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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A Children’s Book Guide To TravelThis infographic was designed by Neo Mammalian Studios in Manchester, UK for cheapflights.co.uk


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Stephen King Universe FLowchart

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Keep Calm and Just WriteHere is our collection of prizes, publication opportunities and other events happening in April 2013 for emerging and established writers.

The Horatio Nelson Fiction Prize
opens to entries on 1 April. Conducted by Black Balloon Publishing, the winner will receive a book deal including US$5,000 up front. The prize is for unpublished manuscripts of 50,000 words or more.

William Callihan of Waxman Leavell Literary Agency
is seeking new clients. He is particularly interested in narrative non-fiction, comedy, pop culture, American history, crime and commercial thrillers, literary fiction.

The Sherwood Anderson Foundation Grants
for emerging writers offers up to US$20,000 to a person who has written at least one but no more than two published books of fiction. NB: An entry fee of $100 in payable. Closes 1 April.

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Jennifer Egan on CharacterisationJennifer Egan is an acclaimed author and short-story writer. Her fourth novel, A Visit from the Goon Squad won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction. In the following videos, recorded in 2010 for the New York Center for Fiction’s Craftwork series, Egan discusses different kinds of characterisation and the elements that strengthen a work of fiction.

Egan begins by explaining that in fact as a writer, she doesn’t generally think in terms of ‘craft’. Egan instead works unconsciously, at least on her early drafts. This process is then followed by years of editing in which she tries to ‘tame those (drafts) and shape them into something that’s tolerable.’

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