Living richly

Here’s another story that really got me thinking about how I visualize potential characters.

Prompt: What makes a character eschew the jet set to live modestly despite being a millionaire?

Another visit with the real Millionaire Next Door

Do the hardest thing first

I mentioned I’ll be doing some traveling soon and I’ve been busy at the day job trying to stockpile some work to have ready before I leave. But that’s meant my personal writing has been shoved to the back burner. I’m feeling a need to reorganize my attitude and this reminded me of some things that may help.

The Philosophy That Will Help You Get ‘It’ Done |

On my way …

I’m leaving for Italy today. It’s such an often-visited country it will be hard to find anything new to write. But I’ve found a couple more tips to keep in mind.

Like any skill, writing takes practice and dedication . Travelling as a writer is very different from travelling as a traveller. You must learn to record the sights, sounds and smells of a country. Your reader wants to feel like she is travelling alongside you. What really caught your eye in a bustling Vietnam market? Have you ever tried to describe the sound of the ever-present wind on a mountain top or to write about the wonderful aromas wafting from the kitchen in an out-of-the-way Italian trattoria?

And from
My golden rule when writing a piece is to include as much visual description as possible. It’s easy to presume a lot, but your readers don’t know what you’ve seen. So explain it as vividly as possible. Don’t ever describe something as “characterful” or “beautiful” – this doesn’t mean anything to anybody but you. Describe things as if you were explaining them to a blind person. To say a building is “old” isn’t good enough; explain the colours, the peeling stucco, the elaborate, angular finishes on windowsills, the cleaning lady in a faded blue smock who was leaning out of a second-storey window with a cigarette dangling from her mouth. There is a thin line between elaborate, colourful, evocative writing and pretentious tosh, but it’s better to lean towards the pretentious tosh side of the spectrum than to be dull and presumptuous.
Benji Lanyado, Guardian writer and blogger