Archive | December, 2011

Daily Journaling

12 Dec

I’ve been Journaling as near to daily as I have been able to since 1998. In all these years, I would say it’s the one most disciplined area in my practice of the craft. I’ve had other authors ( ones who do not journal) ask why I would do that, especially since I admit it often is bitching and whining. “Why put forth such an effort, sacrifice sleep to rise early just to mind-dump when you’re not going to even use it in a story or for publication?” My answer is just that keeping the discipline, like a runner doing his circuit, has given me the practice, made possible the trained ability to write almost anywhere and under adverse circumstances. I am used to opening my mind and letting the thoughts hit the paper. And I never, ever, get writer’s block. Because if I can’t write further on my story or think of a new topic, I just go “running”…

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Characterizations…something to try

8 Dec

Here’s an exercise I found helpful. I used people from my work so I will necessarily show their names in a different form…

K:   He was like an evil old sea captain, looking for an excuse to beat his crew.

S: He was angry, like a drunken biker bike in a southern roadhouse.

E:  the consummate teacher’s pet, she flitted around like a chirping bird, supremely confident her the power of her cuteness.

C:   The hard-nosed manager, she strolled through the store like a bus conductor, punching tickets and keeping the passengers in line..

D:   He was the EMT, arriving on the scene, calming the victim, treating the injured. You wanted to be saved by this guy.

R:   He had learned to stay quiet, like a congregation allowing the preacher to rant and rave from the pulpit.

D:   He approached life like a rollicking train speeding down the tracks, whistle blowing, band playing, and loud passengers singing choruses of silly ditties.

A:   He had found his power was in working the political background, like a candidate making deals, every favor done for future considerations.

CE:   She ran her business like a ship’s captain, scheduling, planning, and executing with remarkable precision.

Think about it…WHO do you work with? What are their alter egos?

Up and Running

5 Dec

A recent acquaintance, Ellen, suggests that a blog can be a useful tool for a writer. So I am trying it out. But I promise not to write the insipid kind of things I’ve seen like, “Just got to the hotel and I’m unpacking my suitcase.” So I will try to share things I’ve discovered during my quest to better myself as a writer. I hope I will hear from others who share this passion.