Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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(Some links or topics may not be completely kid-appropriate.)

Mon, Sep 30 2013

What cats know

Three Writing tips I acquired from observing cats:

Always invstigate what that is over there.

Keep calm and purr.

Sometimes a bath can be the most important 2 hours of your day.

posted at: 12:42 | category: /Writing Life | link to this entry

Mon, Sep 23 2013

A familiar path with new focus

I'm an excellent story starter. But I bog down in the midst of the journey, just about the time when a reader should be downright breathless and in a hurry to get the page turned for the next sentence of my tale.

I need to work on keeping my story as exciting to write as it is to read. One of my future tactics is to have some visual clues that press writing momentum onward. I'll include short passages of other writers' tightly-written adventure or suspense novels on hand to read over in order to maintain a forward-thinking mood. I may be walking a familiar path, but I'll be quickening my pace to get to see what's now hiding beyond that friendly old tree, just ahead.

posted at: 10:32 | category: /Writing Life | link to this entry

Fri, Sep 20 2013

Is it okay to fool readers? Well, that depends...

Should we start a fictional story at the end, telling the tale as a flashback or dream? Some like this technique, but many readers feel cheated unless they know it's a flashback or dream. Spinning a good yarn and then suddenly informing the reader that they've been participating in a dream sequence can leave the reader feeling duped. Now, we might believe that the reader likes being duped. He or she already knows the tale is a fictional one. But we should realize that a plot well-crafted with twists and turns isn't the same as a bait-and-switch tactic in which the reader has already taken an exhilarating ride and suddenly has the writer call out, "Fooled ya!" after the reader exits the ride and is still enjoying a pleasing adrenalin rush.

posted at: 10:31 | category: /Writing Life | link to this entry

Mon, Sep 16 2013

Sticks and stones and story bones

I recently observed someone who was presenting the classic behaviors of a schoolyard bully. It was fascinating and repulsive at the same time. I experienced emotion because I was acquainted with the people who were involved, but I tried to be somewhat forensic about the situation so that I could step away from it all and maintain at least some objectivity, which turned out to be much more difficult than one might think.

I started thinking about how fiction writers have to lose themselves and write "in the moment" in order to keep the reader involved as a story unfolds. But we also have to remember to maintain a bit of distance as narrator, so that we stay true to the process of storytelling. Point of view can change from tale to tale, but a good writer has to find a way to reserve a portion of thought for maintaining a story's architecture and basic skeletal integrity.

posted at: 13:18 | category: /Writing Life | link to this entry

Tue, Sep 10 2013

Infinity and beyond

Of all the arts, writing, at least good writing, is probably the art that reaches the five senses and also climbs into the mind and changes us from the inside. Writing begins inside the mind of the writer, ripples outward and moves beyond boundaries of one mind to inspire new writing and new generations of writers. For me, it's the art that is most spiritual in that it moves beyond minds and words to the possibilities of eternity.

posted at: 14:22 | category: /Writing Life | link to this entry

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Stealin' copy is as bad as horse-thievin'
and cattle rustlin'! Lightning may strike
such varmints when they least expect it!