Anyone who has ever tried building a fictional world from scratch has wished they had a road map, a compass, a starting point. This video is exactly that. TedEd videos pair experts with professional animators to create simple, entertaining videos to help you through difficult topics. In this installment, Kate Messner discusses what exactly makes worlds like JK Rowling’s so compelling and provides tips for how to create your own fictional world—one readers will fall into and never want to leave.
Kate Messner is an award-winning author whose books for kids have been New York Times Notable, Junior Library Guild, IndieBound, and Bank Street College of Education Best Books selections. The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z. was the winner of the 2010 E.B. White Read Aloud Award for Older Readers. Kate also spent fifteen years teaching middle school and earned National Board Certification in 2006. This video was animated by Avi Ofer. ...
It’s a lean time for writers, as arts funding shrinks on all sides, journalists are laid off in droves, broadcasting budgets are slashed, and book publishing remains in a state of seemingly unceasing upheaval.
It often seems as if the age of living by the pen may be brought to a close by an increasingly rapacious approach to human affairs, interested only in hard numbers and bottom lines. Australian writers Frank Moorhouse and Ben Eltham have recently proposed several schemes to give writers a living wage to support their work.
And so it’s timely to reflect on some of the strange, desperate and occasionally dangerous ways in which writers have historically lived, if not always by their pens, then at least on their wits. Here’s twelve ways in which classics of western literature were written.
When my first novel was accepted by HarperCollins — the HarperCollins, formerly Harper & Row, publisher of so many authors whom I adored — I thought that all my days of rejection were over. When my book began to be sold to foreign publishers via Harper’s Foreign Rights division, earning out the HarperCollins Advance within 6 months of acceptance, i.e., earning out its Advance before the book was published, I thought I was on the road to full-time writing. When the pre-publication and publication reviews for the first novel started pouring in — all good, and some absolutely stellar — I thought that all my years of hard work and ceaseless rejection had finally earned me a somewhat easier writing life.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
The subsequent rejections started almost immediately.
With my editor. ...
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.
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. ...
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...
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. ...