Traditional Publishing

How to write like Ernest Hemingway – Wednesday January 19, 2022

Today, more than 60 years after his death, Ernest Hemingway is known not just for his moving stories but his technical writing skills. According to E.J. Gleason, professor of Irish and American literature at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire, Hemingway had found his artistic voice before he turned 26. His signature writing style, characterized by short phrases constructed using plain, everyday English, left a profound impact on the literary world, shaping generations of aspiring fiction and non-fiction writers that followed in his footsteps. 

Although Hemingway’s way of writing may seem straightforward, it is by no means simplistic, let alone easy to imitate. A less talented writer might hide their lack of substance behind difficult words and convoluted sentences, but to write like Hemingway requires both a great effort and real intellect. Like a surgeon, Hemingway stripped his stories of any and all insignificant or superfluous information, until only a basic skeleton and a handful of vital organs were left on the page.

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Do writers need Twitter to be successful? – Tuesday January 18, 2022

Twitter terrifies me. Somehow, I’ve equated my lack of popularity on this admired social media platform with my writing ability. Every tweet is posted with a racing pulse and a flood of underarm sweat. Often to be deleted moments later. But I’m told Twitter is the way forward for emerging writers.

On Twitter, everyone wins prizes and gets published. I leave every scrolling session more deflated than I started. Why does it invoke the worst in me? The jealousy, insecurity, the unhealthy comparisons with other writers. Do I need to put myself through this? I figured it was time to go back to my journalistic roots and attempt some nonfiction. It can’t be any worse than my prose.

When I attended a John Hewitt workshop a few years ago, Twitter was hailed as an excellent resource for writers. I resisted for a while, but the fear of missing out made me cave in and sign up. Initially, scout’s honour, I joined to source writing opportunities. However, when I won a few small competitions, I couldn’t help posting news of my success. That was the Twitter way. But then I was filled with a strange sense of self-loathing.

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Finger cramp after writing: What is writer’s cramp? 4 ways to stop it – Monday January 17, 2022

WRITER'S cramp is the formal name for the pain and cramping in the hand muscles after doing lots of writing or other repetitive movements of the hand. Here's why it happens and how to stop it.

Writer’s cramp affects between seven and 69 per million people of the entire population. It isn’t exclusive to writers, however. This achy hand condition impacts anyone who uses their hands repetitively, such as musicians, chefs, gardeners, someone who uses their phone or laptop too much, and so on. The issue is most common in those aged 30 to 50 and affects men more often than women. Think you’ve got writer’s cramp? chatted to Dr Deborah Lee from Dr Fox Online Pharmacy to find out everything you need to know about writer’s cramp.

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Write it All Down by Cathy Rentzenbrink review – an arm around the shoulder for aspiring authors – Monday January 3, 2022

In the weeks after my grandfather died in 2019, I spent a melancholy few days sorting through the “Gramps” section of my filing cupboard, mainly the many letters he’d sent to me over the years. It was a way, I suppose, of continuing the 40-year conversation we’d had about books, of keeping his voice loud in my mind. One letter struck me with particular force, though – a page and a half in response to a short story I’d sent him aged 10. It was typical of his letters about my writing: warm yet forthright in its criticism, even at this early stage showing something that I came to recognise as a gift – the fact that he took me seriously as an author, that this was feedback from one writer to another.

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Using 'to be' weakens writing – Sunday January 2, 2022

"To be, or not to be, that is the question."

Prince Hamlet asked.

My answer: Not "to be."

Why? Because any form of "to be" — is, was, am, are, were, has been, etc. — delivers the weakest verb in the language. Sentences that perch on a "to be" verb tremble like a reed in a soft breeze.

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Tony Birch on writing true characters in fiction – Friday December 31, 2021

Paul Daley talks to Tony Birch about finding affection on the so-called margins of the inner city, the injustice of climate change and Blak humour. Birch also describes why he doesn’t view his fiction as having a political message

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3 Red Flags to Look Out for When Hiring a Book or Writing Coach – Wednesday December 29, 2021

Writing and publishing a book to increase your visibility, credibility and market reach is all the rage. But if you don't know anything about the publishing industry, where do you start? Many people look to hire a book coach. The problem is many are legitimate folks, but some are not. 

Many of my clients have publicly said they would have never written their books without my help. Writing a book is hard, and those who get the right information, accountability and support are the ones who tend to succeed.

That said, there are plenty of people out there who will take your money, not know how to guide you through achieving your dream, and then blame the failure on you. (That’s called gaslighting, by the way.)

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Getting Feedback on Writing: Tricks that Help to Succeed – Thursday December 23, 2021

You have some audience if you are a writer. It is evident that you will get some feedback to your ideas and style of writing. There are different contexts for that: readers’ reviews, editor’s notes, comments from the peer writers, and others. Are you ready to acknowledge that some feedback is going to be negative?

Essay writers are always vulnerable. They are exposed to criticism, judgmental comments, and subjective opinions. It may happen that people will give harsh comments without any explanations. Getting feedback on writing can hurt, and you have to realize this aspect from the very beginning. If you are not ready to deal with negative remarks, you will not feel confident as a writer. Nevertheless, it can be complicated to get the feedback, it is important for you as a writer.

You cannot get an objective picture of what you do without knowing the opinions of other people. Do you want to make your writing more advanced? Then you can focus your primary attention on the areas mentioned in the review.

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The Naked Writer by G. Miki Hayden—in Action

By G. Miki Hayden
Instructor at Writer's Digest University online and private writing coach – Wednesday December 22, 2021

No matter how gifted a writer you are today, you can become a much better writer than you are now. I know you can because I, myself, have transformed into a greatly improved writer over the years. Recently, I’ve been re-editing a lot of my work from the 1990s, to the mid-2010s; and looking at even more contemporary work of mine to just this year, I see how I’ve grown.

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How to Start Writing Fan Fiction – Wednesday December 15, 2021

I began writing fan fiction in around 2008, when I was 11 years old. So, since I’m 24 now, that’s more than half of my life ago! It was then that I loved Twilight and a few other fantasy novels so much that I was desperate to find more stories in that universe and Google searched for that exact thing. And to my surprise, there were tons of them on a magical but now outdated site called “Fan Fiction Dot Net.”

Through middle and high school, I wrote fanfic for a ton of different fandoms but mainly The Avengers. Fan fiction not only helped me practice character development but also come to terms with my queer identity through pairings I enjoyed, especially since I grew up in a fairly conservative area where being queer wasn’t something I could share without losing friends.

These days, I’m a reader of fanfic more so than a writer of it — in part because I have other writing projects that take up more of my time, and a day job, and non-writing hobbies that help me avoid burnout but also take up time, et cetera, et cetera. But I still enjoy reading it for stress relief and a reminder that writing can be purely for joy and personal fulfillment if you want it to be.

Fan fiction became my gateway to writing original stories. I’m adamant that it can play a positive role in practicing things like character development or even just finding a love of writing. These six tips will help you get started writing fan fiction if you’re a beginner and get the most out of your project.

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