Traditional Publishing
Self-Publishing
Share

How to banish cliches from your students’ creative writing

tes.com – Wednesday May 9, 2018

One of the most disenchanting moments when teaching creative writing must be coming across “he ran as fast as a cheetah” in a piece of writing. You know you have taught them appropriate comparisons; you know you have shown them examples from literary geniuses… so why is that blinking cheetah rearing its spotted head again?

The problem of stock similes and metaphors littering pupils’ writing is the bane of many an English teacher’s life. What can you do about it when it feels like you have already tried everything?

A technique I have used is "exploding" metaphors and similes. This forces students to consider their comparisons more carefully, and consequently makes them write with more detail. It can also lead them to consider the writer’s craft more carefully in general. And when they think like writers, it will always help their analysis.

[Read the full article]

Use a Placeholder in Your Writing to Keep From Getting Stuck

lifehacker.com – Friday May 4, 2018

Sometimes the hardest part about writing isn’t finding ideas or knowing how to begin, it’s maintaining a flow so you actually finish what you started. It’s not quite total writer’s block since you’re already on the move, but a writer’s road block, if you will. This trick that Star Trek: The Next Generation staff writers used can help you keep on truckin’.

The writers of TNG were great at coming up with interesting plot lines for the crew of the Enterprise, but they weren’t actual scientists or experts in space travel. So, when that kind of stuff came up in the script, they often used a placeholder word for the science-y things and worried about fixing it later. Writer Ron Moore explains the process to Syfy:

[Read the full article]

If Shakespeare were alive today, would he be writing crime novels?

telegraph.co.uk – Sunday April 29, 2018

There is no surer way to make yourself sound like a fatuous idiot than to speculate on what famous writers of the past would be doing if they were alive today – to suggest that Dickens would be scripting soap operas, Jane Austen would write chick lit, Blake would be penning hip-hop lyrics, Oscar Wilde would be a preening vlogger, and so on. And yet there is a part of me – the fatuously idiotic part, presumably – that nods along in agreement when people say that if Shakespeare were around today, he would be writing not plays but crime fiction, and we’d find him on the bestseller lists up with Ian Rankin, Lee Child and Val McDermid. The crime novelist Peter James made this point repeatedly as chairman...

[Read the full article]

Vetting for stereotypes: meet publishing's 'sensitivity readers'

theguardian.com – Saturday April 28, 2018

When reviewers first saw Keira Drake’s The Continent, this story of a teenager trapped by a war between two “native” tribes quickly found attention on social media – though not much of it was good. This young adult novel was attacked for its “white saviour narrative” and its stereotypical portrayal of people with “reddish-brown skin” or “almond-shaped eyes”. The author Justina Ireland called it a “racist garbage fire”.

Drake apologised, said she would “address concerns about the novel”, and delayed the release. Her publisher, Harlequin Teen, sent the book out to two “sensitivity readers”, who vetted the manuscript for stereotypes, biases and problematic language. Armed with a list of potential problems and possible solutions, Drake went back to the drawing board.

[Read the full article]

Book clinic: do editors often have to cut authors down to size?

theguardian.com – Sunday April 22, 2018

Nabokov called editors “pompous avuncular brutes”. Thanks, Vlad! Working with novelists, editors both try and help writers sharpen and structure the story they want to tell and use their experience to provide a sounding board as to how readers might react to it. I say “the story the writer wants to tell” because ultimately it is the writer’s creation.

When I read reviewers’ snarky comments about the fall in editing standards at publishers, I sometimes wonder how much – or how little – they know about the conversations that would have taken place between writer and editor. Ultimately, as an editor, you just have to stand back and say: “OK, it’s your book.”

[Read the full article]

How did I get here? My Writer’s Journey from Reluctant Author to Movie Option

By Geri Spieler
Author

firstwriter.com – Sunday April 15, 2018

I have numerous requests asking me to write about my journey from a reluctant author to having a movie option for my book. It all startyed with a Tweet.

Here is how it goes:

I had no intention of writing a book. As I’ve said to many friends and strangers, I had no aspirations of being an author. Books take too long and are too difficult to write.

Well, we know that changed. It was a circumstance that turned me into an author. It began as a curiosity when I was approached by a would-be presidential assassin, Sara Jane Moore, the 45-year-old mother and doctor’s wife who pulled a gun from her purse, took aim and fired a bullet at the head of President Gerald Ford and missed his head by a mere six inches.

[Read the full article]

Adam Kay: 'We're all obsessed about peeking under the hood of interesting lives'

list.co.uk – Monday April 9, 2018

Ahead of his appearance at the London Book Fair, the doctor-turned-comedian talks about why memoirs matter

The London Book Fair 2018 kicks off this week with 25,000 publishing professionals about to descend on London's Olympia for a jam-packed three days of everything literary. As expected the festival has secured a plethora of big-name authors to take part and discuss their work and issues in the industry. Ahead of the festival we spoke to Adam Kay: ex-doctor, comedian and best-selling author of This is Going to Hurt: Memoirs of a Junior Doctor. He'll be leading a session alongside publishers Pan Macmillan about the recent surge in popularity of memoirs by normal people.

[Read the full article]

How do you keep a non-profit literary magazine going for eight years? Ask the co-founders of ‘Spark’

scroll.in – Friday March 30, 2018

When Anupama Krishnakumar and Vani Viswanathan started the online literary magazine Spark in January 2010, they weren’t sure how many issues they would be able to put out into the world. In January 2018, they celebrated eight years of the magazine and in April, their 100th issue will be released.

Putting out a literary magazine every month for eight years has its challenges, especially when running it alongside professional and personal commitments. Each month, the magazine focuses on a theme, ranging from “Navarasas” to “Life Online” to “Shopping”, features writing across genres and is freely available to read without advertising or a subscription fee. In an interview with Scroll.in, the co-founders spoke about their individual understanding of how the magazine has survived, the practical approach to running a non-commercial venture, how they choose what submissions to feature, the pressures of multiple responsibilities, and the changes in creative writing online.

[Read the full article]

9 tips for writing your own murder mystery, from a published author

cosmopolitan.com – Monday March 26, 2018

So, you’ve got a great idea for a murder mystery novel – what do you do next? Writing a book can feel daunting, but if you're dead set (wahey) on writing a thriller, AJ Waines, number one bestselling author on Amazon, shares the inside know-how on getting that brilliant story out of your head and on to the page below.

[Read the full article]

Get lit(erary): Why writing drunk could save your grade

dailycal.org – Saturday March 24, 2018

One thing I appreciate about being a copy editor is never having to face the dreaded writer’s block — all of the content I’m working with is already finished and ready for me to edit when I show up at the Daily Cal office. I may face a momentary pause as I contemplate what the most appropriate headline might be for a piece or how to fit all the critical information into a photo caption, but I’m never left sitting for hours unsure of how to continue my writing or even how to start or what to write about in the first place.

[Read the full article]

Page of 80 27
Share