Author Chuck Wendig on Writing

Since it’s NaNoWriMo, I feel I’d be remiss if I didn’t write a post about Chuck Wendig and his blog. Admittedly, I have not read all of his books (although I’m working my way through the Miriam Black books), but I do read his blog on a consistent basis. And although I am not a writer, as a reader, I find it interesting to read what he writes about writing. Ok, that was a weird sentence. But I think you know what I’m saying here, right?

On terribleminds, Chuck Wendig writes about writing, and has flash fiction challenges, so if you’re looking for inspiration this NaNoWriMo, I’d suggest starting with this recent post. Here’s just a sample of some of his tips: “6. When I end one day of writing, I write a few notes — a few words to a few sentences — that give me a clue as to what I need to write tomorrow. So, I open the file and there are some vague stage directions to get me going. THE CHIMPANZEE DETECTS TREACHERY. Or EWOK JEDI FLORGIN RAT-BEAR CHASES ANCIENT SITHLORD THROUGH A PEORIA WAL-MART. Whatever. Something to grab hold of when I start the next day.”

And “12. I let the characters lead the way. When I doubt, I ask what do they want in this scene, what do they want overall, and what is most important? I let them run with it. And this usually runs them into other characters who are either competing for the same thing or who want opposing things. Characters have problems. They use the fiction to confront those problems (often poorly). This is the engine of storytelling. Seize it, let it guide you. Do not let “plot” dominate this core character-driven component.”

As I said, I’m a reader, not a writer, but I feel like I get some good ideas from a post like this, too. So, today’s note from me to all of the writers out there, who are working their way through NaNoWriMo, is: try some Chuck.


About centerforthereader

St. Louis Central Library, Center for the Reader, is where you can find fiction, reading suggestions, author information, and much more!
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