Top Ten Writing Rules from Famous Writers

a writer's word polished or raw

Top Ten Writing Rules

from Famous Writers

Post by Jennifer Kiley

Post Sunday 19th October 2014

 Top Ten Writing Rules from Famous Writers

quill pen fade

Rule # 10

Write a draft.
Then let it rest.

- Stephen King

*   *   *

Rule # 9

Read a lot.

- Stephen King

*   *   *

Rule # 8

Never use a long word
when a short one will do.

- George Orwell

*   *   *

Rule # 7

Never use the passive
when you can use the active instead.

- George Orwell

*   *   *

Rule # 6

Know your audience.

- Pierre Berton

*   *   *

Rule # 5

Recycle
& read the good stuff
before you write.

- Pierre Berton

 *   *   *

Rule # 4

Honour the miraculousness
of the ordinary.

- Andrew Morton

*   *   *

Rule # 3

Good draft = draft – 10%

- Stephen King

*   *   *

Rule # 2

Look at every word in a sentence
& decide if they are really needed.
If not – kill them.
Be ruthless.

– Bob Cooper

*   *   *

Rule # 1

Remember:
Writing doesn’t love you.
It doesn’t care.
Nevertheless it can behave
with remarkable generosity.
Speak well of it. Encourage others.
Pass it on.

- Al Kennedy

*   *   *

underwood old fashion typewriter

*    *    *

“Writing is…being fiercely alive”

a writer's word polished or raw

 “Writing is…being fiercely alive”

Written by Mary Gaitskill

Post Sunday 5th October 2014

Created by Jennifer Kiley

 

“Writing Is… Being Fiercely Alive”

“Writing is….
being able
to take
something
whole
and
fiercely alive
that exists
inside you
in some
unknowable
combination
of thought,
feeling,
physicality,
and spirit,

and to then
store
it
like a genie
in tense,
tiny
black symbols
on a
calm
white page.

If
the wrong
reader
comes across
the words,
they will
remain
just words.

But
for the right
readers,
your vision
blooms
off the page
and is
absorbed
into their
minds
like smoke,
where it will
re-form,
whole
and
alive,

fully adapted
to its new
environment.”

― Mary Gaitskill

smoke billowing black the dance crizzcrozz

Typewriter Song played by Boston Pops

[Reminiscent to the days of the battering the keys & the famous bell at the end. Time to throw the "carriage" back.]

“A Conversation with Ray Bradbury”

tell me a story
“A Conversation with Ray Bradbury”
Post Thursday 21st August 2014

Marvelous words from the heart & mind of Ray Bradbury. A Dreamer. A Reader. A Thinker.   A Librarian. A Writer.

You Become the Authors Who Write the Books. Listen As You Read. You Become Emily Dickinson. You Become Ernest Hemingway. You Become Shakespeare. How Great Would That Feel.

Get Inside of the Words the Author Chose Particularly For Just This Moment In Time. Quite Often Different For Everyone. Learn About Books.

Reading Can Give You A Great Education.

Bradbury Wrote “Fahrenheit 451″  A Book Every Person Needs To Read.

Be the Book. Be the Words. Be Aware. Be Informed.

Do You Know What Fahrenheit 451 Actually Is? Or What the Book Is About? Great Ending. You Don’t See It Coming.

“You Don’t Know What You Are Because You Are In Love.” A Book Can Make You Feel In Love Or Many Other Different Ways.

Books Are Smart & Brilliant & Wise.

A Must To Listen To. If You Love Imagination & Free Thinking You Will Fall In Love With Ray Bradbury. He Is Deeply Divine.

And In My Judgment – Quite Zen. Ommmmmmmm. – Jennifer Kiley

“A Conversation with Ray Bradbury” by Lawrence Bridges

“I Am One of the Searchers”

a writer's word polished or raw

“I Am One of the Searchers”

By James Kavanaugh

Post by Jennifer Kiley

Posted on Sunday 15th June 2014

water ocean gif

sun rays into forest“I Am One of the Searchers”  There are, I believe, millions of us. We are not unhappy, but neither are we really content. We continue to explore life, hoping to uncover its ultimate secret. We continue to explore ourselves, hoping to understand. We like to walk along the beach, we are drawn by the ocean, taken by its power, its unceasing motion, its mystery and unspeakable beauty. We like forests and mountains, deserts and hidden rivers, and the lonely cities as well. Our sadness is as much a part of our lives as is our laughter. To share our sadness with one we love is perhaps as great a joy as we can know. Unless it be to share our laughter.

sunrise in the mountainsWe searchers are ambitious only for life itself, for everything beautiful it can provide.Most of all we love and want to be loved. We want to live in a relationship that will not impede our wandering, not prevent our search, nor lock us in prison walls; that will take us for what little we have to give. We do not want to have to prove ourselves to another or compete for love.

river thru rock walls  by cocoaaaaa

For wanderers, dreamers, and lovers,

for lonely men and women

who dare to ask from life everything

good and beautiful. It is for those who

are too gentle to live among wolves.

— James Kavanaugh

[There Are Men Too Gentle To Live Among Wolves]

rain on window in the city gif

*       *       *             *             *

A Writer’s Diary: Virginia Woolf —Part #4

a writer's diary
Virginia Woolf – Part #4
Excerpts from Virginia Woolf
Created by Jennifer Kiley
Created 25th February 2014
Posted Sunday 23rd March 2014
A WRITER’S DIARY

Virginia Woolf 1

Virginia Woolf

A Writer’s Diary
Virginia Woolf – Part #4

January 20th, 1919,
Woolf at 36-years
9 days before
her 37th Birthday

If Virginia Woolf
at the age
of 50,

when she sits down
to build
her memoirs
out of
these books,

is unable
to make
a phrase
as it
should be
made,

I can
only condole
with her

and
remind her
of the existence
of the fireplace,

where she
has my leave
to burn
these pages

to so
many black
films
with red eyes
in them.

But how
I envy her
the task

I am
preparing
for her!

There is
none

I should
like

better.

Virginia Woolf's Monk's House Garden

Virginia Woolf’s Monk’s House Garden

virginia woolf 3

Virginia Woolf

Erik Satie: Gnossienne No. 1, 2, 3

A Writer’s Diary: Virginia Woolf — Part #1

a writer's diary
Virginia Woolf – Part #1
Excerpts from Virginia Woolf
Created by Jennifer Kiley
Created 8th February 2014
Posted Sunday 2nd March 2014
A WRITER’S DIARY

Virginia Woolf 1

Virginia Woolf

A Writer’s Diary
Virginia Woolf – Part #1

Explaining
in Virginia Woolf’s words,
the major reasons why
it is an essential means
to learn writing
by keeping a writer’s diary.

It exercises your mind,
no censorship,
and someday
you can use
to create
your own
autobiography.

In “The Writer’s Diary,”
Virginia Woolf, herself,
wrote unedited,
free flow,
stream of consciousness
and is
quite intelligent.

In the opening,
some words
from Leonard Woolf,
Virginia Woolf’s husband.

I find
a real
understanding
of
Virginia Woolf.

I feel
as if I can
hear her voice
speaking
through
her words.

The excerpts
will be
an ongoing
presentation
of
Virginia
Woolf.

Virginia Woolf's Monk's House Garden

Virginia Woolf’s Monk’s House Garden

virginia woolf 3

Virginia Woolf

Editor’s Corner 101.37: All Good Things….

shawn mackenzie's editor's corner day monday
Editor’s Corner 101.37
All Good Things….
Written by Shawn MacKenzie
Originally Posted on MacKenzie’s Dragonsnest in 2013

Reposted on ‘the secret keeper’
Monday 3rd February 2014

101.37

All Good Things….

There’s a trick to the ‘graceful exit.’
It begins with the vision to recognize when a job,
a life stage, or a relationship is over — and let it go.
…Ellen Goodman

Scribe smallStories, films, lives – all things come to a close. Sometimes neatly, sometimes not. And so, after nine months, I am bringing the Editor’s Corner to what I hope is a neat and graceful end.

Over the past thirty-seven weeks, we have covered topic both minute and sweeping, and yet, in the end, I find it fitting to return to the beginning. To our words.

I originally wrote the following back in March of this year as a guest piece for Karen Sanderson’s blog. I now amend, update, and present it to you as my parting thoughts. My thanks to Niamh and Plum Tree for this forum, and to all who have traveled with me on this writer’s journey. Enjoy.

P1010342

You Are Your Words

We humans are creatures of custom. It frames our existence and structures our lives. In the course of my daily custom, once I begin to feel the dream-webs lift from my mind, I brew a fresh pot of tea, play with the kittens, and allow my thoughts to mosey along paths both cosmological and mundane, reasoned and stochastic. The other day, I started thinking about words.

Magical, mystical, wickedly creative, oh, the glorious power of words and we who wield them.

“In the beginning was the Word…and the Word was God.”

This is not just a Judeo-Christian notion. The Popol Vuh – Mayan Book of Creation – speaks of how Sovereign Plumed Serpent (who later became Quetzlcoatl) and Heart of Sky came together at the beginning of time:

“…And then came his [Heart of Sky’s] word, he came to Sovereign Plumed Serpent, here in the blackness, in the early dawn…. they joined their words, their thoughts….And then the earth arose because of them, it was simply their word that brought it forth….”

Quetzlcoatl - Vampire Princess

Quetzlcoatl by Vampire Princess

Now this notion (naturally) draws me down a whimsically syllogistic rabbit hole: The Word is divine; the divine create with words. Writers create with words; writers are divine.

Hey, makes sense to me.

Ok, we writers may not be divine, but we do cloak ourselves in Creator’s motley as comfortably as jeans and broadcloth. Mind blowing for gods to shape the universe in the round of a word, yet that’s what we do every day. Out of the chaos of random thought, the void of the blank page, we create whole worlds and the beings who live in them. Earthsea, Darkover, Yoknapatawpha County, OZ and East Egg, Wonderland and Wessex – the list of literary terrae nova are legion. Even places we think we know, like Richard Wright’s Chicago or Edith Wharton’s New York, are, in authorial hands, transformed into alien landscapes ripe for exploration.

Wizard of Earthsea - Torture Device

Wizard of Earthsea by Torture Device

And so we string one word after another, counting our hours from phrase to sentence to paragraph to tome. We weave tales of myth and wonder and supernal genesis. For words are creative. With them we name things and by naming them bring them into being. They are active, breathing life into those named things, making them romp and fly and do handsprings through the treetops. They are descriptive, coloring and shaping the world that it might be recognized and marveled at in all its beauty and strangeness. And that is without even touching upon the mind and heart, the emotional power of words. The power that reaches out across our inherent aloneness and makes people feel and think and remember, even change their lives. For words are lash and cradle, warming spark and unholy conflagration. They heal and nurture, wound and kill.

Complex stuff. God stuff.

Sue Blackwell book sculpture

Sue Blackwell book sculpture

Which brings me to a story. More memoir than fancy (though there are tangential Dragons); just a little something I thought I’d share.

Two years ago, my book, The Dragon Keeper’s Handbook, was making its way into print. In anticipation of this event, my publisher invited me to the Book Expo of America in New York. Sign some ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies), generate book buzz, and spend two days in Gotham with all stripe of book folk – authors, publishers, agents, librarians. Commercialism be damned, for a writer, what could be more delicious?

Not to mention the swag!

A convention neophyte, I was quite unprepared for the booty laid out like Smaug’s hoard, just there for the taking. From simple promotional bookmarks and house totes, to signed copies of the year’s (hopefully) hottest titles, one was limited only by one’s interests, greed, and in the case of acquiring a major author’s John (or Jane) Hancock, no small amount of stamina. Even though I was hobbling about on a broken leg at the time, I returned home with several bags – now weekly filled with groceries – and a far from shabby passel of books. For all that, my favorite BEA keepsake was from the folks at the American Heritage Dictionary of English Language: a modest white 6” x 4” oval magnet, adorned in black Arial with the deceptively simple gnome: You Are Your Words.

URYourWords

Every morning since, I rub the sleep from my eyes and focus on this reminder of how I am defined by the words in my life. They are my tools, my paint and canvas, soil and seeds. I shape them, play with them, with luck make them croon like an armadillo and pirouette on the wings of a damselfly. They represent me to the world, my ideas and dreams. Whether tripping across page or tongue, they have consequences, so I must choose them with care. They are my children sent into the world, and I am responsible for them, in all their beauty or ugliness.

I am my words; my words are me.

As logophile, whimsical scribe, exacting editor, wielder of words.

As a writer.

I give you my word.

1219782482yLCfpg

Happy Holidays, my friends.
Write well.

The Last Edition of the Editor’s Corner To Go To the Archives Click On the Highlighted “Editor’s Corner”