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How Lindsey Duga became successful young adult novelist

225batonrouge.com – Sunday September 5, 2021

Typing intently on her laptop at Magpie Cafe, Lindsey Duga looks like any other young professional getting an early morning start. But what she’s up to isn’t sending emails or prepping for meetings. She’s working on her next novel.

By day, Duga is the director of accounts at the web development firm Gatorworks. But after hours (and before), she’s a successful fiction writer with five published young adult novels—and more in the pipeline.

Duga, 31, says her writing passion took root in middle school.

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Writing Insights: Can an Editor or Agent Assure I Will Be Published?

authorlink.com – Wednesday September 1, 2021

A writer asked me this question on Quora, “Is there any editor who will work as a literary agent as well, or at least who can connect me with an agent for sure so that it can be assured that my money for editing will not fall in vain?”

The answer is no.

An editor’s role is different from an agent’s role, although some cross-over influences can take place. There are two kinds of editors, one is a freelancer you hire to improve grammar or story development. The other kind of editor works for the publishing house that acquires the story. I assume here we are talking about a freelance editor you pay on a work-for-hire basis.

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How to write your own novel, according to podcaster and author Elizabeth Day

stylist.co.uk – Monday August 30, 2021

Have you always dreamed of putting your own story to paper? Perhaps a compelling crime thriller, or a love story for the ages? Whether you’ve already got a killer plot idea, or it’s a pipe dream that feels too far away to reach, it’s tough knowing where to begin. With the publishing industry announcing a surge in manuscripts as soon as the pandemic hit last year, the competition is as fierce as ever, and expert advice is sorely welcome.

Enter Elizabeth Day. As well as hosting her own hit podcast, How To Fail With Elizabeth Dayand interviewing fellow authors for BBC Sounds show Open Book and Sky Arts’ Book Club Live, Elizabeth has written five novels and two non-fiction books to accompany her podcast series. She started writing her first novel, Scissors Paper Stone, aged 29 while working full-time as a feature writer at The Observer

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3 Tips for Writing Female Friendships in Fiction

writersdigest.com – Tuesday August 24, 2021

“I’d be lost without you.” These words from Nancy Mitford’s Pursuit of Love speak to the primacy of friendships between womena theme that’s poignantly evoked in the wonderful new television adaptation of the novel. The story follows two young women from their days as little girls to melodramatic teenagers and, finally, into womanhood. In losing each other, they lose themselves.

In the history of the novel, it’s a radical sentiment. Novels that center women’s friendships are a relatively recent invention. A mirror of society and culture, the English novel, which became the precursor for the American novel, privileged the marriage plot. Stretching back at least into the 18th century, courtship and marriage provided both the subject and story arc for fiction.

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The Books Briefing: How Fan Fiction Reimagines the Writing Process

theatlantic.com – Monday August 23, 2021

When The Last Jedi came out, some viewers had déjà vu: Certain aspects of the movie’s plot were strikingly similar to the events in several popular stories on the fan-fiction site Archive of Our Own. The coincidence may seem strange, but in many ways it’s unsurprising that the people who were thinking most deeply about a franchise—its creators and devotees alike—would come to the same conclusions about each character’s fate. That alignment might be seen as a testament to both the series’ deep world-building and its fans’ insight.

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Writing the Magical Realism Novel

By Lakshmi Raj Sharma
Novelist and Professor of English

firstwriter.com – Monday August 23, 2021

Why are Salman Rushdie and Gabriel García Márquez such extra ordinary novelists? The answer is complex. But a reason for their unique achievement is that apart from what virtually every great novelist does – telling the story in a new way in a new vocabulary – they also write in a mode which is hellishly difficult. This mode of narration is called Magical Realism, which Rushdie oversimplifies by defining as the improbable presented as the mundane. That, however, is just the tail of magical realism. The reality of magical realism is intricately connected with the tale on which it is harnessed. It relates more to feeling than to thought though there is a perpetual undercurrent of thought in it. The magical part relates to the feeling because one can have any kind of feeling. But the thought which is often related to some form of oppression is wrapped in the true voice of feeling.

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The most VITAL Writing Trick You Can Know!

signalscv.com – Tuesday August 17, 2021

I love reading. I am the kind of person that devours books, like an undulating blob of paper, ink, and Harry Potter references. Part of the reason that I’m doing the job that I’m doing now is because I love reading- and because I love reading, I love writing. 

I’ve always loved creating my own stories, even when I was a little kid. When I used to play-wrestle with my little brothers, we would all become Superheros and Villains of our own creation. We had a plethora of lore, powers, and abilities that we would make up at random, which at the time was as thrilling as getting a Jackpot Capital bonus

When I got older, I put that energy into Dungeons and Dragons. Now that I’m even older (and, coincidentally, with a lot more responsibilities and a lot less time on my hands), I put that creative energy into writing. However, there is a huge difference between writing what you love and writing something that other people are going to love. One of the easiest mistakes to make as a writer is forgetting the single most vital aspect of writing a good story: Character arcs. 

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Take risks and tell the truth: how to write a great short story

theguardian.com – Sunday August 15, 2021

Drawing on writers from Anton Chekhov to Kit de Waal, Donal Ryan explores the art of writing short fiction. Plus Chris Power on the best books for budding short story writers

The first story I wrote outside of school was about Irish boxer Barry McGuigan. I was 10 and I loved Barry. He’d just lost his world featherweight title to the American Steve Cruz under the hellish Nevada sun and the only thing that could mend my broken heart was a restoration of my hero’s belt. Months passed and there was no talk of a rematch, so I wrote a story about it.

My imagined fight was in Ireland, and I was ringside. In my story I’d arranged the whole thing. I’d even given Barry some tips on countering Steve’s vicious hook. It went the distance but Barry won easily on points. He hugged Steve. His dad sang “Danny Boy”. I felt as I finished my story an intense relief. The world in that moment was restful and calm. I’d created a new reality for myself, and I was able to occupy it for a while, to feel a joy I’d created by moving a biro across paper. I think of that story now every single time I sit down to write. I strive for the feeling of rightness it gave me, that feeling of peace.

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Murder Books 101: The Rise of True Crime, From Highbrow to Cash Cow

tor.com – Saturday August 14, 2021

Conventional wisdom claims that true crime writing wallowed in the gutter, dirty and disreputable, until Truman Capote lifted it out of its own filth and washed it clean with the sweat of his literary gift. Earlier efforts are dismissed as crude attempts at what Capote would accomplish with grace and skill. Those were the rough drafts, but Capote’s 1966 In Cold Blood is the masterpiece.

The fact is, the financial triumph of Capote’s In Cold Blood (and the film version the following year) had as much to do with literary achievement as the fact that Capote was a white man who belonged to the right clubs and subscribed to the right magazines. His achievement transformed the marketplace, making true crime respectable in the same way that Maus and Watchmen turned comic books into “graphic novels” in 1986. Capote’s book allowed people to camouflage their morbid fascination with murder and mayhem beneath the seal of literature. In the old days, ministers gave their blessing to true crime to make it acceptable. Now, it was The New Yorker.

In Cold Blood changed how true crime was read, not how it was written. Most of what Capote did, other writers were already doing.

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High points and pitfalls of writing in different genres, by Gail Aldwin

femalefirst.co.uk – Wednesday August 11, 2021

It’s considered good advice for authors to aim for success in one genre of writing and stick to it. There are few literary agents who seek to represent authors working across genres and publishers prefer to nurture writers in one area. This supports the development of a brand that makes it easier to promote and market a succession of publications and helps to generate a substantial readership. For many emerging writers there’s satisfaction in finding a niche but this approach doesn’t suit everyone. To invest all my creative energy into one area is a huge commitment, and it might mean overlooking other projects that bring their own rewards.

When I started as a writer, my ambition was to have The String Games published – a novel about the legacy of a missing child. It took five years to reach my goal and during that time, I enjoyed success with short fiction when Paisley Shirt a collection of flash fiction was published and thanks to a competition win, adversaries/comrades a poetry pamphlet found a home. As it took such a long time to develop my novel, it seemed sensible to work on short-term projects alongside it. This helped to build the creative stamina to bring my novel to completion. It’s great to have enjoyed success in other areas of writing but there are challenges in writing across genres which I’ll share:

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