Monday, March 31, 2014

Write Like Your Brain Works: A book to help writers....

Valerie J. Steimle

When I read the title of that book, my first thought I had was that writing like my brain works would not necessarily be a good thing... My brain doesn't always think as it should and I can't always guarantee good works to come out of it.

But the title intrigued me and I downloaded the book onto my kindle. This non-fiction book is by Dene Low (who is a women and has a B.A. in literature, an M.A. in creative writing, and a Ph.D. in rhetoric and composition, whew!). She also writes novels as well.

 The information in this book helps writers to become better at their craft through her knowledge of what makes a better writer and then contains writing exercises to keep you in practice.

I'm already past chapter one so I wanted to talk about what I learned so far:

Whether it's a novel, article, short story or children's book remember these helpful hits when writing:

1.  Know your intended audience: Find a notebook to write down your thoughts in a place where you can refer to it later. Write all that you know about your intended audience.  What do you know about them and what do you think they would like  to read? It is important to know who your audience is otherwise writing becomes mundane and incoherent.

2. Know your purpose in writing: What is your purpose in writing what you write?  Why even bother to write at all? Do you have a passion about telling stories? As writers we must know our purpose and write it down in our notebook.

3. Know the context of your work: What is the model that rules your world? In each of your writing projects you should remember what rules are most appropriate for your creations. Writers can evaluate available options and use what they consider the most appropriate aspect of every part of their writing. When we write something out of place, it can ruin the effect we are trying to create.  You wouldn't have Luke Skywalker not aspire to be a Jedi--that is not an appropriate ideal in the Star Wars world. Think through your story for the best context.

4. Write down experiences: One suggestion to help us with writing ideas is to keep a notebook of what we experience during our day to day activity. You might not use all of them but then again you might find them very useful. Dene Low gives several examples of what she has written but I have one of my own to share which I did write about in my journal:

My husband and I were invited to the wedding of some very good friends of ours. We knew both the bride and the groom and this wedding was to be at someone's home.  It was the second wedding for both and we were looking forward in sharing their happiness.  We arrived at a reasonable time before the wedding and were milling around visiting with the other guests. I talked with both bride and groom and then it was getting close to the time of the wedding to begin. We waited, and waited and waited some more.... The bride was not coming out of her dressing room.  Visions of "Runaway Bride" ran through my head but I dispelled those as her daughter was going in and out of the dressing room talking to others. I'm sure the bride was still in there. 

I started to worry and we waited longer.  It was almost 2 hours later while we were waiting and everyone was getting really hungry.  No one wanted to eat yet because the wedding hadn't happened yet. Then one of the guys we knew who was a friend of the groom came up to me and said, "Hey- I have a great idea!"  Let's all stand around the cake table and on the count of three, charge towards the cake and start eating..." I had to keep from laughing my head off.  It was a funny idea and the vision I had was even funnier.

Of course we didn't do that but the bride gave the caterers permission to start passing out food to everyone so we could eat... They did marry eventually but it was one of the funniest weddings I had ever attended. (I think the delay was due to her getting cold feet.)

Now that is a story I could use in one of my books somewhere I'm sure.

5. Persuade your readers to experience what you want them to in your writings: Appeal to reason, facts, data and logic which will convince the audience about the truth of your assertions in your writings. Making sense is an important part of persuading your readers to your world. Always show positive influence even through challenging periods. Write about overcoming life's most difficult problems.

There is so much more information in this book which will help all writers to improve their writing. This helpful writer's book is a great addition to your writer's collection and will have readers begging you for more books. But you'll just have to download the book to study it yourself.

Here is the link: Write Like Your Brain Works


  1. I first read that title as 'Write like your brains works' in, isn't broken! lol I'm glad that wasn't the jist of the book, even if that's also a book I could sometimes use. :D Great review, and fun story!

  2. That is a funny title!! Thanks and look forward to reading your posts!!