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Welcome to the Writers’ Corner.

Write: How Do I Get Started?

FAQs:

  • I have so many ideas, I don’t know how to get started!
    • Is your goal to publish? If so, then you need to set goals, establish a  calendar, and find people (a virtual or local writers’ group) to keep you focused.
    • Weekly goals—a checklist right by my computer—keeps me honest, as do two writers’ groups. If your goal is to write something to share with people, then find a coffee shop a few times a month or another venue that lets you relax and focus, and make that artist’s date with yourself.
  • My writing has dried up and I don’t feel motivated. What do I do?
    • I would try a variety of approaches—artist dates with self, morning pages (see The Artist’s Way), writing prompts, a class, and/or a writers’ group.
    • I would also go find some art—theater, sculpture, music, paintings—and experience it. I would drive out of town for a day, or talk to a stranger in a different town. Sometimes an intense sensory experience, a new conversation, and a glimpse of others’ creativity can jumpstart a cold engine.
    • Return to a piece of writing that you once loved and study it.
    • Read your favorite author—especially a book that grabbed you in childhood or adolescence—and let that magic find you again.
  • I have started my story a million different ways and I don’t know the right beginning.
    • Write the whole thing and then pick the right beginning.
    • You don’t know the right beginning till you have a middle and an end. Your critic’s eye is laser focused on a tiny element of a large piece.

Help and Tips:

Revise: How Do I Get It to Be Good?

FAQs:

  • What if my first draft is ready to submit to agents and publishers?
    • Trust me, it’s not. It needs time to sit and simmer. You’ll see it in new ways after you get some separation from it.
    • In the meantime, find a writer’s group, hire an editor, or anyone who will poke at it and find the soft spots.
    • My short stories have never been published without at least 10 drafts, and my novel went through over 20 drafts that I don’t care to remember.
  • What if I hate revision?
    • Get over it. You must learn to love it because that is what writing is. It is rewriting, pure and simple. Otherwise, become an impromptu storyteller—and keep in mind that improvisational storytellers spend years mastering their craft. You can’t escape the hard work of revision.
    • Revision can be fun. It should be opening up secret, untried doors; it should be experimentation with odd, bizarre options; it should be slip-sliding down strange rabbit holes. If you hate it, then you aren’t experimenting enough.
    • Surround yourself with a community of writers who take risks. Find people who aren’t afraid to start a manuscript over and who are supportive of your efforts to do so. 
  • Would you be willing to look at some of my pages and give me some feedback?
    • I occasionally provide developmental edits for a fee. Contact me for a quote and I may be able to schedule you. I do not provide copyedits.
    • You can invite me to your writers’ group or class, and I’ll be glad to lead your group in a workshop.
  • When is a story done?
    • It’s done when your heart tells you that you have done all you can after many, many hours of effort over a long period of time.
    • For me, this feeling came when I had taken not only years alone grappling with prose but also quality time listening to many beta readers’ feedback.

Publish: Do I Get My Work Out There? 

 Text to come

Writing Workshops

  • I can lead your group in developing characters, structuring plot, developing setting, or generating story ideas.
  • Contact me for information regarding workshops with your writers’ group.