From The Art of War for Writers by James Scott Bell:
- It's not the will to win that counts, but the will to prepare to win.
- Turn your envy into energy - and more words
- Self-motivation is crucial
- Write hard and fast, but edit slow and tough
- Resist the urge to explain
- To write comedy, make the characters believe they are in a tragedy
- A goal is just a dream unless it has legs
- Every person goes through six stages when a big change happens in their life: Precontemplation, Contemplation, Preparation, Action, Maintenance, and Termination or Relapse.
- Most books' character arcs cover stages three through five -- with stages one and two being mostly backstory and stage six being after the book ends
- Each shift between stages is the result of the character making a decision
- Precontemplation is when the character is in denial or uninterested about needing to change.
- Contemplation is when the character begins to see change is necessary, but hasn't done anything yet.
- Preparation is when the character starts gathering resources to make the change that has to be made.
- Action occurs when the character (duh) takes action. This stage carries the hero from the first real, conscious, committed action to being on his knees with everything he has depleted, exhausted and used.
- Maintenance is when we see the results of the change. The actual change occurs between stages four and five.
- Termination (not often used in fiction) is when we see that the change caused lasting pleasant change - or Relapse the opposite.
- Read agent/editor submission guidelines carefully and follow them exactly (yeah, I knew this already, but it was a GOOD reminder).
- Make sure your writing is as succinct and "sharp" as it can be.
- The most important parts of your manuscript are the beginning and the ending.
- Nothing screams "novice" more than punctuation, usage, grammar, and spelling errors.
- Be absolutely certain you have your facts straight.
Watch for my post next month, where I'll share what I learn in February - including from Margie Lawson's class "Empowering Characters' Emotions."
What "learning" of mine was most interesting to you? Feel free to share anything you've learned about the craft lately.
Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength