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Allow it – advice to writers

October 3, 2011

Someone recently asked me if I had any advice. He was a creative writing student at PSU. It caught me off guard and I flubbed, I gave him the standard answer: Write as much as you can. I know this answer is lame, generic, and not really helpful, like telling a poor person to work hard. For my sins I could not stop thinking about it.

A better answer came to me after we parted company. It’s been rattling around in my head for a few days so I’ve decided to get it off my chest.

Advice to writers: learn to write a scene.

That’s it. It’s simplicity should tip you off to it’s importance, it’s difficulty, and it’s worth–allow it. These books will help you understand what it means to write a scene.

Burroway, Janet. “Writing Fiction: a guide to narrative craft” HarperCollins, 1996.
Scofield, Sandra. “The Scene Book: a primer for the fiction writer” Penguin, 2007.

There are many other books I could recommend for a variety of topics related to writing, but it’s a slippery slope. Let’s not muddy the waters. Focus on writing a scene, one scene, in scene, one scene at a time.

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2 Comments
  1. one scene that has constant contained conflict otherwise its just… blah

  2. That is great advice. Thank you for sharing.

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