Writers: Open doors to flights of imagination

“. . . the urge to be a writer is a generous act at its core: we want to share our story with others, to give them a world that will open doors to insights and flights of the imagination.” — Grant Faulkner Excerpted from “Sharing stories, sharing yourself,” from Grant’s Substack newsletter on writing and creativity, “Intimations: A Writer’s Discourse.” Grant: As a boy, I spent my allowance on all sorts of pens and paper, so there was never much question I would become a writer. I received my B.A. from Grinnell College in English and my M.A. in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. It seems like I should have other degrees, such as an MFA in Novels about People Doing Nothing But Walking Around, a PhD in Collages and Doodles and Stick Drawings of Fruitless Pursuits, or a Knighthood in Insomniac Studies, but I don’t.

Guest Bloggers

Cavorting With Words

Guest Blogger Grant Faulkner: Since it’s National Novel Writing Month, I wanted to share my thoughts on the creative process that is at its core: writing with abandon. This is a reprint of an essay that originally appeared in Poets & Writers. A few years ago I grappled with a simple question I had never before bothered to ask myself: Did I decide on my writing process, or did it decide on me? Despite an adult lifetime of reading innumerable author interviews, biographies of artists, and essays on creativity, I realized I’d basically approached writing the same way for years. And I didn’t remember ever consciously choosing my process, let alone experimenting with it in any meaningful way. My approach formed itself around what I’ll call “ponderous preciousness.” I’d conceive of an idea for a story and then burrow into it deliberately. I’d write methodically, ploddingly, letting thoughts percolate, then marinate—refining…


Revision and laser eye surgery

“Revising is like being an optometrist—always asking, ‘Is it better like this? Or like this?’” —George Saunders, quote from “The Alchemy Required to Finish a Novel,” by Grant Faulkner, Writers Digest, Nov-Dec 2021 “As you work through revisions, you see your story from all angles and you discover things you wouldn’t have ordinarily been able to see. A deep revision can give you the clear vision of laser eye surgery.” —Grant Faulkner #justwrite #amwriting #iamawriter #creative writing

Just Write

‘Tis the season . . . NaNoWriMo

‘Tis the season for NaNoWriMo. National Novel Writing Month is held during the month of November. Have you ever done it? Have you thought about it and wondered if you could or should do it? I say: Go for it! What do you have to lose? And, you might gain some excellent writing. “National Novel Writing Month began in 1999 as a daunting but straightforward challenge: to write 50,000 words of a novel in thirty days.”  Sharon Oard Warner says “A work of fiction that logs in at 50,000 words is actually a novella . . .” So, if the idea of writing a novel is overwhelming, consider writing a novella. Prepare for NaNoWriMo Julie Artz writes about her NaNoWriMo experience on Jane Friedman’s blog, “Want to Win NaNoWriMo? The Secret is Preparation.” Learn from her mistakes to get “that coveted NaNoWriMo win.” Prolific author Bella Andre wrote about her struggles…

Just Write

NaNoWriMo-Is it for you?

Have you heard of NaNoWriMo? National Novel Writing Month. “NaNoWriMo believes in the transformational power of creativity. We provide the structure, community, and encouragement to help people find their voices, achieve creative goals, and build new worlds—on and off the page.” —NaNoWriMo website “A month of NaNoWriMo can lead to a lifetime of better writing.” Grant Faulkner, founder and creator of NaNoWriMo. NaNoWriMo National Novel Writing Month began in 1999 as a daunting but straightforward challenge: to write 50,000 words of a novel during the thirty days of November. Each year on November 1, hundreds of thousands of people around the world begin to write, determined to end the month with 50,000 words of a brand-new novel — but that’s not all that NaNoWriMo is! NaNoWriMo is a nonprofit organization that supports writing fluency and education. It’s a teaching tool, it’s a curriculum, and its programs run year-round. Whatever you…

Just Write

Baby shoes for sale. Never worn.

“Baby shoes for sale. Never worn.”  Hemingway wrote this six-word tale that has become the ultimate short, short-story.  The reader can fill in the blanks. I wonder how many variations of a theme these few words have inspired. Grant Faulkner honed his skills to write short, 100-word essays and writes in the August 2015 issue of The Writer magazine: “A flash writer has to paint characters in deft brushstrokes, with the keenest of images in such limited space. Shorts require immediacy; they’re a flicker of light in the darkness, a prick, a thunderclap . . . Paring down my writing and focusing on what goes unsaid and unexplained help me build suspense.” Faulkner says, about Hemingway’s six-word story, “The story moves by implication– the empty space around those few words invite the reader to fill them, transforming the reader into a co-author.” If this type of writing appeals to you,…

Just Write

Failure is necessary to find “wondrous and magical moments”

“A rough draft is inherently an experiment, or, rather, a series of experiments. each novel, each piece of writing, is a new thing with different possibilities that demand to be explored. Many of these experiments will fail, but failure is necessary to find those wondrous and magical moments of success.” — “More Ideas Faster, Writing With Abandon” by Grant Faulkner, Jan/Feb 215 Poets & Writers magazine. Grant Faulkner is: Executive Director of National Novel Writing Month, co-founder of 100 Word Story, writer, tap dancer, alchemist, contortionist, numbskull, preacher. Click here to read more about Grant Faulkner. Note from Marlene: Click here for ideas of what to write about. Choose a writing prompt, set your timer for 12-15 minutes and Just Write!