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September 2014
22
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Most writers were the kids who easily, almost automatically, got A’s in English class. (There are exceptions, but they often also seem to be exceptions to the general writerly habit of putting off writing as long as possible.) At an early age, when grammar school teachers were struggling to inculcate the lesson that effort was the main key to success in school, these future scribblers gave the obvious lie to this assertion. Where others read haltingly, they were plowing two grades ahead in the reading workbooks. These are the kids who turned in a completed YA novel for their fifth-grade project. It isn’t that they never failed, but at a very early age, they didn’t have to fail much; their natural talents kept them at the head of the class.

This teaches a very bad, very false lesson: that success in work mostly depends on natural talent. Unfortunately, when you are a professional writer, you are competing with all the other kids who were at the top of their English classes. Your stuff may not—indeed, probably won’t—be the best anymore.

If you’ve spent most of your life cruising ahead on natural ability, doing what came easily and quickly, every word you write becomes a test of just how much ability you have, every article a referendum on how good a writer you are. As long as you have not written that article, that speech, that novel, it could still be good. Before you take to the keys, you are Proust and Oscar Wilde and George Orwell all rolled up into one delicious package. By the time you’re finished, you’re more like one of those 1940’s pulp hacks who strung hundred-page paragraphs together with semicolons because it was too much effort to figure out where the sentence should end.

 -

Why Writers Are the Worst Procrastinators - Megan McArdle - The Atlantic

The Why Writing Is So Hard field of psychology is very interesting to me.

(via amyelizabeth)

#writing   
September 2014
19

fille-lioncelle asked

To me, what I always notice about your writing style are your descriptions of scents/tastes/sounds/emotions and how at times they're almost synaesthetic but definitely always detailed. As well as your descriptions of food that always make me salivate a little. Your characters are also usually very rational, there are no exaggerated hysterics or anything. I think of your writing style as 'calm and delicate'. Um?

Ooh, thank you so much, darling!  I hope you are enjoying London! :DD

September 2014
18
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Those writers you think are masters of the craft aren’t created that way. They aren’t supernaturally capable ninja writer-bots. When you read the work of a writer operating at the top of her game, you’re not seeing all the years of failed efforts, of work that wasn’t quite right, of work that was well-intentioned or built off of strong ideas but had slick and wobbly legs like a newborn fawn.

You see the author operating at a high level and you wonder: why am I not doing that?

The reality is:

You’re only seeing the island, not the heap of volcanic material that pushed it out of the sea.

September 2014
17

biggrumpybaby asked

the thing i see most in your style is a commitment to extremely strong world building, whether it's a full blown AU or a canon-compliant AU i still feel as though I can completely immerse myself in the dialogue and characterization because the setting is so strong and the world is so THERE.

<3_<3 Thank you so much Molly! That’s… something I really needed to hear today, I think, and didn’t realize that I did.  Thank you.

September 2014
17

Anonymous asked

Your writing style is very, like, detailed and researched, makes it very easy to get wrapped up in the universe you create!

Thank you!  I mean, sometimes more than others, definitely. But I’m glad that they’re easy to get ~into. :)

September 2014
17
plavapticica replied to your post: “[[MOR]womp apparently nothing is noticeable in my writing style i…”:
missed your earlier post! I haven’t read your recent stuff but I remember metaphor and symbolism were pretty big (everything has a meaning which I liked)

Aw! I mean, I do really attempt those, so I’m glad it comes across (sometimes). <3

September 2014
17
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what is the most noticeable thing of my writing style?

accursedasche:

Explain?

September 2014
17
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Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.

 - Ira Glass (via nefffy)
#writing   
September 2014
14
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soundssimpleright:

"You can’t edit a blank page." — Jodi Picoult
Got a quote or phrase you’d like to see me draw? Send it in!

soundssimpleright:

"You can’t edit a blank page." — Jodi Picoult

Got a quote or phrase you’d like to see me draw? Send it in!

#art   #writing   
September 2014
03
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nevver:

The Shape of Ideas

#art   #writing   #do not lose   
August 2014
21
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There are some themes, some subjects, too large for adult fiction; they can only be dealt with adequately in a children’s book.

The reason for that is that in adult literary fiction, stories are there on sufferance. Other things are felt to be more important: technique, style, literary knowingness. Adult writers who deal in straightforward stories find themselves sidelined into a genre such as crime or science fiction, where no one expects literary craftsmanship.

But stories are vital. Stories never fail us because, as Isaac Bashevis Singer says, “events never grow stale.” There’s more wisdom in a story than in volumes of philosophy. And by a story I mean not only Little Red Riding Hood and Cinderella and Jack and the Beanstalk but also the great novels of the nineteenth century, Jane Eyre, Middlemarch, Bleak House and many others: novels where the story is at the center of the writer’s attention, where the plot actually matters. The present-day would-be George Eliots take up their stories as if with a pair of tongs. They’re embarrassed by them. If they could write novels without stories in them, they would. Sometimes they do.

But what characterizes the best of children’s authors is that they’re not embarrassed to tell stories. They know how important stories are, and they know, too, that if you start telling a story you’ve got to carry on till you get to the end. And you can’t provide two ends, either, and invite the reader to choose between them. Or as in a highly praised recent adult novel I’m about to stop reading, three different beginnings. In a book for children you can’t put the plot on hold while you cut artistic capers for the amusement of your sophisticated readers, because, thank God, your readers are not sophisticated. They’ve got more important things in mind than your dazzling skill with wordplay. They want to know what happens next.

 -

Philip Pullman, born October 19, 1946 (via annaverity)

Exceedingly apropos of my last reblog, and also just some Basic Truth.

(via sarahreesbrennan)

#books   #kidlit   #hamline mfac   #writing   #mg lit   #ya lit   
August 2014
07
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humansofnewyork:

“It seems that the more I tried to make my life about the pursuit of art, the more money controlled my life: collecting unemployment insurance, the humiliation of borrowing money from friends and family, tossing and turning at night while trying to figure out how to pay the rent. To survive I had to work hard jobs and afterwards I’d feel too tired and too stressed to paint. It’s very hard to create under those circumstances. Creativity is a delicate process. Often times I wonder if I should have just pursued a career for the first half of my life, obtained some degree of financial security, and then transitioned into art.”

humansofnewyork:

“It seems that the more I tried to make my life about the pursuit of art, the more money controlled my life: collecting unemployment insurance, the humiliation of borrowing money from friends and family, tossing and turning at night while trying to figure out how to pay the rent. To survive I had to work hard jobs and afterwards I’d feel too tired and too stressed to paint. It’s very hard to create under those circumstances. Creativity is a delicate process. Often times I wonder if I should have just pursued a career for the first half of my life, obtained some degree of financial security, and then transitioned into art.”

#art   #also   #writing   #new york city   #economics   
August 2014
01
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Anonymous asked

Don't know if this is too complicated tbh but HOW do you outline a story?

heyspibsy:

FRIEND I COULD TALK ABOUT MY OUTLINING PROCESS FOREVER I’M OBSESSED WITH OUTLINING LET’S GO.

okay, i adapted my outlining manual from someone else’s, to work for me, and it’s obviously not going to work the same for everyone else, you’ll have to change it up for what works best for you and what you need to focus on BUT this is what i do. mostly, it’s about envisioning the story like a road map, and you’re traveling the road to your destination.

this works best for longer stories but i use it on shorter things all the time, too, and it’s just as useful.

HERE WE GO.

Read More

July 2014
23
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When I attended CatalystCon this spring, I received a lot of advice from older female sex writers, many of whom encouraged me to be careful as I started my career. I was just too young to understand the ramifications of my decisions, one woman in her early 50s stressed. I did not want to brand myself with a scarlet letter this early in the game. Her advice, while well intentioned, scared the shit out of me. But then I actually thought about the undercurrent of what she had said. It was a maternally protective gesture marked by fear: others will judge you for writing what you write, and you need to anticipate that.


Well I don’t want to anticipate that. I don’t want to accommodate a culture that will slut-shame me for writing thought-provoking, eloquent, and yes, sexy fiction and nonfiction. If my solid resume of clips and internships with gender and sexuality oriented publishing houses means I will not get a job I am fully qualified for in the future, fuck that.One of the central reasons I write feminist erotica is to change the culture, not to jack it off while comfortably existing within its patriarchal hang ups.

July 2014
13
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If writing novels is like planting a forest, then writing short stories is more like planting a garden. The two processes complement each other, creating a complete landscape that I treasure. The green foliage of the trees casts a pleasant shade over the earth, and the wind rustles the leaves, which are sometimes dyed a brilliant gold. Meanwhile, in the garden, buds appear on the flowers, and colorful petals attract bees and butterflies, reminding us of the subtle transition from one season to the next.

 - Haruki Murakami (via writersrelief)
#writing