Read Like A Writer

There are two ways to learn how to write fiction: by reading it and by writing it. Yes, you can learn lots about writing stories in workshops, in writing classes and writing groups, at writers' conferences. You can learn technique and process by reading the dozens of books like this one on fiction writing and by reading articles in writers' magazines. But the best teachers of fiction are the great works of fiction themselves. You can learn more about the structure of a short story by reading Anton Chekhov's 'Heartache' than you can in a semester of Creative Writing 101. If you read like a writer, that is, which means you have to read everything twice, at least. When you read a story or novel the first time, just let it happen. Enjoy the journey. When you've finished, you know where the story took you, and now you can go back and reread, and this time notice how the writer reached that destination. Notice the choices he made at each chapter, each sentence, each word. (Every word is a choice.) You see now how the transitions work, how a character gets across a room. All this time you're learning. You loved the central character in the story, and now you can see how the writer presented the character and rendered her worthy of your love and attention. The first reading is creative—you collaborate with the writer in making the story. The second reading is critical.

John Dufresne, from his book, The Lie That Tells A Truth: A Guide to Writing Fiction


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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Elinor Glyn System Of Short Story and Photoplay Writing (1922)

( Originally Published 1922 )

This FREE book is in e-book FORMAT.

A scanned copy of the original book is also included.

Page Summary:

  • What Knowledge Must I Have To Succeed?
  • Getting Acquainted With Your Ideas
  • Becoming Interested In Yourself
  • Qualities Of Mind You Should Encourage
  • The Theme Of Your Story
  • Point Of View
  • Characters And Characterization
  • Building The Plot
  • Excercise In Plot Building
  • Short Stories - What Knowledge Must I Have To Succeed?
  • The Continuity, Or Scenario
  • Characters In The Photoplay
  • Setting In The Photoplay
  • The Photoplay Title
  • The Photoplay Stage
  • What To Write About
  • Things You Should Not Write About
  • Writing Comedy
  • The Writer, His Methods
  • Why Manuscripts Are Rejected
  • How Successful Writers Sell Their Manuscripts
  • How To Merit Success

    "Every one of the great writers and playwrights you have ever read about or heard of--everyone of them had to begin at a weak starting point. Every one of them was uncertain at the outset. Every one of them had to overcome his or her doubts or misgivings…When they started many didn't really know what they COULD do. The wonderful part about literary ability is that we do not know how much of it we have in us. Then, by persistency, by patient development, by proper guidance, we may some day bloom forth all of a sudden and surprise even ourselves!" ~ Elinor Glyn

  • Great for all writers.

    Elinor Glyn

    Elinor Glyn, née Sutherland (17 October 1864 – 23 September 1943), was a English-born journalist, novelist, screenwriter, and actress who pioneered mass-market women’s erotic fiction. Born Elinor Sutherland, she coined the use of 'It' as a euphemism for sex appeal. Novelist and scriptwriter who specialised in romantic fiction which was considered scandalous for its time. She popularized the concept of It. Although her works are relatively tame by modern standards, she had tremendous influence on early 20th century popular culture and perhaps on the careers of notable Hollywood stars such as Rudolph Valentino, Gloria Swanson and Clara Bow in particular.

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