Help, I’m stuck on the page! — 10 Tips to Get Your Pen Moving Again~

1) Breathe!  Slowly, deeply, it’s all okay and normal and you will be fine, truly. (And repeat.) 2) Put the story structure info away—in a drawer, in a trash can, in a virtual trash can—and don’t look at it again. When it causes anxiety it is no longer useful. Shred any piece of paper that tells you that there are rules for writing a novel. 3) Know that finishing is difficult for your creative self (and mine and everyone’s!). Resistance can swell a bit when the end of a draft (or even “almost-draft”) nears. 4) Know that you are the …

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Writing Without a Net: It’s Worth the Risk

“Growth demands a temporary surrender of security.” ~ Gail Sheehy     We are always writing our story. At our core we write to understand, to change, to evolve. When it comes to creativity and writing, there are no guarantees that we will become rich, famous, or even remotely well-read. We can use our fears to stop us from taking creative risks; or we can use our fears to connect us to our characters and our story. That is our choice. Wishing you creative risk~S

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@NaNoWriMo2015-Get to the Heart of Your Story (writing tip #30)

Okay, so technically this 30th NaNoWriMo post comes to you on December 1. (Even if I pretend that I’m writing this in Honolulu, we are still minutes into the last month of the year.) So I’m opting for flexible and sending out congratulations to all who wrote their way through November. Hopefully, depending upon where you are in the world–catching up on your ZZZZZZs, watching the sun rise, or midway through your day–you are celebrating your accomplishment. There is more writing to be done, more drafts of your novel (more screenplays, essays, short stories, memoirs). We writers write, rewrite, edit, …

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#NaNoWriMo2015-Get to the Heart of Your Story (writing tip #28)

When I fall in love with a book it is because I experience the story as if it lives and breathes inside me; I can summon and recall the evocative and pivotal images as clearly as if I’d been there. Because I am there, each time I dive into a story I love, I participate as a reader and the most powerful images are a dance of the visual and the visceral. Make wise use of the pivotal images of the story you are writing. What is the opening image of your story? Visualize your hero just as the story …

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#NaNoWriMo2015-Get to the Heart of Your Story (writing tip #25)

Yesterday I wrote about approaching the end of writing the first draft of your novel and the various emotions that will inevitably be stirred up inside of you. In a previous post I wrote about the fact that the fears that arise around writing your book must, in their deepest nature, be connected to the fears of your primary characters. This is simply so. So, now, as you near the end of this draft, do remember to find the way from your fears–their deepest, most primal nature–to the fears of your protagonist. They will be heightened by the approach of …

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#NaNoWriMo2015–Get to the Heart of Your Story (writing tip #15)

If you are participating in NaNoWriMo, you are halfway through your month and you might be wondering if you’re going to make it all the way through your draft by November 30th. If you’re flagging, take a deep breath (and perhaps a nap) and give yourself the credit you deserve: you’ve taken on a big challenge and that’s a victory all its own! Did you take a selfie on Day #1? If yes, look it over, put it away, and take another selfie now, on Day #15. If you didn’t take an actual photo, picture what you looked like two …

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#NaNoWriMo2015–Get to the Heart of Your Story (writing tip #10)

Over the course of writing seven novels on deadline, I’ve found that there are times I need to get closer to my characters, and there are times I need distance, at least temporarily. If you’re struggling with either of these issues, take these tips to heart: More Intimacy: I need to get inside my character’s skin! If you’re feeling some distance between yourself and your novel, here is a simple way to write your way to more intimacy: 1) Pick one of your upcoming scenes, an interaction between your hero and at least one other character. Your hero is the viewpoint …

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