Michael Ondaatje opens archive to reveal his writing methods
theguardian.com – Monday September 25, 2017
An image of a drunken Oxford party that Michael Ondaatje clipped from a magazine and stuck into a notebook would, years later, inspire a scene in The English Patient, according to the novelist’s archives, which have just been acquired by the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin.
Ondaatje, in an interview with the Center’s director Stephen Ennis, said he writes around four drafts of a book by hand before moving it on to a typewriter or computer and then “reworking it, printing it out, rewriting it by hand”.
Want to write a bestselling novel? Use an algorithm
theguardian.com – Sunday September 24, 2017
It’s the multimillion pound question that publishers and writers have been pondering for decades: what makes a bestseller? Attempting to write one could certainly pay off – the highest-paid author in the world, JK Rowling, has made $95m (£70m) in the past year, and the 10 highest-paid authors in the world earned more than $310m between them, according to Forbes.
Interactive fiction and mainstream publishers (Part 2)
thebookseller.com – Friday September 22, 2017
In the first part of my look at interactive fiction, I outlined IF’s roots in early computer gaming, and its revival through engaged communities and innovative producers. In this follow-up, I’m going to look at the future of the form - technological advances in voice, language processing and AI that could give interactive fiction greater commercial and creative traction within mainstream publishing.
Writing Graphic Sex Scenes Can Be a Feminist Act
motto.time.com – Tuesday September 19, 2017
Under A Pole Star, my third book, is a novel about late 19th century arctic explorers that features, alongside ice, ambition and rivalry, more than one sexual relationship. And there’s a lot of detail. My central characters fall in love, and yes, they have a lot of sex. I was nervous about how the passages would be received. One Amazon reviewer has already complained about “copious quantities of copulation.” The specter of the Literary Review’s Bad Sex Award, given annually to authors of “poorly written, perfunctory or redundant passages of sexual description in modern fiction,” hovers over us all, tittering. Some judge writing explicitly about sex to be less than literary — or worse, discrediting of female characters. But why should achieving romantic and sexual satisfaction — one of the most difficult challenges we face as humans — be redacted or blurred?
Rules of writing from an international best seller
cbsnews.com – Sunday September 17, 2017
Famous spy novelist John le Carré shares his writing tips with 60 Minutes, including how he avoids "fuzzy endings” and why he makes verbs do all the work.
The Publisher with All of Speculative Fiction in Its Orbit
publishersweekly.com – Saturday September 16, 2017
In spite of a booming YA market and the high-budget heaven of the television and film adaptation—all of which share a pronounced interest in dragons, Death Stars, and dystopias—the book industry’s science fiction and fantasy market has remained, overall, mostly flat.
But that’s proven far from true for at least one outlier: Orbit Books. The publisher was founded in the U.K. in 1974 but only expanded into the U.S. market 10 years ago. And its publisher, Tim Holman, who oversees both its U.K. and U.S. branches, told Barnes & Noble earlier this year that he is “reasonably confident that we’ll become the biggest science fiction and fantasy imprint in the U.S. within the next 10 years.”
Interactive fiction and mainstream publishers (Part 1)
thebookseller.com – Friday September 15, 2017
Interactive fiction may be too strongly associated with computer gaming and general geekery to interest mainstream publishers. In this two-part article I will be looking at what they can learn from the strong community engagement in the interactive fiction market, and how technologies like artificial intelligence could transform it.
3 Killer Lessons From Stephen King's Insanely Productive Writing Routine
inc.com – Wednesday September 13, 2017
“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work."
Book doulas: the new way to push your writing into the world
theguardian.com – Wednesday September 6, 2017
“Are book doulas a thing?” asks a writer I know. “I’d love to get one.”
Book doulas are a thing, because where there is a need, there is a service. Traditionally, they were non-medically trained professionals who cared for the emotional wellbeing of women in labour. These days, doulas are used in many other contexts where you may need someone to ease you through a process and provide emotional support, for instance abortion, divorce, death – and, now, for writing books.
Can't Punctuate Dialogue? Consider the Sentence
By G. Miki Hayden
Instructor at Writer's Digest University online and private writing coach
firstwriter.com – Monday September 4, 2017
Whereas everyone is welcome to write without a clue - you do have a computer, after all - unless you start with a strong foundation and build from there, your lack of understanding is going to cost you.
Recently, a student of mine expressed strong irritation when I suggested she learn to punctuate. Yes, I really am that annoying person. Well, the next time I went through her writing, I restrained myself from spending the time and effort on such minor matters as how her sentences were put together. I should simply presume people will be happy to pay for an edit rather than learn some of the basics of writing.
I thought I might start here with the sentence, really for a reason that has to do with punctuating dialogue - the issue on my mind right now. Why? Because while line editing, I've found so many examples of a certain glitch that boils down to a mere misunderstanding of what a sentence is.