Kaffee mit Chuck

Es war etwas ruhig um Tyler Durdens Vater geworden. Nun erleben wir den ersten Teil seiner Fight Club- Fortsetzung im kommenden Dezember. Anscheinend hat er sich selbst auch nicht gerade an Regel 1 gehalten. Also statt Regeln, hier doch mal ein paar Schreibtipps von Chuck und dazu eine schöne Tasse heißen Kaffee mit viel Milch und noch mehr Zucker...

Number One: 
Two years ago, when I wrote the first of these essays it was about my “egg timer method” of writing.  You never saw that essay, but here’s the method:  When you don’t want to write, set an egg timer for one hour (or half hour) and sit down to write until the timer rings.  If you still hate writing, you’re free in an hour.  But usually, by the time that alarm rings, you’ll be so involved in your work, enjoying it so much, you’ll keep going.  Instead of an egg timer, you can put a load of clothes in the washer or dryer and use them to time your work.  Alternating the thoughtful task of writing with the mindless work of laundry or dish washing will give you the breaks you need for new ideas and insights to occur.  If you don’t know what comes next in the story…  clean your toilet.  Change the bed sheets.  For Christ sakes, dust the computer.  A better idea will come.

Number Two:
Your audience is smarter than you imagine.  Don’t be afraid to experiment with story forms and time shifts.  My personal theory is that younger readers distain most books – not because those readers are dumber than past readers, but because today’s reader is smarter.  Movies have made us very sophisticated about storytelling.  And your audience is much harder to shock than you can ever imagine. 

Number Three:
Before you sit down to write a scene, mull it over in your mind and know the purpose of that scene.  What earlier set-ups will this scene pay off?  What will it set up for later scenes?  How will this scene further your plot?  As you work, drive, exercise, hold only this question in your mind.  Take a few notes as you have ideas.  And only when you’ve decided on the bones of the scene – then, sit and write it.  Don’t go to that boring, dusty computer without something in mind.  And don’t make your reader slog through a scene in which little or nothing happens.

Number Four:
Surprise yourself.  If you can bring the story – or let it bring you – to a place that amazes you, then you can surprise your reader.  The moment you can see any well-planned surprise, chances are, so will your sophisticated reader.

Number Five:
When you get stuck, go back and read your earlier scenes, looking for dropped characters or details that you can resurrect as “buried guns.”  At the end of writing Fight Club, I had no idea what to do with the office building.  But re-reading the first scene, I found the throw-away comment about mixing nitro with paraffin and how it was an iffy method for making plastic explosives.  That silly aside (… paraffin has never worked for me…) made the perfect “buried gun” to resurrect at the end and save my storytelling ass.

Number Six:
Use writing as your excuse to throw a party each week – even if you call that party a “workshop.”  Any time you can spend time among other people who value and support writing, that will balance those hours you spend alone, writing.  Even if someday you sell your work, no amount of money will compensate you for your time spent alone.  So, take your “paycheck” up front, make writing an excuse to be around people.  When you reach the end of your life – trust me, you won’t look back and savor the moments you spent alone.

Number Seven:
Let yourself be with Not Knowing.  This bit of advice comes through a hundred famous people, through Tom Spanbauer to me and now, you.  The longer you can allow a story to take shape, the better that final shape will be.  Don’t rush or force the ending of a story or book.  All you have to know is the next scene, or the next few scenes.  You don’t have to know every moment up to the end, in fact, if you do it’ll be boring as hell to execute.    

Number Eight:
If you need more freedom around the story, draft to draft, change the character names.  Characters aren’t real, and they aren’t you.  By arbitrarily changing their names, you get the distance you need to really torture a character.  Or worse, delete a character, if that’s what the story really needs.

Number Nine:
There are three types of speech – I don’t know if this is TRUE, but I heard it in a seminar and it made sense.  The three types are:  Descriptive, Instructive, and Expressive.  Descriptive:  “The sun rose high…”  Instructive:  “Walk, don’t run…”  Expressive:  “Ouch!”  Most fiction writers will only use one – at most, two – of these forms.  So use all three.  Mix them up.  It’s how people talk.

Number Ten:
Write the book you want to read.

Mehr Tipps gibt's hier: Stocking Stuffers: 13 Writing Tips From Chuck Palahniuk