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Posts Tagged ‘creative writing’

summer’s iron hand
beats me with light
with heat
my mind winces
whipped dog shying
hiding in darkened corners

then, for a few hours
clouds bring respite
moisture’s brief touch
salves my skin
saves my soul

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Just because I wasn’t writing, that doesn’t mean I wasn’t writing.

I know to some it seems like I’ve been procrastinating, putting off actually breaking through my years-long writer’s block, but it hasn’t been all “Mañana, baby.”

In fact, in the past month, I did a lot of writing. No words written, but a lot of writing, nonetheless.

It began with re-reading one of my older books, and culminated (well, so far) over this past weekend when I had a revelation about my difficulty getting to Page One. (more…)

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————————

Two people, side by side, promise to love each other forever
It is a hope: that love is an ally
It is a belief: that we are stronger together
It is a dream: of a new history begun
But more than that, it is a statement:
You and I, are We.
And We can take on the World.

————————

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Typing. Deleting. More typing. More deleting. MOAR typing. Delete delete delete. Delete it all. Every last word, comma, and period.

That was yesterday.

I was working on an essay for this blog and … it wasn’t going well. I was working on a topic that had been rolling around in my head for a month. All my arguments and counterarguments were lined up. I even had a catchy title … well, I thought it was a catchy title, until I googled it and found a hundred thousand other uses of it (including one by Garrison Keillor, which I discovered in a moment that was both uplifting and depressing).

Anyway, for hours I wrote and deleted in precisely equal measure, and in the end I was left with the same blank page I’d started with.

At which point I stopped and wondered: why was I having so much trouble?

The answer was obvious: I had no passion for the topic.

Not anymore, anyway.

Oh, when the idea first struck me, I was all fired up and ready to unleash my staggering intellect upon the world. See my reasoning and despair! But now, a month later, things have changed. Not externally. The premise still stands, the argument still works, and I can find no flaw in my logic, but internally … I just don’t care about it anymore.

This is not a bad thing. (more…)

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———
the tiny blade
twice my age
still has a bite
that shaves red cedar
from my blunted pencil
to reveal its black heart
and sharpen my wit
———

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A follow-up on my previous post about character names.

It’s clear from comments — here, on Facebook, etc. — that some readers disagree with my characterizations of the names I’m using.

Not a problem. And absolutely expected.

When I spoke of, for instance, Eleanor as a name that evokes impressions of “a longer view, a queenly aspect, strength, confidence, patience,” I should have said that those are the impressions the name evokes for me.

Your impression of Eleanor, the name, will definitely be different from mine, perhaps radically so. You may have had an evil twin named Eleanor, she may have been your overly strict second grade teacher, or a particularly nasty girlfriend. Or it may be that, try as you might, when you hear the name, you can only think of the ridiculous novelist, Eleanor Lavish, from A Room with a View.

That’s all fine.

For me, the name Eleanor conjures up images of Mrs. Roosevelt; Henry II’s wife, Eleanor D’Aquitaine (my 24th great grandmother, as it turns out); and the homophonically named Elinor Dashwood from Austen’s Sense and Sensibility.

Those are my Eleanors, and they match well with the character I want to bring to life in this book.

Naturally, I cannot expect my impressions of that name to be yours as well. No writer can expect that, even if we use a name as well known as George Custer (as I did in my Fallen Cloud Saga).

No, my job is to make sure that my Eleanor comes across with my impressions intact. I must show you, through her actions, how she is patient, thoughtful, perhaps even regal in her quiet dignity. Then, maybe, the next time you hear the name Eleanor, your first impression will be more like mine.

For my current purposes, I need to have a name that fits the character I want to create. That is true, I believe, for almost any writer.

Onward.

k

Puget Sound

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It began, as it often does, with Sam and Janet.

Sam and Janet, the couple of the oft-mocked enchanted evening, are a regular starting point when I’m trying to pick character names. I begin with these two because, frankly, I’d never use them.

Setting the names of my main characters is a crucial early step in my writing process. I have two main reasons for this. (more…)

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