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Book Clubs Are Badass

Book Clubs Are Badass | Penned Ink | Scoop.it
The gravity of choosing a club name. The ongoing battles to select titles. The no holds barred opinions and heated debates. Kicking members out for failing to read the book or stay on topic. The wine! These readers are the masters of their literary d...
Sing Li Lin's insight:

Mitch Albom tweeted this link - and I discovered that he was part of a rock and roll band made up of fantastic writers from the likes to Stephen King to Amy Tan. (They play music for a good cause with their amateurish musician talents and let their writing skills take a backseat.)


The author mused about the possibilities of a book club consisting of some of the best transgressive and thrill fiction writers (Palahniuk and Patterson to name a couple) and that certainly made me wonder what books they would choose to cover if it did exist. Like the author of this article, I have never considered joining a book club despite my love for reading - maybe because I didn't want to be told what book to read every month.


Then again, it also made me recall a mass communication theory that posits that having too many choices made it difficult for consumers to actually make a decision - in this case, the plethora of books available for me to read also means that I'm reading less and less because I'm too lazy to contemplate over my choices and pick a book.


Perhaps a book club is not such a bad idea after all.

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Tweet from @haruki_tweets

This is one piece of advice I have for you: don’t get impatient.
Sing Li Lin's insight:

After reading article after article where every author I respect has explained their own difficult path to having their works recognized, I certainly scrolled past this tweet at the right time. Sometimes looking back at tweets or posts made in past months unearths some gems that I might have missed or that I did not relate quite as much to at that point in time and this is one of them.

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Eoin Colfer Talks About Getting A Literary Agent - YouTube

Talkin' To features celebrated authors discussing writing, agents, fans, publishing and more. Hosted by Alan Sitomer, a noted author and award-winning educat...
Sing Li Lin's insight:

In this video, Alan Sitomer discusses the process that Eoin Colfer went through in finding a literary agent and getting himself published.

 

As Colfer aptly points out in the first couple of minutes, it is a matter of bringing "the right book to the right person at the right time". In his case, he wrote 6 complete books ranging from crime to mythology that all went unpublished. He reflected that it was because he attempted to mimic the styles of other renowned authors in his first few attempts and it was only on his 7th try that he really found his own voice. (If you would refer to the 22 lessons From Stephen King, his #15 point also reminded budding writers not to attempt stealing another writer's voice.) Like creating a personal brand through the things we upload online and building an online identity for ourselves over time, writing consistently is definitely an important process in honing and crafting your own style and personal brand in the world of authors and books.

 

Colfer also shares his view on the importance of not turning to self-publication as an act of petulance after being rejected by publishers the first few times. Sitomer pointed out that Colfer reiterated the importance of being nice to everyone, especially the assistants to the agents as they are "the grease to the wheels". A concept which has been consistently drilled into us in communication theories revolving around working in companies, Colfer is right as every member of the company plays a part.

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Red House Children's Book Award blog tour: Eoin Colfer | Playing by the book

Red House Children's Book Award blog tour: Eoin Colfer | Playing by the book | Penned Ink | Scoop.it
Eoin Colfer reveals the inspiration for "The Reluctant Assassin", shortlisted for the Red House Children's Book Award 2014
Sing Li Lin's insight:

A very casual, entertaining read of the inspiration behind one of Eoin Colfer's latest W.A.R.P series which is a hybrid of FBI shenanigans and time-travelling complexity.

 

Colfer writes a refreshingly candid and humorous account of how he was inspired to begin this series. It does highlight the fact that inspiration for a good story can come from absolutely anywhere in the world, be it personal experience or external sources. All it takes is the determination to see it through and the passion to write. The fact that his book was shortlisted for a Children's Book Award through voting entirely by children is evidence of its appeal to its target audience and that Colfer has truly honed his craft.

 

After all, who best to determine the appeal of something than the target audience itself?

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36 Writing Essays by Chuck Palahniuk

36 Writing Essays by Chuck Palahniuk | Penned Ink | Scoop.it
LitReactor is a destination for writers to improve their craft; a haven for readers to geek out about books; and a platform to kickstart your writing goals.
Sing Li Lin's insight:

Soon after that last post, I discovered this treasure trove of essays filled with tips and useful information by Palahniuk himself.

 

I would gladly go through every single one of these essays and probably end up 'curating' half of them but that would render the rest of my sources useless.

 

Hence, this link remains to maximize the interconnectedness of the Internet by guiding some other interested individual there.

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Abandoning. And listening. | Sarah Dessen

Sing Li Lin's insight:

Sarah Dessen included the link to this particular blogpost in a recent spate of tweets about the books she had written that went unpublished.

 

My page of curated links for pieces that can inspire and guide my writing should technically be a collection of scholarly articles or well-formatted lists of steps to be taken. Yet, it is this heartfelt confessional that stood out. It reminded me starkly of moments where my writing has been criticized and requested to be heavily overhauled (usually in tertiary institutions, sometimes in modules taken in SIM-UB). In those moments I felt demoralized and chagrined that I had to redo entire pieces of work I was previously proud of into 'presentable' pieces that met the expectations of someone else. I found her admission to her readers of her severe case of 'Writer's Block' extremely respectable - it is never easy when your passion has the capacity to make you miserable as much as it makes you happy. More importantly, the encouraging comments were distinct evidence that her readers were supportive and exuded more warmth and understanding that I would have ever given credit for. Rather than a separate entity, her readers appear more like a community and that is a heartwarming realization.

 

Howard Rheingold pointed out that the internet was like a 'public good' and if every individual contributed something to the pool of resources, it would benefit someone else the same way. I cannot agree with this more when the things shared online go beyond that of the technical and cross over into the emotional. It is impossible to know how many others like me have gained inspiration and motivation from this one post by an author we like, knowing that she is just as human as the best of us.

 

So for those who are seeking technical guides on how to improve their writing, this spiritual guide would not be the right place.

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Adverbs are sucking your prose dry :: Confessions of a Dirty Blonde

Adverbs are sucking your prose dry :: Confessions of a Dirty Blonde | Penned Ink | Scoop.it
The girl I used to teach next to, back in the day, had a sign in her classroom that read: “Said is dead.” A philosophy I live by. But the poster comes to mind now because was swarming with adverbs ...
Sing Li Lin's insight:

After I came across this article for just about the hundredth time (clearly, I'm exaggerating but for all the various sites I've been visiting it sure felt like a lot), I figured it was a subtle message to me.

 

I am admittedly guilty of sprinkling adverbs throughout my writings - I have no idea why. Perhaps it was because of all the English lessons I have gone through that discounted the usefulness of the word 'said' and how it aptly fits every situation. I find myself cringing when I read this particular article because I relate so well to the mistakes she is criticising.

 

Maybe if I used the repetition techniques to improve memory hailed by psychologists, reading this article over and over again might remind me to reduce my usage of adverbs.

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Tweet from @haruki_tweets

"If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking."
Sing Li Lin's insight:

Can't agree with this more; I've never been a fan of reading books that have become extremely popular (cases in point: Twilight and 50 Shade of Grey... but then again, these were not exactly thought-provoking novels). Instead, it is through perusing the less covered sections of book stores that help me uncover new and refreshing works and different writing styles that can further inspire my own. Surely there are other readers out there who feel the same?

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22 Lessons From Stephen King On How To Be A Great Writer - Business Insider

22 Lessons From Stephen King On How To Be A Great Writer - Business Insider | Penned Ink | Scoop.it
Mark Mainz / Getty ImagesStephen King.Renowned author Stephen King writes stories that captivate millions of people around the world and earn him an e
Sing Li Lin's insight:

One of the many writing guides out there put together by renowned authors that consolidates the tips that work best for them. This link was tweeted by Palahniuk as a recommended read.

 

It is interesting to note that many of the points in this article were rehashed or reminiscent of those written by many other authors, including Palahniuk himself. Basically it reiterates the importance of hard work and perseverance, never giving up and keeping the flame of passion alive when it comes to writing. Without emotion, it is but a chore and no longer something that you love doing.

 

Much like the concept of conditioning in psychology, when one has made enough bad decisions to generate enough experience to not do it again, one would know what work best and stick to that.

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Pixar Cofounder Ed Catmull on Failure and Why Fostering a Fearless Culture Is the Key to Groundbreaking Creative Work

Pixar Cofounder Ed Catmull on Failure and Why Fostering a Fearless Culture Is the Key to Groundbreaking Creative Work | Penned Ink | Scoop.it
Why the greatest enemy of creative success is the attempt to fortify against failure.

"Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes
Sing Li Lin's insight:

A fellow author tweeted this to Sarah Dessen on her recent tweets regarding her unpublished books.

 

The article emphasizes Catmull's (Pixar's founder) view on failure - that it is not something to be detested and looked down upon but something that should be viewed as a stepping stone to future good. Expanding on creativity regardless of whether the consequences may be deemed 'successful' or not is in fact the key to success in itself. This is a very thought-provoking article that goes beyond the idea of accepting that failure is just self-justification at work (a concept which I recently was reminded of in Social Psychology). Instead, it highlights self-awareness to alter our attitudes toward failure.

 

"Failure is the manifestation of learning and exploration." In reading this, I cannot agree more with this revelation and be inspired to keep my passion close. Even so, I have yet to accept failure as an option that is not entirely unpleasant.

 

I'm still learning too.

 

 

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13 Writing Tips

13 Writing Tips | Penned Ink | Scoop.it
Photo by John Gress

by Chuck Palahniuk
Sing Li Lin's insight:

I stumbled upon this article when I was reading another less impactful article linked in one of Palahniuk's tweets.

 

Myopically, this article serves the purpose of providing some good advice for budding writers or writers who are easily demoralised by Writer's Block or who suffer from the "why-is-my-writing-so-unexciting" syndrome. On my second read, however, I realised that several of those points had me making connections to other concepts. #1 on Palahniuk's "egg timer method" of writing immediately made me think of Cirillo's "Pomodoro Technique" which was recently covered in class. Although the intentions are completely different (for one, the "egg timer method" seeks to convince the individual to become fully involved in the activity, but the "pomodoro technique" breaks tasks into sections to improve attention), the concepts of using timers are essentially the same.

 

Another instance is #9 where his explanations of the three types of speech led me to reminisce about my Linguistics lessons in high school where we spent much of our time analysing pages and pages of texts to decode grammar and everything else. Brain fart moment: The instructive type of speech definitely makes me think of imperative modality.

 

Basically, this is a useful article to peruse if anyone requires a quick tip on writing fiction!

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