Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Around the Word

Book burnout: When you work as a professional wordsmith, nothing is so terrifying as feeling stuck in a project you can't write your way out of. Though sometimes all it takes is a long walk or a strong cup of coffee to get you back on track, how do you know when a book is hopeless and it's time to abandon script? In an instructive interview with GalleyCat, novelist Tony D'Souza recently recounted his experience with this dilemma -- how he threw in the towel on his novel, started from scratch and wrote a better book for it. Have you ever had to retire a manuscript you knew wasn't working?

Novel ideas: What do Wuthering Heights and your most recent white paper have in common? More than you might think, according to a recent report from Ragan. Our friend Russell Working surveyed writers who are corporate communicators by day, novelists by night, and nailed down eight fiction-writing tips that can help jazz up your corporate copy. From storytelling to pacing to skillful use of dialogue, creative writing techniques can help make your communication more engaging. What literary techniques do you use in your day job?

Reading cold turk-e: The advent of the e-reader has been met with mixed feelings from bibliophiles; the cost of losing the physical book can sometimes be outweighed by the opportunity to buy more books without overburdening already crammed bookshelves. Edward Stourton, a journalist and book-buying addict, swore off new book purchases for an entire year and limited himself to his personal library and a Kindle. In a humorous essay about his experience for the Financial Times, he claims he wasn't completely converted by the e-readers charms, but is no longer a total book-loving luddite either. Would you ever try a year of reading differently?

NaNoWriMo: Ladies and gentlemen, dust off your keyboards -- November is National Novel Writing Month. Agent and blogger Rachelle Gardner gave us the heads-up about this exciting novel-writing challenge. Writers from all over the world will commit to writing 50,000 words of their novel in the month of November. Just sign up on the website for access to events, forums and an online word count to track your progress. Will you be participating in NaNoWriMo?

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