Writers on writing

Writing suggestions, strategies, and struggles ...
Niamh Sage
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Writers on writing

Postby Niamh Sage » Wed May 05, 2010 12:57 pm

Whether for the sense of community, fannish enthusiasm, or out of professional curiosity, I think hearing about how others live the writing life is of interest to those of us who write. In the past, we've mostly gained access to the world of authors through interviews or autobiographical or 'how-to' books, but now we can also read our favourite authors' blogs, follow them on Twitter, like them on Facebook, and presumably do a myriad other strange things to them on other social networking platforms. :P

So ... whose take on the writing life do you find most interesting and/or inspiring? Tell us about it here! And please include links where applicable. :D

Niamh Sage
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Re: Writers on writing

Postby Niamh Sage » Wed May 05, 2010 1:22 pm

My all-time favourite book on writing by a writer is Stephen King's On Writing. I've lost count of the times I've read it - it's simply brilliant. The first part of the book is about his early life, and how he came to be a writer, his struggles and the years of hard slog, and finally, his breakthrough success with Carrie. The second part of the book is about how he 'does' writing, and what he recommends. I like what he has to say here - it's solid, pragmatic advice, and it's clearly worked for him. It may not be for everyone, of course, but there are worse places to start when looking for a 'how-to'. I take every opportunity to inflict it on other writers though, because I think it's brilliant. :P

Stephen King has a website (http://www.stephenking.com/index.html) but no real blog as far as I can tell. There are occasional messages from him here.

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Azriel
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Re: Writers on writing

Postby Azriel » Thu May 06, 2010 2:33 pm

My favorite bits come from Neil Gaiman, who I find a constant inspiration.
I follow his blog (on and off... right now I'm 'off' because life is very busy) and he has said some really great things there.
http://journal.neilgaiman.com/

"Write. Finish things. Write more. Send the things you write to places that might publish them. When they come back, send them to other places. Repeat. And read everything. "


"One word after another.
That's the only way that novels get written and, short of elves coming in the night and turning your jumbled notes into Chapter Nine, it's the only way to do it.
So keep on keeping on. Write another word and then another."



"If you want to be a writer, write. You may have to get a day job to keep body and soul together (I cheated, and got a writing job, or lots of them, to feed me and pay the rent). If you aren't going to be a writer, then go and be something else. It's not a god-given calling. There's nothing holy or magic about it. It's a craft that mostly involves a lot of work, most of it spent sitting making stuff up and writing it down, and trying to make what you have made up and written down somehow better. "


"It does help, to be a writer, to have the sort of crazed ego that doesn't allow for failure. The best reaction to a rejection slip is a sort of wild-eyed madness, an evil grin, and sitting yourself in front of the keyboard muttering "Okay, you bastards. Try rejecting this!" and then writing something so unbelievably brilliant that all other writers will disembowel themselves with their pens upon reading it, because there's nothing left to write. Because the rejection slips will arrive. And, if the books are published, then you can pretty much guarantee that bad reviews will be as well. And you'll need to learn how to shrug and keep going. Or you stop, and get a real job. "



also, Diana Wynne Jones has some great, simple tips about writing.
http://www.leemac.freeserve.co.uk/hints.htm
"The world of books is the most remarkable creation of man. Nothing else that he builds ever lasts. Monuments fall, nations perish, civilizations grow old and die out, and after an era of darkness new races build others. But in the world of books are volumes that have seen this happen again and again and yet live on, still young, still as fresh as the day they were written, still telling men's hearts of the hearts of men centuries dead."

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Keith
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Re: Writers on writing

Postby Keith » Thu May 06, 2010 10:07 pm

An acquaintance of mine online named Limyaael who is a semi-professional writer has written a large number of essays/'rants' about fantasy writing (much of the advice in which is relevant to all writing), which have been quite widely read and linked to. Links:

The majority of the rants as originally posted on Livejournal.
Limyaael's newer journal, with more recent rants.

Various indexed links to the archived rants (to aid searching for a specific subject) can also be found here.

Niamh Sage
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Re: Writers on writing

Postby Niamh Sage » Thu May 13, 2010 1:34 pm

Az: I love Neil Gaiman's journal too! And his approach to writing. :D

Keith: Thanks for those links, that's a seriously impressive list of rantage. I've dipped into a couple of them and they look very promising.

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Candy Kane
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Re: Writers on writing

Postby Candy Kane » Tue Jul 13, 2010 7:02 pm

Hey guys, want to have a bit of fun? Try this: http://iwl.me/

Apparently, I write like James Joyce. My friend Nerine writes like Stephen King. Who do you write like? Well, there's one way to find out... :D
To err is but human, to forgive divine, and to design is AWESOME! :8

Niamh Sage
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Re: Writers on writing

Postby Niamh Sage » Tue Jul 13, 2010 7:33 pm

PG Wodehouse, apparently. I'm pretty happy with that, although I fail to see the resemblance in our writing styles. :P

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shireling
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Re: Writers on writing

Postby shireling » Tue Jul 13, 2010 9:47 pm

I don't know. My journals are like Stephen King, one of my stories was like James Joyce and another was like H.P. Lovecraft.
Last edited by shireling on Tue Jul 13, 2010 9:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Candy Kane
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Re: Writers on writing

Postby Candy Kane » Tue Jul 13, 2010 9:50 pm

Shireling, do you post your stories online?
To err is but human, to forgive divine, and to design is AWESOME! :8

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shireling
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Re: Writers on writing

Postby shireling » Tue Jul 13, 2010 9:56 pm

Well, I did my first posts in the now-defunct ElijahFanForums. Then I reposted a few of them in Ringbearer.org.
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Candy Kane
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Re: Writers on writing

Postby Candy Kane » Tue Jul 13, 2010 10:35 pm

It'd be cool if you posted them here -- or at my place. I'd love to see your stuff. I enjoyed Niamh's. Highly recommended.
To err is but human, to forgive divine, and to design is AWESOME! :8

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shireling
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Re: Writers on writing

Postby shireling » Wed Jul 14, 2010 12:27 am

:oops: Oh, that's so sweet! Thank you. :oops:

Well, let's see how my appointment goes on Thursday and then decide...that is so kind of you, Candy.
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