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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

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10 Podcasts for Writers Worth Listening To I’m a big fan of podcasts, listening to them whenever I’m in my car, in the morning as I get dressed, and whenever I have time to kill and nothing to read. I especially like podcasts about writing, freelancing, and being creative, not just because they’re big interests of mine (as reflected in this site) but because it’s inspiring to hear other writers and freelancers offer their advice and detail some of the same struggles I’m going through as a writer. It can be hard, though, to find good ones on writing. To help you out, here’s 10 podcasts about writing I think are pretty good.

Learn Scrivener Fast Webinar Replay Now Available (Plus Freebies!) Thanks to all of you who were able to attend the free Learn Scrivener Fast webinar with Joseph Michael yesterday! I hope you guys got as much out of Joseph’s awesome tips as I did. I’m chomping at the bit to finish my research for Wayfarer and get down to using Scrivener to start writing that first draft. How to write about zombies Last night I took a writing class called "How to Write a Zombie Fiction or Horror Novel." I found out about this class from one of the 80,000 "daily deal" newsletters I now subscribe to and, naturally, my curiosity was piqued. There were a lot of fans of "The Walking Dead" (both comic book series and TV show) in class and the author who was teaching said the comic is what inspired him to write a zombie book as well as the Romero movies and WORLD WAR Z, both mentioned in reverent tones. The author, who resembled a more realistic James Franco, had worked in TV and in book publishing before his writing career had taken off. He described being around editors as "the most exciting thing" about working in publishing.

The Nature of Fun: David Foster Wallace on Why Writers Write by Maria Popova “Fiction becomes a weird way to countenance yourself and to tell the truth instead of being a way to escape yourself or present yourself in a way you figure you will be maximally likable.” On the heels of the highly anticipated new David Foster Wallace biography comes Both Flesh and Not: Essays (public library) — a collection spanning twenty years of Wallace’s nonfiction writing on subjects as wide-ranging as math, Borges, democracy, the U.S. Jim Butcher On Writing Jim Butcher's posts on the art and craft of writing are the best I've read and have been of enormous help to me. I often recommend these posts but haven't found any one place where all the URLs are listed. True, most of them can be found on Jim's Livejournal blog but they appear (as one would expect) in reverse order and there's no index. I likely haven't gathered all the links to all Jim's articles on writing so if you know of one that isn't listed, please mention it in the comment section and provide the URL if you have it. Thanks! Jim Butcher's Posts On Writing These posts are all from Jim Butcher's Livejournal blog

Post your best short fiction on Medium — Medium’s Fiction Writing Contest There are a lot of aspiring novelists out there; there are far fewer published novelists. Writing a novel is hard. It’s much longer than a blog post and takes a lot of time, effort, and concentration. Medium wants to make it easy for you. In honor of National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo), we’re looking for your best works of short fiction—not whole novels but perhaps snippets from your novel-in-progress or a short story.

Poems - How to Get There Go to the end of the path until you get to the gate.Go through the gate and head straight out towards the horizon.Keep going towards the horizon.Sit down and have a rest every now and again,But keep on going, just keep on with it.Keep on going as far as you can.That’s how you get there. When the Heart When the heartIs cut or cracked or broken,Do not clutch it;Let the wound lie open.Let the windFrom the good old sea blow inTo bathe the wound with salt,And let it sting.Let a stray dog lick it,Let a bird lean in the hole and singA simple song like a tiny bell,And let it ring. What's the Use What’s the use of this little hand;What’s the use of this little eye;What’s the use of this little mouthWhen all the world is broken?

Story Lite Productivity Software for writing and editing This is an interactive Story software example file that has been published on the web. How To Write Horror, ghost, vampire, zombie fiction by Maria Z. Horror fiction is one of the popular book genres that evokes feelings of terror and suspense in its readers. Why I Write: George Orwell's Four Motives for Creation by Maria Popova “All writers are vain, selfish, and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives there lies a mystery.” Literary legend Eric Arthur Blair, better known as George Orwell, remains best remembered for authoring the cult-classics Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four, but he was also a formidable, masterful essayist. Among his finest short-form feats is the 1946 essay Why I Write (public library) — a fine addition to other timeless insights on writing, including 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 various invaluable insight from other great writers. I give all this background information because I do not think one can assess a writer’s motives without knowing something of his early development.

art Article of the Month Sympathy without Saintliness c. 2003 by Alicia Rasley A problem even many advanced plotters face is how to make the protagonists sympathetic while still allowing plenty of room for growth and lots of flexibility in action. Advanced plotters realize that a perfect character has nowhere to go, no way to change, but they also learn that showing imperfection early can cause the reader to dislike the character. You might have experienced that problem. In fact, one of the more annoying rejection reasons editors cite is "your protagonist isn't sympathetic enough." Sometimes they'll even add what they find unsympathetic... what they seldom do is give us a good idea of how to reverse the situation.

Point of View “Point of view” or “narrative mode” describes the pronouns used when writing a story. At the most basic level, the points of view can be broken down as follows: Stories written in the third person are probably the most familiar to most of us. Consider this sentence from Melville’s The Confidence Man: His cheek was fair, his chin downy, his hair flaxen, his hat a white fur one, with a long fleecy nap. He had neither trunk, valise, carpet-bag, nor parcel.

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