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Find yourself a muse (preferably nude but clothed will do) – and 9 more writing tips

irishtimes.com – Monday July 2, 2018

1. If your writing’s not flowing, rip it up. For me, the most successful pieces are always the most free-flowing. If it’s a struggle, be aware that a reader will intuit that too, so pull the plug. After all, Robert Louis Stevenson started 393 works only to finish 27 of them. I honestly can’t think of any job other than writing that involves as much waste – it’s worse than working in an effluent plant!

2. Keep fuelling your brain as you write. As I write this, I’m eating Baked Beetroot & Golden Linseed Tortillas which masquerade as healthy, a bit like myself, but are probably as bad as Monster Munch. While my right hand clicks on the mouse, my left dips more industriously into the tortillas. Testifying to the fact that I’ve just given birth to a new play, I need to lose a few pounds which leads seamlessly into…

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Don’t dip your pen in someone else’s blood: writers and ‘the other’

irishtimes.com – Sunday July 1, 2018

Was there ever any worse advice than write what you know? Who of the greats ever wrote what they knew? Did Charlotte Bronte live in a grand country house with a man called Edward Rochester who tried to commit bigamy with her before she wrote Jane Eyre? Was Gustave Flaubert a woman who committed adultery before he wrote Madame Bovary? And how many of us could write a good book if we only wrote what we know? I would have to write about a middle-aged woman who lives in a midlands town, visits Tesco and tends her garden. No story there. No bestseller. Because it’s not interesting. As writers we have to make things up if we want to spin a good yarn. We have to have a murder or two, a broken heart, a bank robbery, a ride in a spaceship.

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Lionel Shriver and the rigging of the book market

usa.spectator.co.uk – Saturday June 16, 2018

Should the arts reflect the demographic make-up of their society, and be subject to quotas and affirmative action, in the name of diversity? Or should they be exempt from the imposition of quotas, as a meritocracy in which the only affirmative action is the one that recognises talent? This, I reckon, is the question at the heart of this week’s media case, The People (on Twitter) versus Lionel Shriver.

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How To Write A Novel: Tips From Across The Literary Sphere

elle.com – Friday June 15, 2018

Who hasn't wistfully stared out of a train window, engrossed in a deep, perfectly soundtracked moment, and thought to themselves, "I think I've got a book in me"?

The trouble is, putting pen to paper is notoriously much harder than simply revelling in a cinematic moment during your daily commute.

Whether it's writer's block, a serious problem with procrastination, or not knowing what to do with your finished manuscript, ELLE invited some of publishing's most exciting names to discuss how to write the book in you, and then get it published.

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Morality clauses: are publishers right to police writers?

theguardian.com – Wednesday June 13, 2018

Offensive opinions. Bullying. Sexual misconduct. As the literary world is rocked by scandal US publishers are asking authors to sign contracts with ‘morality clauses’. Are they really the answer?

When the American Libraries Association awards its Andrew Carnegie medals in New Orleans later this month, there will be no winner for excellence in non-fiction. Sherman Alexie, the poet and novelist who was due to receive it for a memoir, You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me, has declined the award following allegations of sexual harassment.

Last month, the novelist Junot Díaz withdrew from the Sydney writers’ festival and from chairing the Pulitzer prize board after being confronted by his own accusers. As the allegations swept through social media, another writer, Mary Karr, joined the fray, tweeting of her distress that her testimony to DT Max, the biographer of her one-time partner David Foster Wallace, about Foster Wallace’s abusive behaviour had been marginalised. “Deeply saddened by the allegations against #JunotDiaz & I support every woman brave enough to speak. The violence #DavidFosterWallace inflicted on me as a single mom was ignored by his biographer & @NewYorker as ‘alleged’ despite my having letters in his hand,” she wrote.

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Always Do a Test Run of That Fancy New Writing App

lifehacker.com – Saturday June 9, 2018

So you have a new writing app you’re dying to try, eh? Well, before you sit down to take on that big writing project, consider giving that app a solid test run so you can learn all the ins and outs first.

There’s this feeling that comes with a fancy new piece of writing software, or productivity software in general. It’s a feeling of potential, of power, like you’ve suddenly found the secret that’s going to help you to finish your novel, your screenplay, or that school paper that decides whether you pass or fail. Unfortunately, that feeling quickly fades when you realize you have no idea how to use it. If there’s one thing that will freeze your flow into self-manifested writer’s block, it’s an app’s learning curve.

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Bill Clinton and James Patterson are co-authors – but who did the writing?

theguardian.com – Friday June 8, 2018

As the world’s bestselling author, James Patterson has his name on a lot of covers. Usually, the font size his hallmark enjoys overshadows that of a lesser known collaborator. Contrary to the popular adage, you can tell a lot by a book’s cover. The message on Patterson’s covers is clear: he is the selling point. But this is not the case with Patterson’s most recent title, The President Is Missing, where the name of his co-author, Bill Clinton, shares equal prominence.

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Here's What It's Actually Like to Write Romance Novels for a Living

cosmopolitan.com – Tuesday June 5, 2018

Lauren Blakely knows romance. In 2018 alone — which, reminder, is not even half over yet — she's released five books and has at least five more coming. Here, she shares her tips for aspiring writers, romance or otherwise, and explains how a good sex scene makes a reader sweat.

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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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