counterintuitivecomics:

Let’s write!
I’ve been trying to get back into doing free writing as part of my comics process, so I thought I’d post this simplified version of a lecture I made for CCS’s Summer Workshops.  To me, free writing is all about pouring words out on the page without judging what you are producing - it’s a way to just enjoy the shape and sound and feel of words in your head and on the page, and a way to explore images in your mind. It helps me clear out some of the anxiety tangling up my ideas for stories, but it can also serve as an excellent self-soothing activity. You don’t gotta do this for anybody but you.
If you want to find more real writing exercises to get you started, head over to Lynda Barry’s tumblr or grab a copy of her incredible WHAT IT IS! Grab your favorite pen or pencil and write something for yourself today!


Lynda Barry auto-reblog. counterintuitivecomics:

Let’s write!
I’ve been trying to get back into doing free writing as part of my comics process, so I thought I’d post this simplified version of a lecture I made for CCS’s Summer Workshops.  To me, free writing is all about pouring words out on the page without judging what you are producing - it’s a way to just enjoy the shape and sound and feel of words in your head and on the page, and a way to explore images in your mind. It helps me clear out some of the anxiety tangling up my ideas for stories, but it can also serve as an excellent self-soothing activity. You don’t gotta do this for anybody but you.
If you want to find more real writing exercises to get you started, head over to Lynda Barry’s tumblr or grab a copy of her incredible WHAT IT IS! Grab your favorite pen or pencil and write something for yourself today!


Lynda Barry auto-reblog. counterintuitivecomics:

Let’s write!
I’ve been trying to get back into doing free writing as part of my comics process, so I thought I’d post this simplified version of a lecture I made for CCS’s Summer Workshops.  To me, free writing is all about pouring words out on the page without judging what you are producing - it’s a way to just enjoy the shape and sound and feel of words in your head and on the page, and a way to explore images in your mind. It helps me clear out some of the anxiety tangling up my ideas for stories, but it can also serve as an excellent self-soothing activity. You don’t gotta do this for anybody but you.
If you want to find more real writing exercises to get you started, head over to Lynda Barry’s tumblr or grab a copy of her incredible WHAT IT IS! Grab your favorite pen or pencil and write something for yourself today!


Lynda Barry auto-reblog. counterintuitivecomics:

Let’s write!
I’ve been trying to get back into doing free writing as part of my comics process, so I thought I’d post this simplified version of a lecture I made for CCS’s Summer Workshops.  To me, free writing is all about pouring words out on the page without judging what you are producing - it’s a way to just enjoy the shape and sound and feel of words in your head and on the page, and a way to explore images in your mind. It helps me clear out some of the anxiety tangling up my ideas for stories, but it can also serve as an excellent self-soothing activity. You don’t gotta do this for anybody but you.
If you want to find more real writing exercises to get you started, head over to Lynda Barry’s tumblr or grab a copy of her incredible WHAT IT IS! Grab your favorite pen or pencil and write something for yourself today!


Lynda Barry auto-reblog. counterintuitivecomics:

Let’s write!
I’ve been trying to get back into doing free writing as part of my comics process, so I thought I’d post this simplified version of a lecture I made for CCS’s Summer Workshops.  To me, free writing is all about pouring words out on the page without judging what you are producing - it’s a way to just enjoy the shape and sound and feel of words in your head and on the page, and a way to explore images in your mind. It helps me clear out some of the anxiety tangling up my ideas for stories, but it can also serve as an excellent self-soothing activity. You don’t gotta do this for anybody but you.
If you want to find more real writing exercises to get you started, head over to Lynda Barry’s tumblr or grab a copy of her incredible WHAT IT IS! Grab your favorite pen or pencil and write something for yourself today!


Lynda Barry auto-reblog. counterintuitivecomics:

Let’s write!
I’ve been trying to get back into doing free writing as part of my comics process, so I thought I’d post this simplified version of a lecture I made for CCS’s Summer Workshops.  To me, free writing is all about pouring words out on the page without judging what you are producing - it’s a way to just enjoy the shape and sound and feel of words in your head and on the page, and a way to explore images in your mind. It helps me clear out some of the anxiety tangling up my ideas for stories, but it can also serve as an excellent self-soothing activity. You don’t gotta do this for anybody but you.
If you want to find more real writing exercises to get you started, head over to Lynda Barry’s tumblr or grab a copy of her incredible WHAT IT IS! Grab your favorite pen or pencil and write something for yourself today!


Lynda Barry auto-reblog. counterintuitivecomics:

Let’s write!
I’ve been trying to get back into doing free writing as part of my comics process, so I thought I’d post this simplified version of a lecture I made for CCS’s Summer Workshops.  To me, free writing is all about pouring words out on the page without judging what you are producing - it’s a way to just enjoy the shape and sound and feel of words in your head and on the page, and a way to explore images in your mind. It helps me clear out some of the anxiety tangling up my ideas for stories, but it can also serve as an excellent self-soothing activity. You don’t gotta do this for anybody but you.
If you want to find more real writing exercises to get you started, head over to Lynda Barry’s tumblr or grab a copy of her incredible WHAT IT IS! Grab your favorite pen or pencil and write something for yourself today!


Lynda Barry auto-reblog. counterintuitivecomics:

Let’s write!
I’ve been trying to get back into doing free writing as part of my comics process, so I thought I’d post this simplified version of a lecture I made for CCS’s Summer Workshops.  To me, free writing is all about pouring words out on the page without judging what you are producing - it’s a way to just enjoy the shape and sound and feel of words in your head and on the page, and a way to explore images in your mind. It helps me clear out some of the anxiety tangling up my ideas for stories, but it can also serve as an excellent self-soothing activity. You don’t gotta do this for anybody but you.
If you want to find more real writing exercises to get you started, head over to Lynda Barry’s tumblr or grab a copy of her incredible WHAT IT IS! Grab your favorite pen or pencil and write something for yourself today!


Lynda Barry auto-reblog. counterintuitivecomics:

Let’s write!
I’ve been trying to get back into doing free writing as part of my comics process, so I thought I’d post this simplified version of a lecture I made for CCS’s Summer Workshops.  To me, free writing is all about pouring words out on the page without judging what you are producing - it’s a way to just enjoy the shape and sound and feel of words in your head and on the page, and a way to explore images in your mind. It helps me clear out some of the anxiety tangling up my ideas for stories, but it can also serve as an excellent self-soothing activity. You don’t gotta do this for anybody but you.
If you want to find more real writing exercises to get you started, head over to Lynda Barry’s tumblr or grab a copy of her incredible WHAT IT IS! Grab your favorite pen or pencil and write something for yourself today!


Lynda Barry auto-reblog.

counterintuitivecomics:

Let’s write!

I’ve been trying to get back into doing free writing as part of my comics process, so I thought I’d post this simplified version of a lecture I made for CCS’s Summer Workshops.  To me, free writing is all about pouring words out on the page without judging what you are producing - it’s a way to just enjoy the shape and sound and feel of words in your head and on the page, and a way to explore images in your mind. It helps me clear out some of the anxiety tangling up my ideas for stories, but it can also serve as an excellent self-soothing activity. You don’t gotta do this for anybody but you.

If you want to find more real writing exercises to get you started, head over to Lynda Barry’s tumblr or grab a copy of her incredible WHAT IT IS! Grab your favorite pen or pencil and write something for yourself today!

Lynda Barry auto-reblog.

(via laurellynnleake)

“I imagined myself, some decades from now, nervously perched on the papered leatherette of an examination bed, and my doctor directing her sad, humane eyes at me a moment before clearing her throat and saying, “Top Five Signs You Probably Have Pancreatic Cancer.”
— An excellent listicle on… listicles. i might also add that we produce so much content on the internet that writers (for say, hypothetically, Buzzfeed) are a bit too lazy/time-stricken to write more thought-out pieces. http://nyr.kr/158oRlh

parislemon:

André Aciman for NYT:

Words radiate something that is more luminous, more credible and more durable than real facts, because under their stewardship, it is not truth we’re after; what we want instead is something that was always there but that we weren’t seeing and are only now, with the genius of retrospection, finally seeing as it should have occurred and might as well have occurred and, better yet, is still likely to occur. In writing, the difference between the no more and the not yet is totally negligible.

A fascinating way to think about writing.

“I’ve seen time and time again the way that the process of trying to say something dignifies and improves a person.”

George Saunders (via NYT)

Such a great quote.

“Not to be facile, but if I don’t write, I don’t get to do the things I later write about. An editor once asked me whether I was one of those writers who liked writing or who hated writing. The implication—that there are journalists who struggle with writing and that that’s completely normal—was a huge relief. I actually don’t hate writing, but it is my least favorite part of the process, far behind thinking, planning, experiencing, interacting, pondering, wandering. Now that I think about it, I should have known not all writers loved writing best. Imagine a food writer who liked writing more than eating. That would be pathetic.”
Seth Kugel (via mlarson)

(via austinkleon)

thenearsightedmonkey:

Writing by hand… does it ring a bell? Does it ring and ring? (Image by Lynda Barry)

How soft the music of those village bells,
Falling at interval upon the ear
In cadence sweet; now dying all away,
Now pealing loud again, and louder still,
Clear and sonorous, as the gale comes on!
With easy force it opens all the cells
Where Memory slept.

William Cowper- Task (bk. VI, l. 6)

Source and other source

If you don’t follow Letters of Note, you should.

This one is Groucho Marx writing to a company that he recently invested in.

curiositycounts:

Elmore Leonard’s rules for good writing. More rules by Henry Miller, Margaret Atwood, Neil Gaiman & George Orwell. And timeless advice from Stephen King, Anne Lamott, Ray Bradbury, and more.

(via curiositycounts)

austinkleon:

Dan Harmon and his storytelling circles
The creator of the TV show Community has come up with a circle diagram to “codify the storytelling process—to find the hidden structure powering the movies and TV shows, even songs, he’d been absorbing since he was a kid.”

Harmon calls his circles embryos—they contain all the elements needed for a satisfying story—and he uses them to map out nearly every turn on Community, from throwaway gags to entire seasons. If a plot doesn’t follow these steps, the embryo is invalid, and he starts over. To this day, Harmon still studies each film and TV show he watches, searching for his algorithm underneath, checking to see if the theory is airtight. “I can’t not see that circle,” he says. “It’s tattooed on my brain.”

Here he breaks it down for you:

Start thinking of as many of your favorite movies as you can, and see if they apply to this pattern. Now think of your favorite party anecdotes, your most vivid dreams, fairy tales, and listen to a popular song (the music, not necessarily the lyrics). Get used to the idea that stories follow that pattern of descent and return, diving and emerging. Demystify it. See it everywhere. Realize that it’s hardwired into your nervous system, and trust that in a vacuum, raised by wolves, your stories would follow this pattern.

(thx, @jamesfflynn!)
austinkleon:

Dan Harmon and his storytelling circles
The creator of the TV show Community has come up with a circle diagram to “codify the storytelling process—to find the hidden structure powering the movies and TV shows, even songs, he’d been absorbing since he was a kid.”

Harmon calls his circles embryos—they contain all the elements needed for a satisfying story—and he uses them to map out nearly every turn on Community, from throwaway gags to entire seasons. If a plot doesn’t follow these steps, the embryo is invalid, and he starts over. To this day, Harmon still studies each film and TV show he watches, searching for his algorithm underneath, checking to see if the theory is airtight. “I can’t not see that circle,” he says. “It’s tattooed on my brain.”

Here he breaks it down for you:

Start thinking of as many of your favorite movies as you can, and see if they apply to this pattern. Now think of your favorite party anecdotes, your most vivid dreams, fairy tales, and listen to a popular song (the music, not necessarily the lyrics). Get used to the idea that stories follow that pattern of descent and return, diving and emerging. Demystify it. See it everywhere. Realize that it’s hardwired into your nervous system, and trust that in a vacuum, raised by wolves, your stories would follow this pattern.

(thx, @jamesfflynn!)

austinkleon:

Dan Harmon and his storytelling circles

The creator of the TV show Community has come up with a circle diagram to “codify the storytelling process—to find the hidden structure powering the movies and TV shows, even songs, he’d been absorbing since he was a kid.”

Harmon calls his circles embryos—they contain all the elements needed for a satisfying story—and he uses them to map out nearly every turn on Community, from throwaway gags to entire seasons. If a plot doesn’t follow these steps, the embryo is invalid, and he starts over. To this day, Harmon still studies each film and TV show he watches, searching for his algorithm underneath, checking to see if the theory is airtight. “I can’t not see that circle,” he says. “It’s tattooed on my brain.”

Here he breaks it down for you:

Start thinking of as many of your favorite movies as you can, and see if they apply to this pattern. Now think of your favorite party anecdotes, your most vivid dreams, fairy tales, and listen to a popular song (the music, not necessarily the lyrics). Get used to the idea that stories follow that pattern of descent and return, diving and emerging. Demystify it. See it everywhere. Realize that it’s hardwired into your nervous system, and trust that in a vacuum, raised by wolves, your stories would follow this pattern.

(thx, @jamesfflynn!)

“I have always believed that you not only cast a strip to enable the characters to do things you want them to, but that the characters themselves, by their very nature and personality, should provide you with ideas.”
— Charles M. Schulz, PEANUTS: A Golden Celebration (As Wallace Stevens wrote, “The characters speak because they want to speak.” This line is quoted by Psychologist Mary Watkins in chapter seven of her book, Invisible Guests: The Development of Imaginal Dialogues, where she talks about how writers have often spoke of not feeling that they really had control of their stories, that they were just following the characters, or taking dictation. You can read some of it, here.)

(via austinkleon)

austinkleon:

mlarson:

When I was reading this New Atlantis article on self-help, I found mention of Ben Franklin’s ingenious plan for becoming a better writer: imitation, summary, repeated practice. He set up lessons for himself, varying ways of copying from The Spectator

  1. One method was picking an essay, summarizing every sentence with a brief “hint”, setting those summaries aside for a while, and then trying to recreate the essays from his own notes. Then he’d compare to the original and see where he came up short.
  2. Sometimes he’d put these hints on separate sheets, jumble them all up, and set them aside for a few weeks. Then he’d try to re-order them and re-write the essay, and compare his with the original.
  3. To work on his vocabulary, he transformed the prose stories into poetry, waited a while so the memory was no longer fresh, and then turned them back into prose again.

Dang. Who has time for all that? Basically everyone with discipline: “My time for these exercises and for reading was at night, after work or before it began in the morning, or on Sundays, when I contrived to be in the printing-house alone, evading as much as I could the common attendance on public worship…”

Auto re-blog! Thing is: this is how thinkers have done it for thousands of years. You copy your heroes. You learn their moves. You combine those moves, transform them into your own thing. (Now, off to finish that chapter in the book…)