L.A. Kennedy

Beyond the story

Death to clichés. Less is more. Writing is painful–here, the greats tell us how to do it better. By Belle Beth Cooper I’ve been reading some advice from successful writers lately and exploring what their routines are like to see what I can learn. Here are six of the most common pieces of advice I …

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By Andrew Solomon The following is adapted from a speech the author gave at the Whiting Writers’ Awards on March 5th. When I had just finished my schooling and was looking for a job, a friend put me in touch with an absurdly well-connected British biographer who, she assured me, would help me find the …

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We all need to be reminded of the simple things sometimes. Jeremiah S Blanchard Writing is a tough job. It’s an art that takes far more practice than anyone considers — especially the beginning writer. You know it’s tough because you’ve been typing and scribbling away for a while now, and you haven’t caught any traction. You …

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By Batya It’s a Choice Not every writer does it every day. Not even every writer you love or aspire to be like. It isn’t a badge that proves something about you, your identity, or your commitment. Just as there are good reasons to write daily, there are equally good reasons not to. Your Writing …

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Most of the time, we want to balance our scenes using dialogue, action and narrative to engage readers at an emotional level and keep them hooked. Here’s how to do that. Gloria Kempton Most of the time, we want to balance our scenes using three elements of fiction: dialogue, action and narrative. This is one …

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“You are born alone. You die alone. The value of the space in between is trust and love.” By Maria Popova “Nourish yourself with grand and austere ideas of beauty that feed the soul… Seek solitude,” young Delacroix counseled himself in 1824. Keats saw solitude as a sublime conduit to truth and beauty. Elizabeth Bishop …

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Jeff Somers Stuck trying to find a way to begin your next story? Try gleaning inspiration from these 10 famous novels that break the usual rules of writing in their first lines. According to literary science(1), completing a novel lands somewhere between climbing Mount Everest and extinguishing the sun in terms of difficulty. Note the …

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Frustration is often the most important emotion for fictional characters. Their reaction to failure drives the plot. Using examples and exercises, learn ways to create frustrated characters that will draw your reader into a realistic setting. Nancy Kress Using emotion to create strong, emotional characters and move a plot is critical for any writer in …

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You simply cannot write a good novel without knowing your characters inside and out. Here are the top 10 questions you need to be able to answer about each of your characters. Brenda Janowitz You simply cannot write a good novel without knowing your characters inside and out. Here are the top 10 questions you …

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Author Mark Stevens shares his experience of rewriting the first book in his Allison Coil novel series after realizing he was recommending readers start with books later in the series. Mark Stevens This is a story about re-writing a best-seller. Mine. Best-seller is an overstatement. I mean local best-seller. Antler Dust was first published in …

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