Quote of the day
In the same way that horror fiction is seen by some scholars as providing a safe way for us to rehearse and simulate dealing with mortal threats, perhaps we’re attracted to cringe comedy and reality TV as a way to hone our ability to appreciate and understand other people’s social tribulations.
~DR. CHRISTIAN JARRETT, author of Great Myths of the Brain (Great Myths of Psychology)
As writers, we often draw from what we know to create our art, and the subject many of us often know the deepest is our family. But how do you write about your family without hurting them, especially if, like most of us, your family is less than perfect?
The doubts and insecurities followed me relentlessly through those first chapters. Even though this is the twentieth full length novel that I’ve written. Even though I’ve tackled difficult historical time periods (some even more so). Even though I’ve handled equally important subject matter.
The commonly heard phrase “Well, from my point of view” expresses something central to human existence: our whole experience of life is bounded by the fact that we are trapped in our own heads. Life is all about point of view. Fiction, which emulates life, is too.
But it does occasionally still happen that I’ll be working on a chapter or a scene and realize that it suddenly feels . . . flat. Or just “off” somehow. Nine times out of ten, the problem is that I’ve forgotten the cardinal rule about making sure that tension is an integral part of every single page.
Scan the Table of Contents in most writing manuals and you’ll see the familiar menu of story mechanics. All good! Setting, characters, plot points and pillars, crisis, climax and resolution—without these ingredients we probably don’t have a fully-cooked story. But one essential is almost always missing—the heart of a story.
Now that Amazon is allowing preorders, I see a lot of authors jumping on the preorder bandwagon, and while that’s great, there’s a lot to consider before you do this. First, if you aren’t familiar with the Amazon preorder, let me explain how it works.
My most recent interview is now available with author and editor Ally Bishop, who runs the professional editing business Upgrade Your Story and its related podcast.
Audiobooks are a fantastic growth market for authors, narrators and producers alike, and I’ve been working with fabulous narrators for my fiction since ACX opened up in the UK in 2014.
I’m writing for people who, like me, are living and working in relative material comfort in this early part of the 21st century. People who were brought up with the belief that happiness is a thing you can and ought to pursue.
Although it’s hugely popular, reality TV is often seen as voyeuristic screen-trash — a showcase for the seedier sides of humanity, for people’s vanity, vacuousness, and vulgarity. And while there’s more than a grain of truth to this analysis — just look at this roundup of awkward clips — a newbrain-imaging study in the journal NeuroImage paints reality TV in a slightly different light.
- The mathematically proven winning strategy for 14 of the most popular games, The Washington Post | Tweet
From Risk to tic-tac-toe, popular games involve tons of strategic decisions, probability and math. So one happy consequence of being a data nerd is that you may have an advantage at something even non-data nerds understand: winning.