The app that makes writing less lonely
bbc.co.uk – Monday November 26, 2018
If you see a writer in a movie, most likely she (or he) will be tapping on a laptop. But many young writers are doing it on mobile phones, and sometimes in teams.
Daniel, who uses the pen name LisVender, begins the story, which his writing team decides to call A Small Case of Writer's Block.
The tapping of Sara's pen against her glasses became so rhythmic that it sounded like a metronome set to allegretto. She spun in her swivel chair, watching the bookcases in her study swing by. She had to admit it: her story was stuck, her characters were stuck, and so was she.
Ella, pen name Elle, who has 313 stories under her belt, then picks up the tale.
Sighing, she slumped forward, forehead hitting the desk with a thump. How was she going to keep the plot rolling forward, give her characters the development they needed? Her eyes swivelled to the window, the glass frosted over with thin ice. Maybe a walk outside in the cold
At 276 characters, Elle has nearly reached her 280 limit, so she stops mid-sentence and passes the story to the next writer. (You can read the rest of the story at the bottom of this page.)
Welcome to the world of Inkvite, one of a number of creative-writing platforms popular with teenagers and young adults in the US. It allows users to share stories, comment on them, and also collaborate.
Here, five Inkvite authors explain its appeal.
Jonathan Franzen was mocked for sharing his writing tips. Me? I’m all ears
theguardian.com – Saturday November 24, 2018
Poor Jonathan Franzen, as literally no one says these days. Last week the acclaimed novelist and, to many, human embodiment of white male privilege published his 10 rules for aspiring novelists and, as tends to happen any time Franzen dares to open his mouth, he was thanked for his trouble with derision.
Small sidenote here, but I really don’t get the Franzen loathing. Sure, he could lighten up on the constant talk about birdwatching, but otherwise the things Franzen is hated for are either not really hateworthy or not actually his fault. This all began in ye olden times of 2001 with the famous, nay, legendary saga of Oprah Winfrey choosing Franzen’s novel, The Corrections, for her book club and him saying he’d rather not, thanks. Winfrey’s book choices were often, he said, not incorrectly, “schmaltzy”. It was the snub heard around the world and Franzen was for ever cast as an elitist snob, his every pronouncement since (he hates social media! He likes nature!) taken as further evidence of his hatefulness, even though surely most people would love to live a nice, Twitter-free, nature-based life in California, as Franzen does.
15 Writing Habits That Will Kill Your NaNoWriMo Manuscript
bustle.com – Thursday November 22, 2018
This is gonna be your year, the year you win NaNoWriMo. There are plenty of hurdles to clear ahead — even with just one week left — including the 15 habits that will kill your NaNoWriMo manuscript dead, as detailed on the list below. Learn to identify and avoid these all-too-common problems, and you'll ace the world's most infamous, 30-day writing challenge.
Founded by Chris Baty in 1999 as a fun challenge for Bay Area writers, NaNoWriMo — that's National Novel Writing Month — celebrates its 20th iteration in 2018. The rules are simple: in the 30 days of November, write 50,000 words on a single novel manuscript.* That averages out to about 1,667 words per day, which is no easy feat, especially if you don't already have a daily writing habit.
Even though NaNoWriMo is a tough, tough slog, it's still 100 percent doable, y'all. Most novel projects get derailed by a handful of common, avoidable problems that throw off your writing groove, but you might not even identify these issues as harmful to your writing career.
Check out the 15 NaNoWriMo-killing habits I've identified below:
4am starts and spinach smoothies: Da Vinci Code's Dan Brown on how to write a bestseller
theguardian.com – Monday November 19, 2018
As he sets out to spill his secrets in an online masterclass, Brown talks about bad reviews, his habit of hanging upside down and the challenge of writing fiction in the age of Trump
The piano music is insistent, melodramatic. The scene begins under a vaulted ceiling and medieval candelabra reminiscent of the Great Hall in Game of Thrones. The camera pans across a vintage typewriter, intricately sculpted animals, antique bowl, statuette of a monk and relief carvings of knights. It roves around a dimly lit, dark wood library. Suddenly, unexpectedly, a bookshelf swivels on its axis to reveal a secret passage.
Out steps the master of the page turner in blue shirt and jeans, his sleeves rolled up. He settles into a chair, leans against a red cushion, crosses his legs and smiles. A screen caption says: “Dan Brown Teaches Writing Thrillers.” Brown, who has shifted 250m copies of his novels and seen them translated into 56 languages, is the latest big name to join MasterClass, the online celebrity tutorial company (he is donating his fee to charity).
Going with gut instinct: Lunch With literary agent Fiona Inglis
smh.com.au – Friday November 16, 2018
By the end of an opening chapter, Fiona Inglis usually has a good idea if the manuscript in her hands is potential bestseller material.
Call it gut instinct, says the well-connected head of the literary agency Curtis Brown who has made a career out of spotting writers readers want to read and counts bestselling clients Liane Moriarty, Markus Zusak, Andy Griffiths and Thomas Keneally as friends.
Story is everything. "Good writing will always rise to the top because it has something to say that is worth paying attention to," Inglis says. "I know immediately when I've found something fabulous because I want to interrupt everyone in the office and say, 'You have to read this!'
30 Words Of Wisdom From Writers, To Inspire You Through The Rest Of NaNoWriMo
bustle.com – Tuesday November 13, 2018
If you’re one of the many writers trying your hand at NaNoWriMo this year, (that’s National Novel Writing Month, for the uninitiated) then you well know we’re approximately half way through the month of November — and hopefully, you’re well on your way to completing your goal of 50,000 words. As a repeated NaNoWriMo hopeful myself, I know what a complete drag that halfway point can be: by this time the adrenaline of starting SOMETHING BIG (aka: your novel) has worn off, your caffeine tolerance has skyrocketed, and your non-writer friends have gone from vaguely supportive to disbelief that you’re actually staying in to write all weekend AGAIN. Maybe you’re a little behind on your word count, or on sleep, or — most likely — both, and the end of November seems both too soon and impossibly far away.
From one writer to another, let me tell you: this is hardly atypical. Whether you’re attempting to write your novel in one frantic NaNoWriMo burst or you’ve been drafting it for years, I’d venture to guess that most writers suffer from creative fatigue (and, you know, finger cramps) in the middle of any project — no matter how ambitious. And lucky for you, not only have many of these successful writers lived to tell about it, they’ve offered plenty of words of wisdom for their fellow aspiring novelists.
Below you’ll find some inspiring words of wisdom — and great writing advice — from writers, designed to power you through the rest of your NaNoWriMo.
Sharing Your Writing For The First Time Can Be Tough — Here's 11 Tips For Getting Through It
bustle.com – Tuesday November 13, 2018
There comes a time in every writer's life when they must do the unthinkable: allow someone else to read their writing. It happens to the best of us. Unless you are writing in a private diary, which you then plan to burn in a cleansing bonfire before burying the remains deep in the secret heart of the woods, you will eventually have to share your writing with someone. A story or an essay isn't complete until it has a reader. But sharing your writing for the very first time can be an intimidating prospect. This poem/screenplay/blog post has been your baby for weeks or months or years, and you don't want to shove it into the cruel outside world all on its own. So here are a few tips for how to share your writing for the very first time, no matter what you've written.
Of course, the first step is to write something you feel a little bit proud of (or, failing that, something you're not too horrifically embarrassed by). It doesn't need to be perfect or polished or finished or even especially original. It just has to be done enough that you feel comfortable (if nervous) letting someone have a peek:
The Radicalization of Bedtime Stories
theatlantic.com – Monday November 12, 2018
More than 200 years ago, when books for children first became common, they delivered simple moral lessons about, for instance, cleanliness and the importance of prayer. Today, story time is still propelled by moral forces, but the issues have gotten a good deal more sophisticated.
In recent years, publishers have put out children’s books with political undertones and activist calls to action on topics ranging from Islamophobia to race to gender identity to feminism. “The trend has definitely exploded in recent years with the social-justice books and the activism books,” says Claire Kirch, a senior correspondent at Publishers Weekly who has been covering the book industry for 15 years.
Vary Sentence Structure
By G. Miki Hayden
Instructor at Writer's Digest University online and private writing coach
firstwriter.com – Saturday November 10, 2018
This past week I edited a novel written in a way meant to emulate the method used by a handful of successful mystery writers.
"He took the stairs down. He walked into the kitchen. He stood at the refrigerator. He got out a pitcher of cold water."
5 helpful books for National Novel Writing Month
syracuse.com – Wednesday November 7, 2018
If you've ever wanted to write a book, this is the month to begin! November is National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo, as it is often referred to, is an artistic writing project online that occurs every November. People who participate in this write a 50,000 word manuscript during the month.
Take part in this project by visiting nanowrimo.org and learn more about it by checking out books from your local library or by logging on to www.onlib.org.