What Inspires Me #2

I recently did the Neil Gaiman Masterclass. Although a lot of what he spoke about didn’t help with personal essays or even memoirs, I did take several lessons away for writing, and life, in general.

  1. Tell readers something you hope will stay with them.
  2. Dragons can be defeated.
  3. Being brave doesn’t mean you aren’t scared. It means you do it anyway even though it is scary.
  4. Be honest. Care about characters and make them real for everyone.
  5. Give yourself the license to ask questions.
  6. “The moment that you feel, just possibly, you are walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind, and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself… That is the moment, you might be starting to get it right.”
  7. The more you write about feeling like you are seven, the more those memories flood back.
  8. Use the truth. Being specific in what you say that is true and then it will apply to others.
  9. See the bits that just don’t make sense and reinvent it.
  10. Write what keeps you turning the pages and doesn’t make you feel cheated at the end.
  11. AND THEN WHAT HAPPENED? Hear at the end of each chapter and then give more.
  12. Why should I care? The book must mean something.
  13. Stories begin with ideas. Do a brain dump on everything you know.
  14. Let the reader get the idea of what is going on and maybe it will be about something else for them.
  15. Don’t avoid difficult conflict–write it.
  16. Who are your characters and what do they want? Characters always get what they need. They do NOT get what they want.
  17. Plot is driven by characters wanting or needing something. Story happens when two characters wants and needs collide.

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