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How to Become a Professional Writer: Help and Advice to Get You Started

Posted in Commercial Writing, Creative Writing, creativity, discipline, Editors, Freelance writing, Getting published, how to be a prolific writer, Learning to Write, Literary agents, Literature, making a living as a writer, motivation for writers, Productivity for creatives, prolific writer, Publishing, writer's workshop, writers, Writing for Money, writing life, and Writing Tips

  What Do You Need to Be a Writer? Professional writing is one of the most challenging, interesting, enjoyable, and rewarding jobs in the world. In my first year of writing full-time I didn’t earn enough to cover my costs. But I’ve been earning my living, albeit a humble one, as a freelance copywriter, article writer, and occasional journalist, for several years now. I’ve also published short stories and novels. So I know what it takes be a professional writer. The 3 Rules of Professional Writing: Write, Write, Write. ~ Austin Hackney…

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The Medusa Myth and Its Meaning: the Real Story of Medusa

Posted in anthropology, Culture, feminism, folklore, folkloric motifs, medusa, mythology, symbolism, and Truth

I remember reading the story of Medusa, or at least one version of it, in my father’s edition of Bullfinch’s Mythology when I was a child. I glanced over the story again when studying Ovid’s Metamorphoses in Classics at school. But as will be the case with many of my generation, the most powerful and lasting image in my mind of the dread Gorgon is that impressed upon it in the cinema back in 1981, when I went to see Clash of the Titans and saw the Medusa portrayed by one of Ray Harryhausen’s famous stop-frame animations. So…

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Why Do Writers Use Metaphors? How Metaphors Ignite Your Reader’s Imagination

Posted in conflict in fiction, creativity, fairy tales, fantasy, Fiction, genre fiction, language, Learning to Write, literary devices, Literature, metaphors, mythology, novels, Storytelling, symbolism, transcendence, Truth, Writing a novel, and Writing Tips

I think it’s fair to say without metaphor most prose would be very poor, fiction far from fantastic, and poetry impossible. Most of us remember being taught about metaphor and other literary devices at school. A few of us may have deepened our understanding of such things at University. Unfortunately the meaning and use of metaphor is often taught in such a bland and uninspiring way as to render it both dull and forgettable. This is a great shame. More than that, it’s a travesty. Metaphor properly understood and skillfully applied…

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Routines for Writers: How to Develop a Writing Schedule and Stick to It

Posted in creativity, discipline, finding time to write, finishing your novel, Getting published, how to be a prolific writer, how to complete a novel, Learning to Write, motivation for writers, Productivity for creatives, prolific writer, Writing a novel, writing books, writing life, and Writing Tips

What’s the most difficult thing about writing? Well, for most of us it isn’t coming up with ideas, plotting, characterization, story arcs, subplots or any of the nitty-gritty aspects of our craft. If we’re already professional writers, then it isn’t finishing what we start, either. Those are all problems new writers face. They may tax a professional writer from time to time, but in no sense are they the greatest challenge to writers. I think it’s almost universally accepted that the most difficult thing any writer has to achieve is the…

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3 Big Mistakes I Made on My Writing Journey: and How You Can Avoid Them

Posted in creativity, discipline, Fiction, finishing your novel, Getting published, how to be a prolific writer, how to complete a novel, Independent Publishing, Learning to Write, Literary agents, Literature, prolific writer, Publishing, publishing your first book, Rejections, self publishing, Writing a novel, writing books, and writing mistakes

Only three? Well, to be honest I’ve made many more than three big mistakes on my writing journey so far. I don’t doubt for a moment I’ll make many more. In fact, it’s fair to say I can always find new mistakes to make even as I work out how to stop making the old ones. But there you have it: it’s a journey; and like any journey it’s made of a series of steps into the unknown. Sometimes your firm-footed steps lead directly toward the goal. Other times you’ll trip and fall…

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Why You Should Keep a Journal if You Want to Be a Writer: 7 Compelling Reasons

Posted in creativity, discipline, finding time to write, finishing your novel, how to be a prolific writer, how to complete a novel, journaling, Learning to Write, motivation for writers, Productivity for creatives, prolific writer, writer's journal, writer's notebook, writer's workshop, Writing a novel, writing books, writing life, and Writing Tips

  To keep a journal is one of the standard pieces of advice given to every new writer. I am always astonished by how few take up journaling. Keeping a writer’s journal, rather like writing every day, is one of the most important things any writer can do. Many writers consider it a waste of time. Perhaps they even see it as a distraction, not a real part of their writing life. This way of thinking is a grave mistake. Not every writer keeps a journal but many successful, creative and…

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Why is Conflict at the Heart of All Fiction? It isn’t. Here’s Why.

Posted in conflict in fiction, creativity, Fiction, genre fiction, Getting published, Learning to Write, Literature, novels, Storytelling, Writing a novel, writing books, and Writing Tips

Conflict is at the heart of all fiction. It’s the driving force, the engine, powering and empowering drama. It doesn’t matter which medium is used – the written word, dance, music, film, a computer game, or a stage play – it is conflict which makes a story a story rather than just a series of events. That is the received wisdom. You can find that advice repeated in books, seminars, workshops, schools and many blogs like this one. But it isn’t true. Really. It’s just not true. I’m not saying this…

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