Recognize that deep down you love your inner critic. How sad, how sordid. How cheap. Secretly writers do love the censor within. We say we hate that sanctimonious inner voice, but there is no better excuse for procrastination, lethargy and despair. There is no better excuse for getting nothing done than to lock yourself in battle with the famous inner demons of self-criticism and doubt. ….
The danger is in identifying so much with your inner critic that you enjoy self-deprecation more than your work itself. Writer, beware! The inner critic is insidious, subversive, always available for depressive episodes. Stay alert. Know the enemy. Know yourself. —
— Allegra Goodman (via ellenkushner)
Wow! I will have to think about this.
Love your material. Nothing frightens the inner critic more than the writer who loves her work. The writer who is enamored of her material forgets all about censoring herself. She doesn’t stop to wonder if her book is any good, or who will publish it, or what people will think. She writes in a trance, losing track of time, hearing only her characters in her head. — Allegra Goodman (via ellenkushner)
So I just wrote a critique for someone in which I suggested doing more telling, and less showing. Or at least having a higher ratio of telling rather than showing. I do this every once in a while, and then I laugh, reminded that no advice is really universally good.
Here’s the thing. You’re writing a book, not filming a movie. Writing a book uses words. Filming a movie doesn’t need any words at all. You can show everything. You can’t do that with a book (unless it’s a graphic novel, I suppose, or a wordless picture book). In a book, you use words to do all the things that you use the actor’s face to do in a movie. And in addition to that, you get to do this cool extra thing where you can orchestrate the emotional reaction of your reader. With words.
If you are only giving a play-by-play of the action, you’re missing the real power of a book. A book gets you into the head of your pov character. You’re along for the ride in a way that a movie can’t really allow you to be. You get to know everything your pov knows. You feel everything your pov feels. You become your pov in a way a movie can’t quite manage. Now, movies can do other things that are amazing, but I don’t think they give you the same emotional connection.
Don’t just show me what is happening. Tell me what is happening in the head of the pov you’ve picked for me to ride along with. This is the pov that you’ve chosen for a reason, right? The one who is going to give the reader the most emotional ride? The one they’re never going to forget sharing an adventure with?
Make it hurt. Make it sing. Make it stay.
Stories never really end…even if the books like to pretend they do. Stories always go on. They don’t end on the last page, any more than they begin on the first page. — Cornelia Funke, Inkspell (via karenhealey)
(Source: observando, via karenhealey)
To be a creative, innovative horror writer, you must read a lot of everything, and a lot of that everything must be horror. You may be thinking, ‘How can I be creative and original with all those other authors’ ideas floating around in my head?’ But this is critical: The sheer amount of material floating around in your head will prevent you from copying any one author.
Instead you will find a tiny piece of character from this book, a tiny piece of plot from that book, a certain stylistic technique from that other, which you will combine into something totally new. It is the writer who reads only Stephen King who will turn out stories that sound like Stephen King – on a very, very bad day. — Jeanne Cavelos (via miggylol)
(Source: writingquotes, via seananmcguire)
There are two ways to deal with scars:
1. Hide them because you are embarrassed that you were ever weak enough or stupid enough to do something that scarred you.
2. Show them off because you are proud of yourself for surviving something terrible and getting stronger or wiser from it—or just having a good story to tell.
I’ve had lots of scars, as a writer, as a mother, as an athlete. I can show you the scars from the first time I took my lovely Cervelo out in the rain. My right elbow, my whole right hand, my right thigh. I can show you the scars from crashing into another racer on my left side. I can show you the scars from pregnancy, those thing white lines all over my stomach.
I can “show” you the scars from the first contract a publisher ever canceled with me. I can tell the story about that time I got fired from the job I had spent six years getting a PhD to get. I have scars from things reviewers have said about my books, from amazon 1-star reviews that I was stupid enough to read, and from cruel things I’ve heard from other authors.
Some of the scars don’t hurt at all anymore. Some of them twinge at me. Some are still a little raw, frankly, and I’m tempted to put gauze, ointment, and bandages on them when I go outside. But it helps to remember that everyone has scars, inside and out. Sometimes we get back on that bike again, and sometimes we decide that isn’t a good idea and we ride indoors from now on. It’s OK. They’re your scars. You choose the story you tell about them from now on.
I find it interesting that we all crave fame. It is the goal of almost everyone to be famous at what they do. And yet, when we look at famous people, what do we find? Almost every one of them has a horrible life. Fame destroys lives, almost universally. The only people who seem to escape this are people who have a taste and then walk away. Children, in particular, who grow up in the light of celebrity, have no chance. The more their lives are ruined, the more fascinated we are with them, and the more famous they become. There is something wrong with this, wrong with us, when the people who have what we think we want, are the most miserable people on earth.
Languages by Culture -
Even if you are writing in English, there are still word and grammatical choices that you can make, either in your narration or in your speech, that will indicate things about the culture you are writing in/about. Here are some things to consider:
How is family addressed and…
If you use magic in fiction, the first thing you have to do is put barriers up. There must be limits to magic. If you can snap your fingers and make anything happen, where’s the fun in that? … The story really starts when you put limits on magic. Where fantasy gets a bad name is when anything can happen because a wizard snaps his fingers. Magic has to come with a cost, probably a much bigger cost than when things are done by what is usually called ‘the hard way.’ — Terry Pratchett, author of the Discworld series, on writing magic. (via theticklishpear)