On Writing

The Shape of Stories

I use the Vonnegut clip which ends this piece all the time in writing classes. It’s fascinating in that we absolutely canmap the arc, but it’s the details where it all gets interesting.

Plus, they use a Čiurlionis image in the header, which is just cool!

Source: The Six Main Stories, As Identified by a Computer – The Atlantic

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ZEN PENCILS » 207. STEPHEN KING: The desk

officeGavin at Zen Pencils does some really amazing work. I’ve shared his stuff before and I’m sure I will again. This time it’s about writing and its importance in the life of the writer.

Source: ZEN PENCILS » 207. STEPHEN KING: The desk

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Police Sketches of 5 Literary Characters Based on Their Book Descriptions | Mental Floss

Here’s what your favorite book characters would look like in real life. Something to think about when writing physical descriptions.

Source: Police Sketches of 5 Literary Characters Based on Their Book Descriptions | Mental Floss

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ZEN PENCILS » 193. JACK KIRBY: Hero worship

Always a big fan of Zen Pencils, and this time he’s taken on the words of Jack “King” Kirby  (there’s a great YouTube documentary about him which starts here).

It’s a great place to get inspiration on a Sunday morning.

Source: ZEN PENCILS » 193. JACK KIRBY: Hero worship

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BBC – Culture – The language rules we know – but don’t know we know

Mark Forsyth tasted internet fame this week when a passage from a book he wrote went viral. He explains more language secrets that native speakers know without knowing.

Source: BBC – Culture – The language rules we know – but don’t know we know

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Must remember this…

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And here’s Dan Harmon’s much longer way of saying the same thing.

Categories: Art, On Writing, Personal | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Periodic Table of Storytelling

I love learning about writing. I love how there’s “theory” for creative processes. Makes me laugh when it all gets winnowed down to a base formula. That said, the TV Trope website is great for looking up things which have been done to death as well as learning new phrases for old ideas.

Here, a designer named James Harris uses the TV Tropes site and ideas to give us the basic building blocks with his Periodic Table of Storytelling. If you need inspiration for a new piece of fiction, all you have to do is combine elements like a chemist and add your own spin to things. It’s like alchemy when it works. 

Of course, when it doesn’t, no harm no foul, right? You learned something in the process. And hopefully, you had fun doing it. 

 

Categories: On Writing | Tags: , | 3 Comments

JACK KIRBY: Hero worship

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Gavin over at Zen Pencils takes great, inspirational quotes and then draws fabulous cartoons to illustrate them. While I’ve been a long time fan, this is the first time I’m sharing one. I think this, a quote by the great Jack Kirby is important for a number of reasons. But don’t take my word for it. Read it. Enjoy it.

Categories: Art, Comic Books, On Writing, Personal | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Review: Writing the Novel from Plot to Print to Pixel: Expanded and Updated!

Writing the Novel from Plot to Print to Pixel: Expanded and Updated!Writing the Novel from Plot to Print to Pixel: Expanded and Updated! by Lawrence Block

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve said it before I’ll say it again… Reading Lawrence Block’s writing books is like having a best friend who’s a successful writer taking you out for a coffee and giving you the low down about what it takes to have a career. In this book, which is an update of an earlier work called “Writing the Novel from Plot to Print,” he leads the neophyte writer through the whole process of what it takes to write a book. Continue reading

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PAY THE WRITER—Pirates, Used Bookstores & Why Writers Need to Stand Up for What’s Right | Kristen Lamb’s Blog

Thoughts for a Sunday MorningSource: PAY THE WRITER—Pirates, Used Bookstores & Why Writers Need to Stand Up for What’s Right | Kristen Lamb’s Blog

I’ve long thought about the fact that an author only gets paid for a sale of a “new” book. And while I love used book stores (and hey, I’m a book collector, remember?) this post by Kristen Lamb is incredibly concrete on the idea of getting paid for one’s work.

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