chronicling a life driven by wanderlust
Number One: Read …really look at what the author’s done, in terms of moving the story along, in terms of building up characters, in terms of making the dialogue natural.
Number Two: Disavow yourself of any romantic notions about the process of writing.
Number Three: Start
Number Four: Keep Going
Number Five: Finish
1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
4. Every sentence must do one of two things-reveal character or advance the action.
5. Start as close to the end as possible.
6. Be a Sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them-in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To hell with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.
Two pernicious fallacies embedded in criticism of Twitter—and, by extension, blogs, tumblrs, and GIFs of catbots who kill with laser eyes—are that non-traditional forms of expression can wipe out existing ones, and that these forms are somehow impoverished. The variables unique to the Internet—hyperlinks, GIFs, chat, comments—have enabled new writing voices with their own distinct syntaxes. But we are not dealing with fungible goods—the new forms will never push out older ones because they’re insufficiently similar. You might overdose on unicorn GIFs and go to bed too tired to read “Freedom,” but unicorn GIFs will never replace “Freedom.”
It takes an investment to make Twitter work.
You need to edit and trim your feed for weeks, or months, to find the people who link to relevant material, write elegantly within a small space (a good exercise for any writer), and don’t tweet too much.