How reading can sculpt our mind

Lately I was reading an article about reading habits and cognition. In this article the researchers claimed that reading literary fiction can boost our cognitive performance a lot more than popular fiction can. They said that, “just as in real life, the worlds of literary fiction are replete with complicated individuals whose inner lives are rarely easily discerned but warrant exploration.” A literary continuum. In a quite caustic tone Ezra Pound wrote that “The secret of popular writing is never to put more on a given page than the common reader can lap off it with no strain whatsoever on…

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Inspiration–is it really so important for your novel?

two coffee cups and a pair of glasses making up a face - Inspiration--is it really so important for your novel? - Peter Rey

After having reread and revised it at least five times, I’ve just sent off my first short novel, Ruin, to my editor. If everything goes as it should, within weeks I should manage to publish it. I wrote the first draft of Ruin in about three weeks. The story came to me easily and I enjoyed writing it. Then, after a pause to let it settle, to put some distance between me and the world I had imagined, I began the revising process. Though I had already edited a conspicuous amount of works before, the very first day I realized…

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The traditional novel — one thousand years old and still alive

clock - traditional novel - Peter Rey

Writing has been invented more than 3000 years ago. The first novel ever written was written by a woman in the year 1007. Since then, millions and millions of novels have been written. Indeed, we can say that the traditional novel truly represents a millenarian form of art. Yet, over the last few years, I heard on more than one occasion someone say that the novel is dead. That no traditional novel can match the immersive power of computer games, of interactive novels, and adventures. For sure the advent of the digital era has made relatively easy the creation of…

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Writers who don’t read, an ossimoron?

a man and a book - writers who don't read - Peter Rey

Sure, writers who don’t read aren’t really that common, but they’re not so rare either. In any case, some time ago, I came across the “confessions” of a young writer. She said she didn’t read much. Almost nothing at all.  She explained that she did so not out of a sort of repulsion for books by other authors, but to keep her voice, her style, as personal as possible. In short, she didn’t want to get influenced by what she read. Now, this might seem an interesting position. After all, any serious writer works hard to develop a strong personal…

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On Writing – Starting out and Setting Goals

runner ready to run - mportance of goal setting

When starting out, setting goals is essential. I mean, for this post, my very first post I wanted to write something brilliant, something memorable. For a while I examined, and subsequently discarded, many different ideas. I also worked my ass off to find elegant and dazzling ways to spark up my writings. But I soon discovered that no stylistic ruse and no idea was ever going to be good enough for my lofty goal. After the umpteenth draft and the umpteenth change of subject I was frustrated and spent to say the least – but not an inch closer to my…

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