Posts tagged Writers
Posts tagged Writers
Hey Crime Writers - don’t just have your detectives say bland things like “the fingerprints matched” - use correct terminology and make your writing precise. Here’s a cool little fingerprint chart to get you started.
In this beginner-friendly four-week intensive workshop, author and editor Steve Weddle reveals the key skills for crafting short fiction to a publishable standard.
A kind follower reminded me of that '7 Cardinal Rules of Life' post going around, and they asked me if I would ever do my take on them (that being, a writerly take). Well, seeing as how I’ve been running a Writer Positivity series for over 100 posts, I thought it would be a fun chance to collect some of my favorite advice!
PS: The above are not meant to be taken as ‘literal’ rules for writing, but rather advice for leading the lifestyle of a writer~ ♥︎
Looking for more writerly content? Make sure to follow maxkirin.tumblr.com for your daily dose of writer positivity, advice, and prompts!
We’ve done a few author weeks on social media, but this may be our best yet! In honor of Dorothy Parker’s 121st birthday on Thursday, we’re declaring it #dorothyparkerweek across our social media platforms. Be sure to follow our Twitter and instagram for info, updates and giveways. And please join us in this celebration of one of our most beloved writers.
"I hate writing, I love having written." — For her 120th birthday, last year, Mental Floss compiled some of the best, most biting Parker quotes. Read up, then join the Penguin Classics celebration!
Tomorrow’s stories start in all sorts of places: on the drive to work, or at the movie theater. One constant source of inspiration? The classrooms that tackle NaNoWriMo through our Young Writers Program. YWP educator Daniel Stone shares about the magical experience of writing a novel…
No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.
We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.
(Dead Poets Society, 1989)
The Weary Writer’s Guide To Better Blogging
Keeping your author blog current and engaging has many benefits: It improves your site rank in search engines, helps solidify your reputation as a professional writer, strengthens your author platform, and attracts new fans.
But sometimes it’s hard to find the time, focus, and energy to keep your author website’s blog updated regularly with new posts. Here are some tips to help you stay motivated, energized, and on track!
Charles Bukowski's spectacular letter of gratitude to his first patron, the man who had helped him quit his soul-sucking day job at the post office to become a full-time writer.
As I’ve been going through the intern slush, I’ve noticed that many times, when I recommend a rejection, it’s largely because of voice. Voice, to me, is one of the most important elements in a novel, because if it’s wrong on the first page, it’s usually wrong throughout the whole manuscript.
Being that I read a lot of YA submissions, this post is largely centered on voice-related problems I frequently see with YA submissions. But many of these issues can also apply to NA by looking at the points with a slightly older cast in mind.
YA Voice Red Flags:
- Lack of contractions. This can actually be a problem in any category, but it’s especially important in YA manuscripts—a voice without any contractions always sounds stiff. This is one of the easiest (and often one of the first) voice-related red flags I pick out. Why? Because we speak and think with contractions, so when they’re absent, the writing becomes stilted and loses a great deal of flow, making it extraordinarily easy to pick it out. “I am not feeling well so I can not go,” for example, doesn’t sound nearly as fluid as, “I’m not feeling well so I can’t go.” Agreed? Good.
- Outdated slang. If you’re writing YA, you need to be current with the language—no exceptions. For examples, teenagers today don’t really say “talk to the hand” or “phat” or “what’s the 411” anymore. (Note: those weren’t taken from actual submissions, I’m just giving outdated examples). Outdated slang, to me, is an enormous red flag and tells me the writer isn’t reading enough YA.
- Forced (current) slang. This is an equally problematic, but harder to spot problem. Sometimes I see submissions that use current slang, but the waythey use it feels…off. This is a little harder to describe, but the easiest way to ferret them out of your manuscript is to have critique partners and/or beta readers who are up to date with the current slang read your manuscript.
- Corny curse substitutions. This is a biggie. While not all teenagers curse, many of them do—and when they don’t, they don’t often use corny substitutions. “Frickin’” for example, could work as a substitution for a particular four-letter word, but “french fries” probably won’t.
Note: UNLESS your character makes a point of being corny, or it fits with your voice. I won’t say this never works (because I’m sure there’s a book out there that can make it happen), but to be honest, I’ve yet to see it work successfully with exception to “D’Arvit” in Artemis Fowl, which mostly worked because it wasn’t corny—it was a made up gnomish word.
- Teenager stereotypes. This is huge. When I see teenager stereotypes blended into the voice or the characters, it almost always puts me off. Teenagers are not a sum of their stereotypes, and relying on them in your writing, quite frankly, is lazy. You can do better–and teenagers deserve better.
- Listen to teenagers talk. A lot. Don’t have a teenager in your life? That’s fine—watch YA-centered TV shows and movies. They tend to feature teenagers who are effortlessly up to date with current slang, references, etc. Or go to your local mall and do a little (subtle) eavesdropping. Yes, really. It’s research.
- Read YA. By and large, the YA that’s published today (especially if it’s relatively recent) have great examples of successful YA voices. Read them. Learn from them. Write your own. (This step by the way? Not optional if you’re writing YA).
- Get critique partners. This is so ridiculously important—make sure you have beta readers and critique partners look at your work. I personally recommend having several rounds of betas and CPs, so you can see if the changes you made in the first round, for example, were as effective as you hoped.
Would you add anything to either list? Unmentioned problems? Solutions?
thought this was dope
Something interesting for your Tuesday morning.
The first in a series of four installments from the Feminist Press, here are the essentials for getting your grounding on what feminism is for different writers, theorists, and activists; and why. All books are linked to their publisher’s purchase page, not Amazon. Most are published by…