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11 Writing Tips From Joan Didion, Because She Knows A Thing Or Two About It

bustle.com – Thursday September 15, 2016

Award-winning writer, sharp critic, and insightful memoirist — is there anything the author of Slouching Towards Bethlehem can't do? Probably not, which is why you can take writing advice from Joan Didion to heart. After five decades of real-world practice, could you think of anyone better to advise you? I didn't think so.

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Ian McMillan: Why the key to good writing is avoiding the Truth

yorkshirepost.co.uk – Sunday September 11, 2016

In my writing, I try to avoid the truth. No, that’s not quite right. What I mean is that in my writing I try to avoid Truth, and that’s slightly different. As well as avoiding Truth I do my best to steer clear of Fear, Hate, Desire and Love. The clue, of course, is in the capital letters: I’m talking about abstract nouns here. The great poet Ezra Pound said “Go in fear of abstractions” and he was right.

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A creative writing lesson from the ‘God of Story’

theguardian.com – Saturday September 10, 2016

Robert McKee has taught creative writing for 30 years. His seminars have attracted more than 60 Oscar winners, but are treated with suspicion by many novelists – including Tim Lott. Can he be won over?

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6 novel-writing tips from one of the publishing world's top editors

mashable.com – Thursday September 8, 2016

How do you write a great novel? As an executive editor for a major publisher in New York City, I think about this question every day as I work with my authors to develop and refine their books. (And I’ve just written a book myself — The Magic Words: Writing Great Books for Children and Young Adults — that delves deeply into the answers.) In brief, these six “Ps” should help you write a novel that satisfies and excites both you and readers:

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5 Tips When Writing Fiction For Women’s Weeklies

huffingtonpost.co.uk – Tuesday September 6, 2016

Ah, the People’s FriendWoman’s Weekly and My Weekly. You probably remember your mother reading them, and maybe your grandmother. They’ve all been on the newsstands for more than 100 years - the People’s Friend for nearly a century and a half - and because they’ve been around so long you may have preconceived ideas about the sort of short stories they publish.

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Writing Interactive Fiction With Twine

geekdad.com – Sunday September 4, 2016

“Have you ever loved a book so much that you wanted to step inside it?” So begins Writing Interactive Fiction With Twine by Melissa Ford. It’s the only book you’ll need to tell your story with Twine, an interactive fiction computer game. Think Choose Your Own Adventure book, but, with the magic of technology, it can become much, much more. I stumbled across Twine about a year ago, found the concept intriguing and downloaded the software. I made one simple game, but I wasn’t confident in my abilities to program and never went farther. I figured I’d just play around with it someday and learn, but I never did. That’s why I was so excited about Ford’s book; hopefully, it would be my guide to what I knew was a great way to tell all the stories I have. And that’s exactly what I found it to be.

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A Desperate Plea From A Desperate Writer

huffingtonpost.com – Saturday September 3, 2016

Whether this sounds snarky or not it needs to be said, and I guess I’m going to be the one to say it.

PLEASE STOP TALKING SH*T TO WRITERS.

This is a desperate plea from a writer trying her hardest to remain a pacifist, but some people make it hard. While I juggle edits and the general neurosis that goes with trying to tell stories people will read in a world where, to quote Dr. Egon Spengler in Ghostbusters, “Print is dead,” you dum dums say things that make me understand why some of the best writers of our time went a little batty.

Let’s examine, shall we?

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Why It’s Wrong To Say Creative Writing Courses Are Killing Creativity

huffingtonpost.co.uk – Saturday September 3, 2016

I have just read Ravinder Randhawa’s blog on Killing the Creative - In Creative Writing Courses.

Without wanting to offend her, I wanted to write about why, in my opinion, she is wrong and also about why I believe it’s important to address the way the criticism of writing training for the reasons outlined in her blog is causing damage to the diversity of the writing industry.

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The Best Writing Advice Changes Everything

huffingtonpost.com – Friday September 2, 2016

This summer I was invited to the Mendocino Writers Conference, where at the opening reception in downtown Mendocino (where one can’t help but evoke Jessica Fletcher of Murder, She Wrote) each presenter was asked to come to the microphone to share their best piece of writing advice. I was inspired by what people chose to impart, but more important, I was moved by how each person remembered who had imparted the advice, and how, in effect, that person’s wisdom lived on, carried along by the group share in the tradition of storytelling as it’s existed for thousands of years. It’s occurred to me since that good advice can only come from the heart, and its staying power is serious business.

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Eimear McBride: Let’s write about sex

irishtimes.com – Tuesday August 30, 2016

The thing about sex is, it’s everywhere and for someone of my generation, that’s quite a reversal. When I was growing up it was nowhere. I harbour no nostalgia for that, though, because when Beckett’s characters at stool are more publicly acceptable than the merest intimation of physical desire, you know something has gone awry. Nowadays you can’t buy a yoghurt without fighting through a fug of heavy breathing, sexual cannibal is the de rigueur look for every woman from nine to 90 and the uniform sex-monkeydom of popstars is enough to put anyone off YouTube for life. The accessibility of internet pornography means that knowledge of the mechanics of sex is possible from an increasingly early age but, as porn mostly features the hairless engaging in the joyless, it’s a poor initiator into the wonders and horrors of what the average adult’s sexual life will be.

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