Becoming a Peace Corps Writer
“Any clown with a sharp pencil can write out a dozen lines of verse and call them a poem. Not just any clown can fill 200 pages with prose and call it a [book]. Only the more determined clowns can get the job done.” Lawrence Block, from Writing the Novel: From Plot to Print
We are all clowns in one way or another when it comes to writing. Here we are trying to “write a book” when we could be doing almost anything else that is more fun and less trouble. But our goal is important, if for no other reason than it will be recording and putting on paper a significant event in our life. I think that makes each of us special, saving on paper the Peace Corps experience.
In the course of this summer I will blog specifically about writing techniques and problems and possibilities of getting published. These techniques will be organized under these general headings:
Think Like a Writer
Planning Your Book
Finding Your Voice
Relating Events Through Narrative Writing
Description and Narrative
Setting, Situation, and Theme
Images, Scenes, and Dialogue
Action, Conflict & Resolution
Editing and Revising Your Book
Preparing for Publication
Finding an Agent
Here are a few basic tips on writing these will help you:
Write at the same time every day, and don’t try to write too much.
Never wait until you “feel like writing.”
Turn off all distractions, like emails or the evening news.
Set a goal, a minimum number of words to write each day.
Keep your reference books close.
End each session in mid-sentence or mid-paragraph so you’ll have an easier time starting the next day. That’s what Hemingway did all his life.
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