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Writing is more than throwing words onto paper.  It is a form of story telling that requires us first to determine in our own mind what the heart of the story is.  What is its essence?  Until we come to grips with that essential element, we should refrain from putting pen to paper.


Novelist Anne Dillard expresses this paramount premise in the following way:


“There’s no virtue in writing per se.  It’s like dribbling. Can you make the shot? Is the question.”  



A Veteran’s Vision
We gain further insight from our guru, Don Murray, whose wisdom stretches across a dozen books and hundreds of articles:


“Writing is thinking, and thought begins not with a conclusion, but with an itch, a hint, a clue, a question, a doubt, a wonder, a problem, an answer without a question, an image that refuses to be forgotten.


“Such fragments are caught on the wing, when I think my mind is somewhere else.”



 What’s Your Vision?
Few of us have reached the level of a Dillard or a Murray, but we nevertheless have stories within us that need telling. And we should tell them in our own way, drawing word pictures with our signature attached.  All that’s needed to begin with is a desire to tell our stories, to share them with others. 



Mission, Goal and Objective
Our stories live within us, dying to be told so that they may live outside of us.  We can either dribble out the words or write them right.

  • Be a Storyteller
  • Engage, instruct, entertain
  • Provide new  perspective


What’s Right?
Specific aspects that enrich stories are:      

  • Right focus, Right Approach, Right Thinking
  • Right tone, Right content, Right words



What’s Wrong
Specific aspects that detract from stories are:

  • Lack of single focus
  • Lack of structure
  • Lack of people
  • Lack of the unexpected
  • Lack of revealing detail
  • Lack of that little extra reporting
  • Lack of voice
  • Lack of revision



What are some tips that might enable inexperienced writers to learn what’s right?

  • Study the techniques of writers you like/respect
  • Write your story in your mind away from the computer: 


“I assign the writing problem to my subconscious,”  says Murray.

  • Decide structure & write fast
  • Let the story unfold
  • Tell the reader what she/he may not know