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15 Books On Writing To Help You Get More Words Down In The New Year

bustle.com – Saturday December 22, 2018

If your New Year's resolution involves being a more productive writer, you're going to want to take notes. I've got 15 books to help you write more in the new year, and they're sure to help any kind of writer make good art in the next 12 months.

Writing more isn't one of the most common New Year's resolutions overall, but it does go hand-in-hand with reading more, which 18 percent of people wanted to do in 2018. Depending on your purposes for writing, your New Year's resolution might fit into the categories of "focus on self-care," "learn a new skill," "get a new job," or "take up a new hobby," which 13 to 24 percent of individuals wanted out of their 2018 vows.

The 15 books on the list below are an eclectic blend of writing reference guides, self-help titles, and creative journals, which means you'll have no trouble finding something that will help you write more in the new year. Regardless of the kind of support your writing habit needs, there's a book on this list that will help you fulfill your New Year's resolution in the coming months. So get reading — and more importantly, get writing.

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Don’t fret, aspiring writers: You’re more qualified than you think

pe.com – Monday December 17, 2018

“How do I become a writer?” Authors hear it often. This question bubbles up in workshops and literary Q&A’s. Ironically, the folks asking are often already writing poems, essays, screenplays, or novels but somehow doubt that the work is “real” yet, pending the verdict of some external authority.

When I’m asked, the boring answer I give (similar if not identical to an answer offered by most writers I have known and read) is to read a lot and write a lot, then repeat the process over and over. This un-glamorous response either disappoints or quietly thrills. I watch the expression of the person if we are talking face-to-face. She may give a curious nod, as if to humor me. Often there is an insistent followup: “Well, sure,” one might go on, “but how do I publish my book/poetry collection/this article/this short story?”

Ah. That’s a different question. Strategies for getting published shift constantly in the evolving field of publication. But one cannot publish at all without writing first. So back to the first premise we go.

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How to write your own auto-fiction book

harpersbazaar.com – Monday December 17, 2018

Everyone likes to think they've got a book in them (and, in many cases, that's notwhere it should stay), but the practical act of writing one is another story. Often, you might have had some experience which has made you want to put pen to paper, but perhaps you don't fancy a tell-all memoir that everyone you know will read. Enter auto-fiction, the not-so-new style of writing gaining serious traction in literary circles.

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Paragraphing—Yes, You Heard Me

By G. Miki Hayden
Instructor at Writer's Digest University online and private writing coach

firstwriter.com – Wednesday December 12, 2018

I wouldn’t think paragraphing could be a mysterious business, but apparently so.

I wish I had an electronic rubber stamp that said, “Break your paragraphs”, because writers need to do exactly that. My students, in particular, need to do just that.

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Robin Robertson: 'Writing poetry has very little to do with the intellect'

theguardian.com – Saturday December 8, 2018

Robin Robertson is an acclaimed poet who has won all three of the Forward poetry prizes. His latest work, The Long Take, a narrative poem, is set in the years immediately after the second world war. The story unfolds in New York, San Francisco and, most importantly, Los Angeles, and follows Walker, a traumatised D-day veteran from Nova Scotia, as he tries to piece his life together just as the American dream is beginning to fray at its edges. It was shortlisted for the Booker prize and, last month, won the Goldsmiths prize for fiction, awarded to works that “open up new possibilities for the novel form”. Robertson also works as an editor at Jonathan Cape, where he publishes, among many others, Michael Ondaatje, Alice Oswald and Adam Thorpe.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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