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The Write Stuff
By chrissy n


Someone sent me an email, asking for writing tidbits. All I can impart is my experience. Here goes:

Everyone has heard, write what you know. I don't agree with that advice.

When you write, I say you should allow your imagination to soar to the heavens, as high as it will go.

Chris Carter, creator of the delightfully creepy, X-FILES and horror writer, Stephen King, and mystery/suspense scribe, Mary Higgins Clark are not writing what they know.

I doubt if they have had paranormal experiences, committed felonious acts, or gone on killing sprees. They allowed themselves to wonder. They put their imaginations to use.

And when you invent, ask yourself, what if?

What if you came home one day, and found a brief case crammed with one hundred dollar bills on your dining room table, would you summon the police?

Or take the money and go on a shopping expedition? Or an exotic getaway?

And what if the owner of the money began searching for you?

Many great stories were invented when writers used the what if technique.

In fact, there is a book on story telling by Pamela Painter, a respected writing instructor, called WHAT IF.

I urge struggling writers to punch the time clock everyday--devise stories, pen letters, post on message boards. Get a few email buddies, and exchange missives with them. Writing and responding to them gives you reason to write.

Fingers and toes are like opinions, all of us have at least twenty.

Put your opinions on paper. Some people won't give a damn what you have to say, but your thoughts may uplift someone else or offer them a solution to a problem.

After you've written a piece, read it.

Prune the repetition; recast drab, vague words.

Don't write the sun was bright, say it was radiant.

I strongly discourage the use of a thesaurus. Only employ words that YOU the writer would use in conversation.

If it isn't one of "your" words, and you use it because it sounds important, your writing will sound artificial. And the most effective way to enlarge your reservoir of words is to READ all varieties of stories and books, not just what appeals to you. If you only read what excites you, your work will sound plagiarized or like a facsimile of your favorite author.

The work will lack individuality, and your own personal stamp.

If it comes too easily, it is because you've heard it countless times.

Again, read everything--Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor, Dorothy Parker, Sidney Sheldon, Jackie Collins, even those bland as jamless toast romance novels.

Add a pinch of spice to your writing by incorporating similes and metaphors into your prose.

The English language is a gift, and it should be enjoyed, cherished, celebrated, revered.

Well those are my opinions.

Happy writing.


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