Writing Revelations

My fellow writers from Pen, Pint & Pyre will often meet over a pint to discuss the craft and the importance of coffee. I’d like to share a few of the more notable revelations and general guidelines we try to think about while writing:

  • Write in a language people know. Flowery words and descriptions can impress from time to time and say what you mean in a sort of poetic flow, but more often than not the best and most memorable, meaningful prose are just a few simple words — none of which are more than three letters long. “To be or not to be.” BOOM. What simple truth are you trying to say with all that pretty language?
  • Tell a story like you’re sitting around a campfire with people of all ages. Write naturally.
  • Respect the intelligence of your audience. They’re likely three steps ahead of where you think they are. Give them 2 + 2 and let them discover 4.
  • Let the description happen to the characters. Experience the story from their point of view. The story isn’t happening to the characters, the characters are experiencing the story.
  • You can’t work on anything until you have something to work with. Get that first draft done. Just shit it out and get it down on paper.
  • Storytelling is all about taste, so you need to add your own flavor.
  • Hitchcock would stop production whenever he a block. Stop and do nothing to do with what you’re trying to do. You’re working too hard. Relax. It will come.
  • When you’re at a road block in your production, you can’t figure out what the characters should do, start making a list of what you know they would NOT to and watch how easily the obvious solution pops into your mind.
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