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Murder mystery author Jane Harper has six tips for writing a bestselling novel

abc.net.au – Sunday June 3, 2018

In 2014, Jane Harper decided she was finally going to do it — she was going to write a book.

She enrolled in an online writing course, and in just twelve weeks had completed her first draft of The Dry.

The fast paced, hard-edged crime novel was the kind novel Harper had always wanted to write.

"I like books with a bit of mystery and suspense," the former journalist says.

It was an instant hit. Critics loved The Dry for its elegant structure, Australian voice, and Harper's ability to vividly paint a landscape in the grip of drought.

Readers loved it for its tight pace, its awkward, lovable hero and its satisfying "whodunnit" reveal.

The book raced on to bestseller lists around the world, won multiple awards, and was sold in to more than 20 foreign language territories.

Today, Harper is still riding high on the success of The Dry.

The movie rights have been sold to Reece Witherspoon's production company, and the script is complete. Harper's second book, Force of Nature, has been another bestseller, and she has another on its way.

So, how does she do it?

While at the Sydney Writers' Festival, Harper revealed the secrets to writing a bestselling novel. Writers, grab your pencils...

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7 Writing Tips I'm Following This Summer To Help Me Finish My Novel By The End Of The Season

bustle.com – Wednesday May 30, 2018

Every May, I get a flurry in my stomach as summer swings into view. I'm going to write a novel this summer, I think to myself. I'm going to actually do it. After all, I have three whole months ahead of me! That's so much time.

Without fail, every year of college, I would turn in my last final, head to the coffee shop around the corner, and fire up Microsoft Word. I reasoned with myself that if I just put the time and effort I used on homework during the school year, I would have an amazing novel finished in no time. No sweat. For a blissful evening, I'd sip on a hibiscus iced tea and pound at the keys in pure bliss:Yes, I'm doing it! Book deal, here I come! Better start thinking about the movie rights!

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21 Writing Prompts To Help You Finish An Entire Novel This Summer

bustle.com – Thursday May 24, 2018

Summer is officially here, and it's the perfect time to start writing a novel. There's no school and plenty of sunshine — which means it's the perfect season to focus on a new project. What could be more thrilling than buckling down and writing that book you've always been dreaming about?

During most of the year, I fantasize about having the time and space to work on my own writing projects. Even if you're not in school, there's something about summer that just makes everything seem more possible. I don't know if it's the same for you, but I always get a burst of energy when the weather gets hot and the days get long. At the beginning of the summer, it feels like anything and everything is possible.

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Should You Tell People You're Writing A Novel? Reddit Users Offer Their Tips

bustle.com – Tuesday May 22, 2018

Writer's block is arguably the worst thing that can happen to an aspiring author, but coming in at a close second is the frustration of dealing with this question: Should you tell people you're writing a novel? Replying to TheWayDenzelSaysIt on the r/writing subreddit, many redditors expressed reluctance to talk to non-writers about their pet projects. Their answers are both relatable and informative, and I've picked out some of the best for you to take a look at below.

The Internet can be a terrible place, and Reddit gets a bad reputation for housing some of the 'Net's most repugnant denizens, but places like r/writingare safe havens for hobbyists and creatives looking for communities based around their crafts. Seriously, if you're a writer who has no writing friends, hop on Reddit and get you some. Building a strong support network is one of the best things you can do to make sure you achieve your goals, especially if you enjoy writing challenges like NaNoWriMo and StoryADay.

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Ireland's thriving literary magazine scene: space for tradition and experimentation

irishtimes.com – Saturday May 19, 2018

Reading the mission statements of Irish literary journals, a common theme emerges: the desire to offer writers the space to develop ideas that may not otherwise find a platform. From the more established titles such as Dublin ReviewCrannóg and The Stinging Fly, which published its first issue 20 years ago this month, to more recent outlets like The BohemythBanshee and gorse, fostering talent new and old is the backbone of “the little magazine”.

A vibrant journal scene with a roots-up feel to it has developed in Ireland in the past decade. There are currently in the region of 30 publications across print and online media seeking submissions multiple times a year. This has coincided with a growing enthusiasm for creative writing in general, with all of the major colleges in Ireland and many other cultural organisations offering programmes ranging from evening courses for beginners to two-year MFAs (Master of Fine Arts).

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It Used To Be Perilous To Write Fanfiction

kotaku.com – Thursday May 17, 2018

Fanfiction is hardly a new phenomenon, but that doesn’t always mean it was safe to write. For a time, in certain fandoms, writing fanfiction could get you a letter from a lawyer. Now, however, the internet has given fandom enough leverage to allow the dubiously legal practice of writing about other people’s characters continues to flourish.

Fanfiction, the act of writing original stories based on someone else’s creative work, exists in a sketchy legal space. While derivative and transformative works are technically protected under fair use, many authors do not believe fanfiction falls in that category. Authors that still dislike or disallow fanfiction cite an experience that author Marion Zimmer Bradley had in 1992. Bradley not only liked but encouraged fanfiction in the initial stages of her fandom, but as the story goes, she realized that an upcoming novel of hers would touch on themes that were in a fanfiction she had read, and she reached out to the author to attempt to negotiate a deal so as to avoid a lawsuit. Although not all parties can agree on how much of Bradley’s novel had been written or exactly what the terms of the agreement were with this fanfic author, Bradley said that she decided to scrap the novel rather than risk a lawsuit. This story loomed large in the memories of authors like Anne McCaffrey and George R. R. Martin, who cited it as an example of what can happen if you don’t protect your copyright. While Martin allows fanfiction as long as you don’t send it to him, McCaffrey banned all fanfiction for her series Dragonriders of Pern from 1992 until 2004.

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Journalism taught me about facts but writing a novel helped me understand truth

theguardian.com – Thursday May 17, 2018

I thought being a reporter could teach me everything there is to know about the difference between fact and fiction. I was wrong.

I always thought I had a handle on truth. Truth lives in facts, in what we know and can measure and prove. But there is truth beyond that, too – truth that lives in the stories we tell each other.

I learned this from Augustine. He was a friend of mine from Nagaland, a forgotten teardrop of unyielding land wedged between Bangladesh and Burma, high in the foothills of the Himalaya.

It is a part of India often neglected by the rest of the country: rent by a decades-old separatist insurgency that has yielded little appreciable liberty, scarred by drug dependency and high rates of HIV, suffering the dislocation and disconnection so many minorities endure in the face of an indifferent majority.

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Writing for the improbable bookshelf

thebookseller.com – Monday May 14, 2018

I make stories for improbable bookshelves. I once came across this term in an Italo Calvino essay and I’ve held on to it ever since, as it so closely describes the way I work.

I recently wrote a new version of the Persephone myth, but it can’t be found in a bookshop or online. Persephone’s Footsteps is an altitude-responsive story and map that has to be carried on a journey through a city. As Persephone climbs higher – first to escape the Underworld and then to escape the polluted city streets – the listener must climb higher to reveal more of her story. At the moment, there is only one version of this work in existence. Is it scalable? Perhaps, but my real hope is that it’s my approach to writing that’s scalable – that writers might be inspired to explore new ways of writing, bringing enlivened approaches to literary forms.

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How to write a book: 11 tips on creating a bestseller from published authors

cosmopolitan.com – Monday May 14, 2018

While it's easy to romanticise writing a novel on the side, knowing how to actually write a book and where the F to start can be a little daunting. Here, 11 published authors, who will be at Hay Festival between 24 May - 3 June, share their tips and tricks for starting your next masterpiece. And who knows? It might end up being a bestseller.

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Elena Ferrante: ‘If you feel the urge to write, there’s no good reason to put it off’

theguardian.com – Saturday May 12, 2018

If you feel the need to write, you absolutely should write. Don’t trust those who say: I’m telling you for your own good, don’t waste time on that. The art of discouraging with kind words is among the most widely practised. Nor should you believe those who say: you’re young, you lack experience, wait. We shouldn’t put off writing until we’ve lived enough, read sufficiently, have a desk of our own in a room of our own with a garden overlooking the sea, have been through intense experiences, live in a stimulating city, retreat to a mountain hut, have had children, have travelled extensively.

Publishing, yes: that can certainly be put off; in fact, one can decide not to publish at all. But writing should in no case be postponed to an “after”. When writing is our way of being in the world, it continuously asserts itself over the countless other aspects of life: love, study, a job. It insists even when there’s no paper and pen or anything, because we’re worshippers of the written word and our minds dictate sentences even in the absence of tools with which to set them down. Writing, in short, is always there, urgent, and distances even the people we love, even our children who ask us to play.

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