1. A good book can pick you up when you’re feeling down.
2. A good book can help you relax when you’re feeling wound up.
3. A good book can help you get to sleep, on a sleepless night.
4. A good book can be the perfect diversion when you experience racing thoughts.
5. A good book can help you feel centred and in the moment.
6. A good book can make you laugh, make you cry, everything in between, and all of the above.
7. A good book can be the perfect companion on a rainy or snowy day when you don’t want to go out.
8. A good book can draw out strong emotions.
9. A good book can teach you something you didn’t know.
10. A good book can keep you on the edge of your seat.
11. A good book can make you laugh.
12. A good book can be a guilty pleasure.
13. A good book can be hard to put down.
14. A good book can be so compelling, you can’t wait to pick it up again.
15. A good book can be so compelling, you’re sad when it ends. Continue reading
Tag Archives: Fiction
1. A good book can pick you up when you’re feeling down.
Last year, I was most fortunate in having enough blog content ready to post, that I could afford myself a little time to pursue other creative writing opportunities. There have been several ideas for fictional stories swirling around in my head lately, and committing them to paper (before I forget them) was becoming increasingly important as plot twists and defining moments in conversation were routinely popping into my head.
What seems to be a continuing trend, whether writing for my blog or for a fictional piece, is that I don’t seem to have a linear process of writing a story from beginning to end. It starts with glimmers of ideas that spawn other ideas that, over time, can be organized into an outline which then leads to the development of the background and context to connect those ideas.
It’s not pretty and makes writing a bit of a puzzle, but if directors can shoot movies out of sequence, why can’t a writer write out of sequence. In the end, the process of reassembling and organizing the sections can be just as much fun. Thankfully, technology makes that part so much easier.
However, for my fictional material, a new struggle emerged. As much as my little writer’s voice has been very enthusiastic about spreading its wings and committing creative material to paper, it has also been subject to some analysis paralysis.
The question that keeps coming up: What is this story? Is it a novel? Is it a short story? Is it a play? Is it a screenplay? Is it a movie? Is it a series?
I can’t tell you how many times this question rambles in the back of my mind when I am stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Continue reading
It’s midnight and I’m not sure whether it’s every writer’s dream or every writer’s nightmare, but the little writer’s voice is babbling details about the family tree for the characters in my screenplay.
On one hand, I am a little annoyed because it is a “school night” and I have a busy work day planned for tomorrow. On the other hand, with the heartbreak of writer’s block going on around the world, I really can’t complain when my own writer’s voice is in overdrive with ideas.
I grab a pen and a pad (tucked neatly in my nightstand for just such a literary emergency) and I start sketching out the ideas as they come to me.
Given that this is my first screenplay, this is all new to me, but if it’s anything like my process for writing blog posts, this probably won’t be a linear process from start to end.
The main characters start identifying themselves to me. Then, the main sources of tension between the characters form a neatly bulleted list. The resulting struggles are identified and even the desired end result becomes crystal clear to me.
Now… how do we get from “once upon a time” to “and they lived happily ever after”, while hitting all those marks along the way? Continue reading
Regular readers will recall that I put the blog on autopilot in early summer, finalizing several blog posts at once, to offer me some free time to spread my wings and try some other creative writing projects.
It didn’t take long for me to sink my teeth into fiction. I guess ideas had been simmering long enough that putting words to paper came quite easily.
For one story in particular, I already knew my main characters and the main source of tension between them. I started committing those to paper.
What started with a few ideas soon became an outline. Then I rounded up the index cards I filled out over the last weeks related to this story and started typing ideas into their respective places.
What I loved was that I could keep the story up on my computer screen, walk away to put a load of laundry in the machine, come back and add a few sentences, entertain the cat a bit, come back and add a few more sentences, do the dishes, add another couple of ideas. Momentum was building and I was already enjoying the creative writing process.
I’d be lying if I said this particular story was a complete work of fiction. There are a few threads to the story that are inspired from my own life, but only a few people will know which is which.
Well into the process of engineering the flow of tension and conflict, I wrote a first draft of a heated conversation between two characters. For this dialogue, I tapped into something deep in my soul, loosely based on something I experienced personally.
In no way does the conflict in the story line resemble anything I’ve ever experienced, but whether someone is angry about life, people or circumstances, anger is anger. It’s universal and can motivate some very impassioned reactions in any of us.
As I was deeply into the writing zone, almost on autopilot myself, the words and associated emotions poured out of me. The exchange between the two characters flowed seamlessly.
The interaction seemed so natural. In some ways, I was not only creating a moment, I was living in it. The strength of conviction and motivation behind the dialogue was unlike anything I had written before.
When I finished typing out the conversation that concluded with one character storming out of a fictional room, the creative bubble around me faded as I returned to reality. In that moment, I noticed that my heart was racing, my breathing was fast and shallow and I felt beads of sweat on my forehead.
I was having palpitations! … over something I just wrote! Who knew that was even possible?
Instantly, this experience became one of those moments as a writer that I will never forget. At this point I didn’t care whether this piece made it to print or not. The fact that I was able to dig that deeply as if I was in the room with the two characters was a huge rush. The fact that it was able to elicit such a strong response felt like a huge emotional welcome into the creative writing world.
I was overjoyed! I was thrilled! I was euphoric!
If this is what it means to be a writer, then I want a lifetime membership! An experience like this makes it all worth it.
Did you enjoy this post? If you did, please know that there are plenty more where that came from! If you haven’t already, you can check out the rest of my blog at andrebegin.blog. From there, you can click on the “Follow” button to receive future posts directly in your inbox.
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Sincere thanks for reading!
Have a great day,
In working through some of my blog posts in the last years, there have been times when I would look at a final draft of a post and then think to myself that it was pretty good, but for some reason it didn’t quite fit with the overall theme of my blog. Rather than rethink the piece, I would just put it on the shelf and maybe the right time and place to post it would find me.
A few months ago, such an opportunity presented itself when I started receiving emails about the annual Writer’s Digest Short Story Writing Competition. I thought that this might be an opportunity to pick up one of those shelved stories and fine-tune it for the purposes of the competition.
With that decision made, in the days that followed, it was with great enthusiasm that I would come home from work, speed through dinner and rush to my desk to chip away at the story, several times per week. The writing competition definitely stoked my enthusiasm for writing again.
While I have never had delusions of grandeur about my skills as a writer, confidence was running high as the themes of the story were current, relevant and would definitely resonate with certain readers. To achieve that, I dug deeply (veeeeeeryy deeeeeeeply) for the material, breaking open some old wounds. Continue reading
It was a quiet Friday night at the grocery store, picking up the essentials for the week ahead, when I spotted it on the floor, peeping out from behind the rack of discounted fruit. A five dollar bill!
As human nature would suggest, I took a look around, as if somehow the link between this five dollar bill and anyone in the store would be immediately obvious. The store was a ghost town. There was almost no one to be found.
I took another look around, this time to see if anyone else saw it. Clearly there was no risk of anyone swooping in to collect it.
Normally, when it comes to picking up a coin off a sidewalk, I wouldn’t think twice or look twice to locate an owner. I would just do it. But this case seemed different. Maybe it was because it was private property. But what hit me the strongest was the fact that it was five dollars, not five cents.
As these thoughts were blazing through my mind and the ensuing analysis of whether to pick it up or not, I’m not sure if the fumes from my recent oven cleaning had anything to do with it, but I could have sworn the five dollar bill said “Psst… Psst… André! Not meant for you!”
I took another look around to see if anyone else heard that, but again, the nearest customers were either squeezing the Charmin or inquiring about whether they stocked Grey Poupon. I looked down again and considered what the five dollar bill was saying. Continue reading