Pocket Muse: Ideas and Inspirations for Writing

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Writer's Digest Books, Apr 1, 2002 - Reference - 224 pages
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Brainstorm a list of complications for your work in progress. Make it a big list--at least fifteen items. Go crazy with it. At least three of the complications must be preposterous, requiring of you (and your reader) huge leaps of faith. Write about the praise you've received for your writing, whether from a high school English teacher or an editor or a friend. When doubts arise while working on an idea, take out your list and descriptions and read them quickly. All writers need such affirmations. If you've got a piece underway but are beginning to feel it lag a bit, find a place in what you've written already that excites your interest. Perhaps it's a character or an image, a setting, even a subplot that appeals to you. Focus your energy there. You could expand its role in the story or freewrite about it. If you're smitten by a character, explore her background, even if you feel that what you write won't be included in the final piece... By focusing your energy and interest in this way, you can catch a renewed sense of engagement in the piece and before you know it you're moving again. Write down all the destructive and distracting self-talk statements you usually make while evaluating your work--all the statements you use to create noise and thereby deafen yourself to the piece in progress. Now read the piece and immediately discard any thoughts that your list contains. Consider how you start and end your writing sessions. Do you write until you're exhausted? If so, consider stopping while you're still feeling energetic about the project. Ernest Hemingway made famous his method of stopping each session in the middle of a sentence, so he'd know just how to start the new session. Thisapproach might work for you. Keep an ongoing list of phrases and sentences that strike you as particularly good in what you read. Get into the habit of writing them down.
 

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Contents

Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
Section 5
Section 6
Section 7
Section 8
Section 10
Section 11
Section 12
Section 13
Section 14
Section 15
Section 16
Copyright

Section 9

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About the author (2002)

Monica Wood was born in Maine to a devout Irish Catholic family of paper mill workers. She grew up with the tradition of storytelling . She also read quite alot as a child and soon developed a love for books. Her sister and her were the first generation in her family to attend college so she thinks of her background as a literary one. Her fiction titles carry the theme of family throughout. Her older brother and sister are almost a generation older than her and her two sisters. Her parents died young and one of her sisters is mentally disabled, which has kept the family close throughtout the years. She works to create characters who appear real despite their circumstances. She also creates an empathy with the reader so that they care about what happens to these characters. Her titles include: Secret Language, The Pocket Muse, My Only Story, and The One-in-a-Million Boy.

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