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Friday, November 07, 2014

How the Fiction Writer Learns to Welcome the Unknown

How the Writer Welcomes the Unknown in Fiction
"... the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself... alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the sweat and the agony."--  Willliam Faulkner

What is good fiction writing technique? How do we unleash the creative energy through the channels of character and story?

Craft and technique are necessary, but the trick is to not put the cart before the horse. Technical expertise alone cannot release the writer's passion, and the perfectly turned phrase will please the ego, but if it doesn't translate into something meaningful for the character and story, it is so much wasted word count.
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Tuesday, July 01, 2014

The Power of A Good Critique for the Fiction Writer

Power of a good critique in Fiction Writing
A good critique never leaves you deflated. It always leaves you inspired.  

Receiving a critique with curiosity and an open mind and knowing how to critique others writing are two of the most enriching aspects of belonging to a fiction writing workshop. Having your work critiqued in a supportive atmosphere where there is a professional writing coach is a terrific learning experience in many way ways.

Whether you are participating in a writing workshop or working with a private writing coach, a good critique encourages the silencing of your Inner Critic, your willingness to take risks with your writing and releases your creative passion.

A Good Critique Inspired, Never Deflates...
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Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Inner Critic Is Afraid of Your Creativity!

The Inner Critic is terrified of the creative unconscious because it is the home of feelings, emotions, images and it is chaotic and unexpected.

The Inner Critic likes order and loves the status quo, which is antithetical to the creative unconscious.

That's why if you "fall down the rabbit hole" the Inner Critic won't follow you!
Free of the Inner Critic, you have the possibility of experiencing real creative freedom and passionate stories awaits you. Only then can the true dance begin!
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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Life Force of Creativity

From Martha Graham to Agnes DeMille

There is a vitality,
a life force,
a quickening that is translated through you into action,
and because there is only one you in all time,
this expression is unique.

If you block it,
it will never exist through any medium and be lost.
The world will not have it.
It is not your business to determine how good it is;
it is your business to keep it yours,
clearly and directly,
to keep the channel open...
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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Why and How Your Inner Critic Stops You from Writing?

How the Inner Critic Gains A Foothold
Here is a scenario about how the
Inner Critic gains a foothold in our lives. Imagine you are a little kid and you go to touch something that is hot and your mother screams, “Don’t do that!” Or, you are playing in the dirt, having a grand time, and your mother says in horror, “Oh my God! We are going to grandma’s house and you’re filthy dirty!”

The Inner Critic Wants to Keep You Safe, but at What Cost?
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Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Agony of the Untold Story for the Fiction Writer

There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside of you.  -Maya Angelou

Someone recently sent me this quote. Its truth brought tears to my eyes. The synchronicity of it's arrival was uncanny. Although I am a fiction writer and have written about ten novels, some published, some not, a few unfinished, others yet unborn, I have for the past ten years or so feared I would never give birth to another novel.

Why my fiction writing dried up, I don't know. It was a slow drying up, but one day it was gone. There were no more characters and stories inside me. It was astonishing, really. I had written all my life, since the time I was a little girl. There hadn't been any great long breaks. I wrote all through school, majored in writing in college. I married a man who loved my writing, believed in my career as a novelist. I wrote when my children were small and all through their growing up. I reveled in the freedom of the empty nest. My time was my own. I wrote more furiously. I expected I would write fiction for the rest of my life. 
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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

How to Use a Writing Prompt in Fiction Writing

Some Tips Before You Begin
How to use a Fiction Writing Prompt
Any prompt is only a starting point. If your imagination takes you in a direction that has nothing to do with the prompts, go where your imagination takes you.
Do not listen to the voice inside your head that says, “Oh, no! I shouldn’t be writing about this!” or “I’m not doing this right!” There are no “shoulds” or “should nots” in this process. The only thing you can do wrong is to not write.
Always name your characters, even if the name never appears in the story. Why would a character tell you her story if you don’t care enough to learn her name?
Write dialogue. In thirty years of teaching writing, I have never worked with anyone who couldn’t write dialogue – only with people who thought they couldn’t!
Be a risk taker. Don’t think. Write from your passionate core. Risk and passion are the essence of the creative journey and the sweetest nectar for your Inner Writer. Don’t forget to have fun!
The Prompt
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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Why Do We Make Writing So Hard?

We make writing a lot harder than it is meant to be. Don’t get me wrong—writing is not a piece of cake. It is hard work, but it’s good hard work, like digging in the earth to make a garden. The problem for many of us is that our minds have convinced us that sitting down to write a story much less a book is at best painful, at worst impossible.

I believed this for many years –– and despite that I managed to get five novels, two picture books and one book on writing published. I don’t believe in the pain theory of writing any more. Experience and age has convinced me of this:
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Friday, March 14, 2014

Do You Want You Want Your Fiction Writing to Expand Like Crazy?

Falling Down the Rabbit Hole: Wonderland as Metaphor!  
How Far Down the Rabbit Hole Are You Willing to Go?

Falling down the Rabbit Hole into Wonderland is a perfect metaphor for the creative journey which can never take place in the “real” or conscious world. Writing, whether it be fiction, poetry or nonfiction, finds its origins in the dark, fertile chaos of the unconscious.

The Importance of Tweedledum and Tweedledee
If you don’t meet Cheshire cats and Mad Hatters, Tweedledees and Tweedledums, mad queens, dragons, flying monkeys and monsters, or your version of the above, then you have not fallen.

This is not to say you have to be writing fantasy or horror to open to your unconscious, but as you will see, the journey for the writer must hold metaphorically a good sprinkling of both.

Explore Emily's workbook, The Art of Fiction Writing or How to Fall Down the Rabbit Hole Without Really Trying....  Paperback and e-book available
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Friday, March 07, 2014

Are You Right Brain or Left Brain Dominant?

The Right Brain Leads the Dance of Creativity...

Creativity is a subtle dance between the rational and the intuitive, between the left and right parts of the brains. In terms of writing, we would say that technique comes from the left side of the brain and imagination from the right side. Both are needed People, by nature, are usually right brain or left dominant. Some are more in balance than others, and no matter which you are, you can learn how to build muscle into whichever side you are weaker.

Here is a look at some of the ways that the many people with whom I have worked over the past 30 years relate to their right and left brain tendencies. This is by no means a complete view of the spectrum but I believe it is fairly typical of fiction writers.
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