This guest post is by Maggie Sulc. Maggie is a playwright, dramaturg (I had to look that one up), and screenwriter from Texas, Tennessee, and, most recently, Toronto. You can follow her on her blog, Gladlybeyondaustinausten, and on Twitter (@austinausten). You’ve hit that point in the writing process. You’ve had that story or poem germinating […]
Do you ever feel like your own worst enemy when it comes to writing? Are there times when you are bursting with inspiration, bursting with ideas to write about, but struggle to get started or bring them fully to form?
When this happens, your creativity is not in the drivers seat. Instead, the inner critic is. Luckily, you can overcome your inner critic by transforming them into an inner cheerleader.
Have you ever experienced the pains of being bullied? Did you cry for hours like I did? Did you feel you’d never rise again? If so you’re self-esteem and confidence has been damaged. You don’t feel like you’re good enough. I’m here to tell you that you’re wrong.
Want to write good dialogue? Then you’ve got to break the rules.
When you and I talk, we sometimes break the rules of grammar. (I know, it’s a shock, but it’s true.) To write good dialogue, it’s not so much that we are breaking the rules, per se, it’s just that there are rules for dialogue that trump grammatical dogma.
Ah, the World Cup, an event that we all look forward to. Timers count down months before it starts, and countries bid to host 10 years in advance. Even non-football fans (or non-soccer fans for the Americans) find themselves by a tv with snacks, suddenly the greatest supporters of popular teams like Brazil and Italy, bellowing orders as if voices could somehow ride the airways back to the players.
What if you could write with so much passion that it would hook readers like you’re playing in the World Cup?
I don’t know about you, but I truly believe that whoever said, “The real problem with reality is the lack of background music,” was really onto something.
We all love music, no exceptions (unless you are some sort of alien from a deaf planet, and even then, that’s pushing it). Music enhances everything: movies, showers, pool parties, workouts, spring cleanings, and even relaxation. It cannot be denied. Music stimulates our psyche.
It’s one of the first creative writing lessons we’re taught: use all your senses. I remember sitting at my desk in second grade with a fun pack of Skittles while the teacher told us about how we needed to use our eyes, ears, noses, mouths, and hands to describe them.
Have you ever tried to write about a personal tragedy or painful experience? How did it make you feel? What complications arose?
Leads, nut grafs, and the infamous six W’s—who/what/when/where/why and how—set the everyday newsflash apart from creative work. Or do they?
Let’s look at a comparison…
You’ve finished that manuscript, the one that’s going to change the world. Now what?
Well, if you’re looking at going down the traditional publishing route, it’s time to submit your work to potential agents. However, you don’t get to send your entire book. No, you only have one page to draw them in—the dreaded query letter.