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Fire Up Your Writing Brain

Book Description

Ignite Your Writing Brain!

Whether you're an experienced writer or just starting out, an endless number of pitfalls can trip up your efforts, from procrastination and writer's block to thin characters and uninspired plots. Luckily, you have access to an extraordinary writing tool that can help overcome all of these problems: your brain.

Fire Up Your Writing Brain teaches you how to develop your brain to its fullest potential. Based on proven, easy-to-understand neuroscience, this book details ways to stimulate, nurture, and hone your brain into the ultimate writing tool. Inside, you'll learn how to:

  • Identify the type of writer you are: Do you think or feel your way through writing a book? Are you a pantser or a plotter?
  • Develop writing models that accelerate your learning curve.
  • Hardwire your brain for endurance and increased productivity.
  • Brainstorm better character concepts and plot points.
  • Learn to edit your manuscript on both a macro and micro level.
  • Recharge a lagging brain to gain an extra burst of creativity.
Filled with accessible instruction, practical techniques, and thought-provoking exercises, Fire Up Your Writing Brain shows you how to become a more productive, creative, and successful writer--a veritable writing genius!

"An excellent resource--the way that neuroscience and the art of writing are jointly explored allows for a new, unique, and practical integration of the two." --Teresa Aubele-Futch, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Neuroscience at Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame and co-author of Train Your Brain to Get Happy and Train Your Brain to Get Rich

"Full of neuroscience facts and tips, this inspiring book will change your brain--and your writing life. I learned techniques that I'll apply to my students and my own writing." --Linda Joy Myers, President of the National Association of Memoir Writers and award-winning author of Don't Call Me Mother: A Daughter's Journey from Abandonment to Forgiveness

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Copyright Page
  3. Dedication
  4. Acknowledgments
  5. About the Author
  6. Introduction
  7. Chapter 1: What Your Writing Brain Can Do For You
    1. It’s All in the Wiring
    2. Mapping the Human Connectome
    3. What Your Brain Can Do For You
    4. Neuroplasticity and Neurogenesis
    5. Getting Down to Brain Facts
    6. How It Affects Your Writing
    7. How Your Brain Writes
    8. The Role Handwriting Plays
    9. The Role Cognition Plays
    10. The Role Conceptual Networks Play
    11. The Perils of Multitasking
    12. Take Care of Your Brain's Health
  8. Phase One: Prepping Your Writing Brain
    1. Chapter 2: Awaken Your Writing Brain
      1. It Requires Devotion
      2. It Begins With a Love for Language
      3. Do You Have an Affinity for Writing?
      4. Why Writers Write
      5. Why Writers Create in a Certain Medium
      6. Understanding the Gender Component
      7. Understanding the Emotional Component
      8. Why Do You Write?
      9. Writers on Craft
    2. Chapter 3: Identify Your Writing Brain
      1. What’s Your Choice Method of Storytelling?
      2. Are You This Way or That Way?
      3. What’s Your Preferred Genre?
      4. Are You an Inventor, a Master, or a Diluter?
      5. Are You a Fox or a Hedgehog?
      6. Are You a Top or a Bottom Brain?
      7. Are You a Plotter or a Pantser?
      8. Are You a Basher or a Swooper?
      9. Are You a Macro or a Micro?
      10. What Kind of Writing Brain Do You Have?
      11. Writers on Craft
  9. Phase Two: Your Idea-Generating Brain
    1. Chapter 4: Reinforce Your Writing Brain
      1. Read Things Similar to What You Want to Write
      2. Read Things the Opposite of What You Want to Write
      3. Practice Divergent Thinking
      4. Read Books That Make You Think About Writing
      5. Read a Novel to Stimulate Brain Connectivity
      6. Develop Your Craft
      7. Analyze Successful Writing
      8. Find the Metaphor
      9. Practice, Practice, Practice … and Then Practice Some More
      10. Study How Other Writers Approach Writing
      11. Listen to Other Writers
      12. Build a Better Template
      13. Writers on Craft
    2. Chapter 5: Jumpstart Your Writing Brain
      1. Summoning Your Brain’s Ingenuity
      2. Clarify Your Intentions
      3. Choose a Topic That Excites You
      4. Brainstorm Ideas: Give Your Brain Free Rein
      5. Brainstorm the Width and Breadth of Your Novel, Memoir, Screenplay, Etc.
      6. Use Brainstorming to Narrow Down Specifics
      7. Writers on Craft
  10. Phase Three: Your Brain at the Beginning
    1. Chapter 6: Nurture Your Writing Brain
      1. Purposefully Invite Your Brain Into Your Writing Space
      2. What is This Work Really About?
      3. Write Detailed Character Bios, Specify Each Character’s Arc
      4. Create a Detailed Plotline and/or Outline
      5. Visualize Characters, Scenes, Settings in Motion
      6. Create an Organizational System That Fits Your Writing Brain
      7. Maximize Your Brain’s Organizational Skills
      8. Create a Concrete, Flexible Game Plan for Completion
      9. Create Specific, Attainable Goals for Getting Underway
      10. When it Comes to Goals, Start Small
      11. The Joys and Perils of Word Counts
      12. Consider Your Brain Programmed
      13. Writers on Craft
    2. Chapter 7: Fire Up Your Writing Brain
      1. Create the Best Setting to Write
      2. Create the Best Environment
      3. Clear Brain Space for Writing
      4. Enter With Intention
      5. Use Meditation to Fire Up Your Neuronal Network
      6. Meditation’s Long-Term Benefits
      7. Make Writing a Meditation
      8. Employ Mindfulness to Improve Your Focus
      9. Use Music to Fire Up Your Writing Brain
      10. Use Music to Reinforce Motivation
      11. Mine the Complexity in Music
      12. Try Symphonic Writing
      13. Time to Write
      14. Time for Your Editor to Depart
      15. Writers on Craft
  11. Phase Four: Your Brain in the Middle
    1. Chapter 8: Fuel Your Writing Brain
      1. Selectively Focus Your Attention
      2. Get Into the Habit of Writing
      3. Work Up the Grit to Achieve Mastery
      4. Create the Mindset to Write
      5. Envision Yourself a Writing Superhero
      6. When Writing, Practice Active Sitting
      7. Foster the Flow That Comes When Writing Goes Well
      8. Avoid the Opposite of Flow
      9. Bring Back the Flow
      10. Focus on Something Else for a While
      11. Why Your Brain Responds to Art
      12. Find Other Ways to Stimulate Creativity
      13. Writers on Craft
    2. Chapter 9: Refresh Your Writing Brain
      1. You’ve Lost Your Way
      2. Your Passion Has Waned
      3. You Need a Muse
      4. You’ve Spent Too Much Time Alone
      5. Your Expectations Are Too High
      6. You’re Creating Your Own Anxiety
      7. You Are Burned Out
      8. You’re Too Distracted
      9. Your Brain Has Shut Down
      10. Pamper Your Writing Brain
      11. Writers on Craft
    3. Chapter 10: Sustain Your Writing Brain
      1. Bolster Motivation
      2. Brainstorm on Where to Go
      3. Review Your Plot
      4. Look at the Broad Strokes
      5. Inspire Your Writing Brain
      6. Get Moral Support
      7. Get Back to Work
      8. Recharge Your Batteries, as Needed
      9. Writers on Craft
  12. Phase Five: Your Brain at the End
    1. Chapter 11: Reward Your Writing Brain
      1. Visualize Yourself as Someone Who Finishes
      2. Print Out Your Manuscript
      3. Recognize and Reward Yourself
      4. Plan the Big Celebration
      5. Write It Wrong if You Must, Just Write It
      6. When Your First Draft is Complete, Celebrate!
      7. Save the Editing for Another Day
      8. Writers on Craft
  13. Phase Six: Your Editing Brain
    1. Chapter 12: Call in Your Executive Brain
      1. Time for the Editor’s Cap
      2. View the Work More Objectively
      3. Conduct a Macro-Edit: Focus on the Work as a Whole
      4. Proceed From a Macro- to a Micro-Edit
      5. Refine and Rewrite Scenes
      6. Refine and Rewrite Dialogue
      7. Using Proven Neuroscience to Review, Refine, and Rewrite
      8. Rewrite, Rewrite, Rewrite
      9. Gear Up for Marketing
      10. Writers on Craft
  14. Appendix