Working with the Absent Self

Posted on May 3, 2013. Filed under: Blogging, Writer-Tools, writing, Writing-Exercises, Writing-Tools | Tags: , , , , , , |

On the Writer Block blog, a wonderful piece was written about working with the absent antagonist.

Consider writing a piece, or several pieces, in which you work with the absent self. In this piece, you write about what people do, and say, when you are not present. What do they say about you? Or, do they think about you at all? Perhaps you are the center of your universe, but you are not the center of theirs.

What happens to the players in the drama of your life when you remove yourself from the equation? Are you as missed as you think you might be?

On the other hand, whose people do you touch that you tend not to notice. What about the person at the post office or people at the shops you frequent? If you were to move 1000 miles away, would your life or theirs be affected in some subtle way.

What happens when you write about your life, working with the absent self?

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Talking to Your Inner Dog

Posted on May 3, 2013. Filed under: Blogging, writing, Writing-Exercises, Writing-Tools | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

More than a few writers who are pet owners can tell you that they find inspiration in “conversations” that they have with their dogs (or cats or….)

But, what if you do not have a pet? Maybe you should consider having a conversation with your inner dog.

Preposterous ideas sometimes are the best ones for finding the creativity you need to engender a new work. What would your inner dog be like? Is it a poodle or a doberman? Is that really the kind of inner dog that you want?

And, once it is here, what would you say to it? If it could talk back, what would it say to you?

(Caveat: We have no affiliation of any kind with “Inner Dog TV” on Youtube.)

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Emotion Driven Writing

Posted on April 30, 2013. Filed under: Blogging, Resistance, writing, Writing-Exercises | Tags: , , , , , , |

Extreme emotional states do not seem like good times for writing, but they can be the very best if you can focus yourself long enough to do it. Even the smallest snippets, maybe only a sentence or a phrase, can be a powerful seed for later development.

Whether you use a notepad or a word processor, learning to capture words in these moments can not only be healing but also be a source of inspiration for what may be some of your best work!

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Building Characters by Building a Secret Identity

Posted on April 29, 2013. Filed under: Blogging, writing, Writing-Exercises | Tags: , , , , |

Having trouble building characters for your fiction? Consider building a secret identity.

Consider what would happen if you needed to build a secret identity. How would you build your own witness protection program? Where would you move? Make a list of candidates of places to live, and research them. Make certain to pick at least a few places you have never lived, and consider somewhere like Lincoln, Nebraska instead of New York City.

Then consider what kind of person you would become if you moved there. If you have the time and money to do it, after you have written your preliminary character sketch, visit one of the places where you have never been. Take a camera and a notepad. Take pictures and make notes. Is it really the way you envisioned?

Who would you be in this new place? Once you can answer this, you may find you have new insights on how to build characters.

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Plot Outline

Posted on April 29, 2013. Filed under: Blogging, Uncategorized, writing, Writing-Tools |

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Working Hard or Hardly Working?

Posted on April 29, 2013. Filed under: Blogging, writing |

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Writing a Daily Meditation Book

Posted on April 28, 2013. Filed under: Blogging, Staying-With-It, writing, Writing-Exercises | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Have you considered writing your own daily meditation book?

Writing a passage at a time, keeping the passages short, and keeping the topics simple, you can build a tool that reflects yourself and your ideas.

Once you have finished a year of this work, you can re-write it over time, keeping what works for you and discarding what does not.

Even if you never take what you have written to market, what you have written can be a priceless tool to guide yourself in terms of your own ideals and values.

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Replenish the Grammar and Style Well

Posted on April 24, 2013. Filed under: Blogging, Staying-With-It, Writer-Tools, writing, Writing-Tools | Tags: |

We often hear that we should take time to refill the well. This metaphor speaks of a pause that allows us to reconnect with the source of our creativity.

But consider that we need to refill the well in other ways. Working on grammar and style is often just that: work. But, if you want to “work” as a writer, then you need to tune your process. Emitting words into a medium is not sufficient for most of us.

Consider a purchase of a style guide such as the classic “Elements of Style” by Strunk and White. Consider it a fine meal, and devour it slowly, over days and weeks, so that you may develop mastery in your craft.

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When to Write

Posted on April 23, 2013. Filed under: Blogging, Staying-With-It, writing | Tags: , , |

Finding the time to write can be difficult. Most writers write in the morning, or so it seems. But, what if you are not a “morning person”?

If you function better later in the day, then you should consider writing at the time when you are at your peak. But, if your productivity suffers when you delay your writing until later, then stick with the morning approach.

Writing when sleepy may be the only way to get the words out. If that is true, keep in mind that you can always return to the work later and edit it when you are more alert.

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Why can’t every day be like this one?

Posted on April 17, 2013. Filed under: Opinions, writing | Tags: , |

Why can’t every day be like this one?”

Who writes about good days? Don’t we always focus on the bad ones?

And, once you do focus on the good ones, it is in reference to the bad ones. Like bad days, good ones pass as well. Spending time thinking about the other ones can be a terribly waste of an opportunity.

So many of us write dark and terrible stories on our blogs and in our e-books that we can easily be fooled into believing that is what sells. But the big draw for Hollywood movies in terms of sales is the “romantic comedy.” Trying to be the next Stephen King can be fun, but if you want to sell your work you should consider focusing on producing the next “Bridget Jones Diary.” (Even that is a re-write of Jane Austen.)

Maybe the best thing to do with bright and sunny spring days is to enjoy them.

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