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The secret of how to write a bestseller

independent.co.uk – Saturday November 4, 2017

The one thing that stops people being good writers is the myth that there is such a thing as good writing, says Andy Martin. The point of the creative writing course is to get you over the delusion.

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Why I Dumped My Famous Literary Agent

huffingtonpost.com – Thursday November 2, 2017

Back in the eighties when I had one novel done and had been publishing short stories, I landed Harriet Wasserman, a big-time agent who had previously worked at the prestigious Russell and Volkening agency. Snagging her made me feel I was truly launched as an author. Up to that point, I had only one fiction publication: a short story in Redbook which had won a prize at my MFA program, made me a lot of money at the time, and garnered fan mail. The judge of the contest was Martha Foley who had been editing the yearly anthology Best American Short Stories, and Redbook had an audience of 4.5 million readers. But after that, I hit a wall and couldn’t get anything else published for five years.

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Words You Can Use Instead of "Very" to Punch Up Your Writing

lifehacker.com – Tuesday October 31, 2017

Learning how to write is like learning how to play a musical instrument: Once you learn the basic rules—grammar, spelling and punctuation—and are writing technically correct sentences, there’s a still the whole world of syntax, diction, and style to conquer. And this is where writers, like musicians, have opinions: Is it better to write straightforward, no-frills prose, or to weave verbal flights of fancy that illustrate complex, poetic sentiments? Or something in between? For me, diction is a big deal—the writers I admire are precise in their word choice—and I appreciate tidy sentences that get to the point.

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12 successful authors share their novel writing tips for NaNoWriMo

inews.co.uk – Tuesday October 31, 2017

From finding a voice to staying motivated and dealing with writer’s block, writing a first novel can be daunting.

Here, 12 top authors share their tips for budding writers participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) this November.

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Why it’s scary writing ghost stories

ft.com – Friday October 27, 2017

Once upon a time, this was a nation of seances, spiritualists and spirit photography. Britain was thick with ghosts and the Victorians knew how to speak to them, and see them. The writers of the time were quick to seize on this interest. Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins and Elizabeth Gaskell were among those who wrote ghost stories — as did many others in the popular periodical presses of the time.

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Hemingway's Writing Tip That Will Save You Time and Energy

inc.com – Friday October 27, 2017

When it comes to writing a book, there are many reasons to emulate the masters. Proust famously wrote in bed, while Joan Didion took an hour before dinner to read that day's writing with a drink in hand. Most authors have a strict schedule for writing days that they adhere to without question. But if you're not Proust or Didion, rather a first-time author, you may be overwhelmed by the process of writing a book. We can look to another literary great, Ernest Hemingway, for some useful advice for managing the writing process.

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Are White Authors Not Allowed To Tell Stories Involving Black Characters?

huffingtonpost.com – Monday October 23, 2017

Storytellers are the chroniclers of our life and times. They memorialize history, dissect our complex and evolving world; they entertain and provoke and captivate. They are as diverse and eclectic as the characters they create and the stories they tell. It is their job to reflect who we are, what we experience, and what we can imagine. That’s a big canvas. It’s huge. And there’s no end to the variety of colors and hues that can be drawn upon it. Just as there is no end to the variety of artists weaving the tales drawn there.

Yet some believe there are rules to who gets to use which colors, who gets to draw outside the lines to tell stories that involve characters from different cultures. Some believe issues of race can only be voiced from within limited perspectives. Who gets to decide that? Who determines the answer to the title question?

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5 things I wish I’d known before writing my first novel, Five Parks

metro.co.uk – Sunday October 22, 2017

I have written a novel.

Five words that every writer, aspiring or otherwise, longs to pen, or, as is more likely these days, type.

And I am lucky enough to have joined the club.

My first novel, Five Parks, a psychological thriller, was published by Endeavour Press in August.

It’s about a female freelance journalist who is kidnapped after going on five different blind dates with five different men in five different parks in London.

When she wakes up after the fifth date handcuffed in a dark room, she has to figure out – by continuing her dating blog, Five Parks – where she is and who took her.

It’s High Fidelity meets Misery, with a dollop of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory thrown in. And it was a lot of fun to write.

But it was also bloody hard.

Here are five things I wish I’d known before writing my first novel.

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What I Learned From Binge-Writing Nine Bad Novels

vitals.lifehacker.com – Friday October 20, 2017

This year, I will write my tenth terrible novel. I do this every November; it’s part of the NaNoWriMo tradition. I’ve never published these novels, but I grow as a writer and as a human being every time I write one. Let me tell you why it’s worthwhile.

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Philip Pullman: Rules of writing from man behind His Dark Materials

bbc.co.uk – Thursday October 19, 2017

So what are the tricks of the trade that has made Pullman such a success - and the tips he can pass on to budding writers?

He spoke to the BBC about his lucky pen and why he can work to the sound of a pneumatic drill, but never to music.

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