Books about how to write vary in usefulness. There may be one sentence in the entire book that gives you the light bulb needed to finish a chapter that’s been giving you trouble, or it may be that knowing someone else surmounted their obstacles is inspiring news….
I’ve just put back in the library bag How Not to Write a Novel: 200 Classic Mistakes and How to Avoid Them — A Misstep-by-Misstep Guide, by Howard Mittelmark and Sandra Newman.
You can get some heavy thinking on how to name the characters in your book. This kind of attention might be warranted for the main characters, but depending on the story there could be quite a cast list, and an author could let herself get bogged down trying to name everyone who needs one. FacebookContinue reading “Fun with Character Names”
The creation of my characters happens in fits and starts. The protagonists have conversations or I see snatches of action that illustrate what’s grabbing me about the story. Eventually these moments accumulate so I have an impression of their overall motivations. Like the first square in an afghan, once that color and pattern is established,Continue reading “Great Aunt Hazel”
I was an early reader. A flexible kindergarten teacher pulled a group of parents aside and said, “It’s not on the curriculum until next year, but these kids are ready to go now,” and five of us started staying after school for a private tutorial in how to unlock the philosopher’s stone. And we wereContinue reading “Learning to Read”
I try to say yes to everything. I don’t think of myself as a pushover; rather, when presented with an opportunity, I like to be able to seize it. I’m genuinely interested in the things I say yes to, and I’ve gotten an inside look at all kinds of places because I’m willing to schlepContinue reading “Duelling Events”
Lately this is the kind of space that appeals to me. Fresh air, breezes, the twittering of birds . . . I think I could get a lot of thinking done in that hammock. It turns out that these aren’t just fantasy movie sets.