“An effective story mirrors life – our inner life that is – which is precisely why we turn to it. Thus it’s imperative that the protagonist, all characters in fact, have brains that operate the same way ours does. Story is built into the architecture of our brain, and so it must be in theirs.”
Still Crazy After All These Years by Lisa Cron :: Writer Unboxed
“Talent is insignificant. I know a lot of talented ruins. Beyond talent lie all the usual words: discipline, love, luck, but most of all, endurance.”
James Baldwin on Writing :: Instagram
“For anyone who is feeling the hard edges of your limitations up against the high hopes you have for your work, I hope you will remember creative spirits have always hovered over unquiet waters. My hope for you is that you can learn to trust that you are not alone in this process, and let up the pressure on your own creative genius to perform on demand.”
This one is for the writers who are hitting a creative wall :: Slant Letter
I enjoy Instagram, but I’m only okay at it. Twitter not so much. You know what I really like? This blog! Thank you for reading here and being a part of the community.
Passion Can Be Platform :: Medium
“Ultimately, a picture book text isn’t going to exist as a text on its own. If a text feels fully complete without any accompanying images . . . it may not be a picture book. Now to be sure, a text can be wonderful, but the purpose of illustrations is not merely to render the text in visual form. The pictures should add an additional layer of meaning.”
Editor Carol Hinz Talks About Picture Book Pagination :: Picture Book Builders
This is good! Author and former agent Nathan Bransford walks readers through a piece of writing, each time focusing on a different type of description (setting, characters, placement of objects within the scene, etc.).
How to Write Clear Physical Description :: Nathan Bransford
A wonderful article about my dear critique partner, Vaun! “Nelson writes like a poet, and her language sings. Dolls and lawmen, booksellers and civil rights activists, enslaved people fleeing for freedom, ordinary people marching in Washington D.C. — all of them come alive in her books.”
Vaunda Micheaux Nelson: Voices from History :: Bookology Magazine
And another about dear Uma! (I get to write with some pretty remarkable authors.) “So what, I thought, do I know? To this, Caitlyn said you write this thing as if you were writing a novel—in scenes, with characters. You make it speak and sing and shout as if it were a novel. Take all the big chunks of exposition where you’re basically saying this happened and then that happened and trace it all with cause and effect. Tell the story. Throw out everything that doesn’t belong.”
Steve Cromwell says
Thanks for the quotes and links! I recently read a friend’s work, which starts with a ship in a storm, and as I wrote to him in exasperation, “The reader can’t tell if they’re at sea or close to shore, or what kind of ship it is, or even if it’s day or night.” So I’ll be sending Nathan’s post to him, pronto. 🙂
I’m glad to hear it! I found it really instructive, too.