while I was living in southern New York, a friend and I decided it would be fun to have a psychic read our futures. I’m what you call a “skeptic,” in that I’ve long ago given up on spirits and spiritualism, religion, or anything else that pulls from ancient mythology as a source of faith. I am, however, a little on the “hippy dippy” side in that I seek the peace of nature and animals, and believe in cultivating human goodness and goodwill. In other words, I would never believe a psychic who claimed to know my life, but I’m open to one with some good advice. Continue reading
Years ago, I read this installment of one of my favorite series, The Atlantic‘s “By Heart,” in which authors discuss their favorite literary works and one-liners. At the time, I don’t think I fully understood the Camus line Faye Weldon quoted. I just wanted to read an interview with a successful author and television writer (an ambition of mine that has since evolved).
I could just as easily title this post “Confessions of a Chronic Procrastinator.” I’m sure plenty can relate, but when you’re writing independently this isn’t really an option. With no one holding you accountable to sit down and write daily, to finish that draft or edit your latest revision, self-starting can be the biggest source of writer’s block.
Two things have helped me overcome this. One is a mindset, and the other an accompanying practice. Continue reading
The Atlantic magazine online recently published the latest edition of their writer-centric “By Heart” series, which interviews writers about their favorite quotes and best writing advice. This week’s interview with Tony Tulathimutte addressed why characters (and the authors behind them!) have a moral prerogative to be “good people.” Continue reading
Today, February 9th, is the birthday of writer and activist Alice Walker. Among her accolades and things you should know her for, is her Pulitzer prize-winning The Color Purple (1983). Much of her work has explored womanhood, the black American experience, and human rights.
Below is a clip from the PBS “American Masters” special “Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth.”
Walker has spoken before about art being good for the soul, saying “If art doesn’t make us better, than what on Earth is it good for?” I’m taking her 72nd birthday as an opportunity to reflect on these artistic insights in my own work.
Not sure I agree with #5, but I’ve always been a sucker for describing a “shock” of hair.
I’d add the word “literally” to this list, and eliminate most adverbs. But now we’re getting into more contentious waters… What are your most-hated literary cliches?