The shortlist for the unique Diagram Prize – the prize awarded each year book with the strangest title – has been announced for 2013.

The titles in the running are:

Was Hitler Ill?
by Hans-Joachim Neumann and Henrik Eberle (Polity Press)
A historian and professor of medicine analyse whether the Führer was fully responsible for his crimes. View Post

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E.M. Forster: The Difference Between Story and Plot

Story: the king died and then the queen died.

Plot: the king died and then the queen died because of grief.

Edward Morgan Forster was an English novelist, short story writer and essayist. He is best known for A Room With a View (1908), Howard’s End (1910) and A Passage to India (1924).

Forster wrote Aspects of the Novel in 1927. Aspects of the Novel was a pioneering work,  examining ‘aspects all English-language novels have in common: story, people, plot, fantasy, prophecy, pattern, and rhythm.’

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Neil Gaiman's 8 Rules of Writing

  1. Write
  2. Put one word after another. Find the right word, put it down.
  3. Finish what you’re writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it.
  4. Put it aside. Read it pretending you’ve never read it before. Show it to friends whose opinion you respect and who like the kind of thing that this is.
  5. Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.
  6. Fix it. Remember that, sooner or later, before it ever reaches perfection, you will have to let it go and move on and start to write the next thing. Perfection is like chasing the horizon. Keep moving.
  7. Laugh at your own jokes.
  8. The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it’s definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it ­honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.

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