Books need secrets, too

“I think books should have secrets, like people do.” —John Updike Love this quote by American novelist John Updike. Authors – take note! We readers do not need every plot point and character insight spelled out for us – a little mystery that allows us to interpret stories or character motivation is greatly appreciated by…

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Writers, stop making excuses …

“A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.” —E. B. White In the always brilliant words of author E.B. White – stop slacking off, and get writing! Not much to add to these perfect words of advice. I am certainly guilty of waiting for…

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Avoid regrets in life – write!

“If I don’t write I feel, well, a kind of remorse, no?” —Jorge Luis Borges I love these wise words by Argentine poet Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986). And if there are any fighting words to pull a writer back from the abyss of endless procrastination and back on the path of productive writing, these seem…

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Writing advice from Virginia Woolf

“So long as you write what you wish to write, that is all that matters; and whether it matters for ages or only for hours, nobody can say.” -Virginia Woolf Who can argue with this brilliant writing advice from author Virginia Woolf? Woolf’s writing has certainly stood the test of time, but I like the…

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Writers: Finish your work!

Enjoyed a column in the latest issue of The Writer, in which television screenwriter and playwright Norman Barasch offered authors some valuable advice: “The most important thing about writing is to make sure – once you’ve started a project – don’t stop in the middle if you can help it. Just get to the end,…

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Writing advice from Jane Smiley

“Writing is only one word at a time.” -Jane Smiley Is there any better advice for a writer? And even better coming from the talented novelist Jane Smiley. As writers know all too well, there are no shortcuts. It’s all about sitting yourself down in a chair and pounding out the words. Some days they’ll…

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Writing advice from Umberto Eco

Finchè un’idea che hai in testa non viene messa sulla pagina non puoi capire se hai un filo logico. Until the idea you’ve had in your head gets placed down on the page, it’s impossible to determine if it has a logical thread to it. -Umberto Eco (1932-2016) The great Italian novelist, Umbert Eco, died last month. Eco…

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Will the juice come?

As long as you can start, you are all right. The juice will come. -Ernest Hemingway I love this quote from the American author Ernest Hemingway, and I find it very useful. I was recently speaking to a friend who is mapping out all of her ideas. She seems excited about her project and endlessly…

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Making room for your writing

This helpful article was in the last issue of Writer’s Digest. Its author is the women’s fiction novelist Amy Sue Nathan, who also hosts the popular Women’s Fiction Writers blog. Nathan offers some helpful insight into how to carving out time and space for your writing, even in the midst of the overwhelming demands of…

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Seven essential elements of a bestselling novel

The ever-helpful Writer’s Digest fuels the imagination of aspiring authors with their handy checklist: Seven essential elements of a bestselling novel. Some – like readability and reasons to care – are obvious. Others, like seeking out controversy are interesting suggestions. The example provided uses as an example Scarlett O’Hara of Gone with the Wind. By any…

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