Monday, July 23, 2012

7 Habit of Successful Writers

The blog Beyond the Margin has a great post on 7 habit of successful writers-

Here's 3--

  1. Write. Daily if at all possible, even if it’s for just a few minutes. Grit and drive are arguably more important than raw talent in achieving even artistic success.*
  2. Read. Scrutinize every good story you read to see how the writer accomplishes what s/he does. Good reading inspires, and moreover, provides specific insight into how you can engineer your writing for maximum effect. Francine Prose offered a personal example of this in Reading Like a Writer: In the process of writing a story she knew was going to end in violence, she was struggling to make it sound natural and inevitable rather than forced and melodramatic. At the same time, she happened to be reading some stories by Isaac Babel and noticed that in his work, a violent moment is often preceded by a lyrical one. “It’s characteristic of Babel to offer a lovely glimpse of the crescent moon just before all hell breaks loose. I tried it – first the poetry, then the horror – and suddenly … the incident I had been struggling with appeared, at least to me, to be plausible and convincing.”
  3. Nurture your inner schizophrenic. When you have written a draft of your story and it’s time to revise, you have to be able to look at it with a cold eye and take the ax to it as needed.  If, on the other hand, you sit down to write the first draft while agonizing about how not original or not interesting your work will be, and how many grammatical mistakes you’re bound to make, odds are your work will be…neither original nor interesting. You’re actually not one person, but two: a dancer and an ax murderer. Love both of these people who live in your brain, but keep them apart. (This is, by the way, really, really hard to do. Dorothea Brande’s book Becoming a Writer is helpful in guiding you to live this way.)

Read the rest here...


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