A Writer's Notebook
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A Writer's Notebook
“a writer … is someone who pays attention to the world.” - Susan Sontag
Curated by CM Elias
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Tricks of the Trade 2: Red Herrings

Tricks of the Trade 2: Red Herrings | A Writer's Notebook | Scoop.it
Although the term red herring is usually associated with murder mysteries, most stories contain an element of misdirection to keep the reader guessing at the outcome. When it’s obvious where it’s headed, even if the route contains interesting obstacles and encounters, you miss out on that feeling of discovery when you realise the answer isn’t A, as you thought, but B (which seemed impossible but now you can see of course it was B, it was always B, sneaky, sneaky B).

In order to create the delight a reader feels when their view of the world (even when it’s a made up world) is spun around 180 degrees and they see things how they truly are you have to first convince them of the way things truly aren’t.

So you lie to them.

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Fiction University: A Capital Idea! Knowing What to Capitalize

Fiction University: A Capital Idea! Knowing What to Capitalize | A Writer's Notebook | Scoop.it
Capitalization might seem like a no-brainer, but if you happen to write science fiction or fantasy (and possibly historical), odds are you've found yourself wondering if something should be capitalized or not. All those made up names feel like they ought to be capitalized, but then you end up with a bit of a mess.
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The Write Conversation : 4 Secrets Writers Won’t Tell You About Themselves

The Write Conversation : 4 Secrets Writers Won’t Tell You About Themselves | A Writer's Notebook | Scoop.it
Writers have a reputation for being a little odd. Kind friends call us “eccentric.” Unkind friends . . . well . . .  we won’t dwell on them. When writers get together, however, we often find that our unique quirks and habits aren’t as unique as we thought. We discover that some of our quirks are simply shared characteristics of gifted word painters.
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25 Truths Learned While Writing a First Novel

25 Truths Learned While Writing a First Novel | A Writer's Notebook | Scoop.it
There’s so much to learn while writing, publishing a novel.
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2 Easy Ways to Measure the Impact of Your Social Media Use

2 Easy Ways to Measure the Impact of Your Social Media Use | A Writer's Notebook | Scoop.it
Learn how to easily study the impact of your social media use on your marketing and promotion efforts.
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Haunting Illustrations for Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, Introduced by the Courageous Journalist Who Broke the Edward Snowden Story

Haunting Illustrations for Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, Introduced by the Courageous Journalist Who Broke the Edward Snowden Story | A Writer's Notebook | Scoop.it

"It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen."

Few things in creative culture are more enchanting than an artist’s interpretation of a beloved book.

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The 12 Question Fiction Writing Conflict Test

The 12 Question Fiction Writing Conflict Test | A Writer's Notebook | Scoop.it
As I wrote in 17 Ways To Make your Novel More Memorable, you need to structure your book as a roller-coaster ride. It should be a physical journey that forces your reader to vicariously experience...
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What Makes Your Protagonist Interesting?

What makes your protagonist interesting? Sparkling blue eyes? Rippling muscles? Brains? Money? Clothes?

Let's reword that. What makes a real flesh-and-blood person interesting? All of the things I mentioned above could be part of what draws your attention in the first place, but they aren't what holds your attention.

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Bits of Oscar Wilde, hiding in plain sight at the Free Library

Bits of Oscar Wilde, hiding in plain sight at the Free Library | A Writer's Notebook | Scoop.it
Three previously unknown Oscar Wilde items have surfaced in the Free Library of Philadelphia's rare-book collection and are being greeted by scholars and aficionados as perhaps one of the most important Wilde discoveries in decades.
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How to Write a Book in 4 Steps & Why Deadlines are Important | WritersDigest.com

How to Write a Book in 4 Steps & Why Deadlines are Important | WritersDigest.com | A Writer's Notebook | Scoop.it
How to Write a Book: 4 Simple Steps to Getting Started
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National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) Founder Chris Baty on Writing, Writers, Doing & Dreaming

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) Founder Chris Baty on Writing, Writers, Doing & Dreaming | A Writer's Notebook | Scoop.it
Chris Baty founded National Novel Writing Month in 1999, and oversaw the growth of the annual writing challenge from 21 friends to more than 250,000 writers in 90 countries. Chris is the author of No Plot? No Problem! and the co-author of Ready, Set, Novel. When not revising his future bestseller about two monsters who find a VHS tape and set out to return it, Chris gives talks about writing and creativity, creates posters through Chris Baty Studios and freelances for such publications as the Washington Post, Afar magazine, theBeliever and Lonely Planet guidebooks. His quest for the perfect cup of coffee is never-ending, and will likely kill him someday.
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7 Simple Tricks to Become a Successful Self-Editor

7 Simple Tricks to Become a Successful Self-Editor | A Writer's Notebook | Scoop.it
Everyone knows that good editing is essential but you don’t to send an agent or a potential publisher a manuscript that doesn’t look like a million bucks. Lesley Vos provides some great tips to get you there.

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5 Essential Tips For Creating A Children’s Book

5 Essential Tips For Creating A Children’s Book | A Writer's Notebook | Scoop.it
It’s always brilliant to hear lessons learned from other writers and I know a lot of you are writing for children, so I’m sure this post by Jo Ann Kairys, co-author of Sunbelievable will be helpful.
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Six Plot Excuses No One Wants to Hear

Six Plot Excuses No One Wants to Hear | A Writer's Notebook | Scoop.it
When storytellers are cornered by a tough plot problem, our first instinct is to ignore the problem by making our characters behave irrationally. Then we use character dialogue to handwave it and hope the audience doesn’t notice how unrealistic it is. Just take these six excuses.
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Six ways to write your title

Six ways to write your title | A Writer's Notebook | Scoop.it
Whether you are writing a blog post or a book, an article or a movie, you need a title that will get your work noticed and draw people in to read or to view.  There are several tactics you can take, some more suited to one medium or another.  Here are a few of them.
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Emotional Description: 3 Common Problems with Show & Tell

Emotional Description: 3 Common Problems with Show & Tell | A Writer's Notebook | Scoop.it
Emotion is the lifeblood of any story and the key to building a relationship between characters and readers.
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Rilke and the Lions

Rilke and the Lions | A Writer's Notebook | Scoop.it
For Rainer Maria Rilke’s birthday, an excerpt from his short work “The Lion Cage,” translated from the German by Stephen Mitchell in our Summer 1989 issue.
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6 ways to create satisfying scene endings

6 ways to create satisfying scene endings | A Writer's Notebook | Scoop.it
A great song plays on the radio. As soon as the last chorus fades, we wish we could hear it again. A plane touches down on the runway and we’re relieved that we’ve made a safe journey. We wave goodbye to a good friend. We wonder when we’ll see her again.

It’s all about anticipation

Every day we experience a lot of little endings and exciting new beginnings. And life throws bigger stuff at us once in a while. We’re at a beloved grandmother’s funeral. Our heartache tells us this’ll be the last goodbye. We get a promotion at work and wonder–What next?

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April Laramey's curator insight, December 3, 2014 11:01 AM
I think I need help with this.
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Commonly Confused Adjectives (with Explanations)

Commonly Confused Adjectives (with Explanations) | A Writer's Notebook | Scoop.it

http://www.grammar.net/adjectives_pairs

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The Parts Readers Tend to Skip

The Parts Readers Tend to Skip | A Writer's Notebook | Scoop.it
One of Elmore Leonard’s ten rules for writing was “Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.” Excellent advice that makes very good sense, only exactly which parts are those?

On the surface it would seem obvious—the boring stuff, the longwinded explanations and unnecessary interludes, right? We all know what he meant. But when it comes to recognising the skip-worthy in our own stories it’s never quite so clear cut.

Scenes that are really going nowhere and have no purpose being in the story aren’t too hard to spot, but the bits that are just bland or that we’ve convinced ourselves have to be there for the story to make sense, they can slip through draft after draft.

So how do you spot the skippable parts and skip them before the reader gets a chance to?

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Readers love a good anti-hero – so why do they shun anti-heroines?

Readers love a good anti-hero – so why do they shun anti-heroines? | A Writer's Notebook | Scoop.it

There have been eloquent points made over the last couple of years about the “likeability” of female characters – notably by Roxane Gay and Claire Messud. In an interview with Publishers Weekly, novelist Messud responded spectacularly to a question about whether she’d want to be friends with her latest narrator Nora, given that Nora’s outlook was “unbearably grim”. Messud said: “For heaven’s sake, what kind of question is that? Would you want to be friends with Humbert Humbert?” before reeling off a list of classic male anti-heroes and concluding: “We read to find life in, all its possibilities. The relevant question isn’t ‘is this a potential friend for me?’, but ‘is this character alive?’”


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Lulu Blog » Self-Publishing Book Expo Recap

Lulu Blog » Self-Publishing Book Expo Recap | A Writer's Notebook | Scoop.it
This past weekend, Lulu.com was proud to once again be a sponsor of the Self-Publishing Book Expo (SPBE), which is now in its sixth year and was held in New York City. Originally created for authors considering self-publishing as an alternative to traditional publishing, the expo has expanded and now features lectures, panels and workshops targeting both novice and experienced independent authors.
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