We met for breakfast at a coffee shop in Santa monica. In that meeting, i got two of the best lessons in writing ive ever received. What the muse wants : The issue that comes up more than any other among aspiring artists and entrepreneurs is this: How can we chase our dream when weve got kids, a job, demands and deadlines? How do we find the time, the self-discipline and the energy when were dealing with all this real stuff in the real world? The muse can be a tough taskmistress. But she does have one soft spot, if we know where to look. Write What you dont Know : Probably the most classic kernel of writing advice is Write What you know. On the surface, that seems to make a lot of sense, and Im sure it has worked for thousands and thousands of writers.
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They certainly hooked me; did they do the same for you? The most Important Writing Lesson i ever learned : my first job was the in advertising. I worked as a copywriter for an agency called Benton bowles in New York city. An artist or entrepreneurs first job inevitably bends the twig. It shapes who youll become. If your freshman outing is in journalism, your brain gets tattooed (in a good way) with who-what-where-when-why, fact-check-everything, never-bury-the-lead. If you start out as a photographers assistant, you learn other stuff. If you plunge into business on your own, the education is about self-discipline, self-motivation, language self-validation. Advertising teaches its own lessons. Sex Scenes : i once did a rewrite on a porn flick. Before i began, the producer wanted to get together with me, to give me my marching orders and to make sure that I didnt slow the project down by making avoidable rookie mistakes.
Ask yourself what kicks off this persons journey toward that legs final mental image? Note that the inciting incident that kicks off a good story is usually some kind of trouble. Inciting incidents and headlines alike benefit from trouble, because trouble hooks readers into wanting to know the rest of the story. Experiment with how much you can leave out. What can you leave to your readers imaginations? What can you strip out of the beginning to enhance the mystery or suspense? Pare the post down to its essence. Follow these steps and youll not only know where to end, but youll know how to start and what to leave out. Examples of inciting incidents from Steven Pressfields blog to cement this technique in your mind, ive pulled some examples of inciting incidents taken from Stevens blog titles and opening lines.
Think about how to embody that big idea with a compelling mental image. What remote would clothe that big idea with imagination and emotion? What details are essential to making that image vivid? Youll wrap up database your post by painting this image in your readerss mind, leaving them with a powerful impression of your idea. Determine whose perspective youre using to convey this mental image. Is this a personal revelation, a story about your readers, or a case study about some third party? What angle will make that mental image the most powerful?
In other words, we spend too much time on dull background, rather than jumping into an exciting opening. Print out your posts first draft, divide it in thirds, then chop off that first third. Youll cut away all that unnecessary exposition and end up with both a stronger beginning and a tighter post. Even better, starting in the middle of things leaves story questions to be filled in later, while also leaving details to the imagination of your readers. Both of which engage readers and keep them reading to find out how all the pieces fit. Beginning with the end in mind. You want to hook readers into reading your entire post — not just the first few paragraphs. Heres how: Uncover the crux of your message. In other words, the big idea that youre trying to convey, and why it matters to your audience.
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I did it in my writing, but only on instinct; I had no idea what I was doing. Having that idea crystallized helped me tremendously. I now always ask myself, even summary in short blog posts, What is the inciting incident? What event or moment gets this story rolling? Its been a huge help.
And heres a bit more about inciting incidents as english described by robert Mckee in his book, story (emphasis mine bring in the central Plots Inciting Incident as soon as possible. But not until the moment is ripe. If we writers have a common fault in design and placement of the Inciting Incident, its that we habitually delay the central Plot while we pack our opening sequences with exposition. We consistently underestimate knowledge and life experience of the audience, laying out our character and world with tedious details the filmgoer has already filled in with common sense. The rule of the first third. Most first drafts suck precisely because we habitually delay the central plot with exposition.
And the secret to hooking your readers comes from the storytellers of the world. A storyteller cant rely on the copywriters standby. Wiifm, because, well, the only thing thats in it for the audience is the storytellers ability to engage their interest. Thats why theyve made an art of hooking the reader, and why screenwriting guru robert Mckee has crystallized that art into one key lesson. Steven Pressfield relies on this key lesson, which has helped him sell well over a million copies of his novels and non-fiction worldwide.
Hes also had his novel, The legend of Bagger Vance, made into a major motion picture. The war of Art has become a handbook not only for writers but for entrepreneurs, artists, and creatives of all types — just the sort of crossroads beloved by copyblogger readers. So what was this one key lesson, the secret Steven learned? The inciting incident, steven Pressfield learned about the magic of inciting incidents from screenwriting legend Robert McKee. Heres how Steven put it in an interview he recently granted me: Mckee has given me (and thousands of others) so many valuable lessons, itd be hard to pick one out, but here it is: The inciting incident. I had never heard this term or focused on this concept before taking his Story Structure class.
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At the end of the service, tim's wife, beverly lahaye, gathered their entire family to share with each generation what she online and lahaye had been praying for them. "I'm sure today, he's looking forward to all 39 of you joining him in heaven one day, to spend eternity in the presence of our savior, who gave his life for each one of you. He would not want any one of you to be left behind, and I say that with all sincerity she concluded. Distracted by Twitter, e-mail, facebook. Every reader has it happen several times a day. Will your readers be any different? Not unless you hook them.
Lahaye said to her, "you're back!". She replied, "Yes, on my way home the holy Spirit arrested me and told me to buy a box of books for my friends.". Not having heard her correctly, lahaye said, "What did you get arrested for, speeding?". But Jenkins said he will remember lahaye most as a soul-winner. "He was way more interested in reports of who had come to faith than he was about any royalty check or bestseller list. And as thrilled as i am that he is now where he has always wanted to be, his departure leaves a void in my soul.". Three of lahaye's grandsons and his two daughters, lori and Linda, through tears, shared fond memories of "Pop." All of them noted that sharing the good news of the gospel was his greatest joy.
shared. Lahaye's co-author of the end times series, jerry jenkins, recalled many memories he shared with the pastor/bestselling author and said it was an "unspeakable privilege" to have known lahaye. Having seen lahaye up-close-and-personal, jenkins shared about a particularly strong memory he had of his writing partner. Jenkins said that during their travels if lahaye suddenly disappeared, he could often be found somewhere praying with someone he just met. Jenkins sprinkled many humorous anecdotes about lahaye in his tribute, including how he was first introduced to lahaye as "a bestselling nonfiction author with a great fiction idea, and you're a novelist with no ideas which he recounted with a laugh. He also shared about the time they were in Atlanta at a book signing event, and lahaye had forgotten his hearing aid. A woman that got her book signed had returned 20 minutes later to buy an entire box of their books.
Left Behind, as someone that challenged him to be a better person every time he met him, during a memorial service for lahaye friday morning. "I would leave always wanting to do better" and serve jesus Christ more, said Jeremiah, senior pastor of summary Shadow mountain Community Church, where the memorial service was held, in the san diego suburb. Tim lahaye was the former senior pastor of Shadow mountain Community Church before jeremiah took over the role. Lahaye died on July 25 at age 90, and is survived by his wife, beverly, four children, nine grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren, all of whom were in attendance at the memorial service, arriving from eight different states. In his message honoring lahaye, jeremiah began by saying that there is a term that appears in the Old Testament 75 times in 70 passages: Man of God. Five people are given that title: Moses, samuel, david, Elijah, and Elisha. But in the new Testament, only one reference is found, and interestingly enough, it refers to a man named Tim. 1 Timothy 6:11 reads: "But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness" — an apt description of lahaye's life, said Jeremiah. He also noted that despite lahaye selling over 90 million copies of his.
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1 New York times Bestselling Author. My third Rockton paper book, this Fallen Prey is out! Next up is a standalone ya thriller, Aftermath. You'll find free chapters for these (and all my books!) on their webpages inside. (Photo: Facebook/Official: Tim lahaye)Dr. Tim lahaye, pastor and best-selling author of the "Left Behind" book series. Megachurch pastor david Jeremiah remembered Tim lahaye, best known for co-authoring the bestselling book series.