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Craft. Inspiration. Process.

Your Writing Process is Valid

The 90-Day Novelists began writing their first drafts a couple of weeks ago. Through this workshop we are each discovering our own unique process. And more importantly, we are learning to trust that ...

Ten Suggestions for Writing Your Novel, Memoir, or Screenplay

Below are ten writing suggestions for anyone who is setting out to craft a novel, memoir, or screenplay. Some are obvious, while others are perhaps less so. 1) Write everyday. No matter what. The ...

Passion

“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” – Albert Einstein What do you feel passionate about? What is your position on justice, authenticity, self-authority, the need for ...

The Protagonist’s Experience

Regardless of the medium, your reader is not interested in what your character is feeling. Seriously. In fact, if you tell your reader that Bill felt sad, dejected, elated, euphoric, or glum, your ...

Stay Curious

“The curious are always in some danger. If you are curious, you might never come home.” – Jeanette Winterson When my son was three years old, he was Captain Hook for Halloween. It was ...

No Dilemma, No Story

One thing that has been coming up a lot in my classes is the tendency for writers to “figure out” their plot. This is due, at least in part, to story structure being taught by story analysts as a ...

12 Maxims of The 90-Day Novel

I hope you’re enjoying your spring. My post today is actually a list I call “12 Maxims of The 90-Day Novel.” These are twelve things to consider while writing your first draft: 1) ...

What is My Screenplay About?

When we think of our favorite movies, there is invariably an element that is so novel, so surprising, that it ignites our imagination. Think of the character Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs. ...

Becoming a Professional Writer

The publishing industry has undergone tremendous changes over the years. “Mid-list” writers who relied on decent advances from their publishers have found themselves shut out of the big publishing ...

What Does it Mean?

Everyone has a story. It takes courage to tell it, be it memoir or fiction, because there comes a point where we must separate the facts from the truth. The challenge for the storyteller lies in ...

The Creative Process

When my son, Ray, was first learning to speak, there were so many new words each day — the syntax often fascinating and occasionally perverse. He also had a sophisticated sense of humor. He called his ...

Sell Your Novel to the Movies

When I did a book tour for my first novel, someone asked, “Have you sold the film rights?” And when I said yes, there was this gasp, like I’d been showered with pixie dust because Hollywood wanted my ...

Trust

I grew up in a very bright, academic family, but at times I felt alone. My family members were very logical, reasonable people. I was not. I was more interested in the nature of things and the unseen ...

Writing Memoir: Personal & Universal

The challenge in writing a memoir is that self-examination is not typically meant to be shared. The goal in writing a dynamic memoir lies in offering a transformative experience for our protagonist ...

Weights and Measures

PROXIMITY Do our characters have to be two thousand miles apart, or three miles apart? If we are trying to convey a sense of distance, remember that distance is relative. Let’s say that our ...

Setting Up the Argument

Story is an argument. The theme (or dramatic question) is the thesis statement, and the story is the argument played out. Any argument requires opposing forces. These forces manifest as our ...

Hold the Story Loosely

“Film is a dramatized reality and it is the director’s job to make it appear real . . . an audience should not be conscious of technique.”- David Lean HOLD THE STORY LOOSELY Our idea of the story is ...

Simplicity

Forward, he cried From the rear And the front ranks died. Pink Floyd (Us and Them)   We can tell a whole world in a sentence.  The rewrite is where we polish our prose until it gleams.  We remove ...

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HOW TO BUILD A STORY

The 7 Maxims

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