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NW Boomer Writing Process

Stephen King re-tweeted me. He said he felt like sprinting until he puked. I said that’s what it’s supposed to feel like.
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If you know the alphabet, you know how to write.

At least that’s what non-writers think.

It used to take spelling skills before auto-correct.

There are a few other technical details, but more on that later.

This writer uses what he learned in screenwriter’s school.

Local teacher and writer Cynthia Whitcomb uses her experience and success to inspire others to do better work. It’s the best money you’ll ever spend.

Besides teaching the idea of story, she breaks down movies by the clock.

A three act movie running 120 minutes means the first act is half an hour, the second act an hour, and the third act half an hour. It’s based on the idea of one page equals one minute.

Each act has it’s beats and needs, steps that need to happen to create a sense of wonder.

Does it work for bloggers?

Instead of using time as a measure, use your word count.

A thousand word post means an opening of 250 words, a middle of 500, and an ending of 250. Adjust as needed.

Does it work? Will every post go viral? Will one post go viral?

It would be nice if it was that easy, but it’s not. Writers are grinders. If one post doesn’t hit, the next one will.

By the time you realize how difficult gathering a viral audience is, you’ll feel like you’ve got a virus of your own that needs attention.

Jon Morrow explains what it feels like in a post headlined “The Top 10 Ways to Get the Traffic You Crave.”

You won’t get the 110 comments he got, but you keep writing and posting. Why? Because that’s how you get better.

There’s an old saying that explains why writers don’t quit after their first success: They try and correct the mistakes of that one with their future work.

Writers are never happy with their finished work because they’re never finished. There’s always a better way to structure, a better word to use, a better idea they just realized.

But they’ve already mailed their finished writing and can’t go back to it. So they write a new story to get even.

Like good woodworkers, writers cover their mistakes so well they look like part of the plan. An ‘oops’ turns into an important point. Have you read something like that?

If you listen to live music and hear a sour note, you think, “It was nice until the sour note.”

When you hear the same thing later in the song you realize it’s part of the music. Or like a clever woodworker, the crafty musician repeated the mistake to cover the sour note.

That’s a blogger’s trick too, working it in.

Good writing makes you believe the unbelievable.

A wonderful poet lays down words that sing together in harmonies you’ve never heard. A short story writer takes you on a special journey, then pulls the plug. A skilled novelist creates a world propelled by momentum. You literally can’t stop reading.

What do they all have in common? If you’re a poet, you’re at the top of the pyramid. If you’re not good enough to write poetry, you move to short stories, then novels. You write, then write some more.

Where do baby boomer bloggers come in? A blog post is more than an essay, though not a short story. It’s not compressed enough to be poetry, but the words might be the same. And it’s not a novel, though novelists do use blogging as a sales tool like Torre DeRoche explains in a Copyblogger case study.

A blog post is comfort food, a familiar sweater on a chilly day. It’s a call to be more, to do more. But it doesn’t threaten you to do something now, or else.

If content is king, then the monarchy is run by keywords, bullet points, and lists.

Or, it’s ruled by a soft sell story that travels the same path as myths, legends, and epics.

At least that’s the idea.

What is your writing process, blogger? Leave comments, or else?






About David Gillaspie


  1. My writing process is simply to write.
    Great read, in this poets opinion 😉

    • David Gillaspie says:

      Great reads are my constant goal, reading and writing. From this poet fan to you, thank you for the kind words.

  2. My writing process is to sit and work it out in my head – details, interactions, the “grand themes”, then to sit in front of a computer and experience it all vaporize as I try to get it down. The I realize we are out of milk…

    • David Gillaspie says:

      I can see the problem, Matt. First you need to subscribe to NW Boomer, then tell everyone you know to subscribe.

      Here’s the writing secret I discovered accidentally:

      1. Show what normal life looks like and how it works.

      2. Show how THE PROBLEM interferes with normal life so much that it becomes ABNORMAL LIFE.

      3. Show how to avoid the problem with ingenuity, or just how easy it is to live ABNORMAL LIFE.

      For more information, I’m holding classes, very reasonably priced classes. You bring the milk.

      Have you already joined NW BOOMER? Just checking.

      Thanks for coming in. It means more than I can say. A lot. There, I said it.

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