“Good writing is not a natural gift. You have to learn to write well.”
David Ogilvy (1911 – 1999) is frequently referred to as ‘the father of advertising’ or as ‘the original Mad Man’. Ogilvy first worked as a chef, a researcher and as a farmer before launching his own advertising agency in 1949 with just US$6000 in the bank. The Ogilvy Group would become one of the world’s most successful advertising agencies.
Gothic novelist Anne Rice was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. She is the author of over 30 novels. Her first novel, Interview with the Vampire, was published in 1976 and has gone on to become one of the best-selling novels of all time. View Post
Submit with abandon? Send out a story that’s already received 20 rejections? Keep going? Call it quits? Should you send an edited piece to a magazine that passed on an older draft? Kim Winternheimer, founding editor of The Masters Review, talks submission strategies.
Submission strategies are a tricky thing. Every emerging writer I know discusses submission failures and victories, and it’s a topic that pops up in conference panels and workshop often.
Writers talk about submitting because the process itself is the road to publication. Because success in selling stories rests entirely on that effort. Writers lament and analyze the form rejection they receive after eight long months, and applaud the personalized request for more work. Writers talk about the process because they want to see how others are navigating the labyrinth, and, because silently they wonder: am I tackling submissions the right way?
Image via Reddit
Aaron Sorkin is one of the best known and most influential screenwriters working today. He received four Primetime Emmy Awards for ‘The West Wing’ and won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay in 2011 for ‘The Social Network’.
Earlier this week Sorkin participated in an Ask Me Asking session on Reddit to help promote his new online screenwriting class. When Sorkin was asked how much of a character’s backstory he knows before he writes, he provided the following insightful answer:
I don’t like to commit myself to anything in a character’s backstory until I have to. I didn’t know going into the West Wing that Bartlet had MS. Then, along came an episode where I needed to introduce the idea that the First Lady (Dr. Channing) was a medical doctor. And the way I did it was by giving Bartlet MS.
A post by Rebecca Makkai
You probably knew, when you started writing, that you’d signed on for murder. I was warned well in advance: One of my favorite childhood books was Lois Lowry’s The One Hundredth Thing About Caroline, in which the title character finds the notebook of the man her mother is dating. “Eliminate the kids,” one note says. She and her brother swing into crime-fighting mode, only to discover in the end that this man, a writer, was talking about editing characters out of his work-in-progress.
Later, as I studied writing, I’d hear authors lament the characters they’d had to erase from draft two, the ones who “felt like real people” to them. Or they’d talk about the ones they kept around because, despite the fact that they served no real purpose in the narrative, they’d become old friends.