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Writers on Writing: Tips for Aspiring Authors
Posted on November 2, 2017
by April S
If you’re looking for inspiration or simply tips on writing, why not learn from experienced and successful writers like Stephen King and Walter Dean Myers, after all they know their stuff! How did they become bestselling authors? What’s their secret to success?
How To Be A Writer is a collection of interviews with famous writers, performers and industry insiders that takes the reader through a writer’s day, from getting up to giving in. And, along the way, asks: When do you get ideas? When should you write? How do you deal with your money? Who do you have lunch with? And how do you keep going?
Featuring Jon Ronson, Emma Donoghue, Dennis Kelly, Caitlin Moran, Jason Hazeley, Joel Morris, Suzanne Moore, Catherine Rosenthal, Mark Ellen, John Panton, Jo Unwin, Martyn Waites, Mark Billingham, Iszi Lawrence.
Immensely helpful and illuminating to any aspiring writer, this special edition of Stephen King’s critically lauded, million-copy bestseller shares the experiences, habits, and convictions that have shaped him and his work.
Ray Bradbury presents Zen in the Art of Writing, a collection from one of the most legendary voices in science fiction and fantasy on how his unbridled passion for creating worlds of infinite impossibilities made him a master of the craft. Part memoir, part philosophical guide, the essays in this book teach the joy of writing. Rather than focusing on the mechanics of putting words on paper, Bradbury’s zen is found in the celebration of storytelling that drove him to write every day. Imparting lessons he has learned over the course of his exuberant career, Bradbury inspires with his infectious enthusiasm. Bringing together eleven essays and a series of poems written with his own unique style and fervor, Zen in the Art of Writing is a must read for all prospective writers and Bradbury fans.
Sharp and moving reflections and ruminations on the artistry and craft of writing from one of our most iconoclastic, riveting, and celebrated masters.
Charles Bukowski’s stories, poems, and novels have left an enduring mark on our culture. In this collection of correspondence—letters to publishers, editors, friends, and fellow writers—the writer shares his insights on the art of creation.
On Writing reveals an artist brutally frank about the drudgery of work and canny and uncompromising about the absurdities of life—and of art. It illuminates the hard-edged, complex humanity of a true American legend and counterculture icon—the “laureate of American lowlife” (Time)—who stoically recorded society’s downtrodden and depraved. It exposes an artist grounded in the visceral, whose work reverberates with his central ideal: “Don’t try.”
Piercing, poignant, and often hilarious, On Writing is filled not only with memorable lines but also with Bukowski’s trademark toughness, leavened with moments of grace, pathos, and intimacy.
A collection of essays featuring advice to beginner writers draws on the award-winning author’s distinguished career as a teacher and writer, outlining strategies to tapping creative inspiration while working through the challenges of writer’s block, criticism and the evolving nature of one’s written work. By the best-selling author of Let the Great World Spin.
An award-winning author guides readers through the writing process, and includes examples from his own works, outlines for writing fiction and nonfiction, and excerpted pages from the author’s writing notebooks.
From the legendary editor, journalist, and publishing entrepreneur: a memoir about writers, writing, editing–and the fast-paced, high-stakes life in the publishing business.
Over the last four decades, Terry McDonell has been at the helm of some of the most influential beacons of American journalism: from his early days at Outside through tenures at Rolling Stone, Newsweek, Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and, most recently, as cofounder of LitHub. Now he tells us what really happens between editors and writers–behind the scenes and between the lines–with deadlines ticking. Here are intimate portraits of the most important (and most eccentric) journalists, novelists, and media personalities: from Hunter S. Thompson and George Plimpton to Richard Ford and James Salter; from David Carr and Steve Jobs to Jimmy Buffett and one remarkable Sports Illustrated swimsuit model. And here is an insider’s unimpeachable advice on how to get, and keep, the best writers; what makes a great lede and headline; how to style a cover that flies off newsstands (whether or not there’s a celebrity on it); how to build the online traffic that translates into dollars; and how–in whatever format–a good editor really works. From the storied past to today’s tumultuous media landscape, this is an incisive, galvanizing account of the pressures, joys, and obsessions of a writing and editing life.
A collection of essays from today’s most acclaimed authors from Cheryl Strayed to Roxane Gay to Jennifer Weiner, Alexander Chee, Nick Hornby, and Jonathan Franzen on the realities of making a living in the writing world.
A curated collection of the New York Times’ travel column, “Footsteps,” exploring iconic authors’ relationships to landmarks and cities around the world.
Before Nick Carraway was drawn into Daisy and Gatsby’s sparkling, champagne-fueled world in The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald vacationed in the French Riviera, where a small green lighthouse winked at ships on the horizon. Before the nameless lovers began their illicit affair in The Lover, Marguerite Duras embarked upon her own scandalous relationship amidst the urban streets of Saigon. And before readers were terrified by a tentacled dragon-man called Cthulhu, H.P. Lovecraft was enthralled by the Industrial Trust tower– the 26-story skyscraper that makes up the skyline of Providence, Rhode Island.
Based on the popular New York Times travel column, Footsteps is an anthology of literary pilgrimages, exploring the geographic muses behind some of history’s greatest writers. From the “dangerous, dirty and seductive” streets of Naples, the setting for Elena Ferrante’s famous Neapolitan novels, to the “stone arches, creaky oaken doors, and riverside paths” of Oxford, the backdrop for Alice’s adventures in Wonderland, Footsteps takes a fresh approach to literary tourism, appealing to readers and travel enthusiasts alike.
From Charles Johnson—a National Book Award winner, Professor Emeritus at University of Washington, and one of America’s preeminent scholars on literature and race—comes an instructive, inspiring guide to the craft and art of writing.
An award-winning novelist, philosopher, essayist, screenwriter, professor, and cartoonist, Charles Johnson has devoted his life to creative pursuit. His 1990 National Book Award-winning novel Middle Passage is a modern classic, revered as much for its daring plot as its philosophical underpinnings. For thirty-three years, Johnson taught and mentored students in the art and craft of creative writing. The Way of the Writer is his record of those years, and the coda to a kaleidoscopic, boundary-shattering career.
Organized into six accessible, easy-to-navigate sections, The Way of the Writer is both a literary reflection on the creative impulse and a utilitarian guide to the writing process. Johnson shares his lessons and exercises from the classroom, starting with word choice, sentence structure, and narrative voice, and delving into the mechanics of scene, dialogue, plot and storytelling before exploring the larger questions at stake for the serious writer. What separates literature from industrial fiction? What lies at the heart of the creative impulse? How does one navigate the literary world? And how are philosophy and fiction concomitant?
Luminous, inspiring, and imminently accessible, The Way of the Writer is a revelatory glimpse into the mind of the writer and an essential guide for anyone with a story to tell.
Adapted from “Zinsser on Friday,” The American Scholar’s National Magazine Award–Winning Essay Series.
For nineteen months William Zinsser, author of the best-selling On Writing Well and many other books, wrote a weekly column for the website of the American Scholar magazine. This cornucopia was devoted mainly to culture and the arts, the craft of writing, and travels to remote places, along with the movies, American popular song, email, multitasking, baseball, Central Park, Tina Brown, Pauline Kael, Steve Martin, and other complications of modern life. Written with elegance and humor, these pieces are now collected in The Writer Who Stayed.
“If you value vintage journalism of an old-fashioned vividness and integrity please, please read this book.”—Wall Street Journal
“Our ‘endlessly supple’ English language will, Zinsser says, ‘do anything you ask it to do, if you treat it well. Try it and see.’ Try him and see craftsmanship.”—George F. Will
“Zinsser—who, with On Writing Well, taught a whole lot of us how to set down a clean English sentence—last year won a National Magazine Award for his Friday web columns in The American Scholar. They’re now in a collection that’s completely charming, impeccably polished, and Strunk-and-White-ishly brief. He’s the youngest 90-year-old you’ll read this week.”—New York Magazine
A step-by-step guide to writing and managing the writer’s life covers each portion of a written project, addresses such concerns as writer’s block and getting published, and offers awareness and survival tips.
Long before there were creative-writing workshops and degrees, how did aspiring writers learn to write? By reading the work of their predecessors and contemporaries, says Francine Prose.
In Reading Like a Writer, Prose invites you to sit by her side and take a guided tour of the tools and the tricks of the masters. She reads the work of the very best writers—Dostoyevsky, Flaubert, Kafka, Austen, Dickens, Woolf, Chekhov—and discovers why their work has endured. She takes pleasure in the long and magnificent sentences of Philip Roth and the breathtaking paragraphs of Isaac Babel; she is deeply moved by the brilliant characterization in George Eliot’s Middlemarch. She looks to John Le Carré for a lesson in how to advance plot through dialogue, to Flannery O’Connor for the cunning use of the telling detail, and to James Joyce and Katherine Mansfield for clever examples of how to employ gesture to create character. She cautions readers to slow down and pay attention to words, the raw material out of which literature is crafted.
Written with passion, humor, and wisdom, Reading Like a Writer will inspire readers to return to literature with a fresh eye and an eager heart.
Every writer knows that as rewarding as the creative process is, it can often be a bumpy road. Have hope and keep at it! Designed to kick-start creativity, this handbook from the executive director of National Novel Writing Month gathers a wide range of insights and advice for writers at any stage of their career. From tips about how to finally start that story to helpful ideas about what to do when the words just aren’t quite coming out right, Pep Talks for Writers provides motivation, encouragement, and helpful exercises for writers of all stripes.
This irreverent guide to crafting personal essays and creative nonfiction takes inspiration from the father of the essay, Michele de Montaigne, using lively essays to answer writing questions from top writers like Cheryl Strayed and Philip Lopate.