Thursday, June 30, 2011

Practical Tips for Writers--one writer's response

The Tangled Bank: An Introduction to EvolutionFor the WinThe Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York
Steve Silberman at PLOS Blogs/Neuro Tribes posted the article "Practical Tips on Writing a Book from 23 Brilliant Authors," which pretty much says what it is--although, for journalistic clarity, brilliant must necessarily be deemed editorial opinion.

A long introduction by Silberman then leads to the writing tips. Here are some snippets. Check out the article for full responses.
  • Carl Zimmer (The Tangled Bank): research, organize, amputate
  • David Shenk (The Genius in All of Us): make it great; get feedback; let some of you come through
  • Cory Doctorow (For the Win): "Stop in the middle of a sentence, leaving a rough edge for you to start from the next day — that way, you can write three or five words without being “creative” and before you know it, you’re writing."
  • Bill Wasik (And Then There's This): ". . . hone your outline and then cling to it as a lifeline."
  • Geoff Manaugh (The BLDGBLOG Book): "Quick, tossed off, last minute additions, typed right before you submit the final manuscript, probably aren’t a good idea . . ."
  • Mark Frauenfelder (The Mad Professor): "Don’t forget to write the book that you want to read."
  • Deborah Blum (The Poisoner’s Handbook): "The best advice I got in writing narrative non-fiction was to get my hero in trouble and keep him there."
These are seven tidbits of practical advice for writing, some applicable to all writing, some more focused to fiction or non-fiction. If you are tantalized, then link to Silberman's article.

Copyright 2011 by Thomas L. Kepler, all rights reserved

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic writing tidbits :) Very useful. The kind of thing you want to post on the wall above your writing desk.

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)