L.A. Kennedy

Beyond the story

You can doom your debut from the start with these 7 (tongue-in-cheek) strategies for flailing, and failing—or, you can do just the opposite. James Scott Bell There are a lot of ways not to do something. Like the new boat owner a few years ago who was filling up his pleasure craft with fuel for …

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By Katie Heaney It is rare, in this day and age, to see a good tweet on the internet, but I did love this one, from New York Times writer Erin Griffith, which includes a graph she designed to depict the dramatic ups and downs of a writer’s self-esteem, which are entirely dependent upon the …

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By Madison Malone Kircher What makes reading a good mystery so satisfying? A writer’s hard work. A complex story à la Gone Girl doesn’t just pop out of a writer’s brain fully formed on a random Tuesday. Giving readers what they crave is about structure and pacing and, ultimately, originality. In 2019, it’s also about …

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We came across the following article by Stephen King a little while ago on a number of different websites. We believe it was originally published in a 1986 edition of The Writer magazine and republished in the 1988 edition of The Writer’s Handbook. We reproduce it here for educational purposes only.  I. The First Introduction …

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By Emily Temple You know the feeling: you’re staring at the black computer screen, blinking occasionally—staring and blinking, staring and blinking, until the cursor starts to blink back and you have to go to bed for a while. Maybe you’re staring and blinking at an actual, physical blank page, in which case you should definitely go to bed …

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The Guardian Get an accountant, abstain from sex and similes, cut, rewrite, then cut and rewrite again – if all else fails, pray. Inspired by Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing, we asked authors for their personal dos and don’ts. Elmore Leonard: Using adverbs is a mortal sin 1 Never open a book with weather. …

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Via The Guardian Made a New Year resolution to start writing that novel? Take some writing tips from Leo Tolstoy, Muriel Spark, John Steinbeck and other famous authors. Over the past year, Helen Gordon and I have been putting together Being a Writer, a collection of musings, tips and essays from some of our favourite …

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By Mark Nichol Even considering how many ways the apostrophe can be employed, erroneous use of punctuation mark is endemic. Here are brief discussions of ten categories of apostrophe abuse (including one writers and editors must let stand, even though it may pain them to do so). 1. With PluralsWriting the plural form of a …

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By Daniel Scocco Just ask a friend what is the role of prepositions within sentences, or what are the four moods of verbs, and I am sure that you will see a puzzled look on his face. Understanding the basic grammar rules is essential for communicating efficiently, but most of us have forgotten those concepts …

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Joe Fassler on Seven of the Most Common Writing Tips I once heard John Irving give a lecture on his process at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, an in-depth account of the way his novels come to be. He kicked it off by writing a single sentence on the chalkboard—the last line of Last Night in …

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