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Top 10 books about creative writing

theguardian.com – Thursday October 15, 2020

The poet Rita Dove was once asked what makes poetry successful. She went on to illuminate three key areas: First, the heart of the writer; the things they wish to say – their politics and overarching sensibilities. Second, their tools: how they work language to organise and position words. And the third, the love a person must have for books: “To read, read, read.”

When I started mapping out How to Write It, I wanted to focus on the aspects of writing development that took in both theoretical and interpersonal aspects. No writer lives in a vacuum, their job is an endless task of paying attention.

How do I get myself an agent? What’s the best way to approach a publisher? Should I self-publish? There is never one way to assuage the concerns of those looking to make a career out of writing. Many labour tirelessly for decades on manuscripts that never make it to print. The UK on average publishes around 185,000 new titles per year, ranking us the third largest publishing market in the world, yet the number of aspiring writers is substantially greater.

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How to Find Your Own Writing Style

authorlink.com – Saturday October 3, 2020

The definition of what style in writing represents is often blurry and elusive. While some authors are very distinctive when it comes to their wordiness, syntax, tone, and mood, others seem to stand out by nothing in particular—yet create high-quality works and are inspirational and praised nonetheless.

Finding your writing style can last for a year, two, three, or become a journey that never ends: for some authors, experimentation and adaptation are the most exciting parts of the writing process.

Before getting to work on your voice and tone and coming up with a great book title, the first thing you should do is decide what type of writing you’re the most interested in. This decision will help you direct your attention appropriately once you begin to practice your wordcraft.

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How to Become a Comedy Writer

backstage.com – Wednesday September 23, 2020

We’ve all seen a hilarious TV scene that’s stuck with us or read a satirical essay that’s made us giggle for weeks. But have you ever wondered what it actually takes to become a comedy writer? There are many different avenues to achieving a career writing comedy, whether you have aspirations of writing a late-night monologue or getting a humorous book published. Some writers like Aidy Bryant begin with a career in comedic performance before using those skills to transition behind the scenes. For others, it can be a more streamlined process of sticking with one format (like comedic playwriting) and simply expanding within that niche over time. Comedy writing is such a broad field full of differing perspectives and paths and there’s no one way to become a comedy writer. As long as you’ve got a passion for comedy and a desire to express it through written work, you can find success as a comedy writer.

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Why are cliches in writing so bad?

authorlink.com – Tuesday September 1, 2020

Writing is a craft that requires constant improvement, whether you are a beginner working to develop their first story or a seasoned author with many accomplishments under their belt.

Among other aspects, writing without cliches is one of the vital skills prospective essayists and novelists have to master before they start to consider publishing their works. If you’re struggling with this challenge and feel insecure about your texts, you can easily avoid cliches in writing in 6 simple and actionable steps.

But first, let’s talk about what cliches are, why you should steer away from them, and which ones are the most common (and, therefore, the ones you should be on the lookout for the most).

Why are cliches in writing so bad?

Cliché (past passive participle form of the French word clicher, referring to a stereotype) is a word or a phrase used so often in writing and speech that they’re no longer appealing or effective.

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A Few Amateur Goofs to Avoid

By G. Miki Hayden
Instructor at Writer's Digest University online and private writing coach

firstwriter.com – Tuesday September 1, 2020

Your novel won’t be rejected just because the red flag is raised that you’re an amateur; however, the clues that you don’t know the rules of the road won’t endear you to agents, and unless the writing is otherwise good and the concept extraordinary, you may not be invited to join the agency gang. Have a read below to find out what errors to watch for.

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Magazine Rejections and Learning to Love the Hate

splicetoday.com – Tuesday August 25, 2020

Many years ago, an editor at The Chicago Quarterly Review sent me one of the most colorful rejections I’ve gotten from a magazine: “I can’t think of a single person who’d want to spend thirty seconds with these morons,” meaning the characters in my short story but also, in a way, me.

It was a story about falling in love with a stripper in Missoula, titled “The Machinery Above Us,” and Eclipse Magazine took it some time after that. There were graphic parts in it and I noticed that the rejections came most fluidly from the Ivy and Ivy-adjacent literary journals on my submission A-list. The Partisan ReviewThe Paris ReviewDoubletakeStory, and Boulevard rejected it with a quickness. They seemed to find the material distasteful.

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Start Preparing for NaNoWriMo Now

lifehacker.com – Saturday August 22, 2020

Even under normal circumstances, early planning for major events is critical to their success. This year, of course, we are in far from ordinary circumstances, which makes it that much more important for writers to begin planning for National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo, for short—NaNo, for even shorter) right now.

A couple years (decades?) ago, an amazing colleague spelled out a game plan for succeeding at the challenge of writing a 50,000-word novel draft within the month of November. But like most structured plans, it takes time to get into a groove and properly form a habit. NaNoWriMo should be treated no differently. It may sound easy to some—you’re just writing 1,667 words per day, not training for a marathon—but take it from someone’s who’s done both: the preparation involved in both is, in many ways, is quite similar.

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The realities of being an Instagram poet

thebookseller.com – Thursday August 13, 2020

I have been writing poetry most of my life. Encouraged by my English teacher as a child, I used writing as a way of dealing with emotions, anxiety and, as I grew older, with heartbreak.

In February 2019, I decided to set up an Instagram page on the advice of a friend, who thought the platform would be a good place to share my poetry. It’s fair to say I was dubious at first, particularly given the fact that Instagram is such a visual medium; not a platform one would assume would be a good fit for the written word.

But I took his advice and began to publish one or two short poems every day, in the hope that a handful of people may enjoy it. Eighteen months later, I have over 98,000 followers and I’m on the third print run of my self-published debut collection, Tell the Birds She’s Gone. My second book, Beekeeper, is released on September 8th, 2020, and pre-orders are already going well.

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WATCH YOUR LANGUAGE! My short, strong sentence can beat up your fancy long one

nwaonline.com – Monday August 10, 2020

This week I'm going full-bore on long phrases that can so easily be shorter. I hope going full-bore doesn't make the topic a complete bore.

I've been out of college for decades now, but I still have the end-of-semester nightmare where I have to write a 1,000-word paper by the next morning. I decline to comment on whether I padded out sentences in those days.

But when I'm awake and living in the present, I fully advocate writing concisely.

I'm not alone in this belief.

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Does setting deadlines help your creative writing?

theboar.org – Sunday August 9, 2020

While sometimes dreadful and inconvenient, deadlines are often jokingly referred to as “the greatest inspiration”. Looking back at my first year at Warwick, there never seemed to be ‘the right time’ to write my essays until the deadline was just around the corner… probably not a coincidence. Since having clear and unmovable deadlines for essay writing always ensured that I would get my essays done, it only seemed natural to do the same when I decided to explore creative writing.

Long story short, I managed to write a 20,000 word novel in just a month. I achieved this as part of the NaNoWriMo (National November Writing Month) initiative. NaNoWriMo is a fantastic project that encourages authors of all ages to write, by providing them with a book writing platform, writing resources, and inspiration to keep going. Although the resources are available all year, the initiative is centred around the month of November – the month in which all authors are challenged to set a clear word count goal and complete it before the month ends. 

One of its best features is the visual representations of your progress. These include the number of words written, word count that you need to write today, and your daily writing streak. When completing the challenge, my favourite thing about these statistics was the blend of big and small goals. The fact that I could see my word count increase with every minute of writing made me feel accomplished, and the day streak reminded me of how far I’ve come. 

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