The SoCal Exile Journal Day 3: NorCal?

Publish date:

Did you know that San Francisco has hills? I mean, I've watched a significant portion of the fifth season of Full House so I thought I knew what I was getting myself into, but apparently I had not. The hills of SF, not unlike the hit MTV television series of the same name, are sudden, difficult to traverse and filled with beautiful people that want to hook up. But we're not here to discuss the topography of major NorCal cities (Are we?). We're here to talk about my writing progress. And progress it was, friends. To the tune of a major shake up in the middle of the book. After having sorted out something yesterday that made my book readable, I had only to connect the other literary dots in order to put the middle to sleep and get my end on.

I also was able to utilize something (name drop!!) Tom Perrotta said to me when I interviewed him last year as we both ate Cuban sandwiches: "Just skip the boring parts." This is sound advice for me because I have a hard time not keeping everything in these very linear blocks that go from one scene to what would be the next logical place. So say my main character was in the mall shopping at Forever 21 for a coral sequined halter top (for his lady friend!). The next logical scene (in my mind) would be him driving back from the mall with said halter top and possibly a new vanilla Frosty from Wendy's. But that's pointless. No one needs to see him driving. It doesn't push the plot forward, it doesn't develop his character, and even though he probably would've had clever things to say about his vanilla Frosty, you can't build a book relying solely on cleverness, well timed bon mots and boring parts. This is something I've only recently learned.

The Father-Son Relationship Quote of the Day: "I'm not driving you to the airport."

I'm currently sitting at a Starbucks on Stanford's campus waiting for my friend to get out of his business school class so he can buy me some Stanford Men's Distressed Print Sweatpants (Size Large) and I need to get some writing done so I'm going to disengage myself from the Internets. But I feel really good about where we are in our relationship. Good talk.

Doo Wop,
(That Thing)

Lauryn Hill


Dr. Munish Batra and Keith R.A. DeCandido: Entertainment and Outrage

Authors Dr. Munish Batra and Keith R.A. DeCandido explain how they came to co-write their novel and why it's important to them that the readers experience outrage while reading.


Incite vs. Insight (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use incite vs. insight with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.


Jane K. Cleland: On Writing the Successful Long-Running Series

Award-winning mystery author Jane K. Cleland describes what it's like to write a long-running book series and offers expert advice for the genre writer.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: #StartWrite, Virtual Conference, and New Courses

This week, we’re excited to announce free resources to start your writing year off well, our Novel Writing Virtual Conference, and more!


20 Most Popular Writing Posts of 2020

We share a lot of writing-related posts throughout the year on the Writer's Digest website. In this post, we've collected the 20 most popular writing posts of 2020.


Carla Malden: Writing With Optimism and Innocence

Screenwriter and author Carla Malden explains why young adult fiction and the '60s go hand-in-hand and how she connected with her main character's voice.


Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Talking About the Work-in-Progress

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so we started this series to help identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake writers make is talking about the work-in-progress.


Greta K. Kelly: Publishing Is a Marathon

Debut author Greta K. Kelly reveals how the idea for her novel sparked and the biggest surprise of her publication journey.

Poetic Forms

Mistress Bradstreet Stanza: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the Mistress Bradstreet stanza, an invented form of John Berryman.