‘Writing is a stressful job, if not the most stressful, due to the roller coaster income, length of time it takes to actually write and edit, and most frustrating, the expectancy to handle a wide array of skills we are unfamiliar with. Whether you have a degree in writing, have taken a class or have no training at all, the majority of lessons we learn about writing pertain to the actual writing itself: plot, story arc, character development, prose, genre specific writing and a little bit of how to get published.
‘Below are a few ways to crush you writer’s anxiety and stop fighting the craft you love. I don’t want to sit here and spew out a bunch of “easier said than done” points, because those never helped me and they probably won’t help you. (ie. ambiguous “build a platform” advice) Let me know if I missed anything:…’
Han Solo on Beta Readers and Writing Critiques
‘Whether in the Death Star or working with beta readers, keep the situation normal. Maintain control for both your beta readers and yourself. Think about how absurd it is to give someone a 60,000 word book and expect them to read it. The book is still in a rough stage, and you don’t even know if it’s any good (so you pawn it off on other people). Cut the story into chunks to lure your beta readers in, and to target the feedback, so you know exactly where people get lost in your story. If you give beta readers two or three chapters and they don’t like them, those chapters can be rewritten, but if you give them your whole manuscript and they come back with bad words, you feel like your whole book is crap, which probably isn’t true. Manage the workload for them and make the revisions easier for you…’
Why a good book is a secret door [Video]
‘Childhood is surreal. Why shouldn’t children’s books be? In this whimsical talk, award-winning author Mac Barnett speaks about writing that escapes the page, art as a doorway to wonder — and what real kids say to a fictional whale.
‘…I write children’s books, and there’s a quote from Pablo Picasso, “We all know that Art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize truth or at least the truth that is given us to understand. The artist must know the manner whereby to convince others of the truthfulness of his lies.”
‘I first heard this when I was a kid, and I loved it, but I had no idea what it meant. (Laughter)
‘So I thought, you know what, it’s what I’m here to talk to you today about, though, truth and lies, fiction and reality. So how could I untangle this knotted bunch of sentences? And I said, I’ve got PowerPoint. Let’s do a Venn diagram. [“Truth. Lies.”] (Laughter) So there it is, right there, boom. We’ve got truth and lies and then there’s this little space, the edge, in the middle. That liminal space, that’s art. All right. Venn diagram. (Laughter) (Applause)…’