background preloader

WRITING

Facebook Twitter

Turned down 18 times. Then Paul Beatty won the Booker … Paul Beatty may be the first American to win the Man Booker prize, after a rule change three years ago that made authors of any nationality eligible for the £50,000 award, so long as they were writing in English and published in the UK.

Turned down 18 times. Then Paul Beatty won the Booker …

But he very nearly wasn’t published in Britain at all. Beatty calls his fourth novel “a hard sell” for UK publishers. His rumbustious, lyrically poetic novel was turned down, his agent confirms, by no fewer than 18 publishers. And then, finally, a small independent called Oneworld – founded by a husband-and-wife team in 1986 – took it up. The company is celebrating the unusual achievement of a second consecutive Man Booker win, because it also published Marlon James’s A History of Seven Killings. “It’s weird for me,” says Beatty, who is 54. “I get hurt when I meet editors who tell me about books they really liked but couldn’t publish. George Saunders: what writers really do when they write. Many years ago, during a visit to Washington DC, my wife’s cousin pointed out to us a crypt on a hill and mentioned that, in 1862, while Abraham Lincoln was president, his beloved son, Willie, died, and was temporarily interred in that crypt, and that the grief-stricken Lincoln had, according to the newspapers of the day, entered the crypt “on several occasions” to hold the boy’s body.

George Saunders: what writers really do when they write

An image spontaneously leapt into my mind – a melding of the Lincoln Memorial and the Pietà. I carried that image around for the next 20-odd years, too scared to try something that seemed so profound, and then finally, in 2012, noticing that I wasn’t getting any younger, not wanting to be the guy whose own gravestone would read “Afraid to Embark on Scary Artistic Project He Desperately Longed to Attempt”, decided to take a run at it, in exploratory fashion, no commitments. We often discuss art this way: the artist had something he “wanted to express”, and then he just, you know … expressed it.

Hoo, boy. MacBook Air Overheating? 5 Things You Can Do. You might think your MacBook is overheating if it sounds like a hairdryer and feels like a grill.

MacBook Air Overheating? 5 Things You Can Do

When your computer gets so hot that it randomly turns off, you’ve definitely got a heat problem. 5 Things You Can Do To Silence A Noisy Laptop Fan 5 Things You Can Do To Silence A Noisy Laptop Fan Read More There are a few things to remember when troubleshooting an overheating laptop, and today we’ll pay special attention to the relatively silent MacBook Air. For the purpose of this article, I’m going to define “overheating” as being very hot to touch but still operational. Know Your Limitations An overheating laptop can be caused by all sorts of things, from dust buildup to failing fans. The MacBook Air is a very compact machine and that means heat dispersal isn’t a strongpoint.

Intensive processes like rendering video, playing games or leaving fifty tabs open take their toll on your processor, which generates heat that only has one route of escape. Drop The Demanding Software Test Your Fans. Warning: The Composing Secret Mozart Didn’t Want You To Know. Mahler did it.

Warning: The Composing Secret Mozart Didn’t Want You To Know

Beethoven did it. Even… gasp… Mozart did it. What am I talking about? Sketches. I think we can all agree that these three composers were geniuses. “Don’t bother looking at the view – I already composed it.” You have probably heard the stories of Mozart composing entire works in his head and them putting them down on paper while drunk the night before a performance.

Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling. These rules were originally tweeted by Emma Coats, Pixar’s Story Artist.

Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling

Number 9 on the list – When you’re stuck, make a list of what wouldn’t happen next – is a great one and can apply to writers in all genres. You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be very different.Trying for theme is important, but you won’t see what the story is actually about til you’re at the end of it. Falling short: seven writers reflect on failure. • Diana Athill: 'It is possible to make use of failure, and forget it'• Margaret Atwood: 'Get back on the horse that threw you'• Julian Barnes: 'Success to one person can be failure to another'• Ann Enright: 'Failure is what writers do.

Falling short: seven writers reflect on failure

It is built in'• Howard Jacobson: 'You have to see failure as an opportunity'• Will Self: 'People say my writing is dreadful and pretentious'• Lionel Shriver: 'No one wants to buy a book about disappointment' Diana Athill From the age of 22 to that of about 39 I knew myself to be a failure. For many of those years I was not positively unhappy, because I was doing work I enjoyed, was fond of my friends and often had quite a good time; but if at any moment I stood back to look at my life and pass judgment on it, I saw that it was one of failure. That is not an exaggeration. The reason for it was banal. He was stationed in Egypt. Punctuation Rules. Twenty Rules for Writing Detective Stories By S.S. Van Dine. EDITOR'S NOTE S.S.

Twenty Rules for Writing Detective Stories By S.S. Van Dine

Van Dine (1888-1939, real name Willard Huntington Wright) was one of the most popular American mystery writers of the twenties and thirties, and his wealthy amateur sleuth Philo Vance remains one of the great fictional detectives, if not also one of the most insufferable. Read today, Vance comes off as a pompous, pretentious, insufferable blowhard; an inexplicably popular character whose very existence perhaps helped spur the demand for a tougher, more "realistic" American kind of detective. But it's not just me. Otto Penzler suggests in The Detectionary that the author himself was "much like Vance ... a poseur and a dilettante, dabbling in art, music and criticism. " And Chandler tagged him as "the most asinine character in detective fiction," while Ogden Nash felt so inspired by Van Dine's creation that he composed a poem, which reads in its entirety: Philo Vance Needs a kick in the pance.