So you want to write fiction. Where do you begin? And what creative writing tools do you need to accomplish your writing goals?
I read Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl way back in January after hearing that A. it was amazing, and B. it would be getting a theatrical release in October 2014. I loved the book, and as soon as I started seeing trailers for the movie, I got it into my head that I MUST SEE THIS FILM. The moody teaser, the dark score accompanying the scenes of a marriage unraveling, the mystery of whose story is the truth: the whole thing dragged me in. I saw the movie on Sunday, and it definitely did not disappoint, at least as far as I’m concerned. There’s a lot of debate around the plot, which I won’t go into here because pretty much anything I say would be a huge spoiler.
This weekend I saw the movie Gone Girl and there was this cat. The cat was everywhere, witness to all the dysfunctional behavior happening in the house—and he obviously didn’t care.
I thought, wouldn’t it be cool to write a story from the perspective of a cat?
Last night, I came to the realization that I don’t want to do what I’m doing anymore. I don’t want to be a writer anymore. I don’t want to write books. I don’t want to write this blog. I want to quit.
How do you dramatize non fiction? Isn’t real life already wild and crazy enough? And isn’t that why we have fiction in the first place, so that we can be superheroes and E.S.C.A.P.E. our dull routine realities?
Yes, and yes, BUT. The role of literature, in my and many other authors’ humble yet strong opinion, is to reflect social trends and preserve cultural ideals. To inform, inspire, and innovate. The stories we write and read shape our culture and society, our minds and our lives. This is why I insist with the ferocity of a Category 5 hurricane on quality, beauty, and impact.
The reason I write is to open minds—including my own. For me, the most potent way to do that is by mixing up fiction and real life. So let me tell you about The Visionary.
Weird Al came out with a new album fairly recently, and my boyfriend sent me a link to his video for “Word Crimes” because, let’s face it, it’s me we’re talking about. For reference, in case any of you aren’t as aware of Weird Al’s affinity for grammar, he’s a self-described grammar nazi, and this song is a clear indication of that fact.
When writing a series (or even just a really long novel), at some point, the characters become known, their dynamics set, and readers can almost guess how characters will feel about a given plot twist before it happens. Fans go beyond love for characters and form deep connections … and expectations.
Some readers love to simply love their characters and enjoy their next adventure. But don’t discount the fun of killing your darlings to shake things up.
Out of curiosity, I recently Googled “how to write better.” You should try it. I got a list of great resources that would help any writer. However, as I read each of the articles, something began to gnaw at me. Something was missing in the excellent advice these well-respected writers were giving on how to write better. A core rule had been left out.
This article is about that missing rule.
A couple months ago I wanted to try something new, mix things up a bit. My wife suggested I write my next novel in real-time, for all the world to see. Grammar trolls be damned. After a day to think about it, I said I’d do it.
I was a little scared before I started, and humbled when it began, but in one more day I’ll be done with the first draft and I’ve harvested some great lessons along the way. Here’s what I’ve learned from writing a novel “LIVE”, and why you might want to try it too.
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.