Wednesday, April 15, 2009

SO YOU WANT TO WRITE? (part 1)  

Every writer (and even more non-writers) have thoughts and rules about the writing process. Nearly everyone of those rules are right (except for those which are clearly not right). I’m teaching a class on writing today. They are writers interested in writing anything and everything. So I will give them broad, general, notes for writers starting out. If you are just jumping into a genre, or still searching for what’s out there this is for you. Hopefully, sometime soon I’ll post more specific notes pertaining only to novels (this is my specialty). Until then, I’ve dabbled in all sorts of writing and here is what I have learned:

In General: 

1) Write everyday

2) Characters, not plots, should always drive the action in the story

3) Have a place to write

4) Know your voice (what you want to write about and how you want to write about things)

5) Have heroes (know writers whose careers you admire, read everything they’ve ever written including the story of how they became successful)

6) Read everyday (if writers don’t read who will?)

7) Meet other writers and join a writers group (this is not easy, they hide under rocks and even when you do find them they already have a writers group, but they’re out there, somewhere, if you look hard enough) 

On Nonfiction:

I know very little about this. The biggest thing I know is what my undergrad English Advanced Composition teacher told me. He looked like Owl in Winnie The Pooh and is one of the best writing teachers I have ever had. He told me always make an argument. Argue anything. Look at both sides. Play the devils advocate. Then, show how misguided the devil really is.

Tomorrow thoughts on stories... 

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