14 April 2015

Morrell's Advice

Recently I had an opportunity to hear author David Morrell speak. He summarized many points contained in his writing craft book Lessons From a Lifetime of Writing: a novelist looks at his craft. I strongly agreed with much of his advice. In no particular order, here are some highlights:
  • Writing is a kind of self psychoanalysis. Use your one-of-a-kind psyche to guide you to original unique stories, subjects, themes and approaches. Don't try to imitate other authors. Don't chase the market.
  • Don't be ignorant about other authors. Read!
  • When you get stuck in your writing, consider having a conversation with yourself. What happens next? Why? So what? and the like.
  • Plot should equal conflict plus motivation.
  • Plot and character should be intimately related.
  • Write what you're passionate about! If you don't know about something, research it. Have adventures; live your life. A well-lived life has a lot material for fiction.
  • A writing career will have many peaks and valleys; keep your perspective.

How about you? What good writing advice have you gotten?

The submission deadline for the May 2015 issue is midnight U.S. MDT, April 15, 2015!
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