Tagged With writing

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In The Black Khan, Ausma Zehanat Khan’s latest fantasy novel, a resistance group struggles to overthrow a cruel patriarchy led by a tyrant. You know, escapist stuff. Khan’s work has been compared to George R.R. Martin’s, but it also explores issues of cultural divides and conflicts inspired by the contemporary and historical worlds. We talked to Khan about leaving a career in law to write, how she gets and gives help from fellow novelists, and how writing a book transforms the room she works in.

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Dee Johnson will take you to Mars before Elon Musk even launches his next car out of the atmosphere. Johnson has run shows like The Good Wife and Nashville, worked on shows such as ER and Melrose Place, and now she’s showrunner on season 2 of MARS, National Geographic’s hybrid scripted/documentary series on the big desert planet we dream nightly of escaping to.

The new season premiered this Monday; we caught Johnson to talk about her career path, what she’s reading, and what seems to be the only way to get a new TV show on the air.

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Are you embarking on a one-month quest to write the first draft of that novel you’ve been dreaming of? Or perhaps you just want to feed off the energy of the 400,000 people who are. Here are our top tips for aspiring novelists.

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English is a weird language. None of our grammatical rules ever seem to be evenly applied without exceptions, and irregular verbs are no different. For most verbs in the English language, changing to past tense is as simple as adding 'ed' on the end. But then there's a whole host of words that don't conform to that rule. What gives?

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Listen to me, a professional writer: School and university teach you bad writing habits. One of those bad habits is padding out your work to reach a minimum page count. Anything you do to “cheat” at your page count, by making less text look like more, is an act of noble rebellion. And the new font Times Newer Roman is an excellent, hard-to-detect tool for padding.

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Video: Comedian, author and Last Week Tonight writer Josh Gondelman knows how to be funny in any context. Like any comedian, Josh’s second (or third or fourth) job is being good at Twitter. In 2012 he co-created the novelty account Modern Seinfeld, and he tweets regularly on his own account. In this video he explains how — or how not — to tweet.

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In her new memoir Now My Heart Is Full, Laura June writes about how becoming a parent has helped her make peace with the memory of her own mother, her mother’s alcoholism, and their difficult relationship. Here, she talks about life with her daughter Zelda, from her belief that babies sometimes need to be left alone to the way motherhood has made her more creative than ever.

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One of the things I constantly heard when I worked in the business world was that some people are good writers and others simply don't have that gift. When I was at school, there was a similar statement, often supported by teachers, with maths and science students "forgiven" for weaker writing skills. But it doesn't have to be that way. And while not everyone can be a Hemingway, it is possible to become a good writer.

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This week we have someone who desperately wants to escape his soulless career and become a writer, but he's too busy to write. Should he leave his job so he can finally find the time to put pen to paper? Or will he realise that it's possible to make time for his passion if he's willing to dig deep?

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Whether you like to draw, paint, write, choreograph, or play music, you're probably familiar with the creative block, where you just can't seem to do anything despite your motivation. To escape that rut, try doing what you do best, only terribly.