Sunday, July 19, 2015

0 Best of AYAP: Ideas & Openings

Beginning a novel is difficult: often we, as writers, will get hit with a brilliantly shiny new idea that just can't wait. Then one of two things happen. Either it truly was a magical idea and the story simply pours out. Most of the time, however, we founder, sputter, and eventually the shiny new idea will be doomed to sit forever in the depths of our hard drive.

If you're in the planning stages of a new project, or you've just been hit by a shiny new idea, the posts below are for you. They're a collection of the best advice we've featured over the years aimed at making sure our story idea is ready to go, so we can see it all the way to the end.

On Fostering Creativity

"In order to create authentically, I believe that you have to have utter and complete faith in the world you have created. Even if you think it’s not what others consider “good”, you have to be able to trust your own vision, even if it’s vague." - Tonya Hegamin

On Finding Inspiration

"The cards help uncover and connect unconscious thoughts and ideas already lurking in our minds and hearts -- something all writers and artists strive to do. Call it the muse, call it the universe, call it plain old inspiration. The cards are just one way to find and explore it." - Sarah Ockler

On Making Your Idea the Best it Can Be

"The subconscious is a machine that’s constantly programming itself: taking in, re-arranging, processing, and then (if you talk nicely) delivering something worthwhile." - Mark Huntley Parsons

On Finding Your Premise

"Ever struggle with how to right a book that's gone wrong? Is the first or eighth draft of your novel still not right but you can't find the problem? More than likely, it's your premise!" - Martina Boone

On Crafting a Series

"If you are writing a book that you think/hope will become a series, don’t fret. I’ve been there, and I’m here to share some techniques that I found immensely helpful when you’re a pantser working on a series." - Mindee Arnett

On Writing What You Love

"Write what you love.I know it sounds facile, and it’s so easy to argue with... [But] you see, I think that love shows through. If the writer is passionate about his work, the reader will usually be, too." - Katherine Longshore

On the Ingredients of a Novel

"With a great concept, there's a great wrapper, a WOW factor, but there's layer after layer of solid goodness underneath. And isn't that the key to any great piece of literature?" - Martina Boone

On Preparing to Suspend Disbelief

"I am not good at making things up. I never have been. I always borrow from the real world to get started, even if I make a thing over so completely that no one can recognize it. I always begin with what's real." - Tamora Pierce

On Crafting a Book

"There is something reassuringly mundane about craft. You don’t have to be a genius to craft something good. You just need a modicum of skill, stamina, and the ability to be honest about your work." - Mariah Fredericks

On Picking Your Opening

"Though authors are encouraged to start with action, which I too would encourage you to do, it is essential that we care about the character and their situation first before we are willing to invest in their journeys." - Jackie Garlick-Pynaert

On Finishing

"Finish the story. Finish the novel. Finish the play. Finish the script. It doesn't matter if it's good or not or if it sits in a closet forever. The key is to finish it... and then you can write the next one and the next one and the one after that." - Sarah Beth Durst

What do you think? Was there any advice that particularly resonated with you? Any posts you think we've missed that should be on this list?

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