What I Learned From Bestselling Author Andrew Neiderman
publishersweekly.com – Saturday February 17, 2018
I grew up in South Fallsburg, New York about 100 miles from New York City. I went to Fallsburg Central Schools, where it took nearly 10 villages and rural towns to create a district. And in my junior year of high school, I convinced the school leadership to allow me to graduate a year early, and I convinced my parents to let me escape small town life for college.
The main requirement for early graduation was doing double English in my junior year. So I signed up for the required New York State Regents English course, and took a creative writing elective. I was neither creative, nor showing any potential as a writer, but I was always a reader. And my creative writing teacher, Andrew Neiderman, nurtured that love of reading with the eclectic novels he chose for his syllabus, among them, Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 and Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle, books that have stayed with me nearly 50 years later.
6 famous writers who never made a dime
bigthink.com – Friday February 16, 2018
The image of the broke writer is engrained in the popular imagination. The often tortured artist who writes until they remember to eat, and then eats too little as to stretch out their failing budget.
While this image doesn’t apply to most writers, there are a few remarkably famous authors who hardly made a dime by writing. This didn’t stop them from joining the ranks of the most celebrated poets and novelists of all time. Here we have six such authors for your consideration.
Creative Writing Tips from Harvardâ€™s Faculty
thecrimson.com – Wednesday February 14, 2018
Harvard’s English faculty hosts a powerhouse of acclaimed creative writers. As lecturers and professors, they devote countless hours to passing on the skills of their craft to students. The Crimson asked four faculty members who teach fiction-writing classes to share their creative writing wisdom.
“You can make an entire world up in your head and transmit it to other people with scribbles on a page,” said Claire Messud, a Senior Lecturer. “Making up stories is open to all of us.” While not every Harvard student will have the opportunity to take their classes, anyone can try their hand at creative writing.
The Necessity of 'Willful Blindness' in Writing
theatlantic.com – Wednesday February 14, 2018
There’s nothing conventional about Heart Berries, Terese Marie Mailhot’s debut. A little over 100 pages, it’s far short of the 80,000 words most memoirs need to be deemed viable. There’s barely any exposition: Major characters enter the narrative intimately and without fanfare, almost as though we know them already. A crucial scene might be just three lines of unsparing poetry. In short, the book does everything it technically shouldn’t, brushing off the familiar regimen prescribed by MFA programs, and slipping the strictures of commercial publishing. The thrilling part is, it works. Heart Berries is a reminder that, in the right hands, literature can do anything it wants.
8 Short Story Writing Tips from a Dean of Creative Writing
snhu.edu – Tuesday February 13, 2018
I love stories. It's safe to assume that applies to all fiction writers. Novels allow us to weave complex narratives that evoke authentic worlds and intriguing characters. The benefit of a novel is that it gives a writer the time and space to build a fictional, yet believable, world. It can also be argued that it gives writers too much time and space.
Short stories can also contain rich settings and compelling characters, but they force efficiency upon a writer. While this might seem frightening at first, I find that the confines of a short story often boil the work down to its most important, and compelling, parts.
So, where do you start? There is no magic formula, and each writer follows his or her own unique process, but I hold to eight general guidelines when sitting down to draft a short story.
John McPhee's writing advice, why you should go to a writing workshop and David Bowie's reading list
abc.net.au – Tuesday February 6, 2018
We sit down for a writing class with Pulitzer Prize winner and acclaimed non-fiction author John McPhee.
The New Yorker writer is best-known for his meticulously-researched and wonderfully evocative pieces about everything from conservation, to basketball, to one book all about oranges!
His latest book, Draft No. 4, details his writing process – including the strange maps and one-of-a-kind computer system that are integral to his process.
Romance fiction authors reveal their secrets to writing about love and sex
perthnow.com.au – Saturday February 3, 2018
THE age of the alpha hole — the brooding, brutish alpha male that would set hearts aflutter in the bodice-rippers of yore — is over. The nice guys have won.
These days, the men steaming up the pages of romantic fiction are single dads, emotionally vulnerable Regency lords and bikies yearning to swap guns for groceries.
5 Writing Tips: Laura Lippman
publishersweekly.com – Friday February 2, 2018
Writing is a sedentary gig unless one has a treadmill desk. But I have long believed writing and working out are complementary disciplines. And it's not just that moving counterbalances the effects of sitting in a chair for so many hours every day. I've long believed that the work-out life has lessons for the writing life. I've "solved" a lot of books while at the gym, in part because I'm not trying to solve them at that precise moment. When you're loose, focusing on a physical task, it's amazing what can happen in your head. And it turns out that a lot of advice given to people who want to exercise will also work for those trying to establish a writing routine.
The Many Joys of a Writing Workshop
nextavenue.org – Thursday February 1, 2018
For two years, I had the pleasure of guiding a writing workshop that involved women ranging in age from their 40s to their 70s. Only one of these women was a professional writer, and only a few aspired to seeing a piece through to publication. Yet all of them were devoted to the weekly workshop, which had existed for several years before they invited me to take the helm.
Dear younger writer self, can I give you some advice?
irishtimes.com – Thursday January 25, 2018
Joan Brady on taking the scenic route to write her novel, missing her deadline to go from journalist to author by a mere 20 years.