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Writing Advice

  • Writing Advice

    Let’s Talk About Writing Well

    I wish people would stop trying to use metaphoric language and sound “writerly”. It’s wrecking many otherwise good books. I might not have read Patrick Barkham’s beautifully delivered history on badgers, BADGERLAND, had he continued with the clumsy attempt at sounding like a writer that he…

  • Writing Advice

    Learn to Write Flash Fiction

      The novelist and short story writer, Jayne Anne Phillips, stated that flash fiction taught her how to write.   Phillips began as a poet but discovered through flash fiction what she describes as “the poem inside the paragraph.” In these “one-page fictions”, as she called…

  • Writing Advice

    How I Deal With Bad Reviews

          If you are a working writer, you are going to have to deal with bad reviews. Luckily, the best reviewers don’t write 100% hateful reviews of books so there is usually something nice said about your work among all the criticism. Right off, I…

  • Writing Advice

    To Plot Or Not

      I am often asked if when beginning a novel it is best to work with an outline. It sounds so logical to say that, yes, of course it is only sensible to have an idea where the story is going before deciding how best…

  • Writing Advice

    The Writing Must Astonish

        Last night the poet, Hilda Sheehan, presented Kenneth Koch’s advice in The Art of Poetry to a group of writers wishing to “release” a poem to the public. A series of questions, typed out 1-10, made for a good discussion of what is worthy…

  • Writing Advice

    Successful Writing: The Most Important Thing

        Book deals come and go. A working writer has to write through all the good and bad times. We need to develop useful habits and traits if we are going to be one of the people who “make it” in the long run,…

  • Writing Advice

    Why You Shouldn’t Write A Bestseller

    One of London’s renowned literary agents, Jonny Geller, gave a TED Talk this month in Oxford called What Makes A Bestseller? I know this because we’re Facebook friends and he posted the link. I bet the talk was excellent. Jonny is an engaging, articulate, experienced…

  • Writing Advice

    Traits of Successful Writers – The First Few

        Writing is an apprenticeship. I decided I wanted to write many years before I became good at it. Unless you are a freak of nature you will be the same. You will practice writing in the same way that pianist practices scales, or…

  • Writing Advice

    Get Fearless…Burn Some Trees

    I was in Florida where my daughter is enrolled in Ringling College Of Art + Design and studying computer animation. It is fun to be a parent and listen to the teachers here explain the program, which seeks to prepare people for the animation industry.   I was…