Tuesday, March 17, 2015

learning by yourself



"You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room."

THEODORE GEISEL


"Good writing is always about things that are important to you, things that are scary to you, things that eat you up." 
JOHN EDGAR WIDEMAN

What you are will show, ultimately. Start now, every day, becoming, in your actions, your regular actions, what you would like to become in the bigger scheme of things.” 
Brain Pickings

Thursday, March 12, 2015

characters

Do you enjoy books with multiple points of view? Last year, I realized there was another prominent voice in my manuscript: my main character's mother. 

It could be the combination of planning my own wedding and an innate curiosity towards the concept of marriage but suddenly, it seemed clear. My M.C.'s mother had a want. A voice.

Sometimes, I've had to learn to simply surrender, allow things to take their natural course, and be patient with the process. 

Now it's a matter of learning more about her and giving her story justice. 

Nandini had observed this part of her husband’s bedtime routine during their first week of marriage, when they were still strangers, aware of their inevitable intimacy. 


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

recent reflections

The past few months have been lined with urgency. They've demanded reflection, both from the big changes on the horizon and observations I've been able to make about the people I love.

I've seen that nothing seems to matter when I'm sleep deprived and starving; however, I've also realized that in order for me to do certain things, I have to become comfortable doing them even when I'm not in an ideal state of mind. Whether it's extra reading or extra sit-ups, if I wait for the ideal opportunity to arrive, I'll never get anywhere.

Today, I was sitting with my attending physician in the neurodiagnostics lab. We were discussing a patient who knew exactly what she needed, medically and emotionally, to feel better.

"It's important to know yourself," she said.
"It can also be dangerous," my doctor replied.
"And how's that?"
"If you know yourself in the wrong way, through a clouded lens or set of flawed perceptions, you'll behave in ways that won't benefit you."

I thought of his words for the rest of the day. We put so much emphasis on knowing what suits us, not realizing that that may be pushing us in unnecessary directions. I may believe I need days of free time in order to be my most productive and authentic self...but maybe it's my lack of time that pushes the essentials to the surface, forces prioritization, and provides a steady current of gratitude. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

6 lessons from recent books





1. Build sympathy for a character by making him/her an outcast.

2. Weave setting description and action together.

3. Leave unsolved mysteries in each chapter.

4. Make sure there's a clear sense of change for each character.

5. Go in an unexpected direction.

6. Let dialogue move the plot forward.





Monday, March 2, 2015