by Deborah Walker Ideas for my stories come to me in museums, in galleries, in libraries. Find me upstairs (and it’s always quieter upstairs) in the British Museum trawling the past looking for future inspiration. Old books, paintings, objects are part of our material heritage. Survivors of the ravages of times, sometimes cherished throughout the […]
Archive for the ‘Writing Technique’ Category
An outline is a roadmap. It helps you decide the overall shape of the novel. It does not lock you into that structure if you stumble upon something interesting.
Which came first—the chicken, the egg, or the egg white omelet—I don’t know. But the discussion glosses over an obvious gap: white authors.
My personal preference is for what I’ve called third-order answers. A lot of mysteries have an obvious culprit, and then a character who is, if you know your narrative conventions, the obvious alternative to the obvious culprit. I like mysteries that go one step further.
…I firmly believe that the joy found at the heart of reading is the same joy found at the heart of writing: it is the joy of discovery.
…I’m not going to discuss the importance of goals today. Instead, I’m going to discuss how worthless they are.
We do need, not more, but a deeper relationship with what we have. Not knowledge, or not just knowledge, but understanding. That’s what writers give us.
A good story should always be raising questions — not asking them directly, but instead forcing the reader to ask them. “Wait, what’s that weird symbol they keep seeing on the walls? What was that sound? Something’s up with that top hat-wearing fox that keeps following them, too.
When I told people at ConCarolinas that I’d gone from writing 2k to 10k per day, I got a huge response. Everyone wanted to know how I’d done it, and I finally got so sick of telling the same story over and over again that I decided to write it down here.
The logistics of slush piles demand ruthlessness, and stories that don’t intrigue the reader early on won’t get a second chance later. So, you’ve got your hook. It’s dramatic, it’s ingenious, and it’s free of typos. Your first two pages have been polished to near oblivion. Now what?