The scariest moment in writing is…

just before you start.

It’s like jumping in cold water or getting ready to speak in public.

But…once you get rolling, it morphs into something you can’t find anywhere else.

It gives you a shot of dopamine, your mojo,  your flow and your drive.

Too many people wait for those feeling to come so they can have inspiration to start.

If you’ve read any of my other posts you know exactly what comes next…

The motivation comes after you begin.

Just start…the rest flows from there.



I always know the ending…that’s where I start.

Toni Morrison.

Is that the answer?  Is it enough to inspire you to great and prolific prose?

Possibly, but more importantly…

That is what works for Toni.  Your job is to find what works for you.  A magic bullet has never been found to replace just starting in.

Try several beginnings, endings, reread your ending and use it to come up with another beginning.  Change the location, invent a new character that opens a new subplot, put your antagonist in a speeding vehicle, take your secondary female character and make her the reason your protagonist misses work 2 days a week.

Get the idea?  Your story, make it what we’re looking for.  Play with it, work it.

Now go do it.



Somebody’s got to get in trouble, or…

no one wants to read it.

Conflict my friends.

Rising conflict.  Stakes…then higher stakes.

Dilemmas, paradoxes, no escape from the dangers.

Go see a thriller or read one.  If you’re breathlessly gripping your seat or turning the pages it’s because the author has raised the stakes.  He or she has given someone you care about and thrown them to the wolves.

Your story is a moving train, the speed of it is up to you…in my mind the faster that train is headed for the precipice the more I want to read.

Keep asking yourself as you develop the plot: “Okay, what’s the worst thing that could happen now?”

Then… ask it again.

Write it out, then ask it again.

Pursue this until you…the writer…are breathlessly writing those pages.  This is what your reader is asking of you.

Give it to ’em.