As creative professionals living in a chaotic world, we can feel a lot of pressure to complete every project, accept every opportunity, and allow our personal and professional lives to cross over more than they should. Today, I’m telling you that I can’t do it all.
Listening to the world around you – yes, perhaps more than is polite – is a surefire way to realistically represent the world around you, no matter the setting, time period or characters.
If you follow write what you know literally, you are going to severely limit yourself as a writer.
Before we can avoid writing her, or accidentally scare ourselves into a corner and avoid writing women altogether, it’s important to ask: What exactly is a Mary Sue, and why don’t we want one?
Now, of course, removing a transmission is a wildly complicated and difficult process, a little like saying Step One: Animate the monster or Step One: Walk on the moon. In my family, the term has become synonymous with comically difficult tasks– such as writing a book.
But it is also important to find a healthy, sustainable balance between the business and creative sides of your work, or you can find yourself wasting a lot of precious time on to do items with low ROI.
So where do you begin?
This idea of the muse, of some catch-all messenger of creativity is delightful and fantastical. It’s also completely made up.
Though it has its many positives, there are certain pitfalls any writer can run into when writing a series. Taking these precautionary steps in advance will help you to minimize the challenges down the line and, hopefully, to produce better books.
For a writer, reading is the equivalent of a carpenter keeping his tools sharp, a baker trying new ingredients, a computer specialist downloading new program updates. Reading isn’t an escape, it’s an education, it’s how we as writers continue to write.
Still, as someone who obsessively plans, outlines, plots and interviews, one of my most beloved tools of writing has stuck by me time and again. It’s not uncommon or revolutionary, not now, but it’s gotten me out of more sticky plot issues and setting questions than I care to admit. Behold the power of the storyboard.