Does size matter for books?

Does size matter? For whales, obviously yes. But does it matter for books too? Once upon a time, in a splendid castle perched on a knoll lived a young princess…Sorry, I was lost in thoughts. Reminiscent thoughts. I was thinking about how easy it all was when the universe I cared for had still to do essentially only with dragons and damsels in distress and frogs. Back then personal computers were looked at like futuristic status symbols which furnished only NASA control rooms, or maybe the houses of the richest. For sure few novelists used them as word processors. Especially if…

Continue reading

Writing tools — to quit or not to quit?

Quitting gets a bad rap. Obviously it does. After all quitters are those who leave you out in the cold, running alone. Quitters are those who decide that the diet they’re following sucks horribly. So they leave you in line with all your super healthy and tasteless food and–bye byeing–cross the street and take a seat at the first diner they can find. Quitters. Everybody hates quitters. Yet. They seem happy. They have families and friends. They have dogs and cats. In short, they are very normal people. Just like you and me. But wait a moment… Though I cannot…

Continue reading

How to improve your creativity, and your life too

Native American toitem -

What should you do to hone your creative skills? I don’t know about you. But I’ve a pretty good idea of what is good for me. For sure, a writer should read a lot. That’s quite obvious. And, indeed, there’s no way you can effectively learn how to improve your writing if you never stop and observe what others do and how do it. But though reading is essential, there’s something else just as important. That has to do with your television set. I mean, the best thing you can do with your TV is kill it. Really, go and pull the…

Continue reading

How to become a writer–5 books to conquer your mountain

the Matterhorn

As it is possible to notice from the diagram below, books have known an unprecedented growth over the past few centuries. Besides, with the advent of Internet things have accelerated even more. To the point that it is next to impossible to make any reasonable prediction about the future of the publishing industry. This abundance doesn’t necessarily mean that books have gotten cheaper. For example, according to prices for textbooks since 1977 have grown by 1,040%. This is a staggering number, above all considering that the overall inflation over the same period amounts only to 308%. With e-books the situation is…

Continue reading

Show don’t tell–is it really a rule?

Jaws - Steven Spielberg

Writing a novel is a serious endeavor. Though talent is a necessary requisite, stamina and determination are just as important. After all, writing something like one hundred thousand words and have them work together as effortlessly as effectively can bring the sanest among men on the verge of insanity. Maybe this is even why so many famous writers are mentally disturbed–though it has to be noted that researchers are still arguing about the actual existence of such a link between creativity and mental illness. If you’re a beginner writer but you mean business, chances are you’ve already read several how-to books, and that you’ve…

Continue reading

How to grow your creative writing Ideas

chick coming out of an egg

First of all let’s be clear about one thing. Namely that though on some rare occasions plagiarism does happen, as a rule we’d better not to worry about it. In fact, as Howard Aiken says, don’t worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you’ll have to ram them down people’s throats. You should also keep in mind that creative writing ideas aren’t a problem. They simply come. For example, in my case one moment I’m staring blankly at the screen and a moment later I’m writing. It may seem strange, but that’s how it works after a…

Continue reading

Best horror books–a review of West of Dead

West of Dead - cover

We all have a list of our preferred authors. So it’s quite natural that when we’re searching for something new to read we turn first to such authors. We already know and love their works, so chances are we’re going to enjoy the next book they’re going to publish. This is also why the lists of best horror books often cite over and over always the same names. They are, to some extent at least, a guarantee. However this relying so heavily on the already known and tested authors prevents us from discovering the new interesting ones. Authors who, if given…

Continue reading

The rules of language–if and when to break them

a man in a whirl - the rules of language - Peter Rey

The rules of language are like a scaffolding. They exist to make communication simpler and more effective. But while a scaffolding is removed once the job is done, rules are a bit trickier. In fact, rather than being removed, they have to be integrated into our writings in such a seamless way as to appear transparent. Indeed, I believe that great writing is an act of magic not only because as Stephen King says, writing is a kind of telepathy, but also because when done properly all those rules disappear, leaving behind a living creature that can jump on us and change our…

Continue reading

Practice makes perfect…not really

A tennis court and a tennis ball - practice makes perfect - Peter Rey

A new Princetown study seems to have torn down the rule of the 10.000 hours of deliberate practice made famous by Malcom Gladwell in his book Outliers. “Practice makes perfect? Not really” Even so, there’s no doubt that regular practice, can help us to significantly improve our performance–but only if, as this article points out, we have at least a grain of talent for the skill we want to hone. Practice does matter also because there’s no doubt that all those people only saying over and over that some day they’re going to write a novel, or that they’re going to…

Continue reading