Are write-ins and feedback sessions valuable? Or does routinely sharing first drafts lead to writer's block?
How many drafts is too many? When do you know to let a piece of writing go?
Hit a creative block? Switch up your writing habits to get yourself over the hump.
Can't quite pin-point the problems with your first draft? Struggling with an outline? The Beat Sheet is here to help.
Pitching a story in a single phrase not only gets you to the heart of a complicated mess, but can help brainstorm future projects.
Understanding what it is you like as reader will help you figure out what to do as a writer.
First drafts don't have to be perfect, they just have to be complete.
Each writer has a different approach to rules. For some, they're made to be broken, others they are mere guidelines, and even others, they are cliches to be avoided like the plague (guess which one I'm not). Anyway, advice in general is like excerpts from the bible: people cherrypick what works for them and ignore the rest. … Continue reading Pixar’s Rules of Storytelling
Momentum, like Mr. Darcy's good opinion, once lost is lost forever. Or so it seems. Something like a particularly nasty cold that lasts a week (especially when it is followed by Husband spending the whole next week sick with said cold) can wreak havoc on my momentum. Like coming back from vacation, or from an illness, or from … Continue reading The Granny Square Approach
Since about 2010, I've been keeping writing notes in Blueline notebooks. I go through two or three a year. I've just started my fifteenth. It's remarkably arbitrary when I finish a notebook; I simply run out of pages. From there, I have to plan a trip to Staples, select a notebook. Sometimes they're all out … Continue reading State of the Union
Sometimes I feel like an asshole for complaining about the winter when I live in Vancouver. I see photos posted by friends who live elsewhere in Canada and they deal with Real Winter. Real Winter, to me, is snow and toques and leaving for work half-an-hour early to navigate the ice. Real Winter only really lasts a day … Continue reading The Winter Months
In a fit of nostalgia-fueled panic, I dug with gusto into this blue tub I keep in the closet that houses all the old poetry and scripts and stories I wrote in my teenage years. This is not a metaphor. I hope. That blue tub contains horrors and treasures in equal measure. Like some kind … Continue reading The Rubbermaid Tub of Broken Dreams
After some downtime in the first half of this year (during which I moved house, settled down, watched a lot of Community, basked in the glow of a new relationship, and forgot about life for a while), I haven't really written much. It's strange how quickly six months can pass. Am I finally experiencing that horrid … Continue reading Am I really writing about space pirates again?
So I've finished the first draft of the yet-to-be-titled novel about pirates in space. Now the editing begins. As difficult as the writing itself can be, editing is its own little beast. It is the shellacking together of various materials; the severing of arteries; the repackaging; the re-pasting; the smoothing over of cracks; the varnishing; the … Continue reading Editing with a Cutlass… in Space
Some progress. Very little of this is noted on The Board. My first act is kicking ass and taking names. (It is also taking numbers, so when it has sorted out its interpersonal issues, it will be making a round of apologetic phone calls.) UPDATE (MAR 31, 2011): It might seem remarkably apparent that this … Continue reading The Board: Day Three
Further progress results in colour-coding and work on "structure." All this hard effort will surely fall by the wayside once the actual writing commences.
In a well-intentioned effort to continue work on pirates in space today, I was mulling over the ideas in the back of my mind of a road movie / buddy comedy. I was able to push it to the back of my mind at first, but during a quick jaunt to the store, my brain … Continue reading The Board: Day One
I was up at five this morning. Intentionally, which is strange. I had a conversation yesterday which let me wander back down that awkward little garden path of memory to the time I came home from Europe, and, with no work for two weeks and jet lag, I was awake every morning at 5 am. … Continue reading Five AM and All is Well
Since officially relegating My Funny Valentine to the 'done' drawer of my mental filing cabinet, I've got my metaphorical "shit" together and am ready to start writing again. For the past eight months, I've done naught but scroll miscellaneous scribbles in the margins of notebooks; ideas that have stayed just that... miserably pencilled in my … Continue reading *Issues Insane Demands*