Monday, May 18, 2009

Advice from William Zinsser

William Zinsser, in his classic book, On Writing Well, suggests that fiction writers need to take their subjects seriously. "(The subject) must be about something that matters to the writer. Only then will it matter to the reader."

"Write from a topic that burns," he advises. "Writers need to see the drama unfolding as they write." Can you see the scenes you write? You need to be in them to make them real for the reader.

More of Zinsser's gems: "An idea for a story grows in your mind as a tree grows, i.e., slowly gaining in strength." Allow yourself time "for rehearsal," for thinking and dreaming.

This is the stage I am in now, thinking and dreaming, discovering my characters, musing where I should enter their story, and which one should tell it.

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