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The Long and Winding Road to Finding a Literary Agent

huffingtonpost.com – Tuesday September 20, 2016

This summer, one of my writing dreams came true — I signed with a literary agent!

I’ve been writing my entire adult life, so this wasn’t my first attempt at attracting representation, but this time, I succeeded. I thought I’d share some reflections on the process that might help other aspiring writers out there. How do you know when you’re really ready to pursue and work with an agent?

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13 Writing Tips From J.K. Rowling, Because She Knows A Thing Or Two About Perseverance

bustle.com – Saturday September 17, 2016

If you're an aspiring writer, then you know how hard it can be to stay focused, motivated, and inspired while trying to finish a book and get it published. Whether it be writer's block or rejection letters, you're bound to hit a wall at some point during the incredible yet painful process of creating, but whenever you find yourself ready to thrown your manuscript out the window, turn to these writing tips from J.K. Rowling. After all, she knows a thing or two about writing a fantastical, bestselling series.

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Tracy Chevalier: ‘Writing is a magic trick that still surprises me when I perform it’

theguardian.com – Saturday September 17, 2016

Part of me wishes it were easy to describe my typical writing day. I have heard about them, those smug productive hours when a writer – usually male, it has to be said – sits down each day at 9am with an espresso, writes till 1, makes bouillabaisse, writes from 2 till 5, plays tennis, and after supper sits with a glass of single malt whisky reading over what he’s written that day. That is a scenario I both crave and detest. It will never be that controlled and disciplined for me.

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5 Things You Need To Know About Writing Before Becoming A Writer

huffingtonpost.com – Friday September 16, 2016

Writing is difficult. If I could encapsulate writing I would say that it’s the equivalent of stepping up to the plate and either hitting a 600 foot home run or taking the most embarrassing swing only to find you didn’t come anywhere near the ball.

Some days I sit down and it seems like words I didn’t know I had just keep flowing out of my fingertips, and other days it feels like my brain can’t properly communicate with my hands to tell them what the hell to write.

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11 Writing Tips From Joan Didion, Because She Knows A Thing Or Two About It

bustle.com – Thursday September 15, 2016

Award-winning writer, sharp critic, and insightful memoirist — is there anything the author of Slouching Towards Bethlehem can't do? Probably not, which is why you can take writing advice from Joan Didion to heart. After five decades of real-world practice, could you think of anyone better to advise you? I didn't think so.

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Ian McMillan: Why the key to good writing is avoiding the Truth

yorkshirepost.co.uk – Sunday September 11, 2016

In my writing, I try to avoid the truth. No, that’s not quite right. What I mean is that in my writing I try to avoid Truth, and that’s slightly different. As well as avoiding Truth I do my best to steer clear of Fear, Hate, Desire and Love. The clue, of course, is in the capital letters: I’m talking about abstract nouns here. The great poet Ezra Pound said “Go in fear of abstractions” and he was right.

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A creative writing lesson from the ‘God of Story’

theguardian.com – Saturday September 10, 2016

Robert McKee has taught creative writing for 30 years. His seminars have attracted more than 60 Oscar winners, but are treated with suspicion by many novelists – including Tim Lott. Can he be won over?

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6 novel-writing tips from one of the publishing world's top editors

mashable.com – Thursday September 8, 2016

How do you write a great novel? As an executive editor for a major publisher in New York City, I think about this question every day as I work with my authors to develop and refine their books. (And I’ve just written a book myself — The Magic Words: Writing Great Books for Children and Young Adults — that delves deeply into the answers.) In brief, these six “Ps” should help you write a novel that satisfies and excites both you and readers:

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5 Tips When Writing Fiction For Women’s Weeklies

huffingtonpost.co.uk – Tuesday September 6, 2016

Ah, the People’s FriendWoman’s Weekly and My Weekly. You probably remember your mother reading them, and maybe your grandmother. They’ve all been on the newsstands for more than 100 years - the People’s Friend for nearly a century and a half - and because they’ve been around so long you may have preconceived ideas about the sort of short stories they publish.

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Writing Interactive Fiction With Twine

geekdad.com – Sunday September 4, 2016

“Have you ever loved a book so much that you wanted to step inside it?” So begins Writing Interactive Fiction With Twine by Melissa Ford. It’s the only book you’ll need to tell your story with Twine, an interactive fiction computer game. Think Choose Your Own Adventure book, but, with the magic of technology, it can become much, much more. I stumbled across Twine about a year ago, found the concept intriguing and downloaded the software. I made one simple game, but I wasn’t confident in my abilities to program and never went farther. I figured I’d just play around with it someday and learn, but I never did. That’s why I was so excited about Ford’s book; hopefully, it would be my guide to what I knew was a great way to tell all the stories I have. And that’s exactly what I found it to be.

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