Tag: writing

Writers on Writing: Top 5 Craft Books by Famous Authors

5. Why I Write by George Orwell


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George Orwell outlines what he believes to be the four major motives for writing in Why I Write. They are sheer egoism, aesthetic enthusiasm, historical impulse, and political purpose. Orwell exemplifies all these traits in his own writing, and it is fascinating to see how he balances his passion for political reform with his artistic ambition.

“[T]he more one is conscious of one’s political bias, the more chance one has of acting politically without sacrificing one’s aesthetic and intellectual integrity.”

4. Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury


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Ray Bradbury is one of the most inventive writers in recent history. His imaginative tales such as Fahrenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles are renowned for their extravagant and poignant sci-fi scenarios. In Zen of Writing, Bradbury gives us a sneak peek into his whimsical thought process.

“You grow ravenous. You run fevers. You know exhilarations. You can’t sleep at night, because your beast-creature ideas want out and turn you in your bed. It is a grand way to live.”


3. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott


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The title comes from a short anecdote Lamott shares about her ten-year-old brother who was tasked to write a report on birds. He had three months to write it, but he waited until the last day to complete it. Distraught and overwhelmed by the enormity of his task, Lamott’s father gave him the advice to take the project “bird by bird.” Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life is Anne Lamott’s attempt to understand what those words mean in relation to the process of writing.

“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”



2. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

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On Writing is part memoir, part master class. King recounts his childhood up to his early career where he struggled immensely as a writer. Interwoven throughout the book are invaluable pieces of advice that show how one’s personal biography is linked to their experience as a writer.

“Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy.”


1. Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke


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In 1903, a young man sent a few of his poems to Rainer Maria Rilke to have them critiqued. What followed was a several-year-long correspondence in which Rilke expounded upon the merits of artistic integrity and the anxieties that every young writer must face in regard to criticism, self-doubt, sincerity, and much more.

“If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it; blame yourself, tell yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches; for to the creator there is no poverty and no poor indifferent place.”
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Writers Confess Phrases They Overuse

John Boyne, legendary author of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, tweeted today asking other writers if they’ve wrestled with phrases they overuse, and if so, what they are:


Are there writers who find themselves using the same lame phrases over and over & having to cut them? I'm terrible for "he hesitated for a moment, then looked away" & I've realised that my characters spend so much time shrugging that it's like their shoulders are on springs *crying laughing emoji*


If you’ve done any volume of writing, you can probably relate. Beyond a signature style, authors sometimes have words they use more often, or in this case, concepts and sentence pieces. A surprising number of them have to do with actions the characters are taking. The tweet got an enormous number of responses, causing the topic to trend on twitter. The whole thing gives the impression of characters doing things without the authors’ permission.



And I mean… they probably shouldn’t. But whether they’re blinking might not always be relevant. And she’s not the only one whose characters have gotten a little unruly.



Why won’t these characters hold still? Don’t they know what medium they’re in?



It isn’t always character wrangling, though. Sometimes the words won’t work. Or sometimes there are just too many of them.



Paraphrasing yourself is a lovely new take on the self drag. Though the original tweet’s tone was of amused annoyance, in some cases it devolved into actual advice, as though THAT’s going to change anything.



I mean, sure, you’re probably right, but sometimes a person’s gotta shrug. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Only when the moment’s right, I guess.



Featured image via ZDNet 

4 Upcoming Sequels and Where to Start

There are a lot of exciting sequels coming up, and if you’ve left preparation for the last minute, don’t panic: here are four forthcoming books and how you can catch before they come out!




1. When She Reigns – Jodi Meadows

When She Reigns
Image via Amazon


Where to start: Before She Ignites and its sequel As She Ascends

A lush fantasy world and slow burn plot that’ll keep you thinking until the final book on September 10th, pick up this book if you want an amazing story that’ll make you feel things. Plus you’ll love the complexity of the characters and their relationships.



2. Wayward Son – Rainbow Rowell

Wayward Son
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Where to start: Carry On

This series is a great take on wizard school. We start in the last year. Simon Snow’s got a lot of power, but he’s not good at using it. Also he’s pretty sure his roommate is a secret vampire. And something is eating magic in great, horrible swathes. Also, LGBTQAA+.


3. Supernova – Marissa Meyer

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Where to start: Renegades and its sequel Archenemies

This is a post-Utopian urban fantasy about villainy and revenge. Superpowers, syndicates, and spy craft make this different from other entries into the genre, and you’ll find the characters awfully charming or charmingly awful. Sides are set in stone, and one person’s interests might contradict.



4. Children of Virtue and Vengeance  – Tomi Adeyemi

Children of Virtue and Vengeance
Image via Amazon


Where to start: Children of Blood and Bone

Magic and it’s users were killed off by ruthless invaders, but now there’s one chance to bring it back. To do so will require crossing territory filled with beasts and magic, side by side with an enemy, but the greatest struggle may be controlling the magic that’s left.



Featured image via Hope Walks Blog

Sarah Yerkes Makes Her Literary Debut at the Age of 101

It’s never too late to start writing. Sure, there always seems to be a lot of pressure on younger authors to go out into the world and make a name for themselves, but Sarah Yerkes is living proof that there is no rush. She started writing when she was in her nineties, and now at the age of 101 she has just published her first book of poems through Passager Books titled Praise for Days of Blue and Flame.


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The collection reads like a message to future generations who will have to deal with both environmental issues and lasting traumas that previous generations have left behind. As someone who saw America evolve from the pre-nuclear age to the digital revolution, Yerkes’s message is not one to ignore. She’s a living embodiment of our history, and she wants to encourage her readers to consider the implications that the past has on the present.


image via the washington post


“I really feel like the good fairies were standing over my cradle, giving me the oomph to create,” Yerkes told The Washington Post. “I was just writing for me. I didn’t think of it being in the public domain or that anyone would be interested.”



The publisher, Passager Books, is solely dedicated to publishing authors who are over the age of fifty, and are keen on giving older writers like Yerkes the opportunity to share their work. As younger writers look towards their own futures, they can take solace in authors like Sarah Yerkes who will continue to write for as long as possible.



Featured Image Via: The Washington Post

Finest Twitter Flash Fiction to Lighten Up Your Feed

From puppy pics to political news, Twitter is a wonderful place. It’s also home of a wave of flash fiction writers. Here are a few to follow to add some fiction to your feed, even when you don’t have time for short stories.


1. T. R. Darling


Image via Twitter


The absolute best Twitter flash fiction has to offer. Fantasy, mystery, and magical realism combined and intertwined in full stories under two-hundred-eighty words, with a philosophical bend that’ll make you contemplate the combination of genres.

Soon to be a book even.



2. Mythology Bot


Image via Twitter


This little bot may not know much, but it certainly has bizarre and whimsical grasp of mythological elements. At the risk of feeling like you’ve thrown a bunch of fantasy books in a blender, follow this bot for some strangeness on your feed.


3.The Ghost of M.


Image via Twitter


Ominous and dare I say emo, this twitter provides story snippets of only a few lines. If you like horror or even just vague unease, follow for these tiny ghost stories.



4. Ritter Coldriss 


Image via Twitter


For moody magical realism, look no further. Brief character sketches build strange and unlikely worlds, sci-fi flare, and elegant prose that are sure to have you excited for these stories on your feed.


5. King Talib


Image via Twitter

Here, moody landscapes combine with strange stories, told one line at a time in a threaded feed. Moody and atmospheric, these stories will leave you questioning their reality and even your own.




Featured image via iStock