Tag Archives | How to write fiction

“I’ll Show Them!”

“Talent isn’t enough. You need motivation—and persistence, too. What Steinbeck called a blend of faith and arrogance. When you’re young, plain old poverty can be enough, along with an insatiable hunger for recognition. You have to have that feeling of “I’ll show them.” If you don’t have it, don’t become a writer. It’s part of the animal, it’s primitive, but if you don’t want to rise above the crowd, forget it.”  Leon Uris (1924-2003) I’ve been hitting my favorite thrift stores again. This time I picked up a copy of The Writer’s Digest Guide to Good Writing. This is a compilation of articles from Writer’s Digest magazine dating back to the 1920s. The book includes some wonderful articles, but I was most interested in a section in the middle of the book called “How I Write.” In this section, several prominent authors, past and present, offer up a paragraph or two […]

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My Five Unbreakable Rules of Writing

Last time I blogged on Five Rules about Writing I (Sorta) Disagree With. I concluded with a promise to discuss some rules of good writing I do agree with. It won’t surprise you that they’re pretty obvious. Let’s take a look at five such rules anyway. 1. The first rule is the one I referred to as Isaac Asimov’s principle: Either it sounds right or it doesn’t sound right. As a writer who wants to be read by others, you will need to write to the inner ear of the prospective reader. Some so-called “good” writing does not do this. The grammar may be correct, the words are in decent order, and the meaning may even be clear. But the reader puts the book down anyway. Why? Because the writing, as literally correct as it may be, doesn’t resonate with the reader’s inner ear. The best way to write to […]

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