Tip Tuesday Round Up: Remedies, rest and rejuvenation4 min read

by | Oct 25, 2016 | Tips | 0 comments

A weekly round up of writing advice and inspiration

Each patient’s illness is a narrative – symptoms as the beginning, diagnosis as the ending – and a middle that weaves a coherent and irresistible path between the two. This aptitude for narration is essential to those doctors who go on to write, but it’s a moot point whether medical training actually endows it.”

A fascinating blog in The Guardian blog last week takes a look at the surprising connection between writing and doctoring, and concludes that medicine can be great training for writing fiction.

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Writing, whether going well or not, is a heck of a lot of time in your own head. And, whilst your own head is no doubt home to some beautiful, wonderful things, it can also be a very scary and unhealthy place to spend all your time. Writing is inherently solitary, so you won’t necessarily have people around to notice if you’re not coping well.”

In the run up to NaNoWriMo, we’re all preparing to push ourselves to the brink, but Jenny advises you to stop, take a breath, and think about some self-care planning while you’re at it.

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Often, obligations form a secret conspiracy with a writer’s fear to keep that writer from writing. The logic goes like this: I’ve already invested such time, energy, brain, or sweat today into [INSERT OBLIGATION HERE] that I’m totally justified in just chillin’ like McMillan and not feeding my need to write.” Justified, yes. Happy, no. Why? Because that need needs to be fed and it won’t shut up when it’s hungry.”

Writer Unboxed provides a call-to-arms for the writer with too many excuses, and tries to advise on a sensible life-write balance.

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The idea that a book, or film for that matter, stimulates extreme emotions is constantly deployed as a promotional tool. Terrifying, hair-raising, profoundly upsetting, painfully tender, heartbreaking, devastating, shocking, are all standard fare in dust-jacket blurbs and newspaper reviews; it is as if the reader were an ectoplasm in need of powerful injections of adrenaline. Anything that disturbs us, arouses us, unsettles us, is unconditionally positive.”

A fascinating piece in The New York Times asks whether novels should aim for the heart or the head, and whether we should contemplate why we want to grab the reader before we decided how to grab the reader.

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Because we have that acceptance of technology as being a miracle worker, it means that it takes the place of the supernatural in our stories. So if, back in the ’50s, if you were writing these stories it would have been the monkey’s paw or aliens come down, someone finds a magic whistle or whatever, but now you can just have an app.”

With the new series of Black Mirror climbing from strength to strength, it’s not surprising that everyone is rushing to pick screenwriter Charlie Brooker’s brain for secrets. In this AV Club interview Brooker discusses how technology affects his storytelling, how he balances the ending of an episode, but above all, how he injects hope into nightmares.

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