Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘novel’

How to write in your sleep

A few days ago, I had a flash of insight about a story I wanted to write. I quickly wrote out a draft and after making some changes, I looked at it and decided I was missing some of the deeper meaning.

I’m going to rely on my subconscious self to delve into the deeper meaning. I have a strategy to do this. If you’re also looking for ways to build out a piece of your writing, you may want to try it.

Here’s how:
1. Print a poem, short story, or a few pages of a manuscript you’re working on and read it right before you go to sleep. If you have any outstanding questions about its direction, write them in the margins of your page and think about them as you drift off to sleep. As you sleep, your story will be simmering in your subconscious. Read more

Outline key elements of your story, poem, or essay with one simple exercise

As I was reorganizing files last week, I found a writing exercise I’d done that helped me see how I could quickly sketch out the outline of a story from beginning to end in about 12 to 15 sentences (or more depending on how deep you want to take it).

I discovered the exercise in the book Writing and Publishing Personal Essays by Sheila Bender. She assigns it to help her students practice collecting sensory images. She credits a poem by poet Charles Proctor as the inspiration.

It’s a good focusing tool to note the key elements of a writing idea and chart the beginning, moments of conflict, middle, and resolution. And it works whether you’re writing a poem, memoir, short story, or novel. Read more