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Stocking Stuffers: 13 Writing Tips From Chuck Palahniuk

Stocking Stuffers: 13 Writing Tips From Chuck Palahniuk
*Editor's Note: This column is part of a collection of 36 total essays on the craft of writing by Chuck Palahniuk. They were submitted starting in 2005, so this essay will refer to thinks in the past and therefore be on an older timeline. Twenty years ago, a friend and I walked around downtown Portland at Christmas. The big department stores: Meier and Frank… Fredrick and Nelson… Nordstroms… their big display windows each held a simple, pretty scene: a mannequin wearing clothes or a perfume bottle sitting in fake snow. But the windows at the J.J. Newberry’s store, damn, they were crammed with dolls and tinsel and spatulas and screwdriver sets and pillows, vacuum cleaners, plastic hangers, gerbils, silk flowers, candy – you get the point. She said the perfect comment at the perfect moment, and I remember it two decades later because it made me laugh. For this essay, my goal is to put more in. Number One: Number Two: Your audience is smarter than you imagine. Number Three: Number Four:

Themes & Things To Keep In Mind When Writing Fantasy Stories and Adventures » Daily Encounter This list is far from complete. It’s not even trying to be complete. It knows better than that. It just wants to be helpful and provide some inspiration here and there; you know, offer little suggestions that might lead to bigger ideas. (Especially by using the words offered as Wikipedia searches!) WriteWorld Writer’s Block A picture says a thousand words. Write them. Mission: Write a story, a description, a poem, a metaphor, a commentary, or a critique about this picture. Write something about this picture. Be sure to tag writeworld in your block!

25 Insights on Becoming a Better Writer When George Plimpton asked Ernest Hemingway what the best training for an aspiring writer would be in a 1954 interview, Hem replied, “Let’s say that he should go out and hang himself because he finds that writing well is impossibly difficult. Then he should be cut down without mercy and forced by his own self to write as well as he can for the rest of his life. At least he will have the story of the hanging to commence with.” Amelia Atwater-Rhodes - Advice to Writers: Quotes Quotes | Creating Great Characters I am often asked for advice on writing and I encourage others to write down their stories. Below you will find some of my thoughts on how to approach writing and how to create great characters. 15 unusual words that make writers swoon In a previous post, I wrote about the value of using simple words in place of complex words. Readers are not impressed by the use of complex words; they're frustrated by them. Though I strive to use simple, clear terms in my own writing, there are some words that I am just dying to use. Archaic, unusual words that I have stumbled upon in fiction. Words that have drawn me in. I like the ways these words sound.

20 Common Grammar Mistakes That (Almost) Everyone Makes I’ve edited a monthly magazine for more than six years, and it’s a job that’s come with more frustration than reward. If there’s one thing I am grateful for — and it sure isn’t the pay — it’s that my work has allowed endless time to hone my craft to Louis Skolnick levels of grammar geekery. As someone who slings red ink for a living, let me tell you: grammar is an ultra-micro component in the larger picture; it lies somewhere in the final steps of the editing trail; and as such it’s an overrated quasi-irrelevancy in the creative process, perpetuated into importance primarily by bitter nerds who accumulate tweed jackets and crippling inferiority complexes. But experience has also taught me that readers, for better or worse, will approach your work with a jaundiced eye and an itch to judge. While your grammar shouldn’t be a reflection of your creative powers or writing abilities, let’s face it — it usually is. Who and Whom

Grammar Girl Mignon Fogarty is the creator of Grammar Girl and the founder and managing director of Quick and Dirty Tips. A magazine writer, technical writer, and entrepreneur, she has served as a senior editor and producer at a number of health and science web sites. She has a B.A. in English from the University of Washington in Seattle and an M.S. in biology from Stanford University. Mignon believes that learning is fun, and the vast rules of grammar are wonderful fodder for lifelong study. Eight Secrets Which Writers Won’t Tell You Image from Flickr by Lazurite This is not particularly relevant to the post, but I’m getting an awful lot of comments telling me, often a little snarkily, “it’s ‘THAT’ not ‘WHICH’”. The “don’t use which for restrictive clauses” rule comes (as far as I can tell) from Strunk and White. Plenty of authors, including Austen, have used “which” exactly as I use it in the title. It’s very commonly used like this here in England, so I’m guessing my comments are coming from US readers. There was never a period in the history of English when “which” at the beginning of a restrictive relative clause was an error.

101 Short Stories that Will Leave You Smiling, Crying and Thinking post written by: Marc Chernoff Email Since its inception eighteen months ago, our sister site Makes Me Think (MMT) has truly evolved into a remarkable online community. Every day, users share their thought-provoking life stories and vote on stories that other users have shared. Why Fiction is So Hard to Write I’ve been blogging for a little over three years. I’ve been writing fiction since … well, pretty much since I could write. My blog posts are read by thousands of people.