Tag Archive - Passion

The Sensitive, Passionate Story

When you read a novel and you sense the passion behind the story, what does that look like? Do you ever start reading a book and feel it’s flat and formulaic, like the writer wrote it in his sleep? At very least, you can’t imagined he cared much for his story, or stayed up late nights writing because of the excitement coursing through his veins.

I often quote a particular line from a movie (I think it was Rich and Famous, so if you know the source and I’m wrong, please enlighten me!) that has stuck with me through my decades of novel writing: “If your writing doesn’t keep you up nights, it won’t keep anyone else up either.” I think the highest compliments a writer can get (and the ones I love the most regarding my own novels) are when readers remark that they stayed up all night reading the writer’s novel, unable to put it down.

That’s not implying your writing should be keeping you up because you just can’t make it work or you are stuck or it’s just plain terrible. What I feel that line means is the writer is so passionate about the story he is telling that he can’t stop thinking about it, and he can’t sleep because he just has to put on the page all the wondrous words that are aching to get out. Or something like that. Continue Reading…

Putting Passion in the Pages

Last week I started delving into idea and passion and exploring what those things really are and where they come from. I’d like to focus a little more on passion this week. I mentioned how some writers’ passion seeps through into their pages. It seems to be something tangible, electric, contagious. I believe that kind of passion comes through the best when we step aside and get out of our own way as we write.

What do I mean by that? Well, those things I mentioned that can trip us up—the need for success, validation, an audience—create roadblocks to passionate writing. On one shoulder, glaring at us as we write, is that infernal internal critic. And on the other shoulder is the needy, worrying, insecure author thinking she’s just fooling herself and everyone else by assuming she can write well. We need to get out the duct tape and put a strip over each of those two annoying hecklers’ mouths. Really. Continue Reading…

The Place Great Ideas Come From

I’m going to explore the topics of idea and passion in the upcoming weeks. I am often asked, “Where do you get those ideas for your novels?” Have you ever stopped to consider just how ideas come to us? I’ve heard writers lament on occasion that they just can’t come up with any good ideas for their next book. They “rack” their brains trying to find a new story, or a new twist on an old story (more likely, since it’s pretty true there are “no new plots.”) How do ideas bubble up to the  surface of our consciousness and why those ideas? Is there a way to “bubble up” some great ideas that will make a compelling story?
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