There is a student in my class who is spending a year in Toronto with his family. He told me that it was his dream to come to Canada and study English. He failed nine times in the past five years before getting the timing right. It was then he mentioned his simple method of achieving his goals. All he does is keep a notebook with his goals written down with the steps to achieve them and some notes about his feelings about his journey.
Archives For writing advice
Today marks the beginning of another NaNoWriMo month and what a good time to remind ourselves our own methods and techniques to get into that writing spirit. For me, here are some steps that I had followed in the past to finish a screenplay.
Since writing is an on-going process, here are some things I learned for myself during the process of writing that could help speed things up. I highly recommend keeping a writing journal of the process so you can also map out how things are going and when things are working well and when things are not. This could help speed up the next story in the future.
This could help speed up the next story in the future.
It’s nothing really groundbreaking but it’s vital to get some form of a road map of where you are heading.
“The moment that you feel, just possibly, you are walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind, and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself…That is the moment, you might be starting to get it right.”
— Neil Gaiman
For those who are able to make a grand career writing about their travels and the things they eat – I’m envious of you. Wouldn’t that be a dream? Travel the world and taste the wonders and spent glorious amounts of time taking photos and making a living off that!
Maybe on my next travel, I’ll write about my own views of how I am able to survive and spend the days across the city. To be honest, I’m not sure if you would get much out of my own travel writing but the hope of sheer insight and entertainment and amusement. That’s the only hope one would hope for.
Here is a clip that I stumbled upon some time ago that I kept to heart because… jeeze, it’s rather great, honestly. This is Iron Man’s father — Robert Downey Sr., who is a wonderful director who some may or may not know. He’s cult filmmaker and there’s a good reason why. If you have a chance, seek out some of this works like: Putney Swope or even Moment to Moment (Two Tons of Turquoise to Taos Tonight). Definitely great for those who like a more experimental/surrealistic approach to filmmaking.
Anyway, the main goods…
Last week I finished Ernest Hemingway’s A Movable Feast — a memoir of his time in 1920s Paris. It’s a short book and it has some neat insights about what he did and the people he hung out with — but you see it through his particular point of view (especially how F. Scott Fitzgerald is portrayed — I can’t tell if it’s truthful but it’s pretty damn hilarious). But for me (and whoever else read the book), the takeaway passage happens roughly near the beginning:
“I always worked until I had something done and I always stopped when I knew what was going to happen next. That way I could be sure of going on the next day.
But sometimes when I was starting a new story and I could not get it going, I would sit in front of the fire and squeeze the peel of the little oranges into the edge of the flame and watch the sputter of blue that they made. I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, ‘Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.’ So finally I would write one true sentence, and then go on from there.
It was easy then because there was always one true sentence that I knew or had seen or had heard someone say. If I started to write elaborately, or like someone introducing or presenting something, I found that I could cut that scrollwork or ornament out and throw it away and start with the first true simple declarative sentence I had written.”
Simple, huh? It’s a neat little writing mantra to decorate your typewriter with or to add to your wall of “inspiring” quotes… that is, if you do that kind of thing, heh heh heh ;)
I found this jackpot of goodies via Twitter: the complete video footage of Brandon Sanderson’s 2012 creative writing class at Brigham Young University.
From his Wikipedia entry:
“Brandon Sanderson (born December 19, 1975) is an American fantasy author. He is best known for his work in finishing Robert Jordan’s epic fantasy series, The Wheel of Time, and his own Mistborn series. Sanderson worked as an editor for the semi-professional magazine, Leading Edge, while attending school at Brigham Young University, and he now teaches creative writing there.”
The classes are focused on science fiction and fantasy writing but I’m sure there are great advice for all. To give you a taste, here is part one of lecture one:
On Feb. 14, 2011, the Scriptwriting Program was having the first Hothouse Play Reading event. Writers provided 15 pages of material and actors were asked to volunteer their time to do a live read. Here was the perfect opportunity to see how our stories, characters, and the words they say, held up against the expectations of an audience.
For the moderator role, the program organizers would ask of a theatre expert from the local community. This could range from coordinator, critic, or even a university professor. Basically, friends of friends of the instructors.
These moderators were supposed to give a guest talk for theatre acting students and scriptwriting students. It was eventually decided that this option was scratched due to the performance of the first moderator.
I believe having the person come in to do an hour of talking and then expect them to sit through two hours of amateur scripts was overwhelming. Plus it was a Monday night. And it was Valentine’s Day. AND his wife was with him.
So what happened?