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Posts Tagged ‘Dwight V. Swain’

Writing is simple, right? Writing is considered a basic skill in our society and as such, people often look down on it as, well, a basic skill. Sadly, thinking that you can write an effective book/story/memoir/etc. because you are literate is like saying that because you can run down the block, you have what it takes to do the Boston Marathon.

As always, the devil is in the details. Sorting out those details, by understanding the process and which of the many aspects of art and craft you should work on, is key to becoming (and staying) a writer.

Much of what I read and write is speculative and genre fiction, and a few of my specific suggestions and references are colored accordingly. If speculative fiction isn’t your thing that doesn’t mean you can’t use these references. It just means that you may need to ask yourself questions like, “This is great, but how would an alien sea monkey’s need for interstellar love translate to a tailor in modern-day Calcutta?” All the better to exercise your creative faculties, I say. As you’ll see, though, most writing advice translates well across boundaries.

Here are a few pointers to get you started…

Resources I’ve Found Useful:

It will shock no one to learn that there are also a lot of writing resources on the web; often the problem is sorting through them all. Search for talks, interviews and essays by authors whose work speaks to you, see if their ideas or suggestions offer fuel for your fires. I’ve mentioned some links in previous discussions on writing and creativity already, and there are many (many, many) more. To get you started:

 

Life rewards action…. That story isn’t going to unf*ck itself.
— Chuck Wendig [asterisk mine]

There are all kinds of writers. Fiction vs. not, certainly, but also binge writers, morning writers, middle of the night writers, must have my pencils just so writers, deadline writers and cabin in the woods writers, can only write on used envelope writers, take your pick. Find what works for you.

Then write.

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