Posts Tagged: writing advice

The House of Fiction Has Many Rooms: Talking with Sigrid Nunez

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Sigrid Nunez discusses her seventh novel, The Friend, her fondness for writing about animals, and the ways the literary world has changed.

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The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #116: David Lazar

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“Becoming an essayist has always seemed to me as a bit of a pratfall.”

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Storytelling Is a Search: An Interview with Sequoia Nagamatsu

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Sequoia Nagamatsu discusses his debut collection Where We Go When All We Were Is Gone, grief as a character, and the intersection of ancient myth and the modern world.

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The Real Lives of Working Writers

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Bestselling and award-winning writers Danielle Trussoni and Walter Kirn host the Writerly podcast, a weekly discussion of all things pertaining to the real lives of working writers. From getting and firing an agent, to book publicity, to contracts, to working with an editor, to writing your first draft—Writerly will cover it all. And, follow Danielle […]

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The Rumpus Interview with Alice Mattison

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Alice Mattison discusses her newest book, The Kite and the String, a meditation on her lifelong journey through the craft of writing, the joys of teaching writing, and the importance of community.

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The Daily Struggle

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Lord knows the world has changed since I wrote this talk, but when the world falls to pieces around us, especially when the world falls to pieces, writers will still sit down to write. As Beckett tells us, even when we have “no power to express” and “no desire to express,” we still have “the obligation […]

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That Painful Money Subject

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Os&1s Reads’s The Art of Commerce talks with Merritt Tierce, author of Love Me Back, about the relationship between writers and money: Publishing is a machine that does what it does. You’re grateful, of course, to have the connection to it, because part of what it does is present your book to thousands and thousands of readers. That’s […]

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The Storming Bohemian Punks the Muse #7: The Art of the Accidental Selfie

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One recent hot weekday afternoon, I told my partner—the guy who created the “Punk the Muse” logo and draws its cartoons—that I wanted to get out and about. We’d been sitting at home too long. Moon’s Handbook for Northern California revealed an abandoned mine, with a ghost town and an old Western cemetery, a half […]

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Publish a Book in Twelve Easy Steps

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Comedian Sara Benincasa is no stranger to being a working writer—in fact, she just wrote a book about it. Now, at Medium, she shares her secrets on getting published. Accessible and funny, Benincasa offers tips like “NO MONEY UPFRONT BECAUSE ANY AGENT WHO DOES THAT IS A CROOK,” details about advances and royalties, and the always-important […]

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Write Every Day

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It’s poet John James’s turn for a conversation with the Kenyon Review. Author of the chapbook Chthonic, James dissects the process of writing a single poem, “History (n.),” the prescient unconscious, history as diagnosis, writing while parenting, and his connection to the earth. A piece of writing advice: “If you write every day, you get […]

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Telling, Not Showing

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As I processed a dominant Euro-American writing pedagogy from the perspective of an aspiring fiction writer and an immigrant critic of color, I couldn’t stop wondering: are we, in 21st-century America, overvaluing a sight-based approach to storytelling? And could this be another case of cultural particularity masquerading itself as universal taste? Namrata Poddar tries to […]

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The Storming Bohemian Punks the Muse #6: What’s Love Got to Do with It?

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My sister wrote and published a memoir about our childhood. It’s a good book, and I’m proud of her. It has won awards, and put her in demand on a national speaking circuit. Am I jealous of my little sister? Yep. She’s an engineer by training; I was the artist in the family. By rights, […]

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Structure as Lightning Rod

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Writing for The Millions, M.C. Mah turns over all the cards in the deck on structure in storytelling. He gathers words of wisdom—and many metaphors—from luminaries like John McPhee, Borges, Vonnegut, and George Saunders, and then links the contemporary “horoscopic style” of structuring to an “anxiety about a better way to tell a story…” possibly […]

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Rethink Your First Chapter

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For Catapult, Anuradha Roy talks about the process of receiving editorial feedback and how we’re inclined to react poorly to that feedback. Roy takes us from the phone call from her brand-new publisher, suggesting she re-think her first chapter, to her old-wisdom, pottery influenced conclusion: I now see fiction—my own and that of others—as work […]

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The Storming Bohemian Punks the Muse #3: Clocking The Muse

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It’s time to write a column, paint a picture, compose a song, draft an outline: whatever. Creative expression doesn’t happen by itself, we have to work at it. You know where this is going, don’t you?

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Outside the Lit Community, Looking In

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Most writers, especially those who are just starting out, feel lost and lonely in a literary world that seems to have pre-constructed cliques that are so hard to infiltrate. Anne Korkeakivi, an ex-pat and ever-traveling author with literary connections spread around the world, tells us that we are all peripheral to the literary community, and […]

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You Have to Get Up

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Corporate escapee-turned-author Xu Xi shared a few choice fiction writing tips with the Jakarta Post. She suggests utilizing the formulas in spreadsheets to calculate timelines and characters’ ages, and recharging your writing energy by getting up from your desk and “being responsible for yourself”—which means cleaning up the house and doing other chores, simple tasks that […]

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Admit It! You’re A Writer

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For The Millions, Marcia DeSanctis shares how she learned to become a “second-career writer” after resisting her literary ambitions while working as a television news producer: A stifled artist was scratching through all of my work identities, and though my jobs were fascinating I never really had the mettle to soldier on. I turned down more […]

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Writing Badly

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Bad writing is almost always a love poem addressed by the self to the self. The person who will admire it first and last and most is the writer herself. Over at the Guardian, writer Toby Litt explores what makes bad writing so terrible. Not only is bad writing boring and “written defensively,” but “bad […]

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