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Mary Robinette Kowal, that font of wisdom and Regency fashion tips, has a nice column on bad writing advice. There’s a bunch of aphorisms about writing that started as good, pithy advice in part of someone’s lecture. Then they got pulled out of context and then misapplied. Mary breaks down the standards that every beginning […]

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It’s Monday, and I like to start the week with a healthy dose of motivation. This list is a mashup of writing advice from a number of sources, arranged in no particular order except that I believe the last one to be the most important. Bracketed initials at the end of each entry refer to the author […]

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Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all. If you have time between the presents and the eggnog and family celebrations, consider spending a few moments with The Atlantic’s series on writers, writing and the creative process, “By Heart.” I spotlighted the By Heart interview with William Gibson a few weeks ago, but there are dozens of other […]

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Here’s another great piece of writing advice, this time from prolific and award-winning author Seanan McGuire. She gives us 50, yes, fifty thoughts on writing, some on the act of writing and some on being a writer. It’s a useful list. Let’s just say she had me at “You’re going to suck when you start.” 🙂

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Best writing advice I’ve read all week: How to avoid abstractitis: “Write physically. Write with physical objects… No matter how abstract your topic, how intangible, your first step is to find things you can drop on your foot.” “What is a concrete noun?” a student might ask. “It’s something you can drop on your foot,” I always […]

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Today’s useful writing link: David Mamet’s Master Class Memo to the Writers of The Unit. Originally written in 2005, it remains as concise a discussion of dramatic writing as I’ve seen. Funny too. For those of you interested in writing, I highly recommend that you read the whole thing (it’s not long); here are a few […]

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Today I want to spotlight a collection of writing advice. It comes via OWW, the Online Writing Workshop for Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror. OWW is a fee-based workshop but this advice is available to all. These short essays discuss topics on writing in general, how to get your work read (if you’re into workshops like OWW, […]

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Writing is simple, right? Writing is considered a basic skill in our society and as such, people often look down on it as, well, a basic skill. Sadly, thinking that you can write an effective book/story/memoir/etc. because you are literate is like saying that because you can run down the block, you have what it […]

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The excellent Elizabeth Bear has a good post on how to get past “rave rejections.” You know the ones, where they tell you how great the story is but sorry, can’t use it. Her advice? Focus on Voice and Narrative. While these suggestions are hardly new she does frame them in concise, useful language that cuts through […]

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My goal for today was to write an inspiring piece about the democratic process and the powerful privilege U.S. citizens have to, in the face of most of human history, be governed by the people, for the people. No, it’s not perfect (“more perfect union” remember?:). And I’m so ready for this election to be over. […]

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