background preloader

Neil Gaiman’s 8 Rules of Writing

Neil Gaiman’s 8 Rules of Writing
By Maria Popova In the winter of 2010, inspired by Elmore Leonard’s 10 rules of writing published in The New York Times nearly a decade earlier, The Guardian reached out to some of today’s most celebrated authors and asked them to each offer his or her commandments. After Zadie Smith’s 10 rules of writing, here come 8 from the one and only Neil Gaiman: WritePut one word after another. Find the right word, put it down.Finish what you’re writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it.Put it aside. For more timeless wisdom on writing, see Kurt Vonnegut’s 8 rules for a great story, David Ogilvy’s 10 no-bullshit tips, Henry Miller’s 11 commandments, Jack Kerouac’s 30 beliefs and techniques, John Steinbeck’s 6 pointers, and Susan Sontag’s synthesized learnings. Image by Kimberly Butler

Related:  ArchiveStart Writing 1Plotwriting

The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far By The Playlist Staff | The Playlist February 26, 2015 at 3:21PM As the dust cleared from our Best of 2014 features, 2015 previews and awards season coverage, we realized something terrifying: we’re now halfway through the current decade. Five years have passed since the 2010s began, we’re all sixty months (or sixty two?) Are you thinking of writing and publishing a book? Chances are, yes you are. I can say that because most of my blog readers come from Twitter, and Twitter is really the perfect tool for aspiring or published writers. I have published my first eBook, 'Make Twitter Work For You'. For a free copy drop me a mail at Mary Karr On Writing Memoirs: 'No Doubt I've Gotten A Million Things Wrong' Author Mary Karr says she once broke her computer's delete key while writing a memoir. Deborah Feingold/HarperCollins hide caption toggle caption Deborah Feingold/HarperCollins Author Mary Karr says she once broke her computer's delete key while writing a memoir. Deborah Feingold/HarperCollins Author Mary Karr has written three memoirs and is often credited with popularizing the genre, but she still jokes that hers is a "low-rent form."

Sharpe (novel series) Sharpe is described as "brilliant but wayward" in Sharpe's Sword, and is portrayed by the author as a 'loose cannon'. A highly skilled leader of light troops, he takes part in a range of historical events during the Napoleonic Wars and other conflicts, including the Battle of Waterloo. The earliest chronological books (they were published in non-chronological order) are set in India, and chronicle Sharpe's years in the ranks and as an ensign. This Simple Writing Habit Changed My Life I’m often asked,”How did you become a writer? Did you always dream about being a writer as a kid? How did you actually make it happen?” If you’ve ever wanted to become a writer, today I want to share my personal experience of becoming a writer.

Be a better writer in 15 minutes: 4 TED-Ed lessons on grammar and word choice There’s no denying it — the English language can be mighty tricky. When writing a paper, a novel or even an e-mail, you might look at a sentence you just wrote and think, “Is that comma supposed to be there?” or “Is that really the best word to use?” Fear not! TED-Ed has put together a list of four of our favorite grammar and language lessons to get your next piece of writing in tip-top shape.

6 Terrible Ideas That Science Says Will Save the Planet Ridiculous times call for ridiculous measures. With catastrophe constantly threatening the planet from countless directions, every option is on the table. Or is it? Because there are some pretty wacky damned schemes that have been invented by people who are otherwise considered geniuses. It's Time To Think Differently About Writing In The Classroom It’s Time To Think Differently About Writing In The Classroom by Terry Heick Among the biggest changes the Common Core Standards require is the shift in the burden of general literacy. Rather than only “writing teachers,” teaching reading and writing, now all teachers across all content areas are being asked to do so (something we’ve talked about before). In the past, literacy—the ability to read, write, and understand—has been the domain of the English-Language Arts teachers (and elsewhere in the world, Literature and Composition teachers).

8 ways a simple notebook can change your life Go buy a notebook Many people have written to me saying they love all the research on bettering themselves but need that first step on how to shoehorn it in to their day-to-day life. Incorporating a lot of the blog's strategies can be as easy as buying a notebook. (No, it doesn't need to have glitter on it or say "MY SECRET DIARY" on the front.) Others might think: "I don't need to write stuff down. Reading is enough." untitled Not only that, but H.R. Giger and Dan O'Bannon were both huge Lovecraft fans and the script was heavily influenced by the ideas Lovecraft popularized. Given the influence, it might be interesting to look at the way Lovecraft balances between cosmic horror and elements of continuity.

Nine Secrets to Successfully Completing That Elusive First Draft At 1:04am, on the 20th of August, after exactly 292 days or 41 weeks and 5 days of writing my first draft of my novel, I wrote those two long awaited words… ‘The End’. I was in bed, in the dark, laptop on my knees, with my sleeping beauty of a wife next to me. I stared at the screen, the cursor still blinking… and the first word that came into my mind was, “oh.” This writer is writing a novel. Live. Online. Right now. You can pretty much like and comment on any media you consume these days — except books. Lucky for my fellow social media addicts, one author’s out to change that. Joshua Cohen, an author whose essays have been in The New York Times and Harper’s, is currently writing a novel online. And not only can we see his progress as he works, we can like and comment as we see fit too. (Because live-tweeting a book is so 2014, apparently.) But in all earnestness, this project is incredibly cool.

The Two-Color Conspiracy in 'House of Cards' By Sam Adams | Criticwire March 2, 2015 at 4:10PM The sophisticated look of Netflix's flagship show boils down to a surprisingly simple formula. You may think that "House of Cards" is Peak Quality TV or pseudo-sophisticated soap opera, but it's hard to deny that the show at least looks great. Although it's employed four different cinematographers over its three-season run — Martin Ahlgren shot all but two of the most recent 13-episode batch — the show has successfully stuck to the moody, not-quite-neo-noir look of David FIncher's pilot.

How to get started with the Writing Reviser Add-on for Google Docs - Pathfinders The Writing Reviser add-on in Google Docs. I’m sure most students would agree that writing well—especially writing well for a variety of purposes—is not easy. On any given school day, a student might be asked to analyze a poem by Emily Dickinson, to construct a lab report following a science experiment, or to explain the historical importance of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.