Writing Tips From an Award-Winning Author…

” Often as a writer, you may feel the call to write, but sometimes what to write is more challenging than how to write it. Ideas for writing can come in many forms. A memory. A photograph. A song. Once you’ve found the inspiration, now you have to figure out what all you’ll put into your work — you have to create the plot, the characters, or do the research. The big umbrella idea can be easy to come up with, but often it’s getting from point A to Z that’s the problem.

“Finding the smaller sections, the scenes to write about can be difficult. You might come up with a perfect ending, but I don’t care how perfect your ending is, you’ve got to guide your reader to it.Other times, the scenes are there, but how do you end well? Unfortunately, the reader is less likely to remember how you began and more likely to remember how you end.

“So often I’ve read a really good book only to have the ending fall flat. Sometimes you can actually tell that the author got bored with the story and just wanted to finish it. I believe that if you have a powerful ending, readers will forgive some minor missteps in the middle. It’s sort of like theatre. You want to hook them at the start, lull them into complacency, then have a big dance number in the middle just before intermission. Finally, you want to give ‘em the ol’ razzle dazzle at the end.

“There’s a formula to good storytelling. I know that is a dirty word in writing, but formulas work because they work. Find the formula that works for you, no matter what genre you write in. Then when that formula seems to be getting old, switch it up and create a new one. Maybe try a different point of view. Write in a new genre. Or just change the type of music you’re listening to. If the old formula has become stale –shake things up. Do something different. Write the ending before the beginning. Write the beginning before the ending. But as Robin Williams says in the Dead Poets Society, “I stand upon my desk to remind myself that we must constantly look at things in a different way.”

Michelle Hamilton, President NCPA (Norhter California Publishers & Authors).

Just sharin’…. #buckroth

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