I am one of the millions of people who will write a novel or ten someday when life is a little calmer. What I have at the moment are collections of notes, scenes, character outlines and little bits that fit here and there for about a dozen stories.
I do like reading advice on writing though and this is a good time, I think, to do that. I don't want to write "like" anyone, but I find that reading articles like those listed below jog new thoughts that go I can incorporate into my notes without being derivative.
So, here are a few of my favorites. Please feel free to add your favorites in the comments.
- Stephen King's "Top 20 Rules for Writers" are posted at Open Culture (I'm sure they will come up many times over the course of this list - like now for example).
- Here are Jack Kerouac's "9 Essentials for Writing Spontaneous Prose" at Open Culture.
- Ellen Datlow has been an editor for 30 years. She was the editor of Omni magazine, then Scifiction, since then she has edited more than 50 anthologies of short science fiction, fantasy and horror. In this interview with Papercuts she shares some of the wisdom she's gained.
- Author Lain Banks "11 Rules of Good Writing" posted at io9. .
- Charlie Jane Anders at io9 has some great tips on how to give your characters more, well, character. Her articles "10 Things That Every Brand New Creator of Science Fiction Should Know" and "10 Ways to Make Everyone Root for Your Amoral Protagonist" is also worth a read
- Here are "Seven Tips from Ernest Hemingway" at Open Culture, if Hemingway is your thing you might also want to play with this online Ernest Hemingway style checker.
- Also, here is acclaimed British comedy writer Steve Coogan on how to create a memorable character.
- Joss Whedon, in case you don't know, is a screenwriter as well as a producer/director. You might know him from his work on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Toy Story, Serenity, the Cabin in the Woods, Firefly, the Avengers, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and other stuff. Aerogramme Writer's Studio posted Joss's 'Top 10 Writing Tips'.
- In this paper Kurt Vonnegut diagramed the shape of all stories for a masters thesis. The paper was rejected by the University of Chicago. He turned out to be Kurt Vonnegut anyway.
- Here is a 90 minute video of a William S. Burroughs lecture on creative reading and writing.
- Finally from Co.Create here is "All the things that are wrong with your screenplay in one handy infographic.
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