In mountaineering, if you’re stuck in a bad situation and you don’t know the right way out, you just have to pick a direction and go. It doesn’t have to be the best direction; there may not even be a best direction. You certainly don’t have enough information to know for sure. So if you start down a path and end up at a cliff, you’ll just have to pick another direction from there. Because guess what? In a dire situation, you can’t be certain of the right path; what you do know is that if you sit there and do nothing, you’re screwed.
Soul. It’s a word applied to many different media. For just a moment, let’s consider it from a musical standpoint. Stevie Wonder. Aretha Franklin. Marvin Gaye. Not just anyone can sing and play this kind of music successfully; a certain je ne sais quoi is required in bringing down the house and moving people to their very souls. Is it really any different when it comes to books?
One of the first tasks in revising my current WIP has been to nail down a firm time line for my story. When does all this stuff happen? I had it vaguely placed in the 21st century, but I didn’t want to nail it down specifically.
I think millions of fans were shocked by the sudden passing of Hollywood novelist, Jackie Collins, a writer hailed as both a ‘raunchy moralist’ and ‘the Marcel Proust of Hollywood’. While I was devastated, the first thing I did was start re-reading some of my favourite titles by this bestselling author. I realised I’d learned so much about page-turning storytelling secrets from her over the last 20 years that I thought I’d share them in this blog post.
I struggle with perfectionism in my writing, but I’ve learned to beat it back with a few large sticks—and it’s my pleasure to teach you my tools of the trade.
It’s a visual medium. Use it. And we’ve been conditioned for the last 20 years (thank you MTV and Raiders of the Lost Ark) to take in visual data very fast. So dream up something in your script that just takes one second to see but reveals TONS of information about your character.
A sequence is simply a collection of scenes in a screenplay that have their own narrative arc and they have been around since the earliest days of cinema. Arising from this is something known as the sequence approach.
When I finally came around to learning something about the business of platform-building, I soon discovered that there is a mountain of advice out there. But one point, above all, seemed clear: If you want to attract an audience to your site, you need to offer something people want.
What does success look like to you? As an author? For your book? Is it huge book sales? Recognition of your expertise? Being featured in the media? What about accolades from audiences who have heard you speak? Getting a call from a NY publisher that it wants your book? Being on the New York Times Bestseller list? What?
On a weekend morning not long ago, I found myself in the kitchen, near the burner, whisking eggs while a pan absorbed the heat from a light flame. I was making breakfast for a few friends. The mood was light. The coffee was dark. Music played in the background, and everyone sat silently, anticipating the meal. That is, until I reached for the butter.
You get all kinds of happiness advice on the internet from people who don’t know what they’re talking about. Don’t trust them. Actually, don’t trust me either. Trust neuroscientists. They study that gray blob in your head all day and have learned a lot about what truly will make you happy.
Economic inequality in the US has drawn attention to the attitudes and behaviors of the elite, as those who are educated in the top universities are both likely to start out wealthy and disproportionately likely to have an impact on the future of this country.
For many Americans, life has become all competition all the time.
I highly recommend you stop reading this and just go read his actual essays, but if you’re short on time, I’ve cropped the most important pieces from my favorite essays below.