All posts filed under: Writer

Quotes | Bob Thurber on Writing

Bob Thurber (Paperboy: A Dysfunctional Novel; Nothing but Trouble), one of the finest writers in the English language (and a personal acquaintance), has been a literary mentor of mine for over fifteen years now. I recently stumbled across some more sage writing advice from him over on his Goodreads page. “Remember . . . keystrokes are hammer taps. Get words on paper. Don’t worry about connections, character or plot. Work for an hour. Promise yourself an hour. Do nothing else but move your fingers. Make coarse shapes. Follow any emotion that pops up but never impose emotion, never fake it, and don’t make up your mind or your heart ahead of time. Understand you don’t know what you’re doing. That’s why you’re here. Rough it out. Anything goes. You can decide later what any piece of text looks like, what it might mean. Don’t stop. Don’t question. Don’t quit. Don’t stop to read what you wrote. Move your fingers. Your mind will have no other option but to keep up. Remember that writer’s block is merely …

Quote | Clive Barker on Characters

This week I’ve found a poignant quote from another writer I’ve looked up to since I started writing in the mid-90s, someone’s whose imagination and vision I greatly admire. Like Anne Rice from a few weeks back, Clive Barker is another fellow Libra. This quote comes from an old interview I stumbled across that was conducted in 1991 by W.C. Stroby for Writer’s Digest. WD: When the story ideas begin to get very bizarre or complex, what can you do to make sure you don’t lose that sort of emotional under-pinning? BARKER: The first thing is you’ve got to believe in the characters. You’ve got to be thinking with the characters and you’ve got to be within their skins. If you’re within their skins then their response to any situation, however bizarre it is, is going to be based upon your sense of them. Any writer’s belief in his or her characters – or the situations in which the characters find themselves – is central to his ability to convince the audience. As a writer, you have …

Writing Advice from Neil Gaiman

This has made the rounds to various web places over the years, most notably in an article at The Guardian. 8 Rules for Writers by Neil Gaiman 1 Write. 2 Put one word after another. Find the right word, put it down. 3 Finish what you’re writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it. 4 Put it aside. Read it pretending you’ve never read it before. Show it to friends whose opinion you respect and who like the kind of thing that this is. 5 Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong. 6 Fix it. Remember that, sooner or later, before it ever reaches perfection, you will have to let it go and move on and start to write the next thing. Perfection is like chasing the horizon. Keep moving. 7 Laugh at your own jokes. 8 The main rule of writing is that if you …

Quote: Anne Rice on Being Aware of the Reader

A double-shot of Mrs. Rice today. Not long after posting an older quote from her earlier today regarding being a writer, I stumbled across this quote from her on her Facebook page today. “For me the reader is all important. I’m really a popular writer; I believe in being for the people — that’s what popular means. I want an eight-year-old to be able to understand my book completely. If I use a four syllable word, I want that eight-year-old to be able to understand it in context. So I’m always aware of the reader. You know, somebody gave me a wonderful piece of advise 35 years ago, and it was: make things easy for the reader; don’t make it difficult. I’m always trying to make it easy for the reader to get what I’m trying to say. I’m always inviting the reader into my world.” — Anne Rice It fits pretty much in line with how I approach my writing as well. I write with an audience in mind. As I always say, writing is …

Quote: Anne Rice on Being a Writer

Anne Rice is one of those authors whose fiction work I don’t read much of, but yet I read a great deal of interviews, advice pieces and watch videos of her talking. She’s always so very sharp, deep-thinking and astute. Like Clive Barker, she’s a fellow Libra too. Anyway, this bit of writerly advice is so basic yet so on-point, that it’s undeniably a sage piece of wisdom. “If you want to be a writer, write. Write and write and write. If you stop, start again. Save everything that you write. If you feel blocked, write through it until you feel your creative juices flowing again. Write. Writing is what makes a writer, nothing more and nothing less.” — Anne Rice I definitely keep everything, going all the way back to 1989’s “Apocalyptic City” that I wrote for a creative writing class. And I have a Write-or-Flight initiative I’ve been trying to comply with. I mean, I certainly write as well as I can EVERY day. Unfortunately that’s not fiction writing everyday. Need to change …

Quotes | Stephen King – On Writing

In honor of Stephen “Uncle Stevie” King’s birthday this week (Sept 21st) I am going to forego our regularly scheduled programming in favor of five poignant quotes from Mr. King’s book On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft that I bookmarked with lots of Post-it Notes so many years ago. By the way, this isn’t the first time Uncle Stevie’s been quoted here recently.   “Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.”   “Sometimes you have to go on when you don’t feel like it, and sometimes you’re doing good work when it feels like all you’re managing is to shovel shit from a sitting position.”   “It starts with this: put your desk in the corner, and every time you sit down there to write, remind yourself why it isn’t in the middle of the room. Life isn’t a support system for art. It’s the other way around.”   “Put your vocabulary on the top shelf of your toolbox, and don’t make any conscious effort to improve it. (You’ll be doing that …

Guest Blog: Jennifer Macaire’s Fabulous Life as a Writer

by Jennifer Macaire Taken from her own eponymous blog. Remind me why I started writing? Oh yeah, I was stuck on the pampa in Argentina for 4 months, with 2 yr old twins and lots of free time. Susannah took care of the housework and cooking, so all I had to do was watch the twins splash about in the pool while my husband was away days at a time to look for horses. I had a couple notebooks, some pens, and an idea for a book. So I sat on the porch and wrote my first novel longhand on yellow paper. It never got published – I never rewrote it on the computer. By then we were travelling again, the twins were growing and I had no time to spare. Then my daughter was born, and once again I was sitting at home watching a newborn sleep. We had just gotten a new computer so I started a short story about Alexander the Great. It turned into a seven book series, was published in …

SHE CAME FROM BEYOND! Author Nadine Darling

It’s a trend. Author friends and their books. Lady author friends at that. Folks, meet the lovely Nadine Darling, author, wife, mother and pop culture authority. Her forthcoming debut novel, She Came From Beyond! (from Overlook Press), is due out October 2015, in hardcover. See the spectacular cover below? Yeah, it’s pretty awesome.  However, prior to that far off date is a signing event she’s attending two weeks from today (in two Saturdays on May 30th). She’ll be signing galley versions of the aforementioned novel at BookCon from 2:00 – 3:00 PM, Location: Booth # 3037 at the Javits Center in Manhattan, NY.  Check her out if you’re there.  Google her name to find her short fiction published across the web. And remember, the proper release of She Came From Beyond! is out in October (I’ll update details here as I get them). Peace. -BLR

Guest Blog – Fifty Shades of Error: Chuck Palahniuk’s BEAUTIFUL YOU

Originally posted on Selected Essays and Squibs by Joseph Suglia:
Fifty Shades of Error: chuckpalahniuk’s BEAUTIFUL YOU by Dr. Joseph Suglia 1.) “Even as Penny was attacked, the judge merely stared” [1].  Never begin a novel with a sentence written in the passive voice.  This sentence, in particular, sounds as if it were transliterated from Estonian or spoken by Grimace.  It contains a clumsy adverb (“merely”).  It is fatiguing to read. 2.) “The court reporter continued to dutifully keyboard, transcribing Penny’s words” [1].  Careful novelists avoid verbs such as “to continue,” “to start,” “to try,” “to remain,” and “to begin.”  Such verbs weaken sentences. 3.) “It would’ve been different if there had been other women in the courtroom, but there were none” [1].  “None” is a singular indefinite pronoun; therefore, the second independent clause should read: “there was none.” 4.) “The public sphere was devoid of women” [1].  If I wrote this sentence, I would die inside. 5.) “Otherwise, only Penny moved” [1].  Otherwise, what?  chuckpalahniuk means: “Only Penny moved.” 6.) “Their professional faces slipped…