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A Psychological Self-Help Tool for Fiction Writers

Today’s guest is Joseph Burgo, Ph.D., psychotherapist, fiction writer, blogger and author of numerous books. Joe’s personal blog, After Psychotherapy, draws over 50,000 visits per month.
Sharon Bakar's insight:

Want to understand you characters better?  Reading up on the psychology of behaviour to know how folks deal with emotional pain might help.

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Judith van Praag's curator insight, June 7, 2013 11:15 AM

"Better to know the truth than avoid it" Amen to that! Fiction writers facing the(ir own) truth go deeper, further in understanding their characters.

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8 Famous Writers Writing About Not Writing

8 Famous Writers Writing About Not Writing | Creative Writers | Scoop.it
Hey—are you writing right now? If you aren't, and I know you aren't, because you're reading this sentence, it's okay. It may seem like the phenomenon of writers
Sharon Bakar's insight:
If you feel guilty because you're not writing - you are in good company.
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Enchanting Books's curator insight, July 14, 10:17 AM
If you feel guilty because you're not writing - you are in good company.
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Eimear McBride: ‘My husband shouts “For God’s sake, come down to dinner”’

Eimear McBride: ‘My husband shouts “For God’s sake, come down to dinner”’ | Creative Writers | Scoop.it
The novelist on the dangers of people, email and the folly of taking advice advice from writers
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The Thing Only You Can Bring to Your Writing

The Thing Only You Can Bring to Your Writing | Creative Writers | Scoop.it
"Over the last nearly quarter-century of teaching the craft, I've seen the level of competent fiction rise significantly. ... Which means we have to be more than good to stand out from the morass. The edge is critical to getting us there.
Sharon Bakar's insight:
Excellent advice about how to excel in your fiction and an exercise well worth doing.
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30 Flash Fiction Prompts

30 Flash Fiction Prompts | Creative Writers | Scoop.it
Need a little mid-winter inspiration? Try one of these flash fiction prompts: 1: Write a story in which something transforms into something else. 2: Write a true story that is so ___________(insert adjective here) that no one would believe it's true. But it is. 3: Find a story you've written that isn't quite working. Chop…
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What Being an Editor Taught Me About Writing

What Being an Editor Taught Me About Writing | Creative Writers | Scoop.it

The truth is that spending one’s life reading good writing—not just reading it, but thinking about what makes it so good—is the best way to teach one’s self how to do it. For some people, this might mean enrolling in an MFA program. For me, I was lucky enough to learn by observing the other editors around me, and working on manuscripts as they went from rough drafts to finished books. It was the best writing education I could have received. Here are a few of the things I learned along the way:

Sharon Bakar's insight:
This advice is gold dust.  Writers, imprint it on your souls.
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Creative Writing Tools 

Creative Writing Tools  | Creative Writers | Scoop.it
“ This is a list of creative writing and self-publishing tools, apps and websites + a few extra that I thought would help! Online Writing Environments 750words – a simple site to keep up a private diary or daily writing practice. You can earn badges and get some neat metrics after you complete your writing. Google Docs – I wrote…”
Via Ariana Amorim, Jim Lerman, Shannon Bolithoe
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Penelope's curator insight, June 22, 2:41 PM
A veritable treasure trove of advice and links for writers. Keep this in your toolbox!

***This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on "Writing Rightly"***
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Bad memories: Colm Tóibín urges authors to lose the flashbacks

Bad memories: Colm Tóibín urges authors to lose the flashbacks | Creative Writers | Scoop.it
Speaking at the Hay literary festival, the Irish novelist said modern writers should emulate Jane Austen and stop overdoing the backstory
Sharon Bakar's insight:
Quite right - you usually don't need flashbacks and they just serve to dislocate you from the main story. Weave the past into the present when you can. ... And let the reader work out what the characters are like for themselves.
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So you want to be a writer? Essential tips for aspiring novelists

So you want to be a writer? Essential tips for aspiring novelists | Creative Writers | Scoop.it
How to write a killer opening line. Why Google is not research. When to rip it up and start again. Whatever you do, just write! Lessons from acclaimed novelist and creative writing professor Colum McCann
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Ten Reasons Why I’ll Quickly Reject Your Story

Ten Reasons Why I’ll Quickly Reject Your Story | Creative Writers | Scoop.it
This past week I’ve been judging Writers of the Future. Most of the stories come to us electronically, so much of my day is spent opening files, taking a look at them, and then putting in a r…
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Elizabeth Strout on Embracing the Slipperiness of Memory

Elizabeth Strout on Embracing the Slipperiness of Memory | Creative Writers | Scoop.it

"This blurry boundary between memory and the past is one of Strout’s main subjects as a writer, and was the topic of our conversation for this series. With help from a Louise Glück poem, we discussed the way memory works in fiction and how Strout balances objective, factual history with her characters’ more subjective—and sometimes more revealing—recollections. Strout also shared insight into her process, explaining the astonishing way that her own long-gone memories float to the surface as she writes. That experience should be the goal of literature, too, she suggests: to help readers unbury their own submerged feelings."

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A Writing-Exercise Grab Bag - Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts

A Writing-Exercise Grab Bag - Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts | Creative Writers | Scoop.it
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Top 10 opening scenes in books

Top 10 opening scenes in books | Creative Writers | Scoop.it
From Kazuo Ishiguro’s laconic intimatations to Mark Twain’s garrulous energy, these are masterclasses in the difficult art of beginning
Sharon Bakar's insight:
The start to your story really matters because this is how the writer lures in the reader and where a promise is made.
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Is there any way to avoid writer's butt?

Is there any way to avoid writer's butt? | Creative Writers | Scoop.it
Writing novels full-time and snacking in a sedentary position is surefire way of seeing your rear end expand. So what are authors’ best tips for keeping trim?
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How to Be Your Own Best Editor - Even If You Don't Have an Editing Bone in Your Body

How to Be Your Own Best Editor - Even If You Don't Have an Editing Bone in Your Body | Creative Writers | Scoop.it
What are the sorts of things should you look for in editing your writing?
Sharon Bakar's insight:
An excellent checklist to use before sending a piece of writing out.
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Enchanting Books's curator insight, July 14, 10:18 AM
An excellent checklist to use before sending a piece of writing out.
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The weirdest story ideas come from your own obsessions

The weirdest story ideas come from your own obsessions | Creative Writers | Scoop.it
Kelly Link has carved out a unique place at the intersection of magic realism and literary fantasy. Her short stories leave many questions unanswered, but stick in your mind for weeks afterwards. Now she explains where her ideas come from.
Sharon Bakar's insight:
Some great ideas here about how to generate story ideas.
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Flash Fiction Writing Exercises | Writing Forward

Flash Fiction Writing Exercises | Writing Forward | Creative Writers | Scoop.it
Flash fiction writing exercises help you strip away excessive words and phrases. A great way to examine the bare bones of your writing.
Sharon Bakar's insight:
Very useful exercises for teaching flash fiction.
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Enchanting Books's curator insight, July 14, 10:20 AM
Very useful exercises for teaching flash fiction.
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10 Chilling Fiction Books Inspired By Terrifying True Stories

As all book-lovers know, authors will find inspiration for their work anywhere and everywhere — inventing stories from their own imaginations, basing their fiction on personal experiences, garnering inspiration from other great works of literature, a…
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The inspiration for a story can come from something your read in a newspaper ...
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Adjusting Your Pace: How to Get a Story to Move – Electric Literature

Adjusting Your Pace: How to Get a Story to Move – Electric Literature | Creative Writers | Scoop.it

 

"Words reside on a page, but it can be helpful to remember: A scene is an arc of movement. The reader moves with you through each sentence as the writer decides where each sentence reaches, stops, takes a breath. Sometimes the pace of the sentences is such that the sentences just need to walk, and sometimes they need to run and pause and reach. By exploring all of the possibilities for pacing within a story, for exploring all of the movement, pauses, and acceleration inherent in it, a story can be much more than walking in a straight line. You can explore the ways in which narrative can move and also the opportunities inherent in various levels of space. The narration unfolds the way a body moves. As you read a beautifully paced story, you sense in your own body, your own mind, the way the words can run, leap, and, sometimes, fly."

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Hisham Matar: ‘If I wake up at an early hour and write 500 words each day I will, in time, have a book’

Hisham Matar: ‘If I wake up at an early hour and write 500 words each day I will, in time, have a book’ | Creative Writers | Scoop.it
The winner of the 2017 Folio prize on how he learnt to stop either congratulating or beating himself up at the end of each working day
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How one author organises his writing day.
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How to Write a Damned Good Scene, Part 1

How to Write a Damned Good Scene, Part 1 | Creative Writers | Scoop.it
Often while looking at the scenes a new writer creates, I take a look and think, Well, that’s pretty lame. So how do you avoid writing lame scenes? First, you need to brainstorm every scene. There …
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Writers of Color Discussing Craft - An Invisible Archive

Writers of Color Discussing Craft - An Invisible Archive | Creative Writers | Scoop.it

“I often wonder what I’d do if there weren’t any books in the world.”
― James Baldwin, Giovanni’s Room

A few weeks ago I was thinking about how Junot Diaz often comments on the fact he’s almost never asked to speak about craft, and instead always is asked to talk about race, identity, and the immigrant experience. And it’s true — when I think about all the books on writing craft I’ve read or heard about over the years I’m struck by how few POC-authored books on writing I’ve seen.  Are they really that rare? Or are the books and essays out there, but we don’t know where to find them?

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“How To Shit” by Ottessa Moshfegh

“How To Shit” by Ottessa Moshfegh | Creative Writers | Scoop.it
 It is a delusion to think that the rules of society reflect any moral truths about human nature. The same is true about the “rules” for writing fiction.
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An A.I. Says There Are Six Main Kinds of Stories

An A.I. Says There Are Six Main Kinds of Stories | Creative Writers | Scoop.it
A machine mapped the most frequently used emotional trajectories in fiction, and compared them with the ones readers like best.
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