L.A. Kennedy

Beyond the story

Because getting started is sometimes the hardest part of any project, here are 25 ways to start a story that writers can use to prompt their next tale. Robert Lee Brewer Because getting started is sometimes the hardest part of any project, here are 25 ways to start a story that writers can use to …

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Via The Guardian Elmore Leonard, Diana Athill, Margaret Atwood, Roddy Doyle, Helen Dunmore, Geoff Dyer, Anne Enright, Richard Ford, Jonathan Franzen, Esther Freud, Neil Gaiman, David Hare, PD James, AL Kennedy Elmore Leonard: Using adverbs is a mortal sin 1 Never open a book with weather. If it’s only to create atmosphere, and not a …

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Some practical, straightforward advice for the non-writers who want to get better. Dimitri Halkidis Not everyone can write. This is something I learned gradually, over a period of decades. And while the timid and anxious part of me struggles with admitting this, I am — objectively — a good writer. But I wasn’t born with …

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by Diana Urban When you’re revising any piece of writing — a novel, a news article, a blog post, marketing copy, etc. — there are certain words you should delete to make the text stronger and cut your word count. When I’m writing a novel, one of my last drafts focuses on cutting these useless words. Removing …

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by Tiffany Yates Martin Writers are often warned off of passive “be” verbs that suck the life out of their prose—but the “be” trap of passivity can also suck the life out of your characters. Regardless of how richly developed your characters are, it’s not enough for a protagonist to simply be interesting, multifaceted, layered. …

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By: Lara Perkins Want to know how to pitch a picture book? We’ve got you covered. Break into this competitive and growing market with the help of writing tips and inside observations from a leading literary agent. This article has been adapted and updated from a previous article in Writer’s Digest magazine. Pitching a picture book …

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Highlights from 12 months of interviews with writers about their craft and the authors they love. Joe Fassler This year, I talked to nearly 50 different writers for the By Heart series, a weekly column about beloved quotes and cherished lines. Each author shared the life-changing, values-shaping passages that have helped sustain creative practice throughout …

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Dustin Wax Every semester I agonize over how to help my students learn to write more meaningful, interesting papers. Not just in my class, but altogether. Writing well is a key skill in today’s information-heavy society, and above all else my job is to help prepare students to become active participants in the society we …

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If writing makes you procrastinate like no other task, you’re not alone. By Art Markman For many people, the easiest thing to procrastinate about is working on a big report, or really anything that requires a substantial amount of writing. With each new assignment, you tell yourself, “This one will be different. I’ll get started …

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by Jane Friedman It’s probably the single most despised document you might be asked to prepare: the synopsis. The synopsis is sometimes required because an agent or publisher wants to see, from beginning to end, what happens in your story. Thus, the synopsis must convey a book’s entire narrative arc. It shows what happens and who changes, and it …

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