Infographic: Books with Many Characters

28 02 2016

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Writing a Lonely Struggle?

31 03 2015

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Why writing doesn’t have to be a lonely struggle

Being an author is the most desirable job in Britain, according to a YouGov poll. Not so, responded Tim Lott. Writers are driven by demons, he wrote, the work is unimaginably hard – as complex as brain surgery, apparently – not to mention solitary, and fraught with rejection and professional envy. The meagre consolation is the “small legacy” we may leave behind us when we go. It’s a dismal prospect – enough to have us weeping over our keyboards, while taking nips from a bottle of absinthe.

Sorry Tim, but we have to disagree. That’s not how it is for every writer.

Take those demons, for example. For some of us, writing is not a matter of being driven by them, but casting them out. Difficult family relationships? Sort them out on the page. Horrible love life? Write it again with a better ending. Feeling your age? Slip into the skin of a 20 year old and go off and have some fictional adventures. It’s not a horrible, exhausting struggle; it’s therapeutic.

Read further @ The Guardian





Writing Intentions

11 01 2015

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The Best Advice for Writers

December is the worst month for writers.

NaNoWriMo is over, and if you’re like most people, you didn’t “win” it despite your best intentions. (In 2013, only 14 percent of participants crossed the finish line.)

Holiday parties and preparations occupy your evenings and weekends, leaving you with little time to write, and the new year beckons with promises of a fresh start. Next year, you say. Next year you’ll finally write that book.

Except that you said the same thing last year. What will you do to make 2015 different? Grammarly‘s informal survey of writing advice from famous authors uncovered a few common threads:

• Eliminate distractions
• Read a lot
• Write first, edit later
• Finish what you start

In their own words, here are five of our favorite authors on the secrets of their success. (Spoiler alert: there is no secret.)

Read further @ Huffington Post





How to Avoid Writersblock

31 10 2014

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5 Ways To Find New Story Ideas

One of the questions authors are asked most often is how they get their ideas. Unfortunately, there isn’t a secret idea speakeasy where you can buy them in bulk (or if there is, no one has ever given me the password). There are, however, some steps you can take to generate new ideas when you’re feeling blocked. Here are five ways to find writing inspiration:

  1. Go for a Walk
  2. Practice FreeWriting
  3. Read Something
  4. Disconnect
  5. Observe & Record

For an elaboration on the five ways to find inspiration, read further @ Huffington Post.





Marketing Yourself: Part of the Process

26 07 2014

 

 

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The Key Element To Success Many Writers Avoid: Self-Promotion

We all know that success as a writer depends on: 1) writing something worth reading and 2) getting published. (Thanks, Captain Obvious!) But while most writers have no problem understanding and even embracing the time and effort required to accomplish these two goals, there’s a third, essential element of becoming a successful author that many writers shun: self-promotion.

“Oh no!” you say. “Oh yes!” we reply. Why the reluctance? Some writers are simply shy by nature. Others don’t want to seem boastful or self-aggrandizing. And the remaining curmudgeonly bunch just doesn’t want to be bothered. Yet, like it or not, self-promotion is a necessary part of achieving success as an author in today’s publishing marketplace.

Accept that marketing yourself is part of the process. Having more people aware of you and your writing translates into more people interested in reading your work. But as budgets at publishing houses and literary journals continue to shrink, you can’t depend on publicity being handled for you. And many publishers have come to expect a certain amount of promotional support from their authors.

So it’s important that you overcome any reservations you may have about promoting yourself. The truth is, you should be proud of what you’ve accomplished. And if your writing has been published in literary journals, won awards, or your book is being published — wonderful! So much the better! Book sales in particular can be influenced by positive buzz.

Read further @ Huffington Post





Be a Better Writer by Reading

28 04 2014

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“It usually helps me write by reading — somehow the reading gear in your head turns the writing gear.” -Steven Wright

Reading is fashionable. Again. It’s cool. We bet you all can find many statements about how good and useful reading is, how much it can influence a person and his way of thinking, and how awesome it is to sit on your cozy sofa, reading your favorite book and diving (not literally of course) into this imaginary and so wonderful world…

And all such statements are true, actually. Many famous writers, singers, politicians, and even movie characters prove the fact of reading’s great influence on people’s mind: if you take a look at their bookshelves, you’ll definitely be surprised.

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” -Stephen King

These words of the “Great Master” and famous American essayist can hardly be objected, taking into account his writing skills and his books’ importance for several generations of readers from different countries. Does it mean you should read a lot if you want to write like a professional? The answer to this question is quite predictable: yes, you should.

No good writing is possible without reading. Any proof needed? No problem.

How Reading Influences Your Writing

Being a writer, you’ll probably agree with the fact that the art of writing is nearly impossible to teach. It is impossible to finish some courses on creative writing or graduate from some university with a diploma of “a professional writer.” Do you consider it possible? We have bad news for you then.

Writing is a skill. But this skill is very complicated, because it can’t be got by simple learning of grammar rules, punctuation marks, and different writing techniques. Certainly, you should know how to write correctly, but only reading can help you achieve greatness. How?

  • It helps you find inspiration
  • It lets you gain new knowledge
  • It helps you learn your genre better
  • It provides you with wider vocabulary for your own works
  • It makes you understand the language better
  • It helps you learn from real gurus of writing
  • It helps you reveal the secrets of this job in practice

Can you imagine a musician who does not listen to music himself? The same question can be asked about writing. Every author writes for readers; no grammar rules and writing techniques will help you understand your reader if you do not read yourself.

Enjoy what you read. It is difficult and mostly impossible to write something really good if you did not experience anything good that had been written already. Being a writer yourself, you have an ace in your sleeve: you can read a book with an eye for writing, though you do not even realize it.

Everything you learn as a reader, you can use as a writer afterward. But even if becoming the second Ray Bradbury is not your plan, it is not a reason to forget about reading and consider it useless at once.

Read further @ the Huffington Post





Creating Fictional Worlds

1 02 2014

“How can human-made squiggles on a page reflect lights into our eyes that sends signals to our brains that we logically and emotionally decode as complex narratives?”

The animated video embedded above features a five-minute TED-Ed lesson with tips on how to build fictional worlds in stories. Kate Messner, a children’s books author and a speaker at the TED 2012 conference, served as the educator who crafted this lecture.

Throughout the lesson, Messner makes references to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Harry Potter series, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and other beloved stories. Over at the TED Ed website, writers can access a quiz, a discussion board, and more resources. What are your tips for world building?

Source: GalleyCat