Writing about pop music is a novelist’s worst nightmare – and I should know
inews.co.uk – Tuesday July 17, 2018
For a writer in hot pursuit of that eye-catching new direction, there are not many greater challenges than the world of popular music. In fact, it isn’t going too far to say that from whichever historical vantage point you aim to examine the shambling behemoth of contemporary music, pop is both a novelist’s dream and a novelist’s nightmare: crammed with ready-made material, larger than-life characters, lurking tragedy and flagrant excess, yet simultaneously awash with protocols, jargon and technical detail that most newcomers to the scene will struggle to comprehend.
And then – even more problematic for an art-form that prefers solid subjects, where it can hunker down and modestly establish itself – there is pop’s built-in ephemerality, the suspicion that last year’s top ten smash will very likely be this year’s bargain bin-filler, the thought of an industry which is changing so rapidly that the whole edifice threatens to dissolve beneath the onlooker’s gaze. For the fan of the three-minute single, pop’s oddly provisional quality is part of its charm.
It is easier to win major literary awards by writing a lead character who is a man, Booker Prize-winning authors warn
telegraph.co.uk – Sunday July 8, 2018
It is easier to win major literary awards by writing a lead character who is a man, Booker Prize-winning authors have suggested, as they warn the tendency to laud with male protagonists is “concerning”.
Dame Hilary Mantel, the only woman to have won the Man Booker Prize twice for the first two novels of her Thomas Cromwell trilogy, said it “might be observed” that her award success came easier for having a male protagonist than if she had been writing about a woman.
Taking A Creative Writing Class Can Be Intimidating, But Here's 13 Things To Know Before You Sign Up
bustle.com – Wednesday July 4, 2018
I was lucky enough to take my first creative writing class in high school, and I was instantly hooked. I went on to take classes in college, and then even after I graduated. So, if you're about to start your first creative writing class, I am so excited for you.
But, what is creative writing class, anyway? How does that even work? When I took my first class, I had absolutely no idea what to expect. Creative writing is not taught like your typical school subject, but it's not a complete blow-off elective either. And of course, every teacher does things in their own way.
'Annihilation' Author Jeff VanderMeer Shares the Secrets to Writing Great Imaginative Fiction
space.com – Wednesday July 4, 2018
Aspiring writers of "imaginative fiction" — whether science fiction, fantasy or other kinds — are in for a treat: a new update to the fiction-writing guide "Wonderbook," by Jeff VanderMeer (Abrams Image, 2018).
VanderMeer is a well-known author of some of the strangest fiction today (including the "Southern Reach" trilogy that the recent movie "Annihilation"draws from), and with "Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction," released today (July 3, 2018) he provides an equally strange (but effective) dive into the fundamentals of fiction writing, intermingling text and illustrations to explore the complexities of fiction. The book also includes perspectives from many authors, including Kim Stanley Robinson, Ursula K. Le Guin, George R.R. Martin, Neil Gaiman and more.
Find yourself a muse (preferably nude but clothed will do) – and 9 more writing tips
irishtimes.com – Monday July 2, 2018
1. If your writing’s not flowing, rip it up. For me, the most successful pieces are always the most free-flowing. If it’s a struggle, be aware that a reader will intuit that too, so pull the plug. After all, Robert Louis Stevenson started 393 works only to finish 27 of them. I honestly can’t think of any job other than writing that involves as much waste – it’s worse than working in an effluent plant!
2. Keep fuelling your brain as you write. As I write this, I’m eating Baked Beetroot & Golden Linseed Tortillas which masquerade as healthy, a bit like myself, but are probably as bad as Monster Munch. While my right hand clicks on the mouse, my left dips more industriously into the tortillas. Testifying to the fact that I’ve just given birth to a new play, I need to lose a few pounds which leads seamlessly into…
Don’t dip your pen in someone else’s blood: writers and ‘the other’
irishtimes.com – Sunday July 1, 2018
Was there ever any worse advice than write what you know? Who of the greats ever wrote what they knew? Did Charlotte Bronte live in a grand country house with a man called Edward Rochester who tried to commit bigamy with her before she wrote Jane Eyre? Was Gustave Flaubert a woman who committed adultery before he wrote Madame Bovary? And how many of us could write a good book if we only wrote what we know? I would have to write about a middle-aged woman who lives in a midlands town, visits Tesco and tends her garden. No story there. No bestseller. Because it’s not interesting. As writers we have to make things up if we want to spin a good yarn. We have to have a murder or two, a broken heart, a bank robbery, a ride in a spaceship.
How To Write A Novel: Tips From Across The Literary Sphere
elle.com – Friday June 15, 2018
Who hasn't wistfully stared out of a train window, engrossed in a deep, perfectly soundtracked moment, and thought to themselves, "I think I've got a book in me"?
The trouble is, putting pen to paper is notoriously much harder than simply revelling in a cinematic moment during your daily commute.
Whether it's writer's block, a serious problem with procrastination, or not knowing what to do with your finished manuscript, ELLE invited some of publishing's most exciting names to discuss how to write the book in you, and then get it published.
Morality clauses: are publishers right to police writers?
theguardian.com – Wednesday June 13, 2018
Offensive opinions. Bullying. Sexual misconduct. As the literary world is rocked by scandal US publishers are asking authors to sign contracts with ‘morality clauses’. Are they really the answer?
When the American Libraries Association awards its Andrew Carnegie medals in New Orleans later this month, there will be no winner for excellence in non-fiction. Sherman Alexie, the poet and novelist who was due to receive it for a memoir, You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me, has declined the award following allegations of sexual harassment.
Last month, the novelist Junot Díaz withdrew from the Sydney writers’ festival and from chairing the Pulitzer prize board after being confronted by his own accusers. As the allegations swept through social media, another writer, Mary Karr, joined the fray, tweeting of her distress that her testimony to DT Max, the biographer of her one-time partner David Foster Wallace, about Foster Wallace’s abusive behaviour had been marginalised. “Deeply saddened by the allegations against #JunotDiaz & I support every woman brave enough to speak. The violence #DavidFosterWallace inflicted on me as a single mom was ignored by his biographer & @NewYorker as ‘alleged’ despite my having letters in his hand,” she wrote.
Always Do a Test Run of That Fancy New Writing App
lifehacker.com – Saturday June 9, 2018
So you have a new writing app you’re dying to try, eh? Well, before you sit down to take on that big writing project, consider giving that app a solid test run so you can learn all the ins and outs first.
There’s this feeling that comes with a fancy new piece of writing software, or productivity software in general. It’s a feeling of potential, of power, like you’ve suddenly found the secret that’s going to help you to finish your novel, your screenplay, or that school paper that decides whether you pass or fail. Unfortunately, that feeling quickly fades when you realize you have no idea how to use it. If there’s one thing that will freeze your flow into self-manifested writer’s block, it’s an app’s learning curve.
Bill Clinton and James Patterson are co-authors – but who did the writing?
theguardian.com – Friday June 8, 2018
As the world’s bestselling author, James Patterson has his name on a lot of covers. Usually, the font size his hallmark enjoys overshadows that of a lesser known collaborator. Contrary to the popular adage, you can tell a lot by a book’s cover. The message on Patterson’s covers is clear: he is the selling point. But this is not the case with Patterson’s most recent title, The President Is Missing, where the name of his co-author, Bill Clinton, shares equal prominence.