Can You Make It as a Writer?

Picture of Michael at a NaNoWriMo event

This is a question I’ve often asked myself, and I would imagine most writers who have looked seriously at their craft have also wondered, “Do I have what it takes?” I’m going to hand the microphone (metaphorically) over to one of the most successful screenwriters of all time, Terry Rossio. He wrote, co-wrote, or headed …

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Maintaining Creative Energy

Picture of Michael at a NaNoWriMo event

[Originally posted on my former blog, Michael Runs the Gamut] I’ve been involved in creative fields most of my life (actor, deejay, voice work, photography, graphic design, etc.), so I understand how much work goes into the product before the public gets to see it. Rehearsing for a play is often six to eight weeks …

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Getting Unstuck from the Dreaded Writer’s Block

Picture of Michael at a NaNoWriMo event

You’re facing the blank page, and nothing’s happening (either in your mind or with your fingers). No words are appearing on the screen (I almost said “on the page,” but my tech-geek gene stopped me). Writer’s block has arrived. Or has it? True writer’s block, I think, is more feared than experienced. Let’s pause for …

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Using What Ifs to Generate Story Ideas

Picture of Michael at a NaNoWriMo event

[Originally posted on my former blog, Michael Runs the Gamut] I have (over the past two years) written a few posts about the idea of using the phrase “What if” as an idea generator for developing a plot. “What if” novels are often about large historical events, like Kennedy’s assassination, the D-Day invasion, or the …

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What I’m Working On, 03-04-2014

Picture of Michael at a NaNoWriMo event

[Originally posted on my former blog, Michael Runs the Gamut] A couple of weeks ago, a question was asked at the [now defunct] Fiction Writers and Editors Group at LinkedIn. It was simply, “What are you working on?” After I had responded, along with a hundred or so other writers, it occurred to me that …

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Artist Retreat III – January 2014

Picture of Michael at a NaNoWriMo event

[Originally posted on my former blog, Michael Runs the Gamut] In my last post, I talked about the writer’s retreat I went to in Alpine, Texas. A couple of months ago, I was invited to another retreat, much closer this time, in Galveston. A couple of friends of mine, Dominick D’Aunno and Matt Adams, decided …

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WLT’s 2013 Summer Writing Retreat

Picture of Michael at a NaNoWriMo event

[Originally posted on my former blog, Michael Runs the Gamut] At last summer’s WLT Agents & Editors Conference, in Austin, Texas (June 21-23, 2013), I was finally ready to seriously pitch my thriller, The Jagged Man. I thought the book was ready, too. I had been working on it for several years, but I felt …

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Writing Retreats

Picture of Michael at a NaNoWriMo event

I’ve been to two writing retreats in the last six months, and they were both wonderful (and an extremely rare experience for me). I don’t know what your writing situation is like, but let me tell you a little bit about mine. I retired in 2009, after nearly forty years in the workforce (thirty of …

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Opening Lines

Picture of Michael at a NaNoWriMo event

[Originally posted on my former blog, Michael Runs the Gamut] Much has been written about how to do an opening scene in a novel. Just Google the phrase —“opening lines” books — and you’ll see about 1.15 million hits on the subject (some more relevant than others, of course). Many of the links will give …

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