Monday, July 8, 2013

Start Small, and Broaden Your Horizons

By Laurie Epps

For the last ten weeks, we have been discussing a book on writing called Writing Down the Bones. But this week's entry is different since we will discuss how to get our writing to the next level. How do you make a story great? It's the little subtleties that will get you there. Buckle up, and be prepared to dazzle your readers.

Please share in the comments section if you have applied any of these techniques in your own writing.

A Big Topic: Eroticism
pp. 105-107

When you write about eroticism, it is important to begin slowly. You do this by focusing specific in the room or somewhere in the scene. Think about it, when you experience the feeling of eroticism, you have it strike during an otherwise innocent moment. Try explaining a tea cup and saucer, a man washing his face in a stream, zoom in and out of your scene. Describe what you see, and go where it takes you.


A Tourist in Your Own Town
pp. 108-109

Sometimes we will live someplace for a long time and take it for granted. We no longer see it for it's possibilities. When I lived in Las Vegas, it got to where I wouldn't go to the strip or downtown, but Goldberg challenges us to get out there. Watch the canons and the play at Treasure Island, watch the volcano erupt at the Mirage, go and have a $2 steak dinner at Binion's Horseshoe downtown at 2 am, or drive to "Old Nevada" near Red Rock Canyon to feed the burros.Tell us all about it, what do you smell, hear, and touch? You might be surprised at what you find.

Write Anyplace
pp. 110-111

Goldberg talks about writing in the midst of chaos. Writing in the middle of the unemployment office, or at an above ground cemetery in New Orleans. There is something very reassuring about writing to those of us who work on it in traditional sense. No matter what is going on in your life, you take a pen & paper and your hand starts gliding across the page. Words emerge, and you put them there. This was true and will always be true. A manifestation of ideas are realized in a very concrete way. You are molding your words like a sculptor molds clay.

Go Further
pp. 112-113

Write longer than you think you are able to . If you promise yourself to write for ten minutes every day, don't stop there if you have a good idea. Write for 11-20 minutes, or an hour if necessary.

Sometimes that barrier isn't as tangible as time. For me, this is often emotional. Keep writing even though you are fighting back the tears and you can barely see the page because of crying. Write anyway and push yourself. Some of my best writing has emerged in those dark moments for me.

Laurie Epps is a non-fiction author, essayist, editor, and poet living in Anderson, South Carolina. A seeker of beauty, her is dream is to travel the world one day and tell the many stories of those she meets. To read more of Laurie's stories come back here for her column about Poetry on Thursdays, or follow her Tuesday column dedicated to writing on: http://the writeconversation.blogspot.com

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