Frederick Barthelme talks about his new novel, There Must Be Some Mistake, life after teaching, and why food from the Olive Garden is “execrable in the best possible way.”...more
Posts Tagged: writing
In this excerpt from her new book How Not to Write, Lisa Carver explains why it’s good to get rejected....more
Brian Turner discusses his new memoir, My Life as a Foreign Country, the Iraq War, poetry and prose, and his family’s long history of serving in the military....more
Rainbow Rowell talks about her new novel, Landline, the writing advice she refuses to follow, and young adult fiction....more
The Rumpus talks to Sean Michaels about his new book, Us Conductors, challenging a reader’s empathy, and a true, strange musical instrument: the theremin....more
Julie Schumacher discusses going extinct, iPads and iPhones, epistolary novels, and why the number of MFA programs in the U.S. is a non-issue....more
The Rumpus talks to David Bezmozgis about Israel, making fact into fiction, politics in novels, and his new book, The Betrayers....more
Lev Grossman discusses the challenges of writing a series, why his 20s were a lost decade, and his relationship with his readers....more
Writers often overuse a few unique words, creating a linguistic fingerprint. Vocabulary words are also exchanged between social groups. Some people contribute new words, while others adopt them. The process is not entirely random, though:
Diana Boxer, a professor at the University of Florida who specializes in sociolinguistics, says that when we find ourselves in a situation where someone uses language differently than we do, or words we’re unfamiliar with, we usually respond in one of two ways.
But what if your entire book is based on another one? What if a certain piece of information (in the cases of these books, a writer or a specific novel) is foundational to your text? How, then, should you proceed? Should you explain the referenced work so that those unfamiliar with it can enjoy your book?
How much time should be spent on a single work of art? Or inversely, how will the amount of time spent on a work ultimately shape what that work will become and what it will mean to the creator? What it will mean to us?
Writing may be hard work, but it isn’t the kind that pays the bills. Tillie Olsen’s seminal Silences wonders just what kind of work writing really is, and who has the privilege to do it:
Though access to education has improved for women and for members of the working class (categories that intersect) the lessons of “Silences” still resonate.
“WRITER: THE GAME is a not-for-profit writing lifestyle simulator created by Matthew Burnside, the goal of which is to be a productive writer without succumbing to soul-crushing rejection or the wicked diversions of the internet”
Yes, that’s exactly it: an online game that allows you to procrastinate by being a procrastinating writer–or, in other words, an autofictional role game....more
More than 5 percent of the messages a woman receives online will be abusive or derogatory in nature, on average. Piers Morgan, whom researchers rank as the No. 1 receiver of hate tweets per day, gets 8.4 percent negative comments — putting him not that far ahead of the average female journalist when it comes to fielding vitriol....more
Alexandra Wuest, writing at HTMLGIANT, looks at the distinction between procrastination and the useful distraction that is a necessary part of the creative act:
Somewhere between the initial conception of an idea and the completion of the project exists a murky abyss of abstraction in which the horizon line is hidden–or may not even exist.
Writing and revising can be challenging under the best of circumstances, but imaging being unable to see the words on the page. At The Airship Daily, Tammy Ruggles writes about her life as a visually impaired writer:
Before the computer age, the visually impaired could dictate their words to be set down in print or use a stylus to write in braille and have it transcribed, but today’s accessible technology makes writing so easy that you may not realize I used a screen reader, speech recognition software and a magnification program to write this
Memoirist (and former editor-at-large of McSweeney’s) Sean Wilsey talks to The Atlantic about his essay collection, More Curious, and why humor writing resonates:
I think there’s something dishonest about writing that isn’t funny. I can’t engage with a piece of work without an element of humor to it.
Author Dani Shapiro talks about her latest book, Still Writing, MFA vs. NYC vs. life in bucolic CT, and the lure of Internet....more
Sari Botton sits down with humorist Samantha Irby to talk sex, family conflicts, and the creative freedom of being an orphan....more
Author Debra Dean discusses the thin line between fiction and autobiography and how she became a writer after a career onstage....more
VIDA is launching a new roundtable discussion series on issues in writing by women on June 2nd at Housing Works Bookstore in Manhattan. The event is the first of a series that will take place every fall and winter/spring. This time, they conversation centers on how women write about other women, featuring a panel including Jill Lepore, Rebecca Mead, Salamishah Tillet, and Ruth Franklin....more
There was no getting around the fact that a writer had to know who he was in relation to guns. He had to pick them up or not pick them up, but if he was going to not pick them up, he had to all the way not pick them up....more
I worked the same way with alcohol and drugs, and my whiskey elves, my beasts, never disappointed. I mean, they didn’t always write the prettiest prose — cocaine isn’t known to instill poetry — but they usually unearthed interesting images and haunting motifs.
Fans of the hit television show “The Office” will surely know that former “Office” star BJ Novak has come out with a collection of stories entitled One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories. Find out on Mashable why Novak thinks social media may unleash a new generation of prolific writers:
“[Social media] makes everyone aware of the minutia of conversation in literary form,” Novak told Mashable.
Praise the writer’s notebook, and praise the evolution of the writer’s notebook. Over at the New Yorker, Casey Cep writes about archiving the daily details digitally in photographs, rather than on paper:
Photography engenders a new kind of ekphrasis, especially when the writer herself is the photographer.