1. Use personification to set a tone. “124 was spiteful. Full of a baby’s venom” (3). BELOVED has one of the most famous opening lines in literature. And what does it do? It personifies the house.
1. Time doesn’t have to be linear. “The knock on the door no door, an aperture in thick mud walls, and the sack that hung over it looped back for air.” (1)
3. Be deliberate. “Neither you nor your friend bothers to ask who is making her feel uncomfortable” (69).
1. Try new things. “All you have to do is try, with meaningful words, properly and effectively arranged, to honestly unroll your sentences and paragraphs, clearly, sensibly, just explaining what you’re up to as well and as powerfully as you can."
1. Have a Theme “If growing up is painful for the Southern Black girl, being aware of her displacement is the rust on the razor that threatens the throat. It is an unnecessary insult.”
2. When writing suspense, write good comedy. Log Entry: Sol 61 How come Aquaman can control whales? They’re mammals! Makes no sense.
3. Revise, revise, revise. And then revise again. Go Set a Watchman is the first draft of To Kill a Mockingbird. It reads like a draft. There are random flashbacks that aren’t always relevant and several information dumps.
2. Names are powerful—an absence of names is even more so. Names equal identity. If someone is named, they’re important and they’re solid.