Tools & Tips

  • I sit down religiously every morning. I sit down for eight hours every dayand the sitting down is all. In the course of that working day of eight hours I write three sentences which I erase before leaving the table in despair. . . .
    Sometimes it takes my resolution and power of self-control to refrain from butting my head against the wall.
    – Joseph Conrad
  • “Don’t get discouraged because there’s a lot of mechanical work to writing. . . . I rewrote the first part of Farewell to Arms at least 50 times.”– Ernest Hemingway
  • “Every story would be another story, and unrecognizable if it took up its characters and plot and happened somewhere else… Fiction depends for its life on place. Place is the crossroads of circumstance, the proving ground of, what happened? Who’s here? Who’s coming?
    – Eudora Welty
  • “I have written a great many stories and I still don’t know how to go about it except to write it and take my chances.” – John Steinbeck
  • “If you can imagine it, you can create it. If you dream it, you can become it.”
    – William Arthur Ward.
  • Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.*
    – Anton Chekhov
  • Wordsas innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.
    – Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Art of Storytelling

  1.     Write from your heart not from your head.
  2.     Show not tell. The sun is shining is telling. A glint of light coming off of a broken glass is showing
  3.     Identify with the characters in your story. Go with them through the emotional and mental journey you are putting them through.
  4.     Don’t treat your characters like robots. They should be a living and breathing group, with all the frailties, vanities, attitudes and emotions all humans possess.
  5.     Choose all the qualities you admire in someone you know for the lead character. You need to make him/her likeable if the readers are going to love him/her and continue reading the story. Chose all the worst attributes or qualities of a person you know and give them to the bad person (antagonist) of your novel.
  6.     Involve as many of the senses as you can in your storytelling

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