Archives For Writetip

Cassandra Clare Writing Advice Part 2Last week we posted part one of an article by best-selling fantasy and young adult fiction author Cassandra Clare.

Continuing here, Cassandra shares tips and links writers of all genres will find extremely useful and answers many of the most popular questions asked by aspiring authors.  

How do you go about getting published?
Read “How a Book Gets Published” by Nathan Bransford. Now come back and read the rest of this.

Write a book. There is no shortcut around this. Don’t even bother asking the question if you don’t have a book that’s been written and revised. It would be good if the book was commercially viable according to at least one person who is not you or your parents. (Hey, my parents thought my writing was brilliant when I was 13. It wasn’t.) Revising with the help of a critique group is often helpful.

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City of Bones Cassandra ClareCassandra Clare is the author of The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices series. Her books have topped the New York Times best-seller lists, with over 22 million copies in print world wide. The film adaptation of City of Bones, the first book in The Mortal Instruments series, will be released in cinemas on 23 August.

In this post Cassandra Clare shares tips and links writers of all genres will find extremely useful and answers many of the most popular questions asked by aspiring authors.  

Where do you start a book? With plot, characters, or dialogue?
I tend to start with characters, but everyone does it differently.  There is no magic formula for the right order to write things in. Vivian Vande Velde has some good advice on her website about getting started writing a book.

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The Privileges by Jonathan Dee 2011 winner of the St Frances PrizeEntries are now open for the St. Francis College Literary Prize for 2013. This biennial prize awards US$50,000 to an author for their 3rd to 5th published work of fiction.

There are no citizenship restrictions with this prize and eligible authors can be based anywhere in the world. Nominated books can also be published anywhere in the world, although only English-language books may be entered (translations accepted). Uniquely, self-published books are also eligible for consideration.

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The Shapes of Stories, a Kurt Vonnegut

Watch Kurt Vonnegut explain The Shapes of Stories himself in this great video.

 

Designer: Maya Eilam
Sources: A Man Without a Country and Palm Sunday


Once Upon a Time
In 2012 Pixar Story Artist Emma Coats tweeted 22 storytelling tips using the hashtag #storybasics. The list circulated the internet for months gaining the popular title Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling’. We reposted this list two weeks ago and the response has been phenomenal with thousands of likes, shares, comments and emails.

Since posting the story, a number of people have contacted us regarding rule number 4 on the list, also know as ‘The Story Spine':

Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.

Reports were that this tip did not originate with Pixar but instead with writer/director/teacher Brian McDonald. Intrigued, we contacted Brian to find out more. He replied as follows:

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Hilary MantelIn 2010, inspired to Elmore Leonard’s Ten Rules of Writing, The Guardian asked some of the world’s most respected writers to share their best tips. Here’s how Hilary Mantel, the first British author to win the Man Booker Prize twice, responded to the task.

  1. Are you serious about this? Then get an accountant.
  2. Read Becoming a Writer, by Dorothea Brande. Then do what it says, including the tasks you think are impossible. You will particularly hate the advice to write first thing in the morning, but if you can manage it, it might well be the best thing you ever do for yourself. This book is about becoming a writer from the inside out. Many later advice manuals derive from it. You don’t ­really need any others, though if you want to boost your confidence, “how to” books seldom do any harm. You can kick-start a whole book with some little writing exercise.
  3. Write a book you’d like to read. If you wouldn’t read it, why would anybody else? Don’t write for a perceived audience or market. It may well have vanished by the time your book’s ready.
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100 Twitter Hashtags for WritersHashtags are one of the most important elements to successfully using Twitter to enhance your writing practice and profile. In fact, the importance of hashtags generally was recently demonstrated when the American Dialect Society recently named hashtag as the word of the year for 2012.

Hashtags allow you to find new readers, connect with other writers who share your interests and to find out about new opportunities such as writing competitions. They can also help to raise your writing profile to attract interest from publishers and editors.

You need to be smart when using hashtags – don’t over use them (never use more than 3 hashtags per tweet), be natural and never spam people. But when used selectively and cleverly, hashtags can be of great benefit to your writing career.

Below are 100 #hashtags that every writer should know:

Books and Reading Hashtags
#Books
#BookWorm
#GreatReads
#IndieThursday
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