Showing posts tagged with “writer”

chimpgoods:

Rite In The Rain - All-Weather Pocket Journal (4” x 6”)

I FOUND IT! One of the quirkiest items in my bucket list is to be able to write/draw in the rain (I freaking roll like that). So yeah, I think I’ll need this. :p  Anyway, aside from that, it can be extremely useful in my job right now, especially when doing ambush interviews/researches outdoors. There, I have a saner reason, haha!

I talk about the things people have always talked about in stories: pain, hate, truth, courage, destiny, friendship, responsibility, growing old, growing up, falling in love, all of these things. What I try to write about are the darkest things in the soul, the mortal dreads. I try to go into those places in me that contain the cauldrous. I want to dip up the fire, and I want to put it on paper. The closer I get to the burning core of my being, the things which are most painful to me, the better is my work.

—Harlan Ellison

On Writing Your Characters
Remember that you’re the God of your world when you’re writing a story. That’s why when you’re writing your characters, you should be creating real people, not just cardboard cutouts to stand in an imagined world. The characters should not merely be tools that will push the plot forward, or one-dimensional caricatures to serve as avatars for your idiosyncrasies. Make them live. Make them breathe.
You must know each character inside out. You should see him naked—literally and metaphorically. Undress him. Learn all the facts about him, from his real full name to the last toy he ever had as a kid. Know all his blemishes and flaws, his most embarrassing memories, his worst fears. Discover his dreams and aspirations, his regrets and frustrations; find out what makes him flinch and what makes him smile despite himself. Feel him under your hands, run your fingers over his scars and wounds, those little histories scribbled on his skin. Learn what his weaknesses are. Prod the skeletons he’s keeping in the built-in closet of his personality. And in the end…give him the respect he deserves.
You ripped his clothes—for your own benefit—and you respect him? Yes. It may seem so technical when you do it with the eyes of a scientist studying a specimen, but it’s much better when you do it with sincere feelings. You must learn to “love” the character. You see his imperfections and accept them as a unique part of his personality. Perhaps it’s parental love (characters are your children!), or “friendly” love (characters are your friends!). What’s important here is that you view the character as someone close to you, and it shouldn’t matter if he’s a good guy or a bad guy.
Keep in mind that, like real human beings, they’re akin to icebergs too. What’s on the surface is just 10% of the whole thing. Keep the water level up, and let your readers find the 90% all by themselves. The legwork should be theirs, but all their efforts would be dependent on your writing. Let your character’s speeches, thought processes, and actions unfold more about himself. And slowly, as the story charges on, let your readers undress your character, too. :)

On Writing Your Characters

Remember that you’re the God of your world when you’re writing a story. That’s why when you’re writing your characters, you should be creating real people, not just cardboard cutouts to stand in an imagined world. The characters should not merely be tools that will push the plot forward, or one-dimensional caricatures to serve as avatars for your idiosyncrasies. Make them live. Make them breathe.

You must know each character inside out. You should see him naked—literally and metaphorically. Undress him. Learn all the facts about him, from his real full name to the last toy he ever had as a kid. Know all his blemishes and flaws, his most embarrassing memories, his worst fears. Discover his dreams and aspirations, his regrets and frustrations; find out what makes him flinch and what makes him smile despite himself. Feel him under your hands, run your fingers over his scars and wounds, those little histories scribbled on his skin. Learn what his weaknesses are. Prod the skeletons he’s keeping in the built-in closet of his personality. And in the end…give him the respect he deserves.

You ripped his clothes—for your own benefit—and you respect him? Yes. It may seem so technical when you do it with the eyes of a scientist studying a specimen, but it’s much better when you do it with sincere feelings. You must learn to “love” the character. You see his imperfections and accept them as a unique part of his personality. Perhaps it’s parental love (characters are your children!), or “friendly” love (characters are your friends!). What’s important here is that you view the character as someone close to you, and it shouldn’t matter if he’s a good guy or a bad guy.

Keep in mind that, like real human beings, they’re akin to icebergs too. What’s on the surface is just 10% of the whole thing. Keep the water level up, and let your readers find the 90% all by themselves. The legwork should be theirs, but all their efforts would be dependent on your writing. Let your character’s speeches, thought processes, and actions unfold more about himself. And slowly, as the story charges on, let your readers undress your character, too. :)

Prose should be a long intimacy between strangers with no direct appeal to what both may have known. It should slowly appeal to feelings unexpressed, it should in the end draw tears out of the stone.

—Henry Green

cinderellainrubbershoes:

Dear Neil Gaiman,
You don’t know how much you inspire me. :) I can’t remember when exactly I entered your realm, but I think that doesn’t matter now. Whenever I read something you wrote, I feel like a wizard’s apprentice: every word is a magical spell I need to learn how to cast properly, every character an anthropomorphic representation of my emotions I often fail translating into words. Your ink’s the potion, your pen’s the wand—with all of these, I did not just enjoy every masterpiece, I also learned to “trust my dreams…and trust my story.”

I wrote this^ more than a year ago. Right now I don’t know how I should react to it (there’s a tug-of-war between yes-truest-thing-in-the-world! and hahaha-so-full-of-sappy-it-hurts!) but seriously, nothing’s changed. He’s still the most amazing tale-spinner I’ve ever encountered, and he’s my inspiration. Wish I can be a writer like him someday.
Belated happy birthday, my favorite literary rock star! :)Portrait by Jeff Zachowski.

cinderellainrubbershoes:

Dear Neil Gaiman,

You don’t know how much you inspire me. :) I can’t remember when exactly I entered your realm, but I think that doesn’t matter now. Whenever I read something you wrote, I feel like a wizard’s apprentice: every word is a magical spell I need to learn how to cast properly, every character an anthropomorphic representation of my emotions I often fail translating into words. Your ink’s the potion, your pen’s the wand—with all of these, I did not just enjoy every masterpiece, I also learned to “trust my dreams…and trust my story.”

I wrote this^ more than a year ago. Right now I don’t know how I should react to it (there’s a tug-of-war between yes-truest-thing-in-the-world! and hahaha-so-full-of-sappy-it-hurts!) but seriously, nothing’s changed. He’s still the most amazing tale-spinner I’ve ever encountered, and he’s my inspiration. Wish I can be a writer like him someday.

Belated happy birthday, my favorite literary rock star! :)
Portrait by Jeff Zachowski.

A tweetathon to save the short story

by Neil Gaiman

 love short stories. I grew up on them, and the stories that had an effect on me are now encoded into my DNA. Shirley Jackson’s ”One Ordinary Day With Peanuts” and “The Lottery”. Saki’s ”Sredni Vashtar”. WW Jacobs’s “The Monkey’s Paw”. Kipling’s ”The Gardener”. There are heaps of them, and it’s love all the way.

For a working writer, this is a silly sort of love. You should write novels. Short stories sell for the price of a good dinner, if you’re lucky (and the magazines and anthologies that used to buy them are themselves fading away or gone completely). When they get reprinted they won’t cover the taxi fare to get to the dinner. I’m lucky, and have collected my short stories into books that sell well for short-story ­collections, but still only a fraction of the number that my novels sell.

But short stories are the best place for young writers to learn their craft: to try out different voices and techniques, to experiment, to learn. And they’re a wonderful place for old writers, when you have an idea that wouldn’t make it to novel length, one simple, elegant thing that needs to be said. People like reading short stories. And they like ­listening to short stories.

For years, Radio 4 has supported the short story. Ten-minute stories, professionally read, give writers young and old a chance to make a ­professional sale. Full disclosure: I wrote a short story, “Jerusalem”, for them a few years ago, and grew up listening to short stories on Radio 4 and dreaming that one day I’d have a story on there.

Now the station’s support for the short story is waning. TheTweetathon we’re doing to bring attention to this (each Wednesday for the next five weeks, in association with the Society of Authors, a writer will tweet the first line of a story and tweeters will add the next four sentences to create a short story in 670 characters) may or may not produce great stories: hive minds are excellent news-gatherers and commentators but tend not to produce great art.

All I’m hoping is that it reminds people how much pleasure readers, and listeners, get from short stories, and how much we learn from writing them. If we produce another “The Monkey’s Paw” that’ll be a bonus

Writing is like a contact sport, like football. Why do kids play football? They can get hurt on any play, can’t they? Yet they can’t wait until Saturday comes around so they can play on the high-school team, or the college team, and get smashed around. Writing is like that. You can get hurt, but you enjoy it.

—Irwin Shaw

Being a writer is a very peculiar sort of job: it’s always you versus a blank sheet of paper (or a blank screen) and quite often the blank piece of paper wins.

—Neil Gaiman

Every reader finds himself. The writer’s work is merely a kind of optical instrument that makes it possible for the reader to discern what, without this book, he would perhaps never have seen in himself.

—Marcel Proust

I write to give my life a form, a narrative, a chronology; and, for good measure, I seal loose ends with cadenced prose and add glitter where I know things were quite lusterless. I write to reach out to the real world, though I know that I write to stay away from a world that is still too real and never as provisional or ambivalent as I’d like it to be. In the end it’s no longer, and perhaps never was, the world that I like, but writing about it. I write to find out who I am; I write to give myself the slip. I write because I am always at one remove from the world but have grown to like saying so.

—André Aciman

The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it’s definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.

—Neil Gaiman

"I write because the words pack themselves so tightly inside my head—with all their energy, dread, joy, hope, and abject misery—that if I cannot get them out, they will consume me.”

"I write because the words pack themselves so tightly inside my head—with all their energy, dread, joy, hope, and abject misery—that if I cannot get them out, they will consume me.