Writing Advice from Graeme Simsion

Writer of screenplays, short stories, novels and a couple of short plays, an occasional producer of films and formerly an IT specialist (data modeling), also founder of a business and IT consultancy, Graeme Simsion, the author of The Rosie Project, seems to be skilled in all the fields he is trying. He is therefore the right man to give us some writing tips. Continue reading Writing Advice from Graeme Simsion

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Kurt Vonnegut’s Eight Rules for Writing a Short Story

Kurt Vonnegut, one of the most influential writers of this century, passed down a simple list of rules for writing a short story, though I think they can be applied to longer narratives as well.

He did say that Flannery O’Connor broke all his rules except the first and that great writers tend to do that, but I believe his famous eight rules can provide a skeleton to writing fiction.

And I think that this is what’s really important in art. A foundation. Simply by reading or following rules, or by taking creative writing courses, but it’s also crucial for the artist to make his own decisions. The moment rules start feeling like a cage, you should escape. It’s like strolling through a garden and picking the flowers you like. If you absorb too much or if you simply follow rules (someone else is choosing what flowers you should pick), you’ll never develop a style of your own.

In a world of fixed rules, there’s no room for improvement. Or improvisation. Or evolution.

In today’s post, I’m going to analyze Vonnegut’s famous rules, most of which are common sense anyway. So let’s get started. Continue reading Kurt Vonnegut’s Eight Rules for Writing a Short Story

The Writer: Episode #4

“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.” J.D. Salinger

The Writer remembers the first time he read Dune by Frank Herbert. How he wanted to write something just as good. He spent a lot of time wishing he had written that novel, that he had come up with those ideas, that the universe invented by Herbert had belong to him instead.

He then proceeded to read other novels, other stories that made him wish he had written them into existence instead of their authors.

The stories he read had been written by people who had known him. Or so it seemed. People who had been through the same experiences, and used words so eloquently to express what resided in his soul.

But isn’t that what stories are all about? Isn’t that why we invented words?

So we can understand that there are others who feel the same way we do? That we are not alone? That our sorrows and joys have been experienced by someone else?

The Most Beautiful Book Covers Ever

When browsing for books in a bookstore (if you’re old school like me) or on the web, the cover is the first thing you see, and a beautifully designed cover can convince you to give it a chance.

Here are some the most beautiful book covers ever designed. Continue reading The Most Beautiful Book Covers Ever

The Strange Writing Habits of Famous Authors

People often believe that writing is all about inspiration, which is a sort of esoteric mambo jumbo. Some writers went as far as to develop strange habits, rituals almost, as if to persuade the muse.

Continue reading The Strange Writing Habits of Famous Authors

Showcase: Tullio Pericoli

Tullio Pericoli was born in Colli del Tronto, near Ascoli Piceno, in 1936. The artist has created hundreds of portraits of famous writers. He also did work with Italian newspapers such as Corriere della seraL’Espresso, or Repubblica.

Continue reading Showcase: Tullio Pericoli

5 Simple Steps To Drastically Improve Your Writing

If you’ve always wanted to share your thoughts and ideas and stories with the world, then surely you’ve asked yourself this simple questions: How do I become a better writer?

Well, even though it takes years and years of practice, following these five simple steps will drastically improve your writing. Continue reading 5 Simple Steps To Drastically Improve Your Writing