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Hey, guys! Spring is here and I've got things to say, news to share, life pinatas to crack open. As such, I'm excited to start blogging regularly(ish). As a good faith effort, below is the first Writing Whip-it, something I envision being a regular deal (in the same way I envision fitting back into my 1994 Girbaud jeans because nothing good happens if you don't vis-U-alize it, people) where I offer a brief writing tip (500 or fewer words).
Imagine being a chef who only eats chicken nuggets, a carpenter who refuses to look at buildings straight on, or an orchestra conductor who doesn't listen to anything but commercial jingles. Such is the problem for a writer who doesn't read regularly and widely.
Books are the maps to your craft.
Reading like a writer requires you to figure out what in a piece of fiction moves you and what turns you off. I'm calling that self-awareness your narrative detective—its job is to solve the mystery of the narrative, looking at the ways it is and isn't succeeding—and I'm going to encourage you to feed it PIE every time you read anything: a menu, a short story, the interpretive plaque next to the world's biggest redwood tree.
Here's the ingredients to the PIE:
When you feed your narrative detective PIE, she begins to internalize the language and rhythm of story. The results, like magic, will begin to show up in your own writing.
Jessica (Jess) Lourey is best known for her critically-acclaimed Murder-by-Month mysteries, which have earned multiple starred reviews from Library Journal and Booklist, the latter calling her writing "a splendid mix of humor and suspense." She is a tenured professor of creative writing and sociology, a recipient of The Loft's 2014 Excellence in Teaching fellowship, and leads better-than-average writing workshops all over the world. Salem’s Cipher, the first novel in her thrilling Witch Hunt Series, hits stores September 2016. If you'd like to see a specific topic addressed in a future Writing Whip-it, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, with "Writing Whip-it Request" as your subject line.
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