It's been six years since the last book. It's been a year since the last update. We're only one short season away from the end of the TV series. Maybe it's time to face it: it's likely the A Song Of Ice And Fire books will never get finished.
Tagged With writing
Ever notice those "reading level" stats that Microsoft Word shows you? They make it seem like writing to a higher level is good, and writing to a lower level is dumb. But the opposite is true. Shane Snow, founder of content-marketing site Contently, compared the reading levels of several bestselling books. Michael Crichton's work came in at an year eight reading level. Thomas Pynchon came in at year seven, Jane Austen at five, Ernest Hemingway at four, Goodnight Moon at three.
Every now and then, you have to write something longhand for someone else to read: A note, a notice, a birthday card. If you're like the many people we've gotten notes or notices or birthday cards from, it sometimes comes out illegible. We've presented many methods for improving your handwriting, but before you try them, just try slowing the hell down.
We all listened to Oprah's acceptance speech for the Cecil B. de Mille Award? Yes? Good. Did you notice how even though she's Oprah, and could probably make us cry by reading a takeaway menu backward, she put a ton of work into her speech? And how through that work, she took a celebration of her accomplishments, respected that premise, but turned it into a rallying cry for the forces of good? Next time you speak in public, would you like to be a little more like Oprah?
Learning how to write is like learning how to play a musical instrument: Once you learn the basic rules -- grammar, spelling and punctuation -- and are writing technically correct sentences, there's a still the whole world of syntax, diction and style to conquer. And this is where writers, like musicians, have opinions: Is it better to write straightforward, no-frills prose, or to weave verbal flights of fancy that illustrate complex, poetic sentiments?
Stories have shapes. Any story you tell works best if you recognise its shape, then strengthen that shape. This applies to a story of any length, whether you're putting in your 50,000 words for National Novel Writing Month 2017, or honing your favourite party anecdote, or even marketing something, including yourself. It even applies to Hemingway's famous six-word story, "For sale: baby shoes, never worn."
Roxane Gay has published five books in the last seven years, all acclaimed, all incisively addressing social issues that define our society, such as feminism, race, body image, racial and sexual violence, and the immigrant experience. Three - her essay collection Bad Feminist, her short story collection Difficult Women, and her memoir Hunger - were US national bestsellers.
This one is for the hardcore novel writers who are doubting themselves, the ones who committed last month to writing 50,000 words in 30 days, but then... uh, something happened.
In this episode we talk to Mira Jacob, author of the novel The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing, about how her novel took her 10 years to write, and what she learned in the process. We also hear from Lifehacker staff writers Nick Douglas, Patrick Allen and Beth Skwarecki about National Novel Writing Month (also known as NaNoWriMo), wherein writers pledge to write 50,000 words in 30 days. Beth has completed NaNoWriMo 10 times; Patrick is trying it this year for the first time. Nick investigates why anyone would do such a thing.
One of the best things about NaNoWriMo, or any terrifying deadline, is that it forces you to write quickly. (Hello, procrastinators.) If writing quickly is your stated goal, then you don't have time to do the number one thing that interrupts your writing flow: Think about whether what you're writing is good.
How's NaNoWriMo going? Do you have 20 per cent of a novel on your hard drive yet? If not, maybe you're having trouble thinking of what to write. Fortunately, there's a place on nanowrimo.org that is full of ideas ripe for the stealing.