Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Quotes of the Week

It's a folk singer's job to comfort disturbed people and to disturb comfortable people 
―Woody Guthrie

If your book doesn't keep you up nights writing it, it won't keep anyone up nights reading it.
—James A. Michener

The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.
—Mark Twain

Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.
—Louis L'Amour

There is no friend as loyal as a book.
—Ernest Hemingway

If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.
—Stephen King

Creativity is a wild mind and a disciplined eye.
—Dorothy Parker

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Quotes of the Week

Creativity is a wild mind and a disciplined eye.
—Dorothy Parker

It is the function of art to conceal the difficulties of its execution.
—Susan Sontag

I write only when inspirations strikes. Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o'clock sharp.
—W. Somerset Maugham

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Quotes of the Week

Creativity is a wild mind and a disciplined eye.
—Dorothy Parker

You are what you settle for.
—Janis Joplin

Write hard and clear about what hurts.
—Ernest Hemingway.

You're only given one little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it.
—Robin Williams

Don't be seduced into thinking that that which does not make a profit is without value.
—Arthur Miller

I write one page of masterpiece to ninety one pages of shit. I try to put the shit in the waste-basket.
—Ernest Hemingway

Write even when you don't want to, don't much like what you are writing, and aren't writing particularly well.
—Agatha Christie

Once a story has been written, one has to cross out the beginning and the end.
—Anton Chekhov

Writers are desperate people and when they stop being desperate they stop being writers.
—Charles Bukowski

It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all…people. 
—James Baldwin

The writer's job is to get the main character up a tree, and then once they are up there, throw rocks at them. 
—Vladimir Nabokov

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Tuesday Tips from PIXAR

These rules were originally tweeted by Emma Coates, Pixar’s Story Artist. Number 9 on the list - When you’re stuck, make a list of what wouldn’t happen next – is a great one and can apply to writers in all genres.

1.You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.

2.You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be very different.

3.Trying for theme is important, but you won’t see what the story is actually about til you’re at the end of it. Now rewrite.

4.Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.

5.Simplify. Focus. Combine characters. Hop over detours. You’ll feel like you’re losing valuable stuff but it sets you free.

6.What is your character good at, comfortable with? Throw the polar opposite at them. Challenge them. How do they deal?

7.Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front.

8.Finish your story, let go even if it’s not perfect. In an ideal world you have both, but move on. Do better next time.

9.When you’re stuck, make a list of what WOULDN’T happen next. Lots of times the material to get you unstuck will show up.

10.Pull apart the stories you like. What you like in them is a part of you; you’ve got to recognize it before you can use it.

11.Putting it on paper lets you start fixing it. If it stays in your head, a perfect idea, you’ll never share it with anyone.

12.Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself.

13.Give your characters opinions. Passive/malleable might seem likable to you as you write, but it’s poison to the audience.

14.Why must you tell THIS story? What’s the belief burning within you that your story feeds off of? That’s the heart of it.

15.If you were your character, in this situation, how would you feel? Honesty lends credibility to unbelievable situations.

16.What are the stakes? Give us reason to root for the character. What happens if they don’t succeed? Stack the odds against.

17.No work is ever wasted. If it’s not working, let go and move on – it’ll come back around to be useful later.

18.You have to know yourself: the difference between doing your best & fussing. Story is testing, not refining.

19.Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.

20.Exercise: take the building blocks of a movie you dislike. How d’you rearrange them into what you DO like?

21.You gotta identify with your situation/characters, can’t just write ‘cool’. What would make YOU act that way?

22.What’s the essence of your story? Most economical telling of it? If you know that, you can build out from there.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Quotes of the Week

Talent is helpful in writing, but guts are absolutely essential.
—Jessamyn West

Never make the mistake of assuming the audience is any less intelligent than you are. 
—Rod Serling

But with writers, there's nothing wrong with melancholy. It's an important color in writing.
—Paul McCartney

Go a little out of your depth, and when you don’t feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom, you’re just about in the right place to do something exciting.
—David Bowie

If you want to fly, you have to give up the shit that weighs you down.
—Toni Morrison

Just write every day of your life. Read intensely. Then see what happens. Most of my friends who are put on that diet have very pleasant careers.
—Ray Bradbury

You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.
—Jack London

I don't want life to imitate art. I want life to be art.  
—Carrie Fisher

My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.
—Ernest Hemingway

A good #writer is basically a story teller, not a scholar or a redeemer of mankind.
—Isaac B. Singer

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Tuesday Tips: Take a Day

I usually try to post a tip for writers on Tuesdays. 

Today's tip is that every now and then, take the day off.

Sunny and 70 outside today.

--Today is that day...

Monday, March 8, 2021

Happy International Womans Day!

Dina Meyer
Today is International Woman's Day. 

I am going to get three yards of mulch as soon as I am done with this post, for my wife, Brenda, who is a woman and awesome. She loves mulching and her garden is beautiful. It will take 12 yards to cover it all and she won't have me spread so much as a handful. Doesn't even ask. She enjoys her garden that much. 

The novel I am currently working on is called The Law of Lumina. My main character is Sec Chief Emma Boone. She is the small-town chief of the police on a space station that turns out to be more than it seems. As I write I base all my characters on real people so I can visualize them better. The protagonist of the book is based on the actress Dina Meyer. We have the same birthday! I have even met her in person. She is super nice.

--So to my wife Brenda, Dina Meyer and all the women I know: Enjoy today and every day.

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Where do you find Inspiration?

When I was a kid my favorite show on TV was Jonny Quest.

As an adult, when I started writing Science Fiction I now realize I took a lot of inspiration from things I saw on the show. I am currently watching the show again on Saturday mornings on HBOmax.

--Coffee and Cartoons!

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Quotes of the Week

Any form of human creativity is a process of doing it and getting better at it. You become a writer by writing. There is no other way. 
—Margaret Atwood

Never treat your audience as customers, always as partners.
—Jimmy Stewart

Don’t get it right, just get it written.
—James Thurber

Have regrets. They are fuel. On the page they flare into desire.
—Geoff Dyer

Why say “very beautiful”? “Beautiful” is enough.
—James Joyce

It is the function of art to conceal the difficulties of its execution.
—Susan Sontag

I'm a writer and, therefore, automatically a suspicious character.
—Alfred Hitchcock

Cheap paper is less perishable than gray matter and lead pencil markings endure longer than memory. Keep a notebook. Travel with it, eat with it, sleep with it.
—Jack London