Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, which the HBO series is based on, fully develops the individual agency of characters. He creates incredibly complex plots with characters that have flaws and make decisions that are half-chance. Readers have been shocked at how characters can be killed off with little notice, but they describe his writing as having “realness” and “humanity.” Anything can happen to any character at any time, but in a realistic way. If Tolkien followed the trajectory of agency-based writing, it arrives with Martin’s truly complete world of agents. Each personality is multi-layered, acting on their history and experience, changing as the story does. Tolkien clearly favored a central character with the narrative weaving around them; however, his stories give an air of a much wider world that the main character simply exists within. Going further, Martin writes characters with such realistic motivations, reflecting the complexity we see in others and ourselves, that it is a significant shift in storytelling. This paradigm change is of course not simply relegated to fantasy writers, but the popularity of the two writers underscores this transformation.
Agency. Or Why We Love Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings. ☀
The mind of a writer can be a truly terrifying thing. Isolated, neurotic, caffeine-addled, crippled by procrastination and consumed by feelings of panic, self-loathing and soul-crushing inadequacy. And that’s on a good day.
Robert DeNiro ☀
Most Authors Make Less Than $1,000 a Year ☀
The research revealed that only 10 percent of traditionally published authors made more than $20,000 a year and 5 percent of self-published authors made more than $20,000 a year.
Yes, People Do Spend Money on Pens ☀
Here’s something to think about: How many times have you used a pen today?
Maybe you crossed something off of your to-do list or maybe you wrote a check to your landlord or maybe you scrawled “BRB” on a napkin before running out to pick up milk. Maybe you did Sudoku.
Whatever you did, chances are good you did a lot less of it than you did five years ago. Technology has made sure of that.
Still, at a time when the swipe of a touch screen is quickly replacing other modes of communication, not all of the past has been erased. In fact, some surprising vestiges of the pre-digital era are still being churned out and scooped up today.
Enter, the specialty fountain pen.
But the truth is—perfection isn’t required for publication. If it were, then we wouldn’t have to point our fingers at the “mistakes” in books on the bestseller lists. Bitterly we analyze those bestsellers and say things like, “I can’t believe she got away with using all those adverbs” or “His dialog was so stilted” and finally, “My book is written much better.” Our books can be executed perfectly. We can have flawless sentence structure. We can follow all of the rules of manual and style down to the very last comma. But … nobody cares about a perfect book. Why? Because they care more about the STORY.
Jody Hedlund ☀
We [are] shaped as writers, I believe, not much by who our favorite writers are as by our general experience of fiction. Learning to write fiction, we learn to listen for our own acquired sense of what feels right, based on the totality of the pleasure (or its lack) that fiction has provided us. Not direct emulation, but rather a matter of a personal micro-culture.
William Gibson ☀
11 Brilliant Writing Commandments From Henry Miller ☀
- Work on one thing at a time until finished.
- Start no more new books, add no more new material to “Black Spring.”
- Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.
- Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time!
- When you can’t create you can work.
- Cement a little every day, rather than add new fertilizers.
- Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it.
- Don’t be a draught-horse! Work with pleasure only.
- Discard the Program when you feel like it–but go back to it the next day. Concentrate. Narrow down. Exclude.
- Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing.
- Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterwards.
Three Golden Rules for book reviewing ☀
- The review must tell what the book is about.
- The review must tell what the book’s author says about that thing the book is about.
- The review must tell what the reviewer thinks about what the book’s author says about that thing the book is about.
If you are finding it difficult to communicate, stop blaming lack of face-to-face visual contact. If you can’t communicate in writing, it may be because you can’t write properly. There is a cure for that: education and practice.
Tom Morris (via kvasir) ☀
What Mumford and Sons Taught Me About Writing ☀
Never underestimate the power of a well-placed expletive.
Everyone loves stories, especially epic ones.
Transparency is essential to building trust.
Great art eventually gets rewarded.
People are fascinated with the divine.
A GNT creation ©2007–2014