On Writing Fiction

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But I want to try. But with that vulnerability comes an openness and honesty that almost always leads to better work. This is a bigger deal than you may think. Put another way, we thrive as human beings when we do hard things.

Demystifying the process

The creative life is filled with risk and reward, but sometimes we just need to do something new for the sake of its newness. And when we answer that call to begin again, we must remember that community is essential. And the newness of this experience is stretching me, forcing me to become a student again, which means I am finding teachers to help guide me. I hope it makes me not only a better writer and storyteller, but also a better teacher and guide to this community.

There is an edge to this kind of creative work, the kind that stretches you and forces you to grow. When we do this, we grow. We become more of the artists and writers and entrepreneurs we aspire to be. We end up doing better and more interesting work, the kind we can be proud to tell our grandkids about.

So wherever you are, today I want to challenge you to try something new. Because you may be horrible at it. But enjoy the lack of pressure associated with such an attempt. Have fun, take risks, and remember that the ability to try new things is one of the characteristics that makes us human.

What is something new you want to try? What have you learned from becoming a student again? Share in the comments. Bestselling author and creativity expert Jeff Goins dismantles the myth that being creative is a hindrance to success by revealing how an artistic temperament is, in fact, a competitive advantage in the marketplace. For centuries, the myth of the starving artist has dominated our culture, seeping into the minds of creative people and stifling their pursuits.

In fact, they capitalized on the power of their creative strength. Get the Book. You should write first drafts as if they will never be shown to anyone. Begin, and inspiration will find you. Jackson Brown Jr.

Neil Gaiman: The Julius Schwartz Lecture at MIT

You shouldn't write through it. It's blocked because it ought to be blocked because you haven't got it right now. David Morrell is a prolific novelist, best known for his novel, First Blood, which was made into a movie starring Sylvester Stallone as the main character, John Rambo. Personally, I hated the movie and its sequels. The book was phenomenal. But Hollywood took so many liberties with the story as they often do and ruined it in my opinion. He begins with the endearing story of how he became inspired to be a writer at age seventeen.

His inspiration came from watching Route 66, the old 60s television show about two young men traveling through America in a Corvette convertible.

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Morrell was so taken by the storyline and coolness of the main characters that he wrote to one of the creators of the show, Stirling Silliphant, and told him his script writing and the storylines were an inspiration for him to become a writer too. He took Silliphant's advice - "If you want to be a writer, the secret is to write, write, write.

Morrell took Silliphant's advice to heart and did write, write, write. He's been a very successful, published writer. I think all writers, novice or well established and successfully published, can remember when the first stirrings of a love of writing began. Another thing that caught my attention in this book was when he talked about the big question he asked his students at writing conferences - "Why in heavens name do you want to be writers?

David Jauss

The answer, he informs them is, "Because you have to be. It's just in us writers to write; we need to write like we need to breathe. Morrell wends personal experiences throughout the book as he covers the topics of plot, character, the importance of research, structure, viewpoint, first person, the psychology of description, what not to do in dialogue, dealing with writer's block, getting published, and questions he's been asked.

His insights are keen and come from decades of writing and publishing novels. For me, his personal experiences - successes and failures, strengths and weaknesses - make his advice more believable and helpful. You can give advice impersonally until the cows come home but it becomes real when a writer shares his own story. I've read this book a few times and refer to it from time to time. I highly recommend this book on writing above all others.

One of the best book on writing by a novelist. The author, David Morrell, writer of the famous book First Blood, shares his experiences as a writer of forty years and offers excellent advice to readers. Sometimes when writing a scene with a character, it feels like a cathartic bloodletting, which I think is what Hemingway referred to as opening a vein. Other times I have been stopped in my tracks because as I've unwittingly tapped into an emotion or some life struggle I was not aware of and it takes me by surprise - like getting the wind knocked out of me.

But that's just me. The other quote that fit for me was by Kim Edwards - "Writing is always a process of discovery--I never know the end, or even the events on the next page, until they happen. There's a constant interplay between the imaging and shaping of the story. Thanks for going on this journey with me.

With all the different views and advice, I have come up with my own piece of advice - do your own thing, be true to yourself, and don't give up.


Start writing fiction - OpenLearn - Open University - A_1

Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites. Great quote Linda, writing is indeed a gift to ourselves as well as to others.

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Thanks for stopping by. Lori - I found this just today. I'm sure if I had read it earlier I would have commented. What a wonderful list.

May I offer one more Great list of quotes! I especially liked: '"A writer can do nothing for men more necessary, satisfying, than just simply to reveal to them the infinite possibilities of their own souls. There is so much fun and some great advice here. I also liked your own favourite quote - it is indeed amazing that we can do that.

I love to inspire people to write and you've done that too with a wonderful amalgamation of sources. When it seems like you're looking at a 'green eyed three headed alien from outer space' then its time to do the re-write".

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I first picked out the Ray Bradbury quote as ny favorite, :"And what, you ask, does writing teach us? First and foremost, it reminds us that we are alive and that it is a gift and a privilege, not a right. But then I got to the Annie Dillard quote - "Write as if you were dying.. A lot of good stuff here to ponder and take in!

Thanks, Lori.