Writing Non Fiction With Leslie Levine - Rancho La Puerta
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Writing Non Fiction With Leslie Levine

A couple weeks back I wrote about my experience in a fiction writing class I took at the Ranch.  That same week I had taken another class about writing non fiction from Leslie Levine which I loved.  Talk about insider info!  It was great to get all these tips plus Leslie is a wonderful presenter.  I really felt engaged throughout the whole talk.  Also, Joelle Delbourgo, an editor and Sam Barry, who taught the fiction writing class, were there for even more tips.

So this is my favorite advice she mentioned in her presentation:

  • There is not an ideal schedule for writing.  Do it when you can and know that something else will probably have to give in order to make time to write.
  • You need to just sit down and do it.  Until you sit down and actually write, nothing is going to get accomplished.
  • Open a Twitter account and practice writing in 140 characters or less.  Good writing is often tight writing.
  • Keep going over your drafts to tighten them up.  Reading what you write out loud helps with this.
  • When you read your work if you feel even a twinge of discomfort listen to your gut because it means something isn’t right and needs to be reworked.
  • Let your work sit for awhile and then read it again.  You’ll often see it in a new light.
  • If you’re going to submit an idea or query to a magazine, make sure that you know the magazine inside and out.
  • Pay attention to submission guidelines and know that it may take around four weeks to get an answer.  In some cases you may not get a response at all.
  • Follow editors on Twitter to find out who they are and what they like.
  • Make a connection with the editors on a semi personal level when you contact them.  Just make sure it’s relevant to what you’re writing about!
  • Read good writing, the kind you aspire to write.
  • Create a word list.
  • Join a writing group and surround yourself with other writers.
  • Lastly, push yourself!

I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed this class and Sam’s fiction writing class.  I was only there two days during writing week, but I wish I was able to attend every one of their classes.   Maybe next year!  Such a wealth of information in a beautiful inspiring environment, really, what more can you ask for?