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Showing posts from November, 2023

Write your chapters backward

Sting is one of my favorite singers and songwriters. He uses literary devices to tell visual, emotional, and thought-provoking stories. I've read a bit about how he opens himself up to the writing process and have found that some of what he espouses works for me. He applies a blend of intuition, observation, and technical mastery to his writing that I believe can be applied to the art of storytelling. Embracing Intuition: Sting often begins by letting go of conscious control and allowing his subconscious to guide him. He describes this as "listening to the music and asking it to tell me a story." This intuitive approach taps into the writer's inner world, drawing on emotions, experiences, and memories that can form the foundation for powerful narratives. In first drafts especially, I find myself taping into a trance-like state that opens my mind to unplanned characters and ideas. The subconscious is a marvelous thing. Ob

Dealing with Rejection

 Every writer gets rejected. It doesn't matter how many books you've written or how many you've sold. There's no way of getting around it. I remember an interview with Barbara Streisand, and she said if someone rejected her for a project, the onus was on the producers for failing to recognize her talent and ability. Paraphrasing, “What, are they nuts?” I like that. Editors and producers don’t know what they want until they see it. It’s kind of like pornography as defined by Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, “I know it when you see it.” Gatekeepers don’t know what they want until they see it. However, that doesn’t soften the sting of rejection. Dealing with rejection is a difficult skill, but it is essential. Everyone experiences rejection at some point, whether in the form of a job application not being accepted, a romantic interest was not reciprocating feelings, or a friend group excluding someone. While rejection can be painful, it is essential to remember

Navigating the Digital News Landscape: Detecting Fake News in the Information Age

I spent over thirty years in the news business and teaching news writing at the college level. It has never been more critical to determine what is true or false. In today's hyper-connected world, news travels at lightning speed, but not all are accurate. The rise of fake news, intentionally fabricated or misleading information presented as legitimate news, has become a significant challenge to informed decision-making. As responsible information consumers, we must develop the skills to discern fact from fiction and protect ourselves from the pitfalls of fake news. Identifying Red Flags The first step in combating fake news is recognizing its telltale signs. Sensational headlines, exaggerated claims, and a lack of credibility are often red flags. Be wary of news sources consistently using emotionally charged language or employing ALL CAPS to grab attention. Verifying Sources Reputable news organizations have established reputations and are transparent about their journali