Stuff Writers Like

Fiction

Stuff that may or may not have happened.

24

May'17

Three Surprising Sources of Writing Inspiration

Inspiration strikes in strange and unexpected ways. But when it doesn’t strike, there are lots of tricks to juice it along. Here are three that might surprise you.

1. Listen

StoryCorps creates an archive of oral interviews for future generations. It began in 2003 with a StoryBooth set up in Grand Central Terminal for family members to record their interviews with their elders; the results were archived for the rest of us to hear. These days, StoryCorps encourages the interviews to happen at family dinner tables after Thanksgiving, or anytime, anywhere, thanks to its free smartphone app. ...

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03

May'17

How to Spot a Reputable Lit Mag

After all the time and energy you spend crafting your stories, you want to know the literary magazine you’re submitting to will be a good home for your work. With so many disreputable publications out there, how do you differentiate between high-quality magazines you should be thrilled to get in and poor publications you should run from? Here are a few signs you’ll want to watch for when scouting possible literary magazines to submit to.

Bad Sign: They ask contributors to pay.

Run! You should never be asked to pay to have your work published. Keep in mind...

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15

Mar'17

5 Types of Novelists

Novelists come in all types. Their drafting styles are as diverse as their work—and their penmanship. If you’re gathering a crowd of these writerly folks (good luck with that, lots of introverts in the crowd), here are five types you’re likely to see.

1. The Perpetual Nano-er

This type of novelist is forever typing at break-finger speeds. Fifty thousand words in a month? Forget that. This novelist thinks she can break a hundred thousand. ...

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08

Mar'17

Learning from Screenwriters

When it comes to structuring our stories, sometimes we fall into a rut. We break out the same pattern each time we begin plotting, and we begin to lose perspective.

Learning and borrowing from other disciplines is an amazing way to expand our creativity and keep our writing fresh. What happens when novelists borrow screenwriters' techniques? Shaelin Bishop discusses this unique application in her YouTube video: 15 Beat Plot Structure. ...

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01

Mar'17

Tips for Drafting

James Thurber said, “Don’t get it right. Get it written.” Click to Tweet That piece of drafting knowledge has been …

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22

Feb'17

Surviving Your Own Torture

Have you ever had to inflict pain and suffering onto a character who you like . . . a lot?

Have you ever tipped a bucket full of "life hell" over your character and whilst you were doing it felt like you were betraying an old friend?

This week I have struggled with making one of my characters suffer. As you know I am close to finishing the second draft of my romance novel, and everything was fine until I had to write the twist at the end. I wanted to shake things up a bit for my reader and not let them think the romance was going to run smoothly. Plus, and more importantly, this particular character needed to understand the consequences of his past actions.

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