April 27, 2011

How Ideas Behave

Posted in Ideas, Uncategorized tagged at 5:00 am by Rebecca Hein

A good writing idea is wild, like music. If a catchy tune sets your toe tapping, it has done its job. In writing, this vitality often emerges in raw ideas that won’t behave until they are first allowed to run free. Like the wind, they rush through you, refusing to be tamed, and the best you can do is capture their shape.


April 26, 2011

Announcing a 1-day class: Saturday May 14

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:09 pm by Rebecca Hein

Announcing a 1-day seminar: The Music of Writing. In this class we’ll discuss how to make your writing so beautiful that it sings like music. We’ll meet for five hours on Saturday May 14. The morning session, from noon-2:30 p.m. Eastern, will be devoted to critiques of your work, and the afternoon, from 4:00-6:30 Eastern, will be spent on discussion. Cost is $50 per person, and enrollment is limited to the first eight people who register. For more information contact Rebecca Hein (rhein@vcn.com) 1-888-921-9595.

April 20, 2011

Start with an Outline and Other Absurdities

Posted in Outlines, Uncategorized tagged , at 4:07 am by Rebecca Hein

In music, to plan a phrase is to kill it. Even in a string quartet or orchestra, where the group must be unified and therefore all members must know when to play loud or soft, or to accelerate the tempo or not, there’s still room for spontaneity.

Writers are often told to start with an outline. Great advice if you can take it, but your most lively ideas aren’t likely to emerge in logical sequence. Therefore, starting with an outline is most likely to set up a struggle you could avoid if you wrote your first few drafts without expecting more than a collage of ideas.

April 13, 2011

Slow and Quiet

Posted in Quiet tagged , at 5:13 pm by Rebecca Hein

If you feel yourself becoming too scattered, calm down. Creativity is found in the quiet places of the soul, and to cultivate it you must turn your back on the frenetic pace of our age, as much as your life will allow.

April 6, 2011

Saturation, Part Four

Posted in Saturation tagged , , at 10:42 am by Rebecca Hein

We all know that stage in polishing when we’re tired of the piece and can feel it getting stale. It doesn’t last, but in order to find freshness in a project you’ve read or revised more times than you can count, you have to push on.

Eventually your attention will click into subconscious-noticing mode where you see all kinds of new possibilities. These are easy to implement because you’re so comfortable with the piece. You’ve worked on it so long that to go through it again is like flying, only now you have new and glorious plumage.

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