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My writing, Uncategorized

Know desire

I’ve been reading a lot about the writing process lately, mainly from my lecture notes for school, but also some local essays. There’s a few things that most people agree on – to produce anything readable, you must:

– Have discipline. Writing something at all is hard work. Writing something good means editing and commitment and more editing, and making myself not get up for another coffee every ten minutes. It means sticking to it, even on days when I’m certain I am terrible and I am never going to get anywhere

– Know desire. This means feeling your own passion and yearning to be a writer, to be a better writer, to write ALL THE TIME. It also means knowing what your characters want. If you don’t know their desires and needs and hopes and dreams, how can you write them? If you’re stuck, just ask them. So… what do you want?

– Don’t be driven by ideas or theme. Don’t try to twist your characters into saying things they wouldn’t say, or put them in situations they wouldn’t get into, just to express an idea. Follow them, they know where they are going better than you do.

– Have curiosity. Be driven by discovery. If you are surprised by revelations as you write, so will your readers.

There’s a lot more about authorial voice and being honest and ambiguity and subjectivity and plot and language. I’m trying to keep it all in mind as I write.

200 words to go on my short story for school 🙂

And some new poems.


About writehandedgirl

Sarah is a writer who is passionate about social justice, feminism, politics, and cats. She is a columnist and poet and currently lives in Nelson. You can follow Sarah on Twitter (@_writehanded_) or read more of her writing at


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