« William Neill Book (Followup) | Main | Your Photo Assignment for Today »

Tuesday, 10 April 2018


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Thanks for the advice. I am totally stuck writing my first book based on a true story. It's a legal story with lots of sex, bribery, vindictiveness,etc. Maybe I really just need to practice a bit before I tackle it...

For anyone looking for advice on writing check out Stephen King’s book
On Writing. You don’t have to like King’s books to enjoy this one.
You can find a version on YouTube which King narrates. It’s a great listen.
There are some hilarious passages. Also a lot of advice on writing.

Neil Gaiman (Sand Man, American Gods) said a similar thing when he started on novels, that novels and comics really only have the alphabet in common.
Although Gaiman turned out to be great at both...

I might add "Have something to say."

Don't know where that "P" came from...@&$)/#%,! iPad keyboard...

I've just joined a writer's group. the idea is that honest and constructive criticism is given; this isn't a group where everything is praised, no matter how bad it is.

This group meets once a month and we are expected to write fiction, which I thought I couldn't do. I've been giving it a go on this month's assignment and to my surprise I seem to be able to do it.

If I like it enough I will publish it on my blog, and it's not even off topic!

I learned from writing five books about the mechanics of lighting and photography in the space of a little more than three years that I don't like writing non-fiction books. I've had several publishers dangle new contracts for new books, and revisions of the old ones, but so far I'm not biting. Only hunger would prompt me to return to writing books about how to light something again. We'll see how long this giant case of canned tuna from Costco lasts.....

Unwanted tip from know-it-all-busybody #2, find a healthy procrastination habit. As per comments above, expect lots of procrastination.

Random example from personal experience #47, at university I was living in a share house with a friend. I once cleaned his oven inside and out in a grand act of procrastination when attempting to write an assignment. I even got out a screwdriver... And that was after I went to the sink to just rinse out a tea mug. I wiped a little food off the top, and then saw some more...
It was a strangely cathartic experience, and I was able to complete the assignment afterwards.

Another idea. Tripod, self timer. Better picture, more choices, better, more relaxed poses. Or, sub a friend for the self-timer.

Write every day; it's al I know, it's all I know.

Joe Bob Briggs 1984

My most sincere suggestion to new writers is to write what you read. When you're a serious fan of a particular form -- fiction, non-fiction, poetry, whatever -- you internalize the conventions of the form (and all forms have conventions.) With deeply internalized conventions, you will actually sense when your writing is going wrong, at a level so subtle it can't actually be described or discussed. You need to be able to do that, because the subconscious is a critical factor in all forms of good writing; you have to speak to the internal language and beliefs of your potential readers or you won't have any.

Started out as beat reporter, tried to write in a Hemingway style, then went to writing pulp short stories for a nickel a word. not easy.

I disagree, Mike. IMHO, style is not a production problem; it is an editing problem.

Sorry to see that there are so few comments on this thread!!

I went to film school because I was interested in telling stories. I'll be doing podcasts, in my old-age, because they are an easy way to tell short stories. Some will be shaggy dog stories told by a Dadaist. Others will be Anaïs Nin style sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll stories as told by a 1960s survivor.

I tell young writers: if you want to write: read.

But style isn’t demanded by a given genre. I write engineering explanations like John LeCarre. Or so it seems to me.

I've written several books. The only really useful advice is to make sure you write a few hundred words a day, or at least complete some practical research task related to the book. Time preparing and organising your raw material is more than repaid when it comes to the writing bit. Don't agonise over your writing: get something down. But allow as long for reshaping and polishing as for the original writing.

As for photography styles, unless you are being paid, there is no point in trying to do a photographic genre that you don't enjoy. You'll feel miserable, and you won't being to the process the physical and mental concentration that it needs.

What, nobody has cited Dorothy Parker yet?

"If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy."

The comments to this entry are closed.



Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 06/2007