Short-story writers are infinitely more creative than novelists
irishtimes.com – Saturday June 15, 2019
“I deeply detest short-story collections – grotty binbags stuffed with the aborted novels of writers too lazy to bring their progeny to full term.” That was Frankie Gaffney’s intro to his review of June Caldwell’s Room Little Darker, which he went on to praise, but I can’t help thinking some novelists should put an end to their flabby oeuvres. Modern novelists remind me of disreputable farmers injecting their cows with growth hormones to earn a few extra euros. By Frankie’s assessment, if I had been assiduous enough to gestate my short stories, I’d have 41 novels by now, which would be some going.
Why Does Writing Suck?
thecut.com – Tuesday June 11, 2019
It is rare, in this day and age, to see a good tweet on the internet, but I did love this one, from New York Times writer Erin Griffith, which includes a graph she designed to depict the dramatic ups and downs of a writer’s self-esteem, which are entirely dependent upon the stage of the writing/editing process they’re in. There is the ecstatic high in submitting a draft to one’s editor, and the inevitable gloom that follows the first round of edits received. Writing may not be the only profession subject to such wildly variable morale, but to hear writers tell it, there’s simply nothing worse. As Dorothy Parker once said (according to the internet, anyway), “I hate writing, but I love having written.”
What Is J.K. Rowling's Net Worth?
thestreet.com – Monday June 10, 2019
Back when she first obtained a literary agent, J.K. Rowling was told she'd never be able to make money writing children's books. More than two decades later, she remains the wealthiest living writer.
J.K. Rowling has been famous since publication by Scholastic Corp.'s Arthur A. Levine Books imprint of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," her first book about the young Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry student Harry Potter in 1998, with an initial print run of 50,000 copies. She has since published seven Harry Potter books, and according to Scholastic, more than 500 million copies of Harry Potter books have been sold worldwide.
So you want to be a novelist? A New York literary agent, editor and author reveal how bestsellers are born
independent.co.uk – Sunday June 2, 2019
Stephen Barbara’s office is nothing to be afraid of. It’s a small, cosy space in Midtown Manhattan with a bookshelf in the corner and inspirational messages on the walls (“There is nothing new in art except talent” and “A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone if it is to keep its edge”). Barbara himself is a welcoming person. Though he does claim to be “very argumentative”, that side of his personality doesn’t manifest itself during our hour-long chat. He’s polite, voluble, and answers questions with the patience and precision of someone who loves the topic at hand. Yet most strangers who attempt to contact Barbara will agonise over their emails for weeks. They will ask their friends to proof-read their messages. They will hold their breath as they hit send. They will spend the next hours, days or weeks anxiously refreshing their email inbox. In other words, they will manage their communications with a level of anguish that seems irreconcilable with the perfectly pleasant person sitting in front of me. Stephen Barbara, you see, is a New York literary agent.
Is Small Press for You?
By G. Miki Hayden
Instructor at Writer's Digest University online and private writing coach
firstwriter.com – Sunday June 2, 2019
Manuscript finished, hat in hand, we all yearn to sell to Random House. But while the big guys demand “breakthrough” potential, most of us write mid-list or niche. Therefore, though aiming straight for the top, we might want to keep in mind independent imprints.
Faber & Faber: The Untold Story – What do publishers actually do all day?
irishtimes.com – Saturday May 25, 2019
On my first visit to the offices of Penguin Books in 1990 I remember overhearing the receptionist busily answering phone calls with the greetings, “Hello Penguin”, “Hello Bodley Head”, “Hello Viking”, “Hello Michael Joseph”, “Hello Hamish Hamilton”.
It was a roll call of publishing houses swallowed up by a conglomerate that was later swallowed by another conglomerate. This is no criticism of Penguin who adapted to economic circumstances to continue to publish excellent books. Publishers have survived through amalgamations for decades, resulting in a diminishing pool of gatekeepers for new authors to get past.
Publishing: How To Get Your Writing Picked Up
mainepublic.org – Saturday May 18, 2019
Our panel examines the ins and outs of the publishing industry, including: honing writing skills, finding an agent, getting published, and the business of bookselling. We’ll also hear about how bookstores determine which books to feature, and why.
Your Complete Guide to Popular Literary Devices in Great Writing
bookriot.com – Thursday May 16, 2019
We all know what it means to read “good writing,” right? Well, no, we don’t. It’s true that we often recognize something as “great” when we see it. Our teachers may reference the “literary devices” that make it good. But if you have to talk about a book in a class, it can be hard to describe “greatness.” This is even more nerve-wracking on a test or quiz. I can’t just write “I liked it” and move on!
WHAT ARE LITERARY DEVICES?
One of the best ways to connect deeply with texts when you are just learning about how to define good writing is through literary devices. Literary devices are like strategies or techniques that a writer can use. They showcase creative thought and connections between things that might otherwise not be connected. When we notice a great connection being made, we get the opportunity to share it with others in our classes or among our friends who also are reading such a book.
Below are just a few of the literary devices you may encounter as you delve into the great works of literature. You might also notice variations of them in your reading for pleasure, and thinking about literary devices may allow you to marvel even more at the genius of your favorite authors.
Jeffery Deaver interview: The secrets of writing a bestseller
cambridgeindependent.co.uk – Wednesday May 15, 2019
Thriller writer Jeffery Deaver was penning award nominated novels - but for some reason they weren’t selling.
After his sixth book - a mystery in the Poirot vein - came out to critical acclaim, but little money, he knew he had to act.
“They were well received, but they didn't do extremely well in terms of sales. Then I re-read them and I realized they weren’t as good as I had hoped,” says Jeffery.
That’s when he began working on something he calls his ‘mint toothpaste’ business plan.
“I’m a big list maker and I was aware that I needed to be more scientific about it. So it was in my late 30s I outlined a book for the first time - after writing half a dozen. That book was exponentially better and so I have been following that model ever since.”
How to write a novel – four fiction writers on Danielle Steel’s insane working day
– Wednesday May 15, 2019
She might be the world’s most famous romance writer, nay the highest selling living author bar none, but there’s little room for flowers and chocolates in Danielle Steel’s writing regime. In a recent interview she laughed at the idea of young people insisting on a work-life balance, and has claimed she regularly writes for 20 to 22 hours a day, and sometimes 24. The result: 179 books in under 50 years, selling about 800m copies.
Some aspiring novelists might just have cancelled their entire lives to get on the Steel plan, but many more are probably wondering if it’s time to try something less demanding. We asked four creative writing teachers for their perspective:
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