Breaking the mould: the Goldsmiths Prize-shortlisted authors on innovative fiction
newstatesman.com – Thursday November 10, 2016
The Goldsmiths Prize rewards fiction that “extends the possibilities of the novel form”. In a series of interviews, the six authors shortlisted for the 2016 prize discuss creative risk, writing sex, the pitfalls of the publishing industry, and why so many of them are Irish.
5 Writing Tips I Wish I'd Known Before I Wrote My First Novel
bustle.com – Monday November 7, 2016
So you’re writing a book. This is great news! YAY for you! Doesn’t it sound fun? And it is! Well, it is when it’s not sucking the life out of your soul. That's why I'm here with some writing tips and tricks — or life lessons I learned about writing during my career that I (sometimes) apply to my own work.
I’m working on my 18th novel right now — my first, Fools Rush In, came out in 2006, and my latest, On Second Thought, comes out in January 2017. In some respects, it’s gotten easier; in others, it’s gotten much harder. But each time I type “The End,” I cheer, dance around the office with my dogs, then open to another document and jot down some notes. That document is called “Before You Start Another Book” and contains notes to myself about how I screwed up and wasted time in my last manuscript, and how I’ll never ever do it again (or I will, but not for lack of knowledge). I'm sharing these tips with you, so hopefully you don't repeat the same mistakes.
Below are my top five, and jeesh, it would save so much time if I listened to myself.
Want to Succeed at Self-Publishing? Harness Your Passion: Tips from an Indie Author
publishersweekly.com – Monday November 7, 2016
Janice Petrie’s life has always fueled her writing. Her experience as an outreach specialist for the New England Aquarium helped inform her picture books, while growing up near -- and once staying the night in -- a haunted, lakeside cottage gave her non-fiction a unique perspective. When she decided to try self-publishing, she wanted to “produce well-written books that readers would find entertaining and interesting.” Perfection to a Fault, an indie true crime tale of a gruesome 1916 murder of a wife by her husband, received a positive review from Publishers Weekly, with our reviewer calling it “crisp” and “quick-moving,” and praising Petrie for “expertly put[ting] details into historical context.”
How Do You Capture the 1980s in Writing? Six Novelists Discuss Re-creating the Decade
vulture.com – Friday October 28, 2016
Writers never make things easy on themselves, and nostalgia is no exception. While the phenomenon has a rich literary tradition that sifts down like a dreamy haze through the novels of Marcel Proust, Kazuo Ishiguro, and Virginia Woolf, it’s no mean feat to convincingly render a lost time and place on the page. In film and music, the signifiers of another era are seen and heard, viscerally apparent, with no need for explicit discussion or exposition. Authors, meanwhile, are often stuck describing the particulars.
So how do writers transport us backward through time, especially to a recent decade such as the ever-popular 1980s, without weighing down their stories? We asked six novelists:
Is Writing For Free Ever OK? There's A Fine Line Between Exposure And Exploitation
bustle.com – Thursday October 27, 2016
Writing is a tough gig. There's just no way around that. Whether you want to write in print for a magazine, or for your favorite website, there's a lot of time and work to be done before you get there. One of the biggest controversies in the writing community is the idea of writing for free. It sounds simple enough to tell someone, 'Never write for free,' but the reality is more complicated than that. In a perfect world we could maybe tell writers never to write for free, but in the real world, we have to make sacrifices from time to time.
Science Fiction Writing: Character Building In Radically Different Worlds
scifiaddicts.com – Wednesday October 26, 2016
Science fiction demands particular care from prospective authors. In science fiction writing, character building done correctly can give the story wings, or, if done clumsily or incompletely, drag down a story with a great universe and premises. In this article, I’ll take a closer look at how to construct characters in science fiction stories where the premises are drastically different from the reality we’re used to.
First, I’ll discuss how to frame a character in the context of the universe that you have created that the character lives in. Next, I’ll explain how to make sure that the character has a history that is logical and features which are logical, given the premises that we defined in the first part. Finally, I’ll warn you about anthropomorphizing and creating culturally-blind characters. If you decide to buck my advice, don’t worry: many a science fiction story has successfully depicted characters in wild circumstances.
Horror Authors Take a Stab at Self-Publishing
publishersweekly.com – Saturday October 22, 2016
Every literary genre has its subgenres, but there is perhaps no genre so packed with niches as horror fiction. You’ve got your supernatural horror, postapocalyptic horror, fantasy horror, sci-fi horror, comedy horror, and then all the vampire, werewolf, and zombie horror. It’s a long list of genres for the long list of authors who self-publish in this increasingly fractured and versatile category.
Some horror writers are making a killing at self-publishing, but that’s far from the norm. More likely, self-published horror writers are seizing independence to get out work that isn’t finding a home with traditional presses—and many of them are passionate enough to keep going despite making little profit.
Design Options for Self-Publishers
publishersweekly.com – Saturday October 22, 2016
Book design may be the most self-effacing form of design anywhere. After all, its mission is to so perfectly smooth the interaction between author and reader that the designer disappears from the equation. If a book is readable, enjoyable, easy to interact with, and seamlessly communicates the ideas of the author, I would say the design is a success because nobody notices it.
Itâ€™s Time for Publishers to Think Outside the Market
digitalbookworld.com – Tuesday October 18, 2016
Over the last 12-18 months, after a challenging, industry-evolving 5-7 years, there is a growing sense of cautious positivity in many parts of the book world. Print book sales are rebounding (or at least not still sliding, depending on whom you listen to), and ebook sales are now on a more predictable, if slower, and more diverse trajectory.
This week in fiction: Ottessa Moshfegh on writing predators and their victims
newyorker.com – Monday October 17, 2016
The inspiration for writing “An Honest Woman” came when I met someone who was so physically unattractive I felt sorry for him, and so I kept mum and polite while he lamely attempted to seduce me. I never called attention to the fact that his motivations were transparent and that, by ignoring him, I was protecting his dignity. I was in denial, and he was delusional.