My Bazillion Outlines

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I’m in the construction phase of the latest story, and that involves multiple outlines in multiple formats, snippets of scenes written down as they come into my head, lists with bullet points of important stuff that needs to happen, and eventually, only half of all of this will be of use. If I’m lucky. Continue reading

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You Want To Write? Well How About That! Here Are Some Tips From A Cat In A Hat! #amwriting

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Whether he’s teaching us how to have fun on a rainy day, or feeding us odd-colored food, or reminding us that “unless someone cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not,” Theodor Geisel (a.k.a. Dr. Suess) knew how to weave an imaginative tale with an underlying message that still resonates with all ages.

I want to share with you something he once said about his writing that I particularly love:

“I tend to basically exaggerate in life, and in writing, it’s fine to exaggerate. I really enjoy overstating for the purpose of getting a laugh. It’s very flattering, that laugh, and at the same time it gives pleasure to the audience and accomplishes more than writing very serious things. For another thing, writing is easier than digging ditches. Well, actually that’s an exaggeration. It isn’t.”

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Sorry If I Freaked You Out…I’m A Writer

Dear Friend,

I was listening to you. Really I was.

You were talking about that thing you did last week at that…place – wherever it was.

See? I was listening. I was listening very intently and then you talked about that place you hiked in once that was so cut off from civilization that prehistoric tribes could live in it and never be found and suddenly, there it was.

A story idea.

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Don’t Fall Down The Rabbit Hole #amwriting #writing

I had to do some research over the weekend.

This is problematic.

The problem being that I love – I mean absolutely love – to read up on ancient cultures and civilizations. I’ve always said if I hadn’t studied theatre I could have easily become a cultural anthropologist. People fascinate me. Their daily lives, what mattered to them, how they interacted with each other and the world as it was at that time – all so very fascinating.

And when you’re pulling up WIkipedia pages and perusing university webpages and visiting online museums…oh, it’s so easy to fall down that rabbit hole and emerge bleary-eyed a few hours later, wondering where your evening has gone and realizing you only got a few of the items checked off your writer “to do” list. Continue reading

Master Class Monday: The Incomparable Neil Gaiman

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I first discovered Neil Gaiman through the movie adaptation of his novel, Stardust – a movie which happens to be my favorite movie of all time. The story has it all – fantasy, adventure, romance, heart, dastardly villains, love gone wrong…oh, it’s just wonderful. After I saw the movie, I read the book (which has a very different ending and a much more melancholy feel throughout) and I fell in love all over again. A good story is a good story, and this one was simply magic.

After that I started reading all of his stuff, of course, and I discovered that not only is he an amazing and inventive writer, he’s also very open and supportive of all writers, particularly those just starting out. He’s done countless interviews discussing writing tips and strategies, and his advice is spot-on and without a lot of B.S. His main piece of advice?

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