Writing Tip by Lisa Teasley

Photo by Rex Wilson

Take Notes

When it comes to fiction, my primary discipline, I’m brought to the page by character: his or her peculiarities, vulnerabilities, self-perceived shortcomings, and conflicts with others.   If I’m stuck in any way with narrative flow, I’ll take notes on the character’s history, whims, scuffles, crises, and then come back to the page fresh with understanding.   When reading poetry, the newspaper, or even the ending film credits, I jot down a word or name that pops out alien and seductive, emphasizing the art of language.   Working in the yard, dancing, and going to see art are also juicers to get me back to the computer, feeling less enslaved by the editor in my head and more newly motivated to create.

Biography of Lisa Teasley: Lisa Teasley is the author of acclaimed novels HEAT SIGNATURE (Bloomsbury, 2006) and DIVE (Bloomsbury, 2004), and the award-winning story collection, GLOW IN THE DARK (Cune Press, 2002 and Bloomsbury, 2006).   Teasley is writer and presenter of the BBC Television documentary “High School Prom”; her stories and essays have been much anthologized, appearing in publications such as the Christian Science Monitor, LA Weekly, Los Angeles Times and Essence magazine.   She has taught in the Cal Arts and Antioch MFA writing programs, as well as the UCLA Writers Program.   Her website is www.lisateasley.com.

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