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Monday, July 17, 2017

How to Deal with People Who Don't Support Your Writing


Last week I outlined some reasons why people may not support your writing and promised that this week I'd have another writer tell us about how to deal with, work with, or communicate with those people. The writer asked to remain anonymous for reasons you'll understand in the post. And without further ado:





When somebody is critical and unsupportive of your writing, it’s important to open an appropriate channel of communication. Communication is NOT arguing your side of a disagreement, getting your point in, or making a home run comment that shuts down opposition. Communication must occur two ways. Real communication, and thus real results, won’t occur unless you speak and, more importantly, listen. Good communicators listen. Great communicators listen more than they talk.
“We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” –Epictetus

Ask yourself three questions:

1)    Do they matter?
2)    Are they addressing the real concerns they have with your writing?
3)    What is more important, your writing or your relationship with this person?

Monday, July 10, 2017

Why Some People Don't Support Your Writing Goals




One of the weird things about writing is that to many outsiders, you look like you are doing nothing. Often, people don't see the results until months after the work has been completed. That, coupled with the fact that most of the population doesn't actually understand how complex and difficult it is to write fiction, let alone be successful at it, can lead to some negative encounters. Most people don't know how to value storytelling. So much of their experience of it is based on feeling and subconscious thoughts.

And of course, there is the tendency to measure things by income, and to some people, skills and work only have value if they can bring in the money. There is a realm for this kind of thinking, but it's not for everyone and every skill at every level. D. Todd Christofferson once taught, "All true work is sacred." Even those who have made a beautiful income off their writing were writing without it for a long time.

Monday, July 3, 2017

On Talent and Success




Over the last few months, I've been noticing something.

I've been seeing writers who are less talented than others find more success.

At the same time, I've become more aware of talented writers, smart writers, or passionate writers who sort of drift away.

Since I left high school, I've come in contact with a lot of people who dream of being writers. And over the years, I've seen many educated and intense aspiring authors . . . just stop pursuing. Sometimes these are people who have all the right personal qualities to succeed. They are sharp, driven, dedicated, passionate, and they have critical thinking skills. Sure, they may need more practice, but that comes with time. Perhaps, though, it is because they are so intense and critical, they stop believing they can succeed. They don't think they can actually "make it."

Monday, June 26, 2017

20 Years of Harry Potter: The Boy Who Changed Everything


“He’ll be famous—a legend—I wouldn’t be surprised if today was known as Harry Potter day in the future—there will be a book written about Harry—every child in our world will know his name!”

J. K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, penned these words thirteen pages into what would become a worldwide literary phenomenon.




Exactly 20 years ago, the first Harry Potter book was published, June 26th, 1997.

Whether or not you are a Harry Potter fan, J.K. Rowling's series about a boy wizard changed the world--especially the reading and writing industries. Just the other day I was editing a really well written story that was obviously inspired (directly, or indirectly) by Harry Potter

So today, let's talk about the Boy Who Lived. And if you would like to answer any of these questions, feel free to put them in the comments, social media, or your own blog. I'd love to hear your stories. Mine got rather lengthy (unsurprisingly), so feel free to skim.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Coming up with a Plot (from scratch)


Anonymous said: I often have ideas for a scene or a character but there is no plot. How can I expand these ideas into stories? I just don't know what to do with my ideas to get a story out of them. Most plotting tips require that I know at least the beginning and the end of my story. But I don't even have that.




Hi Anonymous,

I've heard of other writers having this same problem, so you are not alone! Here are some ideas that come to mind when I think about this.

First off, you have ideas for characters or scenes, and that's a starting point, and you probably (I'm assuming, because it wasn't that long ago) saw my post What to Outline When Starting a Story, which can give some guidance on what to consider. However, if you have no idea where to even come up with a concept for your plot that post can only be so much help.