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Archive for April, 2010

Source: Colours In Cultures via Information Is Beautiful.

Colours in Cultures

From the announcement:

What colour is happiness in China? Or good luck in Africa? Or anger in Eastern Europe? Are any colour meanings universal across cultures and continents?

A visualisation of the meanings of different colours in different cultures by David McCandless and AlwaysWithHonor.com.

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Source: The Best Advice – ChipMacGregor.com

Chip is at it again – distilling years of wisdom into simple forms. This is not a list for the faint at heart because it’s honest in its sincerity.

  1. There are very few great books, but every great book begins with a great idea.
  2. A great idea does not constitute a great book. Having a great story to tell doesn’t mean you’re going to have a great book. It takes hard work to turn even a fabulous idea into a reasonable book.
  3. Therefore, keep refining your craft. Take whatever steps you can to improve your writing. Don’t settle for what you are. If you’re really good, you’ll get discovered. “Greatness will out,” to borrow an old phrase.
  4. Books aren’t written, they are re-written. That means you’re going to have to write, revise, review, and restructure. Don’t think you can create a good book without hard work — you can’t.
  5. Read widely and write regularly. The two go hand in hand.
  6. Establish a plan for your writing life. Have a time and a place to write. Write toward something. Establish writing goals. Few people move forward in the business side of any craft without some sort of plan.
  7. Learn to listen. Get involved with other writers and learn from them. Ask editors for their opinions. Seek out a writing partner or group. Learn how to imitate great writers. Find a mentor. Shut up and listen for a change.
  8. Face your fear: You’re not the best writer on the planet. You’re going to be rejected. Learn to appreciate others as better than yourself. Not writing because of fear is simply a way to protect yourself from potential failure. It’s time to grow up.
  9. Don’t expect nonwriters to understand. They won’t. Learn to smile and nod a lot.
  10. There is value in writing, not just in getting published. We learn about ourselves, about others, and about our world when we write. So there is value in writing something, even if you’re the only one who ever sees it. If I help you publish your book, that doesn’t validate your life. There are lots of jerks who published books, and lots of beautiful people who never published anything. If you’re really a writer, you’ll focus first on the beauty of the words.

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Source: Rachelle Gardner, Literary Agent: Secrets for Making a Great Pitch.

Really, really good and specific advice.

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Source: Ten rules for writing fiction | guardian.co.uk and Part Two

The authors are: Elmore Leonard, Diana Athill, Margaret Atwood, Roddy Doyle, Helen Dunmore, Geoff Dyer, Anne Enright, Richard Ford, Jonathan Franzen, Esther Freud, Neil Gaiman, David Hare, PD James, AL Kennedy, Hilary Mantel, Michael Moorcock, Michael Morpurgo, Andrew Motion, Joyce Carol Oates, Annie Proulx, Philip Pullman, Ian Rankin, Will Self, Helen Simpson, Zadie Smith, Colm Tóibín, Rose Tremain, Sarah Waters, and Jeanette Winterson.

This is simply a “can’t miss” article. Read it. Devour it. Learn to write better from it.

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