Writing Mechanics

Mapping Your Writing

When I was a snot-nosed kid, before my parents paved our driveway, my little brother, Roger, and I used to “play cars” in the dirt after school. Fun times involving early miniature cars and a small gas station made from thin metal and painted with Gulf Oil Company thematic colors and emblems. We would scrape […]

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Writing Jig-Saw Puzzles

Everyone, at some time or other in their life, builds a jig-saw puzzle. Not in the sense of actually manufacturing a puzzle, however, but placing the pieces to form a whole picture. Some puzzles are simple, and only require a short time to complete. In contrast, complex puzzles need considerable study time in order to […]

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Return To Sender

Every writer has days where nothing seems to go right. Ideas won’t come, words don’t get written, story-telling gets put-off, for whatever kinds of justification (it’s a rainy day; the relatives are coming; the cats need food, etc.). Mental chaos, in other words. Maybe it’s because you’re over “stuffed.” You already have way too much […]

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Muscle Memory

The process is commonly known in the sports world as “muscle memory.” A phenomenon not limited to athletes, writers engage in very similar practices in order to excel at their craft. Storytelling, whether faction or fiction, uses the same principles. Training through exercising—writing—testing, adjusting, and exercising—rewriting—again. Top athletes train for long hours in a concerted […]

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Give It A Rest

I’ve heard a few writers offer the advice, “Write something, every day, without fail.” While their intentions are good, the logic behind the advice is bad. In that respect I disagree with the principle. During the early stages of my writing career, I took that kind of advice to heart. After all, these were writers […]

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Tracking The Beast

A few years ago I was living on a friend’s homestead high in the mountains of northwestern North Carolina. Beautiful two story home, hundreds of untouched acres to roam, lively mountain streams and creeks to follow, winding paved roads and gravel strewn two-tracks, up and down hills and vales. You get the idea. It truly […]

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