1. Don’t think that being published will make you happy. It will for four weeks, if you are lucky. Then it’s the same old fucking shit.
2. Hemingway was fucking wrong. You shouldn’t write drunk. (See my third novel for details.)
3. Hemingway was also right. ‘The first draft of everything is shit.’
4. Never ask a publisher or agent what they are looking for. The best ones, if they are honest, don’t have a fucking clue, because the best books are the ones that seemingly come from nowhere.
5. In five years time the semi-colon is going to be nothing more than a fucking wink.
6. In five years time every fucking person on Twitter will be a writer.
7. Ignore the fucking snobs. Write that space zombie sex opera. Just give it some fucking soul.
8. If it’s not worth fucking reading, it’s not worth fucking writing. If it doesn’t make people laugh or cry or blow their fucking minds then why bother?
9. Don’t be the next Stephen King or the next Zadie Smith or the next Neil Gaiman or the next Jonathan Safran fucking Foer. Be the next fucking you.
10. Stories are fucking easy. PLOT OF EVERY BOOK EVER: Someone is looking for something. COMMERCIAL VERSION: They find it. LITERARY VERSION: They don’t find it. (That’s fucking it.)
11. No-one knows anything. Especially fucking me. Except:
12. Don’t kill off the fucking dog.
13. Oh, yeah, and lastly: write whatever you fucking want. Matt Haig, “Some Fucking Writing Tips” (via alcantrez)
Like most authors of writing advice articles, this guy doesn’t know the first fuck about semicolons; the rest is good.
describing eye colors isn’t actually v helpful as a description??? talk about the makeup smeared on the left side, the lines under their eyes, the sloppily cut hair obscuring their eyes from view, how bloodshot or sunken they seem in the face, how wide they go at the slightest sound, how glassy and unblinking they seem, how they’re always darting away
all of that tells me a bit more about the character than whatever shade of gemstone they most resemble, seriously
Hemingway Takes the Hemingway Test
A new app inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s contained style aims to simplify overly complicated sentences. But would the famously terse writer pass the app’s tests? http://nyr.kr/1bsU3VB
Photograph: Torre Johnson/Magnum
@ every single human being on the planet who thinks the fact I was born with a vagina means that I am inherently uncapable of understanding jackshit about military history, of writing believable war settings, and of creating military characters who are anything else than incompetent emo pussies:
be a chum, step a little bit to the left and don’t move…
This point needs to be stressed again from time to time.
The Difference Between a Foreword and an Introduction (and What the Hell is a Preface?)
Even seasoned authors can’t always tell the difference between introductions, prefaces, and forewords — especially since they all belong in the front matter of a book, so here’s an easy cheat sheet. Suppose I’m writing a book about the mating habits of wombats (always a thrilling topic, that), here’s how:
1. A foreword would read: "I’ve known the author for ages and consider him to be a superior researcher of wombats and so love this work blah blah blah."
Because: A foreword introduces the author and the topic and is usually written by someone else other than the author — usually someone with a higher profile. Having a foreword from a big name carries credibility and weight well beyond a simple cover endorsement.
2. A preface would read: "In this work, I will outline how wombats are in fact highly effective social strategists by outlining their group dynamics blah blah blah."
Because: The author writes the preface to explain what the book will be about and how he plans to tackle the subject. People often confuse prefaces with introductions (and vice-versa).
3. An introduction would read: “Wombats have fascinated people for ages and not just because of their silly appearances, but because of their wacky mating habits blah blah blah.”
Because: The introduction represents the first step into the subject matter. Think of it as the first chapter. But because a book should stumble right into the core principles but slowly introduce the topic, it is called an introduction.
And there are also these other things called prologues, epilogues, and afterwords, but that’s for another time. Class dismissed.