A twist in the tales: Ahead of World Book Day, publishers and authors reveal why children still prefer page-turners to pixels
sundaypost.com – Tuesday March 3, 2020
Despite children often being apparently glued to their screens, it seems they really love nothing more than a good read, with sales of kids’ books in the UK climbing 15.5% in a decade.
The industry, worth £290 million in 2010, netted £335m last year.
A decade ago, with the rise of ebooks, there was a fear that children’s books sales would plummet, but Publishing Scotland’s marketing manager, Vikki Reilly, says it has been one of the least affected sectors.
This Is What 300 Writers Say Made Them Successful
entrepreneur.com – Sunday March 1, 2020
Red Smith, a legendary sportswriter, was once asked if it was hard to write his daily column. “Why no,” he said. “You simply sit down at the typewriter, open your veins, and bleed.”
Any person who’s ever tried to string a bunch of words together and make them sound interesting can feel Smith’s pain. Writing is brutal — and writing for a living can feel like you’re Jack Nicholson in The Shining typing the same sentence over and over again.
And we all know how that turned out.
On my podcast, Write About Now, I interview writers of all types — novelists, journalists, screenwriters, showrunners, and business gurus — about how they stopped bleeding, started writing, and landed at the top of their profession. I launched the show two years ago and during that time I’ve done a deep dive into the techniques and tactics of over 300 successful scribes. After a while, I noticed some common themes start to rear their poetic heads. Call them writer hacks, but just not the type that draw blood. Here are six things successful writers do.
The Myth Of Inspiration As The Source Of Good Writing
studybreaks.com – Saturday February 29, 2020
You have an idea that comes to you in a burst of inspiration. Your mind is filled with the possibilities of where this thought will take you. You sit down with a hot cup of tea at dusk by your 19th century vintage typewriter as it rains outside — not too hard, of course, but just enough to complete the aesthetic. You poise your fingers over the keys, ready to type it out, write 12 or 13 pages of absolute genius, but your fingers stay suspended over the keys, unmoving. Seconds tick by. The ideas have stalled; your mind is buffering. It’s like that scene from “Spongebob” where all you’ve got after hours is a decorated, anticlimactic “The” at the top of the page. So, you call it a night and open up Netflix instead, feeling vaguely disappointed. Your tea has gotten cold.
Why does inspiration fizzle out like this? Why do ideas that seem amazing in the moment go kaput when a writer tries to put them to paper? Where does the mood go, where does the magic go?
Ways to Describe
By G. Miki Hayden
Instructor at Writer's Digest University online and private writing coach
firstwriter.com – Tuesday February 25, 2020
One important job of the author is to describe what the reader can’t see (smell or taste, etc), and that includes a description of the point of view character even if the novel is in first person; descriptions of other characters from the first person character’s point of view; and descriptions of the setting, both the macro setting (the city, for instance, but maybe the neighborhood and/or the house) and the micro setting (such as the home interior or a room in the house). Not to mention everything else, the dinner, the restaurant, the music, the crowd, the scent in the air, well everything...
How to write an action scene (by someone who hates having to do them) by A.K. Larkwood
femalefirst.co.uk – Monday February 24, 2020
I’ve never met a writer who likes writing action scenes. I assume this is because we got into writing from a love of staying inside and not doing anything too exciting. Unfortunately, sometimes you do want something exciting to happen to the characters. I write fantasy adventure novels, which have a higher than average rate of duels, chases and explosions. Here’s the method I came up with to deal with them:
More city, less village
thebookseller.com – Saturday February 22, 2020
Last month at the Association of Authors’ Agents (AAA) a.g.m., I stepped down from AAA Committee after six years, the last two in the role of president. I am proud to have worked for a trade association whose value for its members is unquestionable. I am not referring to our informative or social events, or our advocacy for agents and authors to publishers and in the public sphere, though they are great. Rather, to the fact that —because any cowboy can call themselves a literary agent—membership of the AAA is the only simple way for an agent to convey their seriousness and reliability as a professional. All our agencies commit to abide by our Code of Practice and its associated guidelines, you see.
Beyond that joint commitment, and our fiduciary duty to put our clients’ interests first, the AAA is a pretty broad church in many enjoyable ways. But although many AAA members are actively engaged in the project of making our profession more inclusive, we are still an undeniably white, middle-class group, for the most part.
5 Tips For Writing Interesting Characters
thenerddaily.com – Sunday February 16, 2020
There is an abundance of writing advice articles out there that you can get from social media or the internet, all with different tips and suggestions to help you on your writing journey. For me, I think these five tips can help you plan out and write a character well, even if you don’t actually write them until later.
1. Don’t presume that you know everything about your character.
People automatically assume that you should know every single thing about your character, because it makes sense, since you’re the writer and you’ll need to expand on them throughout your story. What people don’t know is that your character is allowed to keep their secrets, especially since they will develop throughout the series, naturally.
Maybe your character has a fear of rejection… Their backstory may be planned by you, but there may be quirks to their character which can lead you to a totally different backstory later, told by your character and told to you as well.
What is the difference between traditional publishing, self publishing?
pe.com – Friday February 14, 2020
I used to imagine myself standing at a forked path, manuscript in hand, wondering whether to pursue self-publishing or traditional. I pored over websites analyzing the pros and cons of each.
What these resources don’t convey, though, is that these are not the only two publishing routes that exist, and that increasingly, other options are blurring the boundaries between what seemed like two distinct choices.
Traditional publishing used to just be “publishing.” There were a limited number of people in the world who had access to the physical resources needed to print and distribute a book so they acted as gatekeepers. Of course, people have hand-written and distributed writing for a long time, but publishing houses, with Richard Hoe’s patent of the first rotary press in 1846, could circulate paperbacks, introduced to the United States only one year earlier.
How to be a film writer
source.wustl.edu – Sunday February 9, 2020
Joey Clarke, AB ’07, moved to Los Angeles after graduation in hopes of making it as a film writer. He worked a variety of low-level jobs but admits he didn’t put the effort he needed into writing. A relationship and a change of scenery helped kick-start his film writing career, and in 2018 he won the Academy Awards’ Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting for his script Miles. Here, he shares some tips about what has worked for him and how writing for film is — and isn’t — the same as other types of writing.
American Dirt’s problem is bad writing, not cultural appropriation
theguardian.com – Monday February 3, 2020
Sometimes, allies can be more harmful than enemies. American Dirt, a novel about a mother and son fleeing a drugs cartel in Mexico, has the literary world clutching its pearls. The problem? Does the writer, Jeanine Cummins (whose grandmother is Puerto Rican but who has identified as white) have the right (or the ability) to portray an authentic Mexican story? The background of the author, something that should have been an irrelevant matter, became the focal point of reviews.
In the New York Times, a white reviewer agonised over whether it was her place to review such a book at all. “I could never speak to the accuracy of the book’s representation of Mexican culture or the plights of migrants; I have never been Mexican or a migrant,” Lauren Groff wrote. To her horror, she discovers that the writer herself is not Mexican nor a migrant.
This well-meaning nonsense got us, the readers, nowhere. The question that a review answers is simply, is the book any good? If it were a work of nonfiction, all these questions about identity, access and the problematic “white gaze” as Groff called it, become more relevant. But American Dirt is a novel, and a thriller at that, so the angst over the accuracy of its portrayal, rather than whether the world feels authentic, seems misplaced and forced.
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