Suspend Your Disbelief

Posts Tagged ‘writing regimens’

Shop Talk |

How to write a book–or how to return to one

Forget New Year’s Day: I think fall might be the time that writers make all their resolutions. As the summer winds to a close, students prepare for a new school year. Teachers polish old syllabi and draw up new ones. Publishers, editors, and agents return from the Hamptons. And writers everywhere make themselves promises to buckle down and get back to work. If you’re one of the latter, you may find these practical tips on writing a book helpful. Culled from 22 established writers, the list has lots of ideas for making THIS the year you finish your book at […]


Shop Talk |

"Work with the puppy that is your brain"

It’s easy to be hard on yourself when you’re a writer. But does beating yourself up really help? For 99.9% of us, the answer is no. How do you learn to go easier on yourself? The Rejectionist is here to help: So imagine you have a new puppy, and your new puppy does the things that new puppies do, which are: pee on the floor, eat your favorite shoes, poop in your laundry hamper, chew on your plants, chase the cat. Right? Bad things. Now, how do you deal effectively with the misbehaviors of the new puppy, which does not […]


Interviews |

Woman to Woman: An Interview with Mary Gaitskill

Emily McLaughlin converses and laughs with author Mary Gaitskill, a fellow University of Michigan alum, on her visit to Ann Arbor. Gaitskill opens up about writing as a woman in 2011, her take on her own characters, writing sex, publishing her first stories, and lasting fifty years.


Shop Talk |

Motivation… for the Unmotivated

“The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.” Easy for Mary Heaton Vorse to say, perhaps, but what if you need a little more help getting those two seats together? Writers, being creative people, come up with lots of creative ways to get motivated. Two friends of mine from grad school would get together for enforced writing time; if one of them didn’t write, she would be forced to donate money to a cause she loathed, like the NRA. I don’t know if either of them ever actually […]


Shop Talk |

Edit your novel? There's an app for that.

Okay, they’re not exactly apps, but new programs are standing by to help at every stage while you create your latest opus. First, to help you read: Perhaps you’re reading online and want to pare away all the sidebars and ads? Readability has been around for a while, but it has a new feature: become a paying member for at least $5 per month, and 70% of your membership fee will go to the authors of whatever you read. Visit the Readability site to learn more or to sign up as a paying member or a publisher. Next, to help […]


Shop Talk |

Flipbook: "The Work of Writing"

Every few weeks, we launch a new Fiction Writers Review “Flipbook.” During the past two and a half years, we’ve featured more than 50 interviews with authors established and emerging. They’ve had such valuable insights into the writing life—from thoughts on process and craft to ideas about community and influence—that we wanted to find a way to further these conversations within our community. Each Flipbook highlights some of the very best of the conversations on our site, centered around a particular topic. Our latest Flipbook is now up on the FWR Facebook page, with an exclusive slide right here on […]


Shop Talk |

The child as writing aid

I used to say that in order to get any writing done, I should hire someone to stand behind me with a stick and hit me on the head anytime I wasn’t working. I imagined someone along the lines of The Rock, or at least Queen Latifah, who embodied just such a character (more or less) in Stranger Than Fiction—a sweet movie despite its amazingly unrealistic portrayal of the writing life. “Motivator” might have been a good job title. Well, now I have a Motivator, but he doesn’t look anything like I expected. Trying to write while taking care of […]


Interviews |

The Art of the Chase: An Interview with Urban Waite

Debut novelist Urban Waite enjoys a character-driven thriller, which is exactly what he delivers with The Terror of Living. In conversation with Cam Terwilliger, Waite reveals how the selfish characters of Graham Greene shaped his idea of the perfect book, how an editor who understands the writer’s vision can only help a book, and how flexibility can be the novelist’s best friend.


Shop Talk |

Inspiration 2.011

One of my favorite elements of FWR’s author interviews has got to be reading about what inspires other writers. Some of us get lost in years of research, some just get out into the world and make friends on the bus, some can’t say enough about delving into nonfiction, science journals, trips to the ballet – you name it. Writing is a passion that feeds off other passions. You can definitely feel this as a reader. Sometimes, sitting in front of blank document, I long for the days of the high school essay prompt. My English teacher senior year, Ms. […]




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