Traditional Publishing
Self-Publishing
Share

Writing Short Fiction, Then and Now

dagblog.com – Thursday December 6, 2018

I used to write short stories. Then, for many reasons, I stopped writing fiction. Today I had my first story published in more than twenty years. (It will be posted on the web in two weeks, and I will link to it then. If you can't wait, the issue's for sale here.) More stories may be along; we'll see. If it takes another twenty-one years, I'll have something to look forward to in 2039.

It's a little strange returning to an art form after two decades away. One of the things it means is that in my old stories, no one has e-mail. Most people didn't. Or cell phones. Any temptation to dredge up old pieces is held at bay by the fact that they've become historical fiction.

So what else has changed?

[Read the full article]

Nine things not to do if you want to write/paint/create

smh.com.au – Sunday December 2, 2018

A decade ago this week the Sydney Opera House architect Jorn Utzon died. I was on the other side of the world when this happened, living in San Francisco driving across the Golden Gate Bridge when his obituary was read out on the BBC World Service. Listening to this Dane’s extraordinary story about the building he dreamt up but never saw complete, I knew this most Sydney of stories would make a great book. By the next month I had pitched the idea to a publisher and spent the best part of the next decade wrestling to find the time to research and write it.

A lot happened in my personal life over those 10 years. But I also spent a lot of time procrastinating. So I dreamt up some tips, from my own hard-wrought experience about what NOT to do if you want to write a book, or indeed undertake any creative endeavour. If the fire burns in your belly for such an undertaking (which is a core ingredient to success) you might find them helpful.

[Read the full article]

Jonathan Franzen’s puffed-up advice for novelists turned simple by Charlie Connelly

theneweuropean.co.uk – Friday November 30, 2018

Jonathan Franzen is a Serious Writer, the sort of Serious Writer who requires capital letters whenever you describe him as a Serious Writer. Most of us are serious writers inasmuch as we take our writing seriously and try to make it as good as we can, but that’s just peanuts compared to how seriously Serious Writers like Jonathan Franzen take their writing and how seriously they’d like us to take their writing too. These guys – and it is usually guys – have serious things to say that need to be not only said seriously but read seriously, interpreted seriously and discussed seriously, for writing is a serious business.

[Read the full article]

Why I stopped writing

palatinate.org.uk – Wednesday November 28, 2018

What does it mean to write black?

It means that the style of writing, storyline, the whole plot, characters, the book should be based on the only supposedly important aspect of your life, which is your race. The outcome of this is that many upcoming black novelists find it hard to come forward with their own pieces. Unique writings which do not particularly sit well with what a black book is understood to be, and which eventually causes a lack of uniqueness in writing style and diversity in storylines and plots. Battling the preconceived conception of your non-existent novel is one of the many problems that black authors face in the literary industry.

‘It is true that black authors are expected to write what they know- and apparently, in our case, that is ghettos, slavery and racism. You want to write romance, crime, blockbusters or sci-fi? Sorry, people, that’s not your thing’- Dreda Say Mitchell.

[Read the full article]

The app that makes writing less lonely

bbc.co.uk – Monday November 26, 2018

If you see a writer in a movie, most likely she (or he) will be tapping on a laptop. But many young writers are doing it on mobile phones, and sometimes in teams.

Daniel, who uses the pen name LisVender, begins the story, which his writing team decides to call A Small Case of Writer's Block.

The tapping of Sara's pen against her glasses became so rhythmic that it sounded like a metronome set to allegretto. She spun in her swivel chair, watching the bookcases in her study swing by. She had to admit it: her story was stuck, her characters were stuck, and so was she.

Ella, pen name Elle, who has 313 stories under her belt, then picks up the tale.

Sighing, she slumped forward, forehead hitting the desk with a thump. How was she going to keep the plot rolling forward, give her characters the development they needed? Her eyes swivelled to the window, the glass frosted over with thin ice. Maybe a walk outside in the cold

At 276 characters, Elle has nearly reached her 280 limit, so she stops mid-sentence and passes the story to the next writer. (You can read the rest of the story at the bottom of this page.)

Welcome to the world of Inkvite, one of a number of creative-writing platforms popular with teenagers and young adults in the US. It allows users to share stories, comment on them, and also collaborate.

Here, five Inkvite authors explain its appeal.

[Read the full article]

Jonathan Franzen was mocked for sharing his writing tips. Me? I’m all ears

theguardian.com – Saturday November 24, 2018

Poor Jonathan Franzen, as literally no one says these days. Last week the acclaimed novelist and, to many, human embodiment of white male privilege published his 10 rules for aspiring novelists and, as tends to happen any time Franzen dares to open his mouth, he was thanked for his trouble with derision.

Small sidenote here, but I really don’t get the Franzen loathing. Sure, he could lighten up on the constant talk about birdwatching, but otherwise the things Franzen is hated for are either not really hateworthy or not actually his fault. This all began in ye olden times of 2001 with the famous, nay, legendary saga of Oprah Winfrey choosing Franzen’s novel, The Corrections, for her book club and him saying he’d rather not, thanks. Winfrey’s book choices were often, he said, not incorrectly, “schmaltzy”. It was the snub heard around the world and Franzen was for ever cast as an elitist snob, his every pronouncement since (he hates social media! He likes nature!) taken as further evidence of his hatefulness, even though surely most people would love to live a nice, Twitter-free, nature-based life in California, as Franzen does.

[Read the full article]

15 Writing Habits That Will Kill Your NaNoWriMo Manuscript

bustle.com – Thursday November 22, 2018

This is gonna be your year, the year you win NaNoWriMo. There are plenty of hurdles to clear ahead — even with just one week left — including the 15 habits that will kill your NaNoWriMo manuscript dead, as detailed on the list below. Learn to identify and avoid these all-too-common problems, and you'll ace the world's most infamous, 30-day writing challenge.

Founded by Chris Baty in 1999 as a fun challenge for Bay Area writers, NaNoWriMo — that's National Novel Writing Month — celebrates its 20th iteration in 2018. The rules are simple: in the 30 days of November, write 50,000 words on a single novel manuscript.* That averages out to about 1,667 words per day, which is no easy feat, especially if you don't already have a daily writing habit.

Even though NaNoWriMo is a tough, tough slog, it's still 100 percent doable, y'all. Most novel projects get derailed by a handful of common, avoidable problems that throw off your writing groove, but you might not even identify these issues as harmful to your writing career.

Check out the 15 NaNoWriMo-killing habits I've identified below:

[Read the full article]

4am starts and spinach smoothies: Da Vinci Code's Dan Brown on how to write a bestseller

theguardian.com – Monday November 19, 2018

As he sets out to spill his secrets in an online masterclass, Brown talks about bad reviews, his habit of hanging upside down and the challenge of writing fiction in the age of Trump

The piano music is insistent, melodramatic. The scene begins under a vaulted ceiling and medieval candelabra reminiscent of the Great Hall in Game of Thrones. The camera pans across a vintage typewriter, intricately sculpted animals, antique bowl, statuette of a monk and relief carvings of knights. It roves around a dimly lit, dark wood library. Suddenly, unexpectedly, a bookshelf swivels on its axis to reveal a secret passage.

Out steps the master of the page turner in blue shirt and jeans, his sleeves rolled up. He settles into a chair, leans against a red cushion, crosses his legs and smiles. A screen caption says: “Dan Brown Teaches Writing Thrillers.” Brown, who has shifted 250m copies of his novels and seen them translated into 56 languages, is the latest big name to join MasterClass, the online celebrity tutorial company (he is donating his fee to charity).

[Read the full article]

Why Aren’t People Buying Much Fiction These Days?

nytimes.com – Saturday November 17, 2018

Ask any publisher or bookseller, and they’ll tell you: People aren’t buying novels these days.

It’s not a new phenomenon. Fiction sales have waxed and waned over the decades. When they plummeted over 100 years ago, in 1914, one article in The Times speculated that “the diminutive size of the typical modern apartment, frequent removals, the growing popularity of hotel life, the attractions of golf playing, motoring and ‘the movies’” had all led to decreased sales. The paper decided that publishers needed to bring out fewer titles: “Why do everything in your power to boost a new book, only to crowd it out a week or a month later with one in which you have no more confidence? This is not the method of the makers of biscuits and chewing gums.”

A second 1914 article suggested that the popularity of tango dancing was interfering with reading time; still another blamed good weather. “If they are having a good time in the fresh air, which the advocates of eugenics tell them is better for them than reading books, it is very difficult to get them back to books,” a publisher lamented to The Times.

[Read the full article]

Going with gut instinct: Lunch With literary agent Fiona Inglis

smh.com.au – Friday November 16, 2018

By the end of an opening chapter, Fiona Inglis usually has a good idea if the manuscript in her hands is potential bestseller material.

Call it gut instinct, says the well-connected head of the literary agency Curtis Brown who has made a career out of spotting writers readers want to read and counts bestselling clients Liane Moriarty, Markus Zusak, Andy Griffiths and Thomas Keneally as friends.

Story is everything. "Good writing will always rise to the top because it has something to say that is worth paying attention to," Inglis says. "I know immediately when I've found something fabulous because I want to interrupt everyone in the office and say, 'You have to read this!'

[Read the full article]

Page of 79 18
Share