You write, so what do your loved ones get you at Christmas? Book tokens of course. It's not their fault. They're programmed that way, to take the shortest route from A to Z. Here are five titles that any writer will enjoy.
Pan Macmillan authors, editors and illustrators are to offer a series of workshops on creative writing, cover design and illustration and other topics.
The first of these 'Notebook Sessions' provides "a gentle introduction to creative writing" and will be held at Pan Macmillan's London offices on 20 November. It will be led by former literary editor Suzi Feay and Picador Editor Francesca Main.
The course will feature both a talk and a workshop, where writers get to put pen to paper.
A new social community website aims to connect authors and agents.
LitFactor - in beta form until 1 July - allows authors to rate and review the agents they approach. Agents can use the site to announce changes in their submissions criteria.
LitFactor aims to reduce rejections and create an online community where writers "speak as a whole, not just with a small voice at the end of a letter."
Not all publishers demand submissions through agents. This page contains a list of those who will consider direct approaches.
1. Aphorism: Short, sweet little sayings expressing an idea or opinion are familiar to everyone — they just don’t always know the technical term for them. Dorothy Parker was a particularly adroit user of aphorisms.
2. Apostrophe: Beyond a term for daily punctuation, apostrophe also pulls audiences aside to address a person, place or thing currently not present. O, Shakespeare! Such a sterling example of apostrophe use!
After I finish a draft I let the manuscript sit for at least a couple of weeks and then go back and read it over. When I've made all the changes I want to make and have all of the big pieces in place I go down my revision checklist and make sure I haven't missed anything.
This piece is written by Book Shed writer BillJustBill.
An important technique that I think generally is most helpful in understanding what you’re doing (and need to do in any particular fictional situation) is get very deeply into the head of your characters, particularly your main character. Some people can do this and some people can’t, but I certainly think it’s something that can be learned, because I’ve learned to do it, at least more or less and to some extent. And of course I’m still learning.
What do I know about plotting? Not much is the answer. So let's try to find out how little that is.
Okay. What do I mean by plot? And what is the difference between plot and story? Is there a difference?
‘… and what is the use of a book,' thought Alice, ‘without pictures or conversations?'
The alert reader will recall this line from the opening paragraph of Alice in Wonderland, and will further recall that it is the lack of dialogue in her sister's book which causes Alice to wander away and fall down a rabbit hole. Lucky for us, but consider the author of the sister's book. Presumably Alice's sister continues her reading, and so he has not lost his entire audience, but to Alice, and to the rest of us, he will forever remain anonymous and unread.
Writing a synopsis is often seen by authors as being the hardest part of putting together a package and submitting your work to agents and publishers. It doesn't have to be dull, if you take some time to plan your approach and edit/rewrite it with the same passion you apply to the novel itself.
Writers will spend years writing, lovingly polishing and then marketing a novel, and yet they shrug off the synopsis with a comment like "I hate writing synopses."