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Craft. Inspiration. Process.

What is My Title?

What is My Title?

 Those scant few words on the cover of our book or screenplay can be the most labor-intensive work of our entire manuscript. Coming up with a good title can be a bitch. We may have a working title, ...
Writing the Middle

Writing the Middle

For all you first-time writers struggling with the middle of your story, here’s something to remember. Our idea of our novel is never the whole story. The solution to getting through the middle of ...
Simplicity in Writing

Simplicity in Writing

Forward, he cried From the rear And the front ranks died. Pink Floyd (Us and Them) Hi Writers, We can tell a whole world in a sentence. The rewrite is where we polish our prose until it gleams. We ...
Finishing Your Novel: 5 Tips to Get You to the End

Finishing Your Novel: 5 Tips to Get You to the End

For all you writers struggling somewhere in the middle of your manuscript, here are five tips to get you to the end. 1) Create a deadline for yourself. Think of a practical timeframe to complete ...
The Writer’s Place

The Writer’s Place

I believe there is something we writers are collectively seeking; we are all attempting to convey an experience, a true moment, to tell a story that somehow reveals more than what we thought we. ...
The Value of an Outline

The Value of an Outline

A lot of writers want to dive right into their first drafts and start amassing pages. Though there are those novelists who claim not to outline, upon questioning (and I’ve asked many of them) I ...
Writing Fiction: Letting Go of Our Story

Writing Fiction: Letting Go of Our Story

“Danger lies in the writer becoming the victim of his own exaggeration, losing the exact notion of sincerity, and in the end coming to despise truth itself as something too cold, too blunt for his ...
Stay Out of the Result

Stay Out of the Result

For any writer, here’s a question to ask yourself: “Why do I want to write this novel?”A student told me recently that he was writing his first novel in order to sell it for a lot of money. Though I ...
Writing Without Distraction

Writing Without Distraction

OK writers, you’ve begun working in earnest. The story is alive, your cylinders are firing. You’re getting up every morning and putting in the hours. But then, something happens. Life delivers a ...
Surrender to Your Story

Surrender to Your Story

Our story asks everything of us. If it didn’t, we would never surrender. How often do we live our lives as though we were not going to die? We make choices and even avoid opportunities out of fear. ...
The Purpose of the Outline

The Purpose of the Outline

Whether consciously or not, every writer is in search of a process. The outline is an often misunderstood element in the creative process. Some novelists eschew it completely, considering it to ...
Keeping the Rewrite Alive

Keeping the Rewrite Alive

A director told me once that if you put two actors together in a scene without directing them or staging the scene, that as the scene played out, the conflict would likely begin to diminish, that if ...
Trusting the Unconscious

Trusting the Unconscious

If you’re a first-time novelist, and you’ve yet to complete a manuscript, you may have had the experience of writing something, and getting stuck halfway through. Our idea of our story is rarely the ...
Writing the Forbidden

Writing the Forbidden

It is challenging sometimes for me to let go of my “idea” of my story, in order to allow the actual story to emerge. Let’s remember that we never need to impose anything, but rather ...
Did I Write Today?

Did I Write Today?

This is the only question you need to ask yourself at the end of the day. Nothing else matters, not the dishes, the oil change, or returning your buddy’s call to go see the new Transformers movie. ...
The Rewrite

The Rewrite

In a thrilling display of solidarity, the 90-Day Novelists finished their first drafts a couple of weeks ago and have begun their rewrites. The first draft was about diving into the unknown, ...
Q&A with Tod Goldberg

Q&A with Tod Goldberg

Tod Goldberg is the author of the novels Living Dead Girl (Soho Press), a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Fake Liar Cheat (Pocket Books/MTV), and the popular Burn Notice series, ...

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HOW TO BUILD A STORY

The 7 Maxims