Keith MacKenzie 26 letters. A million and more words. No limit to stories.

Category “Writing strategies”

The importance of lull and flow

Thursday, 28 February, 2013

Came across this great quote when surfing Reddit’s writing subreddit: “This sentence has five words. Here are five more words. Five-word sentences are fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is happening. The writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. It’s like a stuck record. The ear demands some variety. Now […]

What’s playing at the cinema in your head?

Wednesday, 20 February, 2013

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted here. But I have an excuse – we were moving. We packed up all our shit and we moved across the continent, across the mighty Canada-U.S. border, and landed right smack in Woburn, Massachusetts. I feel like I’ve walked into a Ben Affleck movie. Well, no, not really, but […]

Repurpose your darlings

Monday, 30 July, 2012

There are a few time-honoured and well-used cliches when it comes to whetting your craft as a writer. Among them: 1) Show don’t tell. 2) Don’t use adverbs 3) Kill your darlings. First, show don’t tell. This one’s plainly evident. It’s overused and overtaught but, man, I can’t stress enough the importance of it. Imagine […]

The anatomy of a writers’ group

Wednesday, 11 April, 2012

Everyone’s a critic, as the adage goes. But it’s especially the case when a group of writers get together and assess, analyze, decipher, dissect and evaluate each others’ writing as if they were students in Grade 10 biology class and they have the chance to cut up frogs and identify all the cool little bits […]

Writing with messianic determination

Wednesday, 21 March, 2012

A few years – decades, even? – ago, I was watching David Letterman and his cheeky gap-toothed New York humour as was the norm of my late nights, and this time, Peter O’Toole was one of the guests on the show. I’ve seen many actors, actresses and celebrities (yes, that’s a third category) on Letterman […]

Overcoming the inertia as a writer

Saturday, 18 February, 2012

When I posted my rant on the inexcusability of writing excuses two weeks ago, one of my readers commented that, yes, it’s true, we have no excuses as writers and we don’t have any more excuses to not write than a firefighter has any excuses to not fight fires. Think about it. MMA fighters don’t […]

Giving birth to book and baby

Monday, 12 December, 2011

NaNoWriMo is now done and over with for another year. Thousands of people the world over are rejoicing over their successful advent to the magic number of 50,000 words in the month of November, and thousands more are drowning their failures in a bottle of cheap wine with their writer friends. Copyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Keith MacKenzie

Keep your NaNoWriMo in NaNoWriMotion

Friday, 25 November, 2011

As a writer, I strive for – and dread – these moments. The moments where I must create something new out of thin air. I’m one of those writers who will go long, dry spells without writing much at all, and then suddenly, furiously, in a moment of self-torture, I will chain myself to my […]

Storytelling, the longhand way

Thursday, 10 November, 2011

I’m now more than 12,000 words into my latest Nanowrimo journey. This is my fifth kick at the 50,000-words-in-30-days can. I’ve been successful twice, and failed miserably twice. But more so, this is my fourth time doing it longhand. With pen on paper. The old Shakespearean way, with ink stains everywhere, all over my hands, my […]