Famous writers’ quotes about writing

Quotes are interesting. Quotes are fashionable. Famous writers’ quotes about writing are even cooler. But quotes are also prone to misinterpretation. Especially because they are often used without appropriate context. This may look like a minor detail. But it’s not. In fact, for example, if you know about writing techniques and what it means to tell the truth in creative writing, you can have decidedly different takes on the following Mark Twain’s quote than you would if you hadn’t any special interest about writing. If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything–Mark Twain In one case you…

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What is serendipity and how it relates to creative writing

When you find valuable or agreeable things you weren’t looking for, that’s a case of serendipity. Serendipity has always played a major role in science. For example, in the discovery of penicillin, made by Alexander Fleming in 1928. In fact, as the story goes, Fleming was sorting through many different petri dishes containing cultures of dangerous bacteria. So doing, he noticed that on one dish was happening something unexpected. The colonies of bacteria spread all over the dish but for one small area where a mold was growing. Besides, the area all around the mold was free of bacteria. Of…

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Is it true that first drafts are always bad? 5 tips to write better ones

You have heard it a million times at least. First drafts are always bad. First drafts suck. First drafts are shitty. Really, you can choose any disparaging adjective and rest assured someone already stated that first drafts are just that too. However, all this clamor doesn’t prove that first drafts must necessarily be always so bad. For example, it could simply be that a lot of people like to repeat a catchy phrase. That they love being involuntary vectors of a meme epidemic. It may also mean many people keep repeating and spreading such a meme because they find it…

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How handwriting can boost your creative productivity

When it comes to creative writing, deep down we all know that if literature giants like Jonathan Swift (Gulliver’s Travels),  Homer (Iliad, Odyssey), and Miguel de Cervantes (Don Quixote), wrote their masterpieces when electricity was still in the realm of science fiction, then there are no excuses for not being able to write just because our PCs aren’t perfectly up to date. In fact, a sheet of paper and a pencil. That’s all it takes to write. I mean, from a purely technical point of view. But time does fly, and times do change. As a result what was usual in the…

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Healthy minds: how writers can stay healthy and keep writing

Writing can be a deeply rewarding activity. It can also be terribly stressful. Just have a look at these quotes: We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect–Anaïs Nin One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple–Jack Kerouac I am irritated by my own writing. I am like a violinist whose ear is true, but whose fingers refuse to reproduce precisely the sound he hears within–Gustave Flaubert A blank piece of paper is God’s way of telling us how hard it is to be God–Sidney Sheldon As a matter of fact,…

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Horror books and video games, not your usual link

Richard Burns Rally is a sim racing game that was released in 2004. Back then Richard Burns, who won the World Rally Championships in 2001, helped the programmers to recreate as accurately as possible the way actual cars behave on the road. Now, fourteen years later Richard Burns Rally is still considered among the best rally simulators. This is so true that there are several communities of modders around the world who actively keep adding new material to the original game. They model new cars, design new stages, and fine tune new setups for the cars. Mostly for free. rallysimfans…

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A book is a map of meanings – but a map is not the territory

In his short story On exactitude In Science, Jorge Luis Borge says that a map is not the territory, and should never be. This is one of those statements you could dismiss as utterly banal and therefore not worth of any pondering. But also that of gravity seems a banal concept, doesn’t it? After all we have all a basic and instinctual understanding of it. You know what I mean. Keep away from unprotected high places. Press benches are fine but don’t overdo them if you don’t want to get squashed under a barbell… We have this basic understanding because we…

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How to create suspense in your horror novels

Suspense is an important element in many genres. For sure, thrillers and mysteries need it just as horror novels do. But, if you give it some thought, you’ll see that suspense seeps also into many others genres. Maybe only for a scene or two, but it’s there nonetheless. So if you’re serious about writing, handling it effectively from the get go is as necessary as it is a thorough knowledge of grammar–even if you’re going to break some rules now and then. What is Suspense? According to the Online Oxford Dictionary, in literature suspense is a quality in a work of…

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Reluctant heroes and literary tropes

Reading is an incredibly rewarding experience. It’s therefore only natural that scientists and philosophers have tried to explain why we read and why we draw such a deep pleasure from it. Some explanations make more sense than others. But in general it seems science still has to cover some distance before it can give us a complete and working explanation of why when our brain is on books it works the way it does. That said, while I appreciate knowing about the inner workings of my mind, I’m pretty sure one of the reasons I love reading is that when I…

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