One of the things that sometimes comes up when talking to new writers is the question, “How do I acquire mentor?” There’s a glazed and desperate look in the eyes of each querier, and sometimes a bit of professional jealousy, because occasionally we see people in positions where we’re not convinced they really should be…
Archive for the ‘Advice for New Writers’ Category
How does a sudden attack that puts a sword in your belly play from the inside? If you’d seen the blade properly would it be in your belly? Didn’t you see it properly a little too late, when it was up to the hilt? Shift that “blade” and we shift the awareness of it.
I feel passionately that some of the information we are getting is increasingly wrong and motivated by selfishness and, yes, to some degree, a form of hyperbolic illogic. We are so hung up on predicting the next big thing, on getting in on the next gold rush when it comes to ways for authors to promote themselves and market their work that we often seem to be active participants in our own destruction.
There comes a time in the life of of every author when the list of Things One Should Do exceeds one’s capacity for time investment. Commissions, anthology invitations, interview requests and business propositions… They all accrue in proportion to one’s professional reputation.
My family has a strange attitude toward my writing, which I think is almost always the case unless the writer comes from a family of professional creators. (By professional, I mean people who actually make a portion of their incomes from a creative endeavor — writing, art, dance, etc.) When I met my cousins in Debrecen, they told me they’d heard I’d become a famous writer, of fantasy like J.R.R. Tolkien. Of course, I’m not at all a famous writer, and what I write is nothing like Tolkien.
by Deborah Walker Ideas for my stories come to me in museums, in galleries, in libraries. Find me upstairs (and it’s always quieter upstairs) in the British Museum trawling the past looking for future inspiration. Old books, paintings, objects are part of our material heritage. Survivors of the ravages of times, sometimes cherished throughout the […]
To talk about this, I need to talk about the scariest thing that ever happened to me. Bear with me.
In 1999, I was driving on the New Jersey Turnpike. The car behind me tapped my bumper, sending me fishtailing across several lanes, and under a trailer truck, which sheared the roof off the car.
Graduation season has come and gone, but we’ve seen lots of great commencement speeches around, from Neil Gaiman’s to Aaron Sorkin’s. They made me mildly nostalgic.
Short stories are a proving ground. They let you get out there, try a bunch of things out, and make your mistakes small so you don’t have to make all of them big. When I hear an unpublished writer talking about the epic fantasy trilogy they’re going to write, my first thought is, “What a shame.”
An outline is a roadmap. It helps you decide the overall shape of the novel. It does not lock you into that structure if you stumble upon something interesting.