How Many Books on Writing Do You Really Need? That’s a straightforward question, isn’t it? And I’m going to answer to it in a moment. But first… Can’t see the tree for the forest. This is a pretty old saying, remounting back to at least 1546 (link). However it’s still perfectly topical today, just as most old sayings are. In fact, even if they look a bit boring, they have stood the test of time because they encapsulate important and timeless concepts. Now, only an idiot would throw away something that still works perfectly well, just to make space for the last gadget or half-baked … [Read more...] about How Many Books on Writing Do You Really Need?
Grammar can be thought of as the set of rules governing a language — rules a large number of people agree on. This definition is pretty basic. However, some considerations are in order. First, even if when we speak of grammar we generally think of verbal or written communication and of words and the way they're put together, this is just an instance of grammar. For example, besides what's in the balloons, comics have a grammar of their own. To show flashbacks, dreams, the main line of action. To emphasize the importance of a certain scene and so on comics organize visual elements … [Read more...] about Grammar in Creative Writing — Does It Matter?
We can think of genre as a way to classify works of literature according to the different characteristics they possess. From the proverbial 10.000 foot view, genres can be extremely generic. For example, we have Poetry and Prose. If we examine prose we'll notice it can be segmented into Drama, Fiction, and Non Fiction. And then in turn each can be differentiated into more and more detailed genres. For example, if in your work there are supernatural elements, your story could be classified like Gothic Horror, Fable, Fantasy, or even Magic realism. But then if you turned your heroine into … [Read more...] about What Is Genre in Literature? How to Use It?
Over the last few days I’ve been reading a book by Francine Prose, Reading Like A Writer. I must say I found it an extremely pleasant and fruitful read. First of all, there are several passages from books I didn’t even know and that I’ve added to my already long list of books I want to read. Secondly, I appreciated the author’s approach to writing rules. In fact, while acknowledging they can be useful, she also clearly states it’s never a matter of rules being right or wrong, but of them serving the writer’s goal, and of the writer’s ability to bend them in an effective … [Read more...] about Reading Like a Writer — A Review and Some Considerations
There was a time when I believed creative writing prompts were only for losers. For wannabes writers who couldn't come up with even the barest idea for a story. Then one day curiosity got the better of me and at long last I gave creative writing prompts a spin. I read a handful of them and then focused on the one I liked most. It didn't take long. In a matter of minutes I began fleshing out a short story. To be honest it was nothing to die for--far from it--but for me it worked like a springboard. In fact, I could say I used it to warm up my creative muscles. Then once done, I was struck … [Read more...] about Creative Writing Prompts
The creation of ever new stories has always been one of the most fundamental drives of us humans. In fact, we can find archetypes of stories even on the walls of the caves our predecessors inhabited more than 30.000 years ago. Besides, even though many ancient narratives were based on oral traditions--because in this way humans didn't need any tool apart from a shared language to recount and perpetuate the stories--it's equally true that also writing requires relatively simple tools. I'm saying all this because it is important to bear in mind that while today we are daily flooded with … [Read more...] about Scrivener, My Personal Stalwart Against Chaos | How to Use Scrivener