#4 was a really common event in my undergrad screenwriting classes (where it was commonly called the Page 70 Problem or the Act 2 Dead Zone or some other ridiculous name). It is really where outlining-as-you-go can prevent problems. For instance, I might have a ten point outline for the whole story and as I catch up to various points I may go back over the outline and flesh out points with another outline. If a scene is really tricky, my outline might be as specific as three points for five pages. But something that is really simple may never get more than a "this happens".
When George Plimpton asked Ernest Hemingway what the best training for an aspiring writer would be in a 1954 interview, Hem replied, “Let’s say that he should go out and hang himself because he finds that writing well is impossibly difficult. Then he should be cut down without mercy and forced by his own self to write as well as he can for the rest of his life. At least he will have the story of the hanging to commence with.” Today, writing well is more important than ever.
Two different ways of making things: the hard way and the easy way. The hard way is the way of the individual artist who establishes his own terrain, as it were. The easy way is the way of grace and the way of tradition, where you don't even consider the possibility that you are there to make major innovations - you're there to make 200 parts today. One of the things I like about gospel music is that it has that same kind of humility, that the people who are singing it are not puckered-brow artists. There's the same freshness and thrill that you see in all kinds of folk arts. People doing something that is shaped by a whole lot of quite unconscious factors, like the limitations of their own vocal range. writers block
Vivid reporting from Owsley County, Kentucky, the poorest place in America. “Thinking about the future here and its bleak prospects is not much fun at all, so instead of too much black-minded introspection you have the pills and the dope, the morning beers, the scratch-off lotto cards, healing meetings on the hill, piles of gas-station nachos, the occasional blast of meth, Narcotics Anonymous meetings, petty crime, and death” (4,600 words)
from Locus Magazine, January 2009 We know that our readers are distracted and sometimes even overwhelmed by the myriad distractions that lie one click away on the Internet, but of course writers face the same glorious problem: the delirious world of information and communication and community that lurks behind your screen, one alt-tab away from your word-processor. The single worst piece of writing advice I ever got was to stay away from the Internet because it would only waste my time and wouldn't help my writing. This advice was wrong creatively, professionally, artistically, and personally, but I know where the writer who doled it out was coming from.
You may be aware of what’s becoming widely known as the “six core competencies of storytelling.” These core competencies, as defined by my go-to fiction-writing guru, Larry Brooks (of StoryFix.com), are: Concept Character Theme Structure Scenes Voice But what you’re probably not aware of are the six literary forces that raise those core competencies to […] By Justine Schofield of Pubslush Crowdfunding. Ever heard of it? If not, let me introduce you.
You've heard of freewriting, certainly. At its most basic, it's about forcing your internal editor to stay away while you splash your most raw and unusual thoughts onto the page. In Accidental Genius: Using Writing to Generate Your Best Ideas, Insights, and Content (2nd edition, revised & updated), Mark Levy tells how he uses freewriting, not only to loosen up his writing muscles, but to solve business problems of all kinds. Levy, author, writing teacher, and marketing strategist, shares a few "secrets" for making freewriting an indispensible tool:
These creative writing projects only require you to write based on your own experiences or the wondering and fantasies of your constantly working brain. Let’s check them out. Six Word Memoirs Five Creative Writing Projects You Can Do Today
[Author’s note: Of the many things I’ve written for the Poynter website, none has been as popular as my "Twenty Tools for Writers." This list has been quoted, cited, praised, debated, and repurposed by writers, editors, teachers, and other professionals who care about the craft. That folks find these tools useful gives me courage.
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7 FREE Tools for Writers | There are hundreds of programs available to help writers no matter what your genre. Here at PWW, we LOVE free, so without further ado… 7 FREE Tools for Writers OpenOffice — OpenOffice is a FREE alternative to Microsoft Office. OpenOffice is compatible with Microsoft Office documents and I have used it professionally for three years.
Time to confess: I’m a closet novelist. For the last six years, I’ve been sitting on a great plot, but I find the idea of writing a novel daunting. A few days ago, my best friend said to me, “You should write your novel this year. You know, the one where the young woman is in a bus in Rio de Janeiro, and she suddenly hears…” “You remember the story? But I told you about it six years ago!”
A Guest Post by Meredith Resnick of The Writer’s [Inner] Journey When my kids were in middle school they got a lot of make-work for homework and classwork, stuff that kept them very busy but that steered them away from real creativity and by proxy, real learning. This make-work gave the illusion that students were busy and oh so productive. Writers: How to Avoid Stagnation
4 Ways to Add Caffeine to Your Story
Academic Coaching & Writing
Outlines: channeling your writing flow | Academic workflows on Mac
Review/Art; 'Andy Warhol, Cars': Last Works of the Artist
How to Write a Sentence: And How to Read One (9780061840548): Stanley Fish