As a teenager, I looked on my mother’s files with disdain and, later, with pity. How sad, I thought, to just move papers about and never really do the things you want to do. How tragic, to lock up a life in a box.
If you can’t portray someone you know personally in a positive fashion, you will probably lose this friend and/or be sued for libel.
More writing does not necessarily equal better-quality writing, nor does faster writing lead to faster achievement of your goals.
Rejection is rarely personal—but it still hurts. So what do you do?
A specific and daily moment of self-reflection can revolutionize your writing by offering you a clear picture of your mental state, anxieties, and fears.
To inspire other people to engage in something that you’re concerned about, you have to avoid getting caught in the trap of writing with an agenda.
Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.
Do you have a project that confuses you, or feels dangerous? That’s what you should write says Mark Wisniewski.
For me, the hardest thing about being online is remembering what I think and the “why” that I’m working for. The multiplicity of voices can make you forget your center.
Why you should ensure you have as many stories on submission as possible.
At conferences, I’m often asked by writers if they “have what it takes” to be a successful writer. I usually interpret that question as: “Do I have talent?”
Fiction writer Rowena Macdonald says she finds writing dialogue much easier than constructing a plot.
Today’s guest post is by freelancer and author Marcy McKay. The November 2014 issue of Rolling Stone interviews the master of contemporary fiction, Stephen King. The Q&A covers a myriad of interesting topics for writers: the author’s typical working day, his literary legacy, as well as how alcohol and drugs affected his writing back in the […]
One of the most important goals of any fiction writer is getting the reader to connect on an emotional level with the story’s characters. But how do you accomplish this without being clumsy—without saying, directly, “Joe felt so upset he wanted to die,” which takes you right into the heart of cliché? John Thorton Williams […]
Every month, Glimmer Train releases a bulletin that includes a few brief essays by writers on the writing life. For October, I was happy to find the themes of procrastination and distraction—and how they can be a positive influence in our work lives. Elizabeth Katdetsky discusses how she gives in to the procrastinator in herself, and how […]
One writing and publishing adage I’ve always believed in: “Writing is rewriting.” Fiction writer Amina Gautier’s approach is similar. For her, revising is the best part. Over at the latest Glimmer Train bulletin, she offers tips on unlocking the joy of revision. She says: Revising encourages and liberates the writer to “make mistakes.” It rewards mistakes; each […]
In a thought-provoking post over at Glimmer Train, Josh Weil talks about Chekhov’s rule: If you bring a gun into the story, then it must fire by the end. Weil reverses it to produce a new insight: “If you’re going to fire a gun at the end, you’d better bring it in near the beginning.” He goes on to discuss […]
This past weekend, I attended the World Domination Summit (WDS) in Portland, which attracts 3,000 creative people who are concerned with answering the question: “How do we live a remarkable life in a conventional world?” They are guided by three values: Community Service Adventure Speaking personally, I’m really into the first two, as well as […]
To create a story that feels as if it could leave the page: That’s the dream of many writers. But to pull it off means leaving space for the reader. Celeste Ng, author of the newly released Everything I Never Told You, explains: … you need to leave a few unmapped places so the characters can step beyond […]
Fiction writers: How well do you know your protagonist? While you may have learned the basics of point of view, and can tell the story from your protagonist’s perspective, how does your protagonist see the events and details of the world around him? Bret Anthony Johnston suggests, “Point-of-view is defined by obsession.” He writes in […]