Archive for the ‘Creativity’ Category

Reader’s Question: What to do when other passions get in the way of writing?

Q: I have a hard time balancing my love of photography and my love of writing. Is there something else you enjoy doing that sometimes gets in the way of your writing?*

A: Um, yes! I had almost exactly the … Read more


What Courage Sounds Like

To ring in 2012, I offer you this scene: a Paris Metro car full of people on their way home, their facial expressions ranging from impatient to bored. In the middle of us all, a woman with her amplifier strapped … Read more


Getting inside an Explosion

There is an explosion in my new (third) novel. How do I write it?

It’s strange the things we manage to draw on when we’re writing. I reckon that the shock I felt when I had a small-scale kitchen explosionRead more


Writing Inspiration: Feel THEIR words from YOUR pen

Let’s say you want to write but you’re stuck. Blocked. Nothing’s coming out. But you can’t just sit there.

So try this:

(1) Get down a favorite book from your shelf. Find a passage you really admire. 

(2) Write it … Read more


How to Starve Your Brain to Make It Create

Here’s today crazy idea for creativity in a nutshell: deprive yourself of everything interesting and stimulating to force your brain to generate something interesting of its own.

Before you get too amazed or weirded out on me, let me announce … Read more


Low-tech Writing Strategies

Recently I blogged about my favorite high-tech writing tool, Scrivener. Today, though, a bit about the benefits of going low-tech–at least some of the time.

It’s not just me, either. Award-winning author Neal Stephenson describes how writing with an … Read more


Stakeouts, knives, graffiti, and more: The truth about researching THE KNIFE AND THE BUTTERFLY

Last week I told you to go see an expert instead of cruising the Internet for information. Now I get down off my high horse and tell you about my own research while writing The Knife and the Butterfly Read more


Becoming a Finisher: Imagining Success as a Writer (and making it happen)

 In a writing workshop, Karen Joy Fowler once told us aspiring writing types that she had encountered many writers she believed were more talented than she was who nevertheless failed to make it into print. (FYI: Karen is an amazing … Read more


From My Writer’s Notebook: (Bad) Get-Rich-Quick Advice

So every once and a while my writing group will do a writing exercise together. I think these are great because they produce surprises. Lots of times lazy me writes things that I can use in my current book project … Read more


Writing Strategy Revealed: Backwards isn’t Bad When Outlining (from my writer’s notebook)

I do notebooks full of prewriting (zero-drafting in my world) before officially “starting” a novel, but I don’t outline before writing. It just doesn’t work for me.

Outlining does work for me, though, in the middle of a project … Read more

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