Tools in the Toolbox

Kristine Kathryn Rusch has an interesting blog post up today about how writers are all being herded into writing in flat, bland tones. She called it “Serious Writer Voice.” I nodded knowingly, because I’ve seen Serious Writer Voice before, and wondered at it.

Trouble is, I might be writing in Serious Writer Voice without even knowing it.

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The Seven Point Plot System Block Breaker

Okay, I’ve been threatening to try Algis Budrys’s take on the Seven-Point Plot System for creating stories for a while now – ever since I read his awesome book Writing to the Point. But so far, I haven’t done it yet.

Well, being thoroughly stymied in every attempt I made to try and get something off the ground, I decided the time was right to try using this method, because, once you plant the story’s beginning elements, the rest of the story will – at least in theory – grow organically.

Here’s how I did it.

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The Critical Voice Clamps

I’ve been in a relative state of writerly constipation, if you’ll pardon my disgusting terminology, for a while now. Just under four months now, actually.

I’m not sure what the reason is, or what the fix might be, but I got some very good advice from my main writer dude yet again.

The best part is, he does it without even knowing.

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Genuine Horror

Real horror isn’t necessarily something gory, or something that makes us jump in start. It’s not always fear of some unknown, hockey-masked killer wielding a machete, and it’s not always a burn victim with razor blades on a  glove invading our sleep.

Real horror, sometimes, involves spring boarding off one of our very real, very close fears, and making them become more tangible.

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Learning as Inspiration

Learning is a lifelong process for writers, something that never stops. We learn when we read, and we learn when we write, but sometimes we learn by just…well, learning.

It occurred to me, only this morning, that the best things I’ve done, which inspired me to write more than anything else, involved learning something new about the craft.

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