To Use and Use Not: [NYTimes.com]
"In an interview in The Paris Review in 1958
Ernest Hemingway made an admission that has inspired frustrated novelists ever since: The final words of “A Farewell to Arms
,” his wartime masterpiece, were rewritten “39 times before I was satisfied.” A new edition of “A Farewell to Arms,” which was originally published in 1929, will be released next week, including all the alternate endings, along with early drafts of other passages in the book."
In 1891 author and lecturer ”Max O’Rell
” (being the pen name of one Léon Paul Blouet) published an amusing account of his travels through the States and Eastern Canada - "A Frenchman In America
" - that, along with the charming illustrations, reflect on then popular national stereotypes and character and is presented on Project Gutenberg in its entirely. (via
"I had these clubs when I was a young bachelor, hair down to my shoulders, tearing up the town in a 1990 Volvo 740 SEL with the sunroof open and the road before me like some great American Dream ready to be snatched, the way candy is from a baby, or a kiss from an easy and drunk woman."
Writer Marc Lewis
is selling his awful golf clubs.
Picturing Books: What do we see when we read? (Other than words on a page.) What do we picture in our minds?
A consideration by Knopf
's senior designer Peter Mendulsund
. [more inside]
“[...] it took more than a dozen calls to work out the details of her zombie contagion. “After about the 17th time,” says McGuire, “I called and said, ‘If I did this, this, this, this, this, this and this, could I raise the dead?’ And got, ‘Don’t … don’t do that.’ And at that point, I knew I had a viable virus
1,143,839,622,748,050,000,000,000,000 Sonnet Anagrams
and oodles of other oddities
from Mike Keith involving constrained writing, mathematics, music, and the number π.
"Amazon’s markup of digital delivery to indie authors is ~129,000%"
- author Andrew Hyde reviews the take for the most popular digital publishing platforms
is a simple tool for telling stories
, and a public library of human experience
, incorporating text
, and characters
. These are the Sagas so far.
Gillian James charts the connections
in the Stephen King universe
* Meanwhile The Guardian is rereading King begining with Carrie
and Salems Lot
, CNN has discovered The Gospel of Stephen King
, and in further Castle Rock news a new movie version of It is being made
* Not including The Dark Tower
The Hemingway Papers:
The legendary writer’s reporting from the Toronto Star archives, featuring historical annotations by William McGeary, a former editor who researched Hemingway’s columns extensively for the newspaper, along with new insight and analysis from the Star’s team of Hemingway experts.
"Who knew people were so interested in commas?" Ben Yagoda has written three NYT pieces on correct comma usage: Fanfare for the Comma Man
, The Most Comma Mistakes
, and Some Comma Questions
"TV is where writers get to tell interesting stories right now, because writers, for the most part, run television." Matthew Weiner of Mad Men, Vince Gilligan of Breaking Bad and David Milch of Deadwood talk to GQ about writing for television
. Also: The New Rules of TV
everything you need to know about the Golden Age of Television. Want to hear even more about the world of writing rooms, showrunners and screenwriting? Check out the Nerdist Writer's Panel Podcast
A famously reclusive writer, John Swartzwelder
is responsible for many of The Simpson's iconic episodes. He stopped writing for the show in '04 and began to self-publish a series of increasingly absurd Sci-Fi Detective novels.
The game that you fell in love with as a child will seem lost; a thump on the floorboard of your new Mercedes, swerved at high speeds to avoid a shadow in the night. The sights and sounds and smells of football, sensual memories that stir the passions in the soul, will be reconceived and recategorized, buried behind newer, odorless versions.
Former Bronco Nate Jackson offers wisdom on the trappings of stardom to two young draftees
David Foster Wallace Writes to Don DeLillo:
Among the many curiosities of this correspondence: “No offense intended” by the card’s image
(a book cover from Sheldon Lord’s A Woman Must Love
), the mention of Jonathan Franzen’s New Yorker piece on William Gaddis
, the brick shithouse
of a palm tree, and a request to eyeball DeLillo’s “new novel” (Cosmopolis
?). So many of the sentences create space for wondering what more there is to know. [Via: The Outlet] [more inside]
The National Magazine Awards
2012 Finalists were announced. Links inside. [more inside]
Earth, 2147. The legacy of the Metal Wars, where man fought machines—and machines won. Bio-Dreads — monstrous creations that hunt down human survivors... and digitize them!
In 1987, before he created Babylon 5, J. Michael Straczynski was a writer for Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future
, a live-action sci-fi show for kids. 24 episodes were produced. Straczynski wrote or co-wrote 14 of them, including multi-episode plot arcs. A line of interactive toys
brought the battle into kids’ living rooms, and Captain Power
was also one of the very first shows on television to feature computer animation in every episode. But in an attempt to appeal to both children and the adults who watched with them, the campy show included some concepts and scenes critics deemed too violent for children and lasted only a single season in syndication. The full run of the show has now been uploaded to Youtube. [more inside]
“Vermin!” “Abortion!” “Sewer-rat!” “Crritic!”
The Nelson Mandela Digital Archive
has gone live. The archive organizes Mandela’s papers chronologically and thematically. You can jump into sections covering his Early Life
, Prison Years,
and Presidential Years
, or explore his extensive book collections and work with youngsters or see his first recorded interview
from 1961. (via
"I get up every morning at 5, go for a half-hour walk in the desert, come home and have a cup of coffee, sit down at the desk and ask myself what I would say if I were him, and what I would do if I were her. I think curiosity is actually a moral virtue. I think a person who is curious is slightly more moral than one who is not curious, because sometimes he enters into the skin of another. I think a curious person is even a better lover than one who is not curious. Even my political approach to the Palestinian question, for example, sprang from curiosity. I am not a Middle East expert or a historian or a strategist. I simply asked myself, at a very young age, what it would be like if I were one of them. So, that’s what I do − get up in the morning and ask myself: What if?"
- Israeli writer Amos Oz reflects on his life, on Israel, on writing, and discusses his newest work [more inside]
In June 1979, I left Paris, returning home to San Francisco without saying farewell to Barthes. Why advertise my failure? I left Paris without fulfilling my reason for coming. His letter arrived in October. Barthes explained that he was retiring from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes at the end of the year. If I wished to complete my thesis under his direction, then I would have to have it written and in his hands by the 15th of December. No extension was possible. The date was a deadline. "A vous de jouer," he wrote. "Your move."
- Deadline [pdf]
by Stewart Lindh, Roland Barthes' last doctoral student, is an account of how he wrote his Ph.D. thesis.
Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Don’t even go there! You know as well as I do, I’ve literally been there, done that, bought the t-shirt and to be honest with you at the end of the day when push comes to shove and it all boils down to it if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. Know what I mean? Basically, what I’m trying to say is with all due respect between you and me screenwriting is not rocket science, it’s about breaking the mold, thinking outside the box, giving it 110% 24/7. And I think we can all agree clichés suck but, hey, it’s a job. You gotta do what you gotta do. Just remember you’re writing for an audience and there’s no “I” in . . . you get the picture.
Definitive List of Cliched Dialogue
, Go Into The Story
One of the most popular stories on the Amazon Kindle marketplace is ...Wesley Crusher Slash Fic?
Has Microsoft Word affected the way we work?
"Consider first the name that the computer industry assigned to it: word processor
. The obvious analogy is with the food processor, a motorised culinary device that reduces everything to undifferentiated mush."
, the Madison (WI) Police Department hired their first civilian Public Information Officer: former reporter Joel DeSpain. Over the last five years, Mr. DeSpain has reportedly combined "humor, a flair for the dramatic and sense of the absurd
", and turned the mundane Madison Police Blotter
into an "art form and a thing of joy." So Why Has Madison Wisconsin Has Become the Weird News Capitol of the Midwest
? Meet the United States’ most whimsical police reporter. (Last one's a gawker link. If you dislike their site / interface, have no fear: all reports in that article (plus four extras) can be found after the jump.) [more inside]
Paypal is coming down hard
on online erotica retailers. The service has sent demands
to such ebook self-publishing sites as Smashwords, AllRomanceEbooks and Bookstrand, demanding that they remove all titles containing bestiality, rape-for-titillation, and incest- including the popular 'pseudo-incest' category of stepparent or stepsibling sex. [more inside]
As you can see, the [Chinese] typewriter is extremely complicated and cumbersome. The main tray — which is like a typesetter's font of lead type — has about two thousand of the most frequent characters. Two thousand characters are not nearly enough for literary and scholarly purposes, so there are also a number of supplementary trays from which less frequent characters may be retrieved when necessary. What is even more intimidating about a Chinese typewriter is that the characters as seen by the typist are backwards and upside down! [more inside]
If you use Americanisms
just to show you know them, people may find you a tad tiresome, so be discriminating.
You may have to think harder if you are not to use jargon
, but you can still be precise.
Use all metaphors
, dead or alive, sparingly, otherwise you will make trouble for yourself.
Some words add nothing but length
to your prose.
(Notes from The Economist
's style guide
, former owner of the influential Grove Press
and Evergreen Review
, boundary-shattering publisher
of Tropic of Cancer
, Waiting for Godot
, and Naked Lunch
, and U.S. distributor of I Am Curious (Yellow)
, died yesterday
at the age of 90.
"Readers who demand verifiable truth in nonfiction—who were upset about James Frey, for example—are unsophisticated and ignorant, D’Agata said, and he wants to change that."
Dan Kois reviews The Lifespan of a Fact
, the transcript of the editorial battle between author and fact-checker on John D'agata's piece in the Believer
(excerpt; full article requires payment) on the suicide of Levi Presley, who killed himself by jumping off the observation deck of the Stratosphere in Las Vegas in 2002.
Artist and film-maker
, Hito Steyerl
, asks us to stand shoulder to shoulder with our digital equivalents. Digital images are Things (like you and me)
- a plethora of compressed, corrupted representations
pushed and pulled through increasingly policed and capitalised information networks. If 80% of all internet traffic*
- a liberated excess withdrawn**
from accepted channels of communication - perhaps it is in The Poor Image
we find our closest kin? [more inside]
Janet Flanner began her career at The New Yorker composing evocative and cogent dispatches from Europe, writing nearly seven hundred Letters from Paris under the nom de plume Genêt, from 1925 to 1975. In between these, she contributed Profiles, Reporter at Large dispatches, and other Letters from around the globe. In a Postscript published after she died, in 1978, editor-in-chief William Shawn wrote of his prolific correspondent: "Her eye never became jaded, her ardor for what was new and alive never diminished, and her language remained restless. She was a stylist who devoted her style, bedazzling and heady in itself, to the subtle task of conveying the spirit of a subtle people." [more inside]
is a community for writing, sharing, and playing interactive fiction games (aka “text adventures”) entirely from your browser. [more inside]
Since its last*
appearance in the blue, yWriter
has been updated to version 5. Designed specifically for novels
, this freeware "contains no adverts, unwanted web toolbars, desktop search programs or other cruft".