What if someone went through the biggest and best blogs on the internet, and pulled out the very best-of-the best tips for fiction writers? Keep reading for the first 25 of the best 101 fiction writing tips on the web.
I've struggled with keeping a writing journal current. To be truthful I've struggled with whether I should even keep a writing journal. When I do keep one I'm never really sure what I should include. As it turns … Continue reading ...
Will Self’s 10 rules for writing fiction, from the Guardian Review:
1. Don’t look back until you’ve written an entire draft, just begin each day from the last sentence you wrote the preceding day. This prevents those cringing feelings, and means that you have a substantial body of work before you get down to the real work, which is all in …
2. The edit.
3. Always carry a notebook. And I mean always. The short-term memory only retains information for three minutes; unless it is committed to paper, you can lose an idea for ever.
4. Stop reading fiction – it’s all lies anyway, and it doesn’t have anything to tell you that you don’t know already (assuming, that is, you’ve read a great deal of fiction in the past; if you haven’t, you have no business whatsoever being a writer of fiction).
I love this piece because of the question it asks! We get so focused on the doing doing doing of storytelling in our business, we rarely step back and ask ourselves, "How do I know I'm getting better at storytelling?"
This article comes from my colleague Limor Shiponi in Israel. Limor is one of the deep thinkers on the planet about storytelling and I highly prize her insights. It has been way too long since we've chatted and I miss hearing her magical voice and articulate thinking. In the meantime, I am delighted to share this piece with you.
Usually, if we are getting results in our business, we are happy. But if we don't periodically ask ourselves the question, "How will I know I have become a better storyteller?" our results -- when they fade (the normal ups and downs of business cycles) -- may be due our storytelling skills or something entirely different.
If you are not clear on how you'll know when you've become a better storyteller, in a down cycle you may start fixing the wrong things. Maybe your storytelling skills are fabulous but your marketing process is inconsistent. Maybe your marketing is awesome and your storytelling sucks. Without asking and paying attention to the question this article poses, you'll never know where to place your attention.
I ran across this article about 2 weeks ago and really took the time to ask myself this question. I came up with an answer and kept testing it out to make sure it was real. Here's my answer:
I know I will have become a better storyteller when I continually feel that resonance between me and my audience, and when people connect with me after they have heard one of my stories. I physically experience this band of gold and silver resonant energy linking me and my listeners together.
That's not very flowery language, but it does the trick for me. I can see several images in my minds eye of what this looks and feels like.
Now my experience can happen face-to-face or electronically. But of course, the best way to know if I've become a better storyteller is through live interaction. So practice practice practice your business stories with real people to build your skills and effectiveness.
OK -- that's me. Now it is your turn. How will you know you have become a better storyteller? What does that look and feel like for you?