Posts Tagged ‘Inspiration’

12
Jun

Best Dragon Quote Ever? From Rilke

   Posted by: Moses Siregar III    in Inspiration, Poetry

Rainer Maria Rilke

Rainer Maria Rilke

From Rainer Maria Rilke (context):

“Perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave. Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us.”

I found it in the comments on a Lev Grossman post about “The Best Thing Anybody Ever Said About Fantasy.” Some great stuff there.

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20
May

Passion for Writing: May 20th, 2010

   Posted by: Moses Siregar III    in Passion for Writing

Mark Twain: “When you catch an adjective, ill it. No, I don’t mean that utterly, but kill the most of them – then the rest will be valuable. They weaken when they are close together, they give strength whenthe are wide apart. An adjective-habit, or a wordy, diffuse, or flowery habit, once fastened upon a person, is as hard to get rid of as any other vice.”
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From Tom Dupree, a great modern history of reading, on how women came to play increasingly more significant roles both within the publishing industry, and as readers.
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Critters.org conducted a very interesting price survey on ebooks, and what prices people think are “fair” or too high.
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On Jim C Hines’ blog, there’s an interview with a mysterious fantasy author who has decided to use a pseudonym. He talks about his decision to do so.
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Why Your Book Isn’t Selling has some decent advice about selling books, though more at a beginner’s level.
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Here’s something for both writers and non-writers: A fantastic list of 50 Things Your Customers Wish You Knew by @Sonia Simone. Some of my favorites:

1. I don’t need you to be perfect, but I do need to know I can rely on you.
5. A friendly voice on the other side of the phone [Moses: or, insert other media] means more than you can imagine.
9. I want to tell you what would make this relationship better for me. Why don’t you ever ask me?
19. I like to get little goodies no one else is getting.
20. I don’t understand how to use your Web site, but I can’t admit that because it would make me feel dumb.
28. I want to buy your product, but I need you to help me justify it to myself.
34. I have the attention span of a goldfish. Go too long without contacting me and I’ll simply forget you exist.
45. I believe I deserve much more than I’m getting.
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If you’re on Shelfari, I just set up my account last night. I may join GoodReads soon, as well.
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And finally, a five-second video of my three-year-old saying grace at the table: “Thank you all dis food–AMEN!” The kid is passionate about blessing food!

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22
Apr

Passion For Writing: April 22nd, 2010

   Posted by: Moses Siregar III    in Passion for Writing

Kurt Vonnegut: “Our power is patience. We have discovered that writing allows even a stupid person to seem halfway intelligent, if only that person will write the same thought over and over again, improving it just a little bit each time. It is a lot like inflating a blimp with a bicycle pump. Anybody can do it. All it takes is time.”
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Cec Murphey has a great couple of cautionary articles on using the progressive tense (-ing verbs). Part 1. Part 2. Cec Murphy’s blog is fantastic, btw. That reminds me to go add him to my blogroll …
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Marian Schembari asks, “How horrible is your About page“? She offers suggestions on what to do and what not to do.
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The difference between an alpha and a beta reader.
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@Zoe Winters has a nice piece on how to be a patron of (support) independent writers.
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C. Patrick Schulze explains How to Get Your Self-Published Novel Reviewed
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@Xander Bennett offers advice for (screenplay) writers on how to write a kick-ass protagonist:
1 – Make her WANT SOMETHING.
2 – Make her INCREDIBLY GOOD at what she does.
3 – Have her CHANGE enormously.

See his article for his arguments on each point.
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And here’s a video of me and my 3-year-old son, in which he thinks he hears the smell of poo-poo, then suggests it’s hiding:

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15
Apr

Passion for Writing: April 15th, 2010

   Posted by: Moses Siregar III    in Passion for Writing

“Anyone who says he wants to be a writer and isn’t writing, doesn’t.” -Ernest Hemingway.
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Darren Rowse writes on the ProBlogger blog about: 4 Classic Mistakes I Made In My First Year of Blogging [and How I Got 1000 Subscribers Anyway]

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Michael A Stackpole forecasts that traditional publishing distribution may crash in 2012, based on Michael Shatzkin’s estimates.
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Steve White, aka Novel Dog blogs about four current authors who have succeeded thanks to their moxie, hustle, or genius rather than following a strictly traditional paradigm @ScottSigler, @JAKonrath, @JCHutchins, and Bruce Holland Rogers.

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James Frenkel, longtime Tor editor, says on a PW blog: “Good writing can be, to some extent, learned. Good storytelling, however, seems to be a talent, not a learned skill.”

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Kevin J Anderson explains how he writes his first drafts by dictation, while hiking in nature.

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Watch out. It’s a geek debate. The David Gemmell Award Is Bad for Fantasy. No, sucka, it’s not.
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Finally, this cat is better than you:

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13
Apr

Passion for Writing: April 13th, 2010

   Posted by: Moses Siregar III    in Passion for Writing

“Genius is the recovery of childhood at will.” –Arthur Rimbaud
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“I can do anything I put my mind to–except put my mind to anything.” -Nicholas Vesiri
Thanks Atsiko.
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This is an excellent, short piece from @SoniaSimone. Seriously, if you write, read it. 5 Editors Secrets to Help You Write Like a Pro. Better to be safe than sorry. ;-)
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Malone Editorial Services discusses where new writers fail. Excerpt: “Here’s the kicker: Though you may sell a lot of copies of the first book, and therefore think it was good, those readers if not truly entertained won’t buy the second. And your career as an author has just tanked. Only the iceberg you hit was you.”
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Mette Ivie Harrison has a number of good articles on Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show. I like her comments on dialogue: “They say that the eyes are the windows of the soul, but that’s not in a novel. In a novel, dialog is the window of the soul, and all the descriptions of eyes shining, glowing, or burning will not make up for bad dialog.”
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A list of “50 best book people to follow on Twitter,” from Huffington Post. Only, they forgot to mention @MosesSiregar.
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The Complete Flake’s Guide to Getting Things Done, also from Sonia Simone. A funny, self-help flavored piece: “You, my friend, are a flake. Congratulations. We are a worldwide force. If we could all get ourselves moving in the same direction, we would change the world. However, that will never happen.”
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And if you’re not following Joe Konrath’s blog where he’s talking about his experience with ebooks, here’s a powerful new one from him where he wonders if print is a subsidiary right and he discusses his crisis of faith in traditional publishing.
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Courtney Johnson, aspiring writer, is running a contest on her blog. Enter for a chance to win a free 10,000 word critique.

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1
Apr

Passion for Writing: April 1st, 2010

   Posted by: Moses Siregar III    in Passion for Writing

“Writing takes over your life. If you’re lucky, it takes over your soul.” -Kit Ehrman

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RT noveldoctor Errant comma in new printing of Moby-Dick unexpectedly changes book’s genre to romance. “Call me, Ishmael.”

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RT noveldoctor As of today, literary agents are no longer accepting submissions from people who can’t write.

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RT noveldoctorJames Cameron combines Titanic sequel with second Avatar film. Turns out that diamond was actually Unobtanium.

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On Jeff VanderMeer’s BookLifeNow blog, 15 authors are asked: “What is the best piece of general writing advice you’ve ever received?”

Victoria Blake: “The best piece of writing advice? Keep writing. Don’t settle for what comes out on the first draft. Investigate what’s on the page. And remember that fiction writing has more in common with ditch digging than it does with painting. There’s just a lot of dirt to move out of  the way.”

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From Jane Friedman’s blog on perfectionism vs progress: “It’s like what Ira Glass has said: There is the excellence (or quality) you can see and appreciate—and then there is what you’re actually capable of.

This can cause paralysis.”

The Ira Glass video (5:20) talks about how excellence takes years of work, and what it’s like to start out and know this.

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Vonda N McIntyre has a nice little list of 12 Pitfalls for Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy (though most of the items are applicable to any genre). My favorite is one of my own pet peeves, the misuse of the word, “literally:”
Pitfall #11: Literal v. Figurative, or “His Head Literally Exploded!”

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An article from Cheryl Morgan suggests how to improve attendance at WorldCon.

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Here are pics from the Superstars Writing Seminar that I attended recently, on Kevin J Anderson’s blog.

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30
Mar

Passion for Writing: March 30th, 2010

   Posted by: Moses Siregar III    in Passion for Writing

Tom Clancy: “The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.” (Quote borrowed from Plot to Punctuation blog)
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“Writing well means never having to say, ‘I guess you had to be there.’” — Jef Mallett (ditto)

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[On fantasy writing:] “It’s not enough to create magic. You have to create a price for magic, too. You have to create rules.” — Eric A. Burns (ditto)

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N.K. Jemisin wrote a liberating blog post about how writing exactly what she wanted to write propelled her to success: “I think The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms became my “breakout” novel (i.e., the one that actually got published, as opposed to the ones still sitting in my harddrive) because I stopped caring about what the market wanted … [conclusion] The lesson here is obvious: trying to write what the market wanted didn’t work for me. Writing what I wanted, did. Now, this is not to say that every writer should throw convention to the winds and expect success …”
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RT WritersDigest Pronoun Problems: “He/She,” “He or She,” or Just Plain “He”? http://ow.ly/16VLU4

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The AgencyGatekeeper blog has a nice couple of posts on the problem of overusing your protagonist’s name and/or pronouns for your protag. The problem. The solution given. My opinion? Moderation.

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Steven Erikson describes some of his approach to writing on A Dribble of Ink blog. The quotes were pulled from a series of blogs Erikson is writing at Life as a Human.

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Quick Book Learning blog on: New vs Mid-Career vs Senior Literary Agents: Which is right for you?

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Patricia Stoltey on the GLA Blog: 3. Networking is the most important reason to attend writers’ conferences. Volunteer to help with registration, moderate a panel, conduct a workshop in your area of expertise, or stuff goodie bags. Make friends. Also hang out with the authors, editors, and agents during cocktail hour. Don’t be afraid to talk to them. They (at least most of them) won’t bite.

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Moses: Tell me, who should I be following?

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29
Mar

Passion for Writing: March 29th, 2010

   Posted by: Moses Siregar III    in Passion for Writing

Neil Gaiman, from The Guardian: “The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like.”
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RT AdvicetoWriters “Carefully examined, a good–an interesting–style will be found to consist in a constant succession of tiny, unobservable surprises.” -FORD MADDOX FORD
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RT @agentgame Okay, I’m just going to say it: I find romances between teenage girls and men who are hundreds of years old to be creepy
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RT @agentrobert Writers. Do you know how many of your published titles libraries buy? Great customers, those libraries. We need to fight to keep them sound.
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5 Commonly Misunderstood Things on Twitter (I learned a couple of things from this)
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From Kirsten Hubbard: A nice blog post on the art of just enough character description–also the art of doing so in first person)
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A while back, Nathan Bransford posted a nice top ten list called “Ten Commandments for the Happy Writer” (as a Moses, I am rather fond top ten lists, even moreso in this case for obvious reasons):

4. Don’t neglect your friends and family. No book is worth losing a friend, losing a spouse, losing crucial time with your children. Hear me? NO book is worth it. Not one. Not a bestseller, not a passion project, nothing. Friends and family first. THEN writing. Writing is not an excuse to neglect your friends and family. Unless you don’t like them very much.
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Because of increasingly common self-publishing success stories, Nathan Bransford has one of the best assessments I’ve read about whether or not to self-publish. Should You Self-Publish? Ten Questions to Ask Yourself. His take is quite fair overall, but here’s my favorite line from him, taken out of context: “Much like pimpin’: self-publishing ain’t easy.”
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Stolen from Nathan Bransford: “Take it away, Coach Taylor!!!”

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28
Mar

Passion for Writing: March 28th, 2010

   Posted by: Moses Siregar III    in Passion for Writing

Larry Brooks: “Make sure your story comes from a place of passion, that it deals with something important to you, that you have something meaningful to say about it through your characters, and that isn’t remotely a storytelling-by-the-numbers proposition that allows you to meet a critique group deadline.

Ask yourself if you could write only one more story before the plug is pulled, what would it be? Why is this important to you? If you can’t answer that question, go into search mode for that answer.

A clever story idea isn’t enough. Even when well executed. The weight of your story, on multiple fronts, is what will elevate it toward greatness. ”
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RT @agentgame If you really don’t care which agent you get, you’re doing it wrong.
_____________________________________________________________________________ Elana Johnson writes about where to spend her social networking time as an aspiring writer, and which types of blogs make the most productive use of her time.
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Victoria Strauss on the Writer Beware Blog (“First Novel Sales: The Data”): “Writers dreaming of overnight success should get set for a long haul. The time it took respondents to sell their first novels ranged from 0 to 41 (!) years, but the average was just over 11 years. (It took me 8).”
_____________________________________________________________________________RT @agentrobert Trend seems to be male leads in some paranormal romance and romantic suspense novels. New writers should stay trad. however
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RT @RonHogan “Great thing about having an acclaimed 1st book is the quality of your rejection letters gets so much better.” http://is.gd/b4kyx
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RT AdviceToWriters You can’t make a living being a poet, but you can make something of a living traveling around the country talking about poetry. -MAXINE KUMIN
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Another from Victoria Strauss on the Writer Beware Blog:

Three things publishers don’t know about the digital future (which platform will win? How many people will actually read ebooks? What impact will piracy have?)

Four things publishers do know about the digital future
(yes, people will read from screens. Yes, change will happen; the race is on, even if we can’t know how it will turn out. Yes, other content industries have been “knocked sideways” by the Internet, so there’s no reason to assume publishing will manage better. Yes, digital is the future of book marketing.)
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Moses: Tell me folks, who should I be following on Twitter? Which blogs should I be reading?

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27
Mar

Passion for Writing: March 27th, 2010

   Posted by: Moses Siregar III    in Passion for Writing

RT AdviceToWriters “Find out what your hero or heroine wants, and when he or she wakes up in the morning, just follow him or her all day.” -RAY BRADBURY

Moses: Have you read Ray Bradbury’s Zen in the Art of Writing? It’s the most inspirational book I’ve read on writing, with the possible exception of … On Writing, by Stephen King. My heart goes all mushy when I start thinking about Ray Bradbury. Zen in the Art of Writing isn’t the kind of book that makes you want to write to be a success story, it’s the kind of book that just makes you want to write because you LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the creative process of storytelling.
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Laura Resnick wrote a guest blog post on some of the things  authors can control, and some of the things they can’t: “Few aspiring writers realize it, but talent is surprisingly common. What separates professional writers from the pack isn’t talent, but instead qualities that are more unusual: perseverance, skill, and brains.

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Agent Anne Hawkins says: “ If I could give unpublished authors one piece of advice, it would be this: Learn as much as you can about the publishing industry, how it works, and who the players are before beginning the query process. Publishing is a quirky business, and things often happen in a nonlinear fashion. The author who adopts a learn-as-you-go philosophy runs the risk of making costly, even disastrous mistakes.”
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RT GrammarGirl is thinking that most fiction sounds pretty silly or formulaic when you describe it in just one or two sentences.

RT BrandonSandrson @GrammarGirl That’s especially true with fantasy. Try describing Lord of the Rings in one sentence and not make it sound silly!
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Moses: Tell me folks, who should I be following on Twitter? Which blogs should I be reading?

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