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Recommended Books
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    Story: Substance, Structure, Style and The Principles of Screenwriting
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    Tales from the Script: 50 Hollywood Screenwriters Share Their Stories
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    To Show and to Tell: The Craft of Literary Nonfiction
    by Phillip Lopate
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    Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art
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    What If? Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers
    by Anne Bernays, Pamela Painter
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    The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles
    by Steven Pressfield
  • Why We Write: 20 Acclaimed Authors on How and Why They Do What They Do
    Why We Write: 20 Acclaimed Authors on How and Why They Do What They Do
    Plume
  • Women Writers at Work: The Paris Review Interviews
    Women Writers at Work: The Paris Review Interviews
    Modern Library
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    The Writer Got Screwed (but didn't have to): Guide to the Legal and Business Practices of Writing for the Entertainment Industry
    by Brooke A. Wharton
  • Ambrose Bierce's Write It Right: The Celebrated Cynic's Language Peeves Deciphered, Appraised, and Annotated for 21st-Century Readers
    Ambrose Bierce's Write It Right: The Celebrated Cynic's Language Peeves Deciphered, Appraised, and Annotated for 21st-Century Readers
    by Ambrose Bierce, Jan Freeman
  • The Writer's Chapbook: A Compendium of Fact, Opinion, Wit, and Advice from the Twentieth Century's Preeminent Writers (Modern Library)
    The Writer's Chapbook: A Compendium of Fact, Opinion, Wit, and Advice from the Twentieth Century's Preeminent Writers (Modern Library)
    Modern Library
  • The Writer on Her Work, Volume 1
    The Writer on Her Work, Volume 1
    by Janet Sternberg
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    The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers, 3rd Edition
    by Christopher Vogler
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    The Writer's Legal Companion: The Complete Handbook For The Working Writer, Third Edition
    by Brad Bunnin, Peter Beren
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    A Writer's Reality
    by Mario Vargas Llosa
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    A Writer's Time: Making the Time to Write
    by Kenneth Atchity
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    Writing About Your Life: A Journey into the Past
    by William Zinsser
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    Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within (Paperback)
    by Natalie Goldberg (Author)
  • Writing in General and the Short Story in Particular
    Writing in General and the Short Story in Particular
    by L. Rust Hills
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    Writing for Your Life
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  • The Writing Life
    The Writing Life
    by Annie Dillard
  • The Writing Life: Writers On How They Think And Work
    The Writing Life: Writers On How They Think And Work
    by Marie Arana
  • The Writing of Fiction
    The Writing of Fiction
    by Edith Wharton
  • Writing the Novel: From Plot to Print
    Writing the Novel: From Plot to Print
    by Lawrence Block
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    Writing Past Dark: Envy, Fear, Distraction and Other Dilemmas in the Writer's Life
    by Bonnie Friedman
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    You're a Genius All the Time: Belief and Technique for Modern Prose
    by Regina Weinreich, Jack Kerouac
  • Zen in the Art of Writing: Releasing the Creative Genius Within You
    Zen in the Art of Writing: Releasing the Creative Genius Within You
    by Ray Bradbury

QUOTE OF THE DAY

Wednesday
Sep142016

Never Rewrite in Process

Write freely and as rapidly as possible and throw the whole thing on paper. Never correct or rewrite until the whole thing is down. Rewrite in process is usually found to be an excuse for not going on. It also interferes with flow and rhythm which can only come from a kind of unconscious association with the material.

JOHN STEINBECK

Tuesday
Sep132016

You Can't Be A Writer If You're Not A Reader

I have advice for people who want to write. I don't care whether they're 5 or 500. There are three things that are important: First, if you want to write, you need to keep an honest, unpublishable journal that nobody reads, nobody but you. Where you just put down what you think about life, what you think about things, what you think is fair and what you think is unfair. And second, you need to read. You can't be a writer if you're not a reader. It's the great writers who teach us how to write. The third thing is to write. Just write a little bit every day. Even if it's for only half an hour — write, write, write.

MADELEINE L’ENGLE

Monday
Sep122016

Fiction Is About Everything Human 

Fiction is about everything human and we are made out of dust, and if you scorn getting yourself dusty, then you shouldn't try to write fiction. It's not a grand enough job for you.

FLANNERY O'CONNOR

Sunday
Sep112016

You Aren't Writing Solely for the Public

You get really clear that you aren’t writing solely for the public. You’re clear that you have to find the more immediate rewards of writing. You might as well be in love with whatever you’re working on whether or not it’s a success. Writing is never wasted time.

CHUCK PALAHNIUK

Saturday
Sep102016

Stop Aspiring and Start Writing

Advice? I don’t have advice. Stop aspiring and start writing. If you’re writing, you’re a writer. Write like you’re a goddamn death row inmate and the governor is out of the country and there’s no chance for a pardon. Write like you’re clinging to the edge of a cliff, white knuckles, on your last breath, and you’ve got just one last thing to say, like you’re a bird flying over us and you can see everything, and please, for God’s sake, tell us something that will save us from ourselves. Take a deep breath and tell us your deepest, darkest secret, so we can wipe our brow and know that we’re not alone. Write like you have a message from the king. Or don’t. Who knows, maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who doesn’t have to.

ALAN WATTS

Friday
Sep092016

The Real Mystery Is You

If the stories come, you get them written, you're on the right track. Eventually everyone learns his or her own best way. The real mystery to crack is you.

BERNARD MALAMUD

Thursday
Sep082016

Don’t Sit Down in the Middle of the Woods

Don’t sit down in the middle of the woods. If you’re lost in the plot or blocked, retrace your steps to where you went wrong. Then take the other road. And/or change the person. Change the tense. Change the opening page.

MARGARET ATWOOD

Wednesday
Sep072016

Dreaming is the Day Job of Novelists

Dreaming is the day job of novelists, but sharing our dreams is a still more important task for us. We cannot be novelists without this sense of sharing something.

HARUKI MURAKAMI

Tuesday
Sep062016

Write the Kind of Story You Would Like to Read

Write the kind of story you would like to read. People will give you all sorts of advice about writing, but if you are not writing something you like, no one else will like it either.

MEG CABOT

Monday
Sep052016

Look Back Upstream

Look back upstream. If you have come to your planned ending and it doesn’t seem to be working, run your eye up the page and the page before that. You may see that your best ending is somewhere in there, that you were finished before you thought you were.

JOHN McPHEE

Sunday
Sep042016

Writing Is A Lonely Thing

We rely too much on the people we share our lives with. We hold them responsible for things they are not even aware of. We start blaming them. If you write, and you are really alone (writing is a lonely thing), you learn to be alone without suffering. When you read, you also learn to do this. When you write, you deal with things.

ALEJANDRO ZAMBRA

Saturday
Sep032016

Side Projects

It’s the side projects that really take off. By side projects I mean the stuff that you thought was just messing around. Stuff that’s just play. That’s actually good stuff. That’s when the magic happens.

AUSTIN KLEON

Friday
Sep022016

Your Writing Room Should Be Private

Like your bedroom, your writing room should be private, a place where you go to dream. Your schedule — in at about the same time every day, out when your thousand words are on paper or disk — exists in order to habituate yourself, to make yourself ready to dream just as you make yourself ready to sleep by going to bed at roughly the same time each night and following the same ritual as you go.

STEPHEN KING

Thursday
Sep012016

The Writer’s Technique in Thirteen Theses

1. Anyone intending to embark on a major work should be lenient with himself and, having completed a stint, deny himself nothing that will not prejudice the next.

2. Talk about what you have written, by all means, but do not read from it while the work is in progress. Every gratification procured in this way will slacken your tempo. If this regime is followed, the growing desire to communicate will become in the end a motor for completion.

3. In your working conditions avoid everyday mediocrity. Semi-relaxation, to a background of insipid sounds, is degrading. On the other hand, accompaniment by an etude or a cacophony of voices can become as significant for work as the perceptible silence of the night. If the latter sharpens the inner ear, the former acts as a touchstone for a diction ample enough to bury even the most wayward sounds.

4. Avoid haphazard writing materials. A pedantic adherence to certain papers, pens, inks is beneficial. No luxury, but an abundance of these utensils is indispensable.

5. Let no thought pass incognito, and keep your notebook as strictly as the authorities keep their register of aliens.

6. Keep your pen aloof from inspiration, which it will then attract with magnetic power. The more circumspectly you delay writing down an idea, the more maturely developed it will be on surrendering itself. Speech conquers thought, but writing commands it.

7. Never stop writing because you have run out of ideas. Literary honor requires that one break off only at an appointed moment (a mealtime, a meeting) or at the end of the work.

8. Fill the lacunae of inspiration by tidily copying out what is already written. Intuition will awaken in the process.

9. Nulla dies sine linea [“No day without a line”] — but there may well be weeks.

10. Consider no work perfect over which you have not once sat from evening to broad daylight.

11. Do not write the conclusion of a work in your familiar study. You would not find the necessary courage there.

12. Stages of composition: idea — style — writing. The value of the fair copy is that in producing it you confine attention to calligraphy. The idea kills inspiration, style fetters the idea, writing pays off style.

13. The work is the death mask of its conception.

WALTER BENJAMIN

Wednesday
Aug312016

Don't Always Be Appraising Yourself

Don't always be appraising yourself, wondering if you are better or worse than other writers. "I will not Reason and Compare," said Blake; "my business is to Create." Besides, since you are like no other being ever created since the beginning of Time, you are incomparable.

BRENDA UELAND

Tuesday
Aug302016

You Have to Listen to Everyone

From my childhood, I remember talking to people, and the stories they told me were more interesting than what’s in books. People tell me extraordinary things, and I realize that there is nothing in the world about which we know anything for sure. Each person screams out his or her truth. You have to listen to everyone. As an artist, you have to listen to both the executioner and the victim.

SVETLANA ALEXIEVICH

Monday
Aug292016

Going Too Far

Nothing’s going too far. Whenever I get to the point where I think things are going too far, I know I have to go there.

CHUCK PALAHNIUK

Sunday
Aug282016

How to Write Coincidence

One way to use coincidence and make it work is to have nothing turn on it. Coincidences feel illegitimate when they solve problems. If the story doesn’t benefit from the coincidence, it’s simply pretty and suggestive. Another way to make a coincidence work is to begin a story with it. Make it the reason there’s a story to tell in the first place. A third is to establish that the community in which your story htakes place is one in which coincidence is part of the landscape. People in my town, New Haven, Connecticut, revel in coincidence, and we claim it happens here all the time: you know everyone in more than one way. Maybe this is true in all cities of a certain size—small enough that the barista will turn out to be your office mate’s daughter; large enough that you’ll be surprised.

ALICE MATTISON

Saturday
Aug272016

Good Writing Never Soothes or Comforts

Good writing never soothes or comforts. It is no prescription, neither is it diversionary, although it can and should enchant while it explodes in the reader's face. Whenever the writer writes, it's always three or four or five o'clock in the morning in his head. Those horrid hours are the writer's days and nights when he is writing.

JOY WILLIAMS

Friday
Aug262016

Language is Need, Thought, Feeling, and Perception Itself

Language is not the lowborn, gawky servant of thought and feeling; it is need, thought, feeling, and perception itself. The shape of sentences, the song in its syllables, the rhythm of its movement, is the movement of the imagination.

WILLIAM H. GASS

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