Writing Inspiration

Writer’s Challenges: from Addiction to Boredom

In Living the Writer’s Life, Eric Maisel lists 60 of the main challenges writers face and what you can do to help yourself deal with them. The list isn’t exhaustive and many of them interconnect or relate to each other. You won’t experience all of these and you may have other challenges that aren’t on… Continue reading Writer’s Challenges: from Addiction to Boredom

Writing Inspiration

Stephen King: The Adverb is Not Your Friend

This great advice from Stephen King comes from his essential book On Writing. It’s filled with writing tips and insight into his life and writing process. If you haven’t read it – read it! This extract is about the dreaded adverb. One or two may be okay, but beware the adverb – it is not your friend… “Adverbs… Continue reading Stephen King: The Adverb is Not Your Friend

Writing Inspiration

Kurt Vonnegut: 8 Tips for Writing Short Stories

Here’s a video of great advice for short story writers – although you could easily apply these tips to novel writing too. If you take only one of these tips to heart, I would say the first is pretty important: don’t waste the time of a total stranger. Always ask yourself: why would anybody want to read this?

  1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
  2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
  3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
  4. Every sentence must do one of two things — reveal character or advance the action.
  5. Start as close to the end as possible.
  6. Be a Sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
  7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
  8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To hell with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.

 

Writing Inspiration

George R.R. Martin: write even if you never make a penny

George R.R. Martin advises budding writers that they shouldn’t choose writing as a career in order to make money or “make a name for yourself or any of these other external things.” He goes on:

“If you have to write, if the stories are in you, if you made up names and stories for your toy spacemen when you were little, if the stories come to you, ask yourself the question, ‘What if no one ever gives me a penny for my stories? Will I still write them?’ And if the answer is ‘yes’, then you’re a writer. Then you have to be a writer. It’s the only thing you can do. If the answer is ‘No, I’m going to quit after a few years because I’m not selling’, then maybe you should quit right now and learn computer science. I hear there’s a real future in these computer things.”