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Fifteen Ways to Write a Novel

Fifteen Ways to Write a Novel
Every year I get asked what I think about NaNoWriMo, and I don’t know how to answer, because I don’t want to say, “I think it makes you write a bad novel.” This is kind of the point. You’re supposed to churn out 50,000 words in one month, and by the end you have a goddamn novel, one you wouldn’t have otherwise. If it’s not Shakespeare, it’s still a goddamn novel. The NaNoWriMo FAQ says: “Aiming low is the best way to succeed,” where “succeed” means “write a goddamn novel.” I find it hard to write a goddamn novel. Some of these methods I use a lot, some only when I’m stuck. The Word TargetWhat: You don’t let yourself leave the keyboard each day until you’ve hit 2,000 words.

Quotations: Writers on Writing | Writer's Remorse I absolutely love it when writers write (or talk about) writing. Depending on what stage a writer is in the writing process, the writer’s quotes range from the devoted, to the confused, to the alcohol-dependent, and to the ultimately creative. In this short list of some of my favorite writer’s quotations about writing, I tried to leave out the mundane quotes and instead tried to include some of the more flavorful quotations about writing and the writing process. In most cases, the quotes seem to accurately represent the writers themselves. Stephen King: I am the literary equivalent of a Big Mac and fries.Ernest Hemingway: Write drunk, edit sober. Hunter S. Elmore Leonard: I try to leave out the parts that people skip. Isaac Asimov: If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. Moliere: A writer is congenitally unable to tell the truth and that is why we call what he writes fiction. William Faulkner: Writing is like prostitution. William S.

How Did Toast Become the Latest Artisanal Food Craze? All the guy was doing was slicing inch-thick pieces of bread, putting them in a toaster, and spreading stuff on them. But what made me stare—blinking to attention in the middle of a workday morning as I waited in line at an unfamiliar café—was the way he did it. He had the solemn intensity of a Ping-Pong player who keeps his game very close to the table: knees slightly bent, wrist flicking the butter knife back and forth, eyes suggesting a kind of flow state. The coffee shop, called the Red Door, was a spare little operation tucked into the corner of a chic industrial-style art gallery and event space (clients include Facebook, Microsoft, Evernote, Google) in downtown San Francisco. It took me just a few seconds to digest what this meant: that toast, like the cupcake and the dill pickle before it, had been elevated to the artisanal plane. A couple of weeks later I was at a place called Acre Coffee in Petaluma, a smallish town about an hour north of San Francisco on Highway 101.

25 Things Every Writer Should Know An alternate title for this post might be, “Things I Think About Writing,” which is to say, these are random snidbits (snippets + tidbits) of beliefs I hold about what it takes to be a writer. I hesitate to say that any of this is exactly Zen (oh how often we as a culture misuse the term “Zen” — like, “Whoa, that tapestry is so cool, it’s really Zen“), but it certainly favors a sharper, shorter style than the blathering wordsplosions I tend to rely on in my day-to-day writing posts. Anyway. Peruse these. Absorb them into your body. Feel free to disagree with any of these; these are not immutable laws. Buckle up. 1. The Internet is 55% porn, and 45% writers. 2. A lot of writers try to skip over the basics and leap fully-formed out of their own head-wombs. 3. 4. I have been writing professionally for a lucky-despite-the-number 13 years. 5. Luck matters. 6. Nobody becomes a writer overnight. 7. Your journey to becoming a writer is all your own. 8. 9. 10. Value is a tricky word. 11. 12.

WRITERS ON WRITING; Easy on the Adverbs, Exclamation Points and Especially Hooptedoodle 3. Never use a verb other than ''said'' to carry dialogue. The line of dialogue belongs to the character; the verb is the writer sticking his nose in. 4. . . . he admonished gravely. 5. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose. 6. This rule doesn't require an explanation. 7. Once you start spelling words in dialogue phonetically and loading the page with apostrophes, you won't be able to stop. 8. Which Steinbeck covered. 9. Unless you're Margaret Atwood and can paint scenes with language or write landscapes in the style of Jim Harrison. And finally: 10. A rule that came to mind in 1983. My most important rule is one that sums up the 10. If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it. Or, if proper usage gets in the way, it may have to go. What Steinbeck did in ''Sweet Thursday'' was title his chapters as an indication, though obscure, of what they cover. Did I read the hooptedoodle chapters? Writers on Writing www.nytimes.com/arts Continue reading the main story

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