"If you are going to write, say, fantasy – stop reading fantasy. You’ve already read too much. Read other things; read westerns, read history, read anything that seems interesting, because if you only read fantasy and then you start to write fantasy, all you’re going to do is recycle the same old stuff and move it around a bit." – Terry Pratchett
The type of thinking held in highest esteem and seen as most valuable in the driven, pragmatic realm is intentional, linear, analytical, logical and mechanistic. A wandering, unfocused mind is seen as a lazy, unproductive one. Despite that regard, solutions, connections, and creativity more often emerge from a less actively engaged thought process, where thoughts flow freely around and into each other at a deeper, less conscious level and unexpected associations emerge.
One of the most common pieces of advice writers receive is “write what you know.” Most of what we know, however, tends toward the pedestrian and mundane—from the perspective of engaging storytelling, at least. Most good stories are not about the everyday, but about people dealing with momentous events in their lives. This simple prompt provides a bit of practice at conveying those dramatic moments.
Stuck in limbo, an in-between camp of the unwanted. That's where Vonlai and his family have found themselves in Escaping the Tiger. They fled their homeland of Laos because they doubted their chances of survival at the hands of the Pathet Lao government, nearly dying crossing the Mekong River in the middle of the night.
In her book Writing Begins with the Breath: Embodying Your Authentic Voice, Laraine Herring recommends interviewing your character to gain a deeper understanding of who they are. Here are some fun sample questions you could ask your character:
The bookstore and coffee shop may think your book is "too indie" for them, but not us! We will gladly consider a copy of your book for our shelves.
We accept one donated copy of a work by a local author to be considered for inclusion in our collection. Staff will review donated books and, if added to the collection, we’ll purchase additional copies based on demand.
So you drafted a novel during NaNoWriMo. Now what? Contact agents and publishers? Well, maybe not quite yet. But don't put it in a drawer and forget about it either. Join Dr. Juliet Kincaid, novelist and long-time teacher of writing at Johnson County Community College, for guidance through the revision process that includes revising for content and structure, getting feedback from your peers, and editing.