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Pick a notebook that you'll want to write in – one that you like the look of and that you feel most fits you.Set aside some time each day to write a journal entry.
Action and dialogue are ways to get into a character’s head, and, indeed your own head, and thus into finding the story.
You might end up tossing what you’ve written, but if it gets you going, so what? Another teacher suggested having a conversation with your characters as a way of finding out who they are and what they want, as a way of finding your story.
Writing is like working a muscle; even if you haven't used it in a while, all it takes is a little exercising every day to whip it back into shape.
Here are some tips I've gathered from my own experience from other writer and books about writing creatively to getting that muscle working smoothly again.
You can write about your day, what you're into at the moment, what emotions you're feeling, etc.
The only key to keeping a journal is to do it regularly.
One of our teachers at Iowa 30-plus years ago, the late novelist Vance Bourjaily (The End of My Life, The Violated, and many others) once told our class that good dialogue is a conflict that reveals character, desire, and what’s at stake.
He also added that the bad guy should get the better lines.
The exercise gave me new ideas about each character, new insights into who they were and what they wanted and, indeed, about how the story should unfold. Of course, in our culture, carrying on conversations with imaginary characters usually leads to the court-ordered administration of psychoactive medications, but if you’re found out, just say you’re a writer and it should be OK. Boyle, Allan Gurganus, Sandra Cisneros, Jayne Anne Phillips, Michelle Huneven, Joe Haldeman, Jennie Fields, Marvin Bell, and many others.
, a blend of interviews, commentary, advice, gossip, anecdotes, analyses, history, and asides with nearly 30 graduates and teachers who were at the Iowa Writers' Workshop in the mid-70s.