Andrzej Krauze Elmore Leonard: Using adverbs is a mortal sin 1 Never open a book with weather.
Happily, Gaiman is also very vocal regarding his success. He maintains a blog and an online journal, regularly takes interviews, and frequently speaks at conventions and festivals. But who has time to trawl through dozens of articles and videos?
You finish what you write. Gaiman here echoes successful creatives from Tchaikovsky to William Faulkner, shattering the popular image of an attuned and sensitive artist writing in a sudden fit of passion. If you want to write, do it and finish it. Set yourself up for success Writing is obviously the best thing you can do to become a writer, but there are other things you can do to refine your craft.
Gaiman suggests finding and talking to editorsattending conventions particularly for writers of comics, sci-fi, and fantasyand considering writing groups. He does, however, offer a caveat on that final point: On the whole, anything that gets you writing and keeps you writing is a good thing.
Anything that stops you writing is a bad thing. If you find your writers group stopping you from writing, then drop it.
Click To Tweet Gaiman has this to say on the matter: Finish the short story, print it out, then put it in a drawer and write other things. Long gone are those rainy Sundays where bored children stare out windows — nowadays you can fill any idle moment with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Candy Crush, etc.
Show [your story] to friends whose opinion you respect and who like the kind of thing that it is. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.
Edit, but know when to stop This is a difficult lesson to learn.
But you keep going… soon, the scene is unrecognizable. You chased perfection and it got the better of you. Gaiman warns against this endless drive for improvement: 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. Experiment It can sometimes be difficult to remember in our immortal world of cloud storage, social mediaand always-on internet connections, but if you write something weird or rubbish or disturbing, nobody needs to know about it.
Click To Tweet As Gaiman says: If you find a writer you like, write like them. And then sound like something else. Just play, and play a lot. Write it honestly, and tell it as best you can.
Read This one goes without saying. Gaiman advises writers to read broadly and indiscriminately: Read everything you can lay your hands on. Read outside your areas of comfort, so you know what else is out there.
But these writers are in a minority; most of us need to get out there and live a little before putting pen to paper. Live as much and as widely as you can. Real experiences provide a skeleton for fiction.
If you have to obsess, obsess over clarity.
Write as clearly as you can. Be kind to yourself Even the best and most accomplished writers have had to wade through a load of rubbish to get where they are today; the trick is to not let failure put you off. As Samuel Beckett famously said: Get outside your comfort zone This one is very important.
Reading outside your genre will stop you being trapped by convention. Go and read outside of your comfort zone, go and learn stuff. The possibilities are endless.This month I chose Neil Gaiman, because he has so much compassion and practical wisdom to share about writing.
The amazing thing to me in compiling these lists is that all three writers offer different advice. And it's true too. The urging voice in the back of my head, when I was a young writer, the one that drove me forward, that voice was Harlan's from his introductions and essays: fierce, unapologetic, self .
Like fellow genre icon Stephen King, Ray Bradbury has reached far beyond his established audience by offering writing advice to anyone who puts pen to paper.
(Or keys to keyboard; "Use whatever works," he often says.) In this keynote address at Point Loma Nazarene University's Writer's.
The question of why we read and what books actually do for us is as old as the written word itself, and as attractive. Galileo saw reading as a way of having superhuman powers. For Kafka, books were “the axe for the frozen sea within us”; Carl Sagan held them as “proof that humans are capable.
How to Mark a Book. By Mortimer J. Adler, Ph.D. From The Saturday Review of Literature, July 6, You know you have to read "between the lines" to get the most out of anything. I want to persuade you to do something equally important in the course of your reading. “You can only write regularly if you’re willing to write badly Accept bad writing as a way of priming the pump, a warm-up exercise that allows you to write well.” The Effortless Effort of Creativity: Jane Hirshfield on Storytelling, the Art of Concentration, and Difficulty as a Consecrating.