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 … [Read more...] about How reading can sculpt our mind
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 that the editing of Ruin was going to be a far less pleasant process … [Read more...] about Inspiration–is it really so important for your novel?
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 new forms of art in which … [Read more...] about The traditional novel — one thousand years old and still alive
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 voice. A voice able to grab the readers since the … [Read more...] about Writers who don’t read, an oxymoron?
When we start out in a new activity it's essential we set ourselves some clearly defined goals. For example, for this post, which is my very first, I wanted to write something especially brilliant and memorable. As a result, 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 writing. But I soon discovered that no stylistic ruse and no idea was ever going to be good enough for the lofty but vague goal I had in mind. So, after the umpteenth draft and the umpteenth change of subject I was … [Read more...] about On Writing – Starting out and Setting Goals