Writer’s Wisdom 21

Writing with Heart

Writing a piece is more than telling a story.  If you are passionate about writing, you write with your heart.  You give something in you, to the story.  Author Harlan Coben expressed in a Borders interview:  “I like to write with heart, otherwise it is not going to work for me.”  I agree with his comment; to make a piece that captures the readers, there has to be passion in it.

Author Wally Lamb expressed:  “Write a book for yourself, and let the readers that have to find it, find it.” 

Another author that follows the same rule is Jamie Lee Curtis.  She told Borders:  “I don’t do it for achievement; it is pure expression for me.”  Another good example of this is best selling author John Grisham.  He writes legal thrillers, mostly, but he says that he writes whatever he wants; he has fun with the genre.  He says he does not know where he is going as far as sticking with a genre.  Some of his books have been made into movies (The Firm, The Appeal).  In his own words to Borders:  “You can’t get too serious, the pages have to turn.”

And perhaps, the best example we have about a best selling author who writes with heart is Stephenie Meyer.  Her first book, Twilight, she wrote for herself – at the kitchen table.  The very successful series followed, and captured the heart of fans all over.

So, next time you pick up your pen (or your mouse), ask yourself this question:  “Am I putting my heart to it?” 

Writer’s Wisdom 15


To outline or not to outline; that seems to be the question today.  To outline before you start writing can definitely be helpful; if anything, it keeps you organized.  However, outline is a matter of taste and type of personality, and of “what works for you.”

Some authors, like John Grisham, make an extensive outline, before writing.  He needs his outline (as told in an interview with Borders).  His style is very disciplined and structured.  He writes from 6-12 M, mostly 5-8+ pages a day. For others, outlines are shorter, or created along the way.

The important thing here is that outlines, extensive or short, are a good way to keep your thoughts organized, and helps in making the best of your writing time.  Outlines are not permanent, they are just a guide to move you right along, but can change at any time.  The story is alive, and sometimes it takes a path on its own.