Sparked by Words

Archive for February, 2014

The Right Write – Not Politics, but 6 Points about Story Craft

  1. Write.

But isn’t this a blog about how to write? So what’s the deal with just advising that I must write if you aren’t going to tell me how to do so?

We all dream. I dream of winning the Olympics, in figure skating. I take the ice and complete the first five-turn salchow double-lutz back flip camel. Then I stand at the podium and beam through my victory tears as The Star Spangled Banner is played and I am jeweled with the gold medallion. My friends who read this tumble off their chairs laughing and hold their bellies as they imagine this fat old body out there on the ice, wearing not much more than a sheath of glitter, (painful sight, that), twirling around on skates until my tushie meets the ice – for the tenth time in ten seconds. Yes, I dream of skating, though I can’t, but I write, and so must you. (more…)

Road Trip, a Writer’s Guide to Communication

We travel for business, new experiences, pleasure, education, thrills, or health. We search for our ancestors, scout a possible new homeland, try out a language we’ve studied, embrace cultural diversity, gain historical perspective, collect artifacts and souvenirs, photograph everything in sight. Myriad reasons fuel our expectations and desires for travel. They color our impressions when we return home. Whether road trip through the United States or journey across borders, the lure of travel causes us to pack our bags and board the dog. We lust for adventure as we voyage. We write (and read, but this post addresses writing) for the same reasons.  We want to know what’s over there in the mystery, or literary, or science fiction genre, so we begin with a dead body, a poetic remark, or an alien invader. We jot down vicarious experiences of new or ancient cultures, even ones that are purely imaginary. We explore distant constellations, the depths of a cavern, or the Paleolithic era, all the while describing snapshots of the images in our brains.  We have an adventure in our writing. (more…)

Hide and Seek

This is not a tale for those who flinch at the R rating on some films. It’s about an incident that may make you blush, make you angry, make you question my taste in writing it. It props open the window about where I glean my tales and is meant as instructive insight. Just a warning: be attentive about what you read, what you show the kids. This may be rated R but it may be instructive about how we harvest stories from life’s true labors. (more…)