Saturday, 16 February 2013
Some Writers Say:
I write as straight as I can, just as I walk as straight as I can, because that is the best way to get there. H.G. Wells
Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great. Mark Twain
Imagination grows by exercise, and contrary to common belief, is more powerful in the mature than in the young.
Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way. E.L. Doctorow
Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy. Kahlil Gibran
Art is not a handicraft. It is the transmission of a feeling which the artist has experienced. Leo Tolstoy
Becoming the reader is the essence of becoming a writer. John O'Hara
|So many writers...|
Read, read, read. Read everything—trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the most. Read! William Faulkner
I took a number of stories by popular writers as well as others by Maupassant, O. Henry, Stevenson, etc., and studied them carefully. Louis L'Amour
I would tell the students to make their characters want something right away even if it's only a glass of water. Characters paralyzed by the meaninglessness of modern life still have to drink water from time to time. Kurt Vonnegut
There are no laws for the novel. There never have been, nor can there ever be. Doris Lessing
The task of a writer consists of being able to make something out of an idea. Thomas Mann
The difference between reality and fiction? Fiction has to make sense. Tom Clancy
No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader. Robert Frost
"I write as straight as I can, just as I walk as straight as I can, because that is the best way to get there." H.G. Wells
© Wendy Robertson
Tuesday, 12 February 2013
Put Yourself Through My Fact and Fiction Workshop
(This workshop was developed with writer Hannah Juby who edits articles and university theses, We thought that editing fact and fiction had much in common and developed the workshop with this in mind.)
Micro-editing - examining text line by line, word by word, to ensure accuracy, flow, clarity and style.
Macro-editing – considering the text in terms of structure, purpose (is it clear what the text is trying to achieve; does it achieve this?), development of argument/story, appropriate connections, clear communication, appropriate evidence/details, style, etc.)
Editing on the page
Amendments may be written:
· onto a hard copy of the document;
· inserted on-screen into an electronic version of the document, using a programme such as ‘Tracked Changes’ on Microsoft Word.
· notes on a separate piece of paper, rather than having crossings-out etc. on the document itself.
- Before you begin editing, quickly read through the whole document.
- Keep a clean copy of the chapter whether hard copy or electronic, and create a new copy on which to make notes, suggestions and corrections.
- On hard copy, always make remarks etc. in pencil rather than in pen. (Still amenable to alterations) .
- On-screen, using a programme like ‘Tracked Changes’ enables you to see all insertions and deletions. The changes aren’t final until accepted or rejected by you in the final copy.
- You will be more effective in editing your own work if you can make it seem strange to yourself, so that you can be more objective about it. A good way of doing this is to leave it for some time before coming back to it. (This is not always possible, I know.)
- Make a written summary (or footnotes/comments in an on-screen edit) as aide-memoires for the next stage. It might be useful to get someone else to do this for you if you are editing your own work.
- Discussing the document with an outsider will help you to clarify your basic concept or idea and the overall shape of the work.
- Consistently mark up passages or sections which impress you and work well in the context of the text as a whole.
- Then read each chapter in detail using micro- and macro-editing, applying your preferred approach.