The Periodic Table of Storytelling

Beautiful treat for writers! An artist named James Harris has illustrated the main storytelling elements (story structure, plots, plot devices, character types, and production terms) in an elegant Periodic Table of Storytelling. Each element is linked to the relevant TV Tropes page, which just so happens to be one of the most fascinating rabbit holes of storytelling on the web. DOUBLE FUN. There’s[…]

Review – Editors on Editing: What Writers Need to Know About What Editors Do

“Authors really depend on editors for one thing: the truth.” Editors on Editing: What Writers Need to Know About What Editors Do, by Gerald Gross, is a collection of essays by editors, illuminating all the different things that go on in that strange editorial realm between writers’ and readers’ imaginations. The book is broken into two[…]

How important is rewriting?

Love this answer by Robet McKee in an interview on Storylink.com. Debra Eckerling asked him, How important is the process of rewriting? Robert McKee: “It’s absolutely critical. I quote Hemingway in my book who said, “The first draft of anything is shit.” What’s difficult for writers to come to terms with is to recognize that 90%[…]

Letting Go of the Final Draft

I feel sad when I finish the last touches on a manuscript I’ve been editing and have to say goodbye to the characters, especially after spending months being so involved in their lives and every move. But I can’t imagine what it’s like for an author, who has usually spent years writing, rewriting, revising, and[…]

David Foster Wallace on Television’s Value to Fiction Writers

David Foster Wallace, on how television can be great for writers… First, television does a lot of our predatory human research for us. American human beings are a slippery and protean bunch in real life, hard as hell to get any kind of universal handle on. But television comes equipped with just such a handle.[…]

The Secret to Being a Great Storyteller

The people who master an art like storytelling are not aliens with freakish talents and powers; they’re just the people who care the most. It takes a massive amount of self-discipline and faith to devote years and years to getting incrementally better at a craft, and to push through the dark times of tedious monotony, doubts[…]

Writers on writing process

TREASURE! Today I stumbled upon this collection of short clips from the Writer’s Confessions series: writers talking about the writing process. They’re good! I watched them all… Here are some of my favorite quotes>>> Claudia Dey on how writing is like taxidermy. (I LOVE this one. Taxidermy totally captures the weirdness, darkness, beauty and deception of writing.) “I[…]

Review: Sleights of Mind

Aside from being interesting for anyone who is curious about how magic tricks work (or about how to be less gullible in general), Sleights of Mind: What the Neuroscience of Magic Reveals about Our Everyday Deceptions is a pretty fascinating book for writers, mainly because of all the parallels between creating illusions on the stage and on[…]

The evolution of a writer

Another great quote from one of my favourite books, Science Fiction 101 by Robert Silverberg. A lot of narrative technique is actually something that you figure out unconsciously as you absorb other people’s narratives; later you may consciously codify a set of rules, and later on you internalize them again so that they operate without[…]