“Don’t be afraid to start. And more importantly, don’t be afraid to finish.”
— Chris Sparling
“Sneaking up on it sometimes helps: I’ve found I can be very productive for an hour before dinner, because there obviously isn’t enough time to really do anything, so I can tell myself I’m just screwing around.”
— Michael Crichton
“Before I write the lead of a piece, I think the hardest part is how to begin. Then, once I have that done, I think the hardest part is the section that comes right after the lead. Then, of course, the ending. In other words, it’s all hard, just sequentially.”
— Susan Orlean
Avoid exclamation points! Really!! Because they’re distracting!! Almost as much as CAPITALIZING THINGS!!!
Make sure that each scene gives us new information, rather than rehashing things we already know. Never tell us the same fact twice. Because it’s boring and stops the flow of the story. Never tell us the same fact twice. Because it’s boring and stops the flow of the story.
If the reader doesn’t know there’s intrigue a foot, there is no intrigue afoot.
Scenery without subtext is a travelogue.
Everything must be earned. In story, there’s no such thing as a free lunch – unless, of course, it’s poisoned. Think Snow White. In other words, if it’s free, it’s going to cost you big time. (I refrained from using an exclamation point in that last sentence, I admit, it’s not easy! Oops.)
There are two basic motivating factors for just about all human action: Fear and Desire. Almost always, these two are pitted against each other.
The most important element of any story is to make the reader want to know what happens next. Period. Everything else is gravy.
— Lisa Cron