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I am a writer. I create innovative creative and business writing courses. I inspire others to tell their stories. My company's name is Writers Write. My email address is amanda@writerswrite.co.za

Happy Birthday, Tomas Tranströmer, born 15 April 1931
Seven Quotes
In the middle of life, death comes to take your measurements. The visit is forgotten and life goes on. But the suit is being sewn on the sly.
Don’t be ashamed because you’re human: be proud! Inside you, vaults behind vaults open endlessly. You will never be finished, and that’s as it should be.
We are at a party that doesn’t love us.
A person shows himself for an instant as in a photograph but clearer and in the background something which is bigger than his shadow.
We always feel younger than we are. I carry inside myself my earlier faces, as a tree contains its rings. The sum of them is me. The mirror sees only my latest face, while I know all my previous ones.
Tired of all who come with words, words but no language, l went to the snow-covered island. The wild does not have words. The unwritten pages spread out on all sides! I come upon the tracks of roe deer in the snow. Language but no words.
The small things I love, have they any weight?
Tranströmer is a Swedish poet, psychologist and translator. His poetry has been translated into over 60 languages. He is the winner of the 1990 Neustadt International Prize for Literature and the 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature.
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by Amanda Patterson for Writers Write

Happy Birthday, Tomas Tranströmer, born 15 April 1931

Seven Quotes

  1. In the middle of life, death comes to take your measurements. The visit is forgotten and life goes on. But the suit is being sewn on the sly.
  2. Don’t be ashamed because you’re human: be proud! Inside you, vaults behind vaults open endlessly. You will never be finished, and that’s as it should be.
  3. We are at a party that doesn’t love us.
  4. A person shows himself for an instant as in a photograph but clearer and in the background something which is bigger than his shadow.
  5. We always feel younger than we are. I carry inside myself my earlier faces, as a tree contains its rings. The sum of them is me. The mirror sees only my latest face, while I know all my previous ones.
  6. Tired of all who come with words, words but no language, l went to the snow-covered island. The wild does not have words. The unwritten pages spread out on all sides! I come upon the tracks of roe deer in the snow. Language but no words.
  7. The small things I love, have they any weight?

Tranströmer is a Swedish poet, psychologist and translator. His poetry has been translated into over 60 languages. He is the winner of the 1990 Neustadt International Prize for Literature and the 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature.

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by Amanda Patterson for Writers Write

— 20 hours ago with 81 notes
#Tomas Tranströmer  #Amanda Patterson  #Literary Birthday  #Writers Write 
Happy Birthday, Helene Hanff, born 15 April 1916, died 9 April 1997
Five Quotes
I do love second-hand books that open to the page some previous owner read oftenest.
I love inscriptions on flyleaves and notes in margins, I like the comradely sense of turning pages someone else turned, and reading passages someone long gone has called my attention to.
If you happen to pass by 84 Charing Cross Road, kiss it for me? I owe it so much.
84, Charing Cross Road was no best seller, you understand; it didn’t make me rich or famous. It just got me hundreds of letters and phone calls from people I never knew existed; it got me wonderful reviews; it restored a self-confidence and self-esteem I’d lost somewhere along the way, God knows how many years ago. It brought me to England. It changed my life.
History, as they say, is alive and well and living in London.
Hanff was an American writer, best known as the author of 84, Charing Cross Road, which was adapted for stage, television and film.
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by Amanda Patterson for Writers Write

Happy Birthday, Helene Hanff, born 15 April 1916, died 9 April 1997

Five Quotes

  1. I do love second-hand books that open to the page some previous owner read oftenest.
  2. I love inscriptions on flyleaves and notes in margins, I like the comradely sense of turning pages someone else turned, and reading passages someone long gone has called my attention to.
  3. If you happen to pass by 84 Charing Cross Road, kiss it for me? I owe it so much.
  4. 84, Charing Cross Road was no best seller, you understand; it didn’t make me rich or famous. It just got me hundreds of letters and phone calls from people I never knew existed; it got me wonderful reviews; it restored a self-confidence and self-esteem I’d lost somewhere along the way, God knows how many years ago. It brought me to England. It changed my life.
  5. History, as they say, is alive and well and living in London.

Hanff was an American writer, best known as the author of 84, Charing Cross Road, which was adapted for stage, television and film.

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by Amanda Patterson for Writers Write

— 22 hours ago with 27 notes
#Amanda Patterson  #Helene hanff  #Literary Birthday  #Writers Write 
Happy Birthday, Bruce Sterling, born 14 April 1954
Five Quotes
We’re so intelligent now that we’re too smart to survive. We’re so well informed that we lost all sense of meaning. We know the price of everything, but we’ve lost all sense of value. We have everyone under surveillance, but we’ve lost all sense of shame.
Forget trying to pass for normal. Follow your geekdom. Embrace nerditude.
The future is unwritten. there are best case scenarios. There are worst-case scenarios. both of them are great fun to write about if you’ re a science fiction novelist, but neither of them ever happens in the real world. What happens in the real world is always a sideways-case scenario. World-changing marvels to us, are only wallpaper to our children.
If poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world, science fiction writers are its court jesters. We are Wise Fools who can leap, caper, utter prophecies, and scratch ourselves in public. We can play with Big Ideas because the garish motley of our pulp origins make us seem harmless.
In a world so redolent with wonder, how can we allow ourselves to conduct our daily lives with so little insight, such absence of dignity?
Sterling is an American science fiction author who is best known for his novels and his work on the Mirrorshades anthology. This work helped to define the cyberpunk genre
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by Amanda Patterson for Writers Write

Happy Birthday, Bruce Sterling, born 14 April 1954

Five Quotes

  1. We’re so intelligent now that we’re too smart to survive. We’re so well informed that we lost all sense of meaning. We know the price of everything, but we’ve lost all sense of value. We have everyone under surveillance, but we’ve lost all sense of shame.
  2. Forget trying to pass for normal. Follow your geekdom. Embrace nerditude.
  3. The future is unwritten. there are best case scenarios. There are worst-case scenarios. both of them are great fun to write about if you’ re a science fiction novelist, but neither of them ever happens in the real world. What happens in the real world is always a sideways-case scenario. World-changing marvels to us, are only wallpaper to our children.
  4. If poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world, science fiction writers are its court jesters. We are Wise Fools who can leap, caper, utter prophecies, and scratch ourselves in public. We can play with Big Ideas because the garish motley of our pulp origins make us seem harmless.
  5. In a world so redolent with wonder, how can we allow ourselves to conduct our daily lives with so little insight, such absence of dignity?

Sterling is an American science fiction author who is best known for his novels and his work on the Mirrorshades anthology. This work helped to define the cyberpunk genre

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by Amanda Patterson for Writers Write

— 1 day ago with 81 notes
#Bruce Sterling  #Amanda Patterson  #Literary Birthday  #Writers Write 
Happy Birthday, Mireille Guiliano, born 14 April 1946
Seven Quotes
I can never leave a book store without buying a book. I read four or five at a time.
We only have one body, and you have to show respect for it.
Make treating yourself a priority and always remember your life is happening now. Don’t put off all your dreams and pleasures to another day. In any balanced personal definition of success there has to be a powerful element of living life in the present.
French women typically think about good things to eat. American women typically worry about bad things to eat.
Since the pleasure of most foods is in the first few bites, eat one thing on your plate at a time, at least at the start of the meal when you can concentrate and enjoy the full flavors.
Don’t let a busy life or electronic communication gadgets be your excuse for excess solitude - it’s a talent, but a rare one, to make yourself laugh.
Intelligence, knowledge or experience are important and might get you a job, but strong communication skills are what will get you promoted.
Guiliano is a French-American author. She is the author of five books including French Women Don’t Get Fat, and most recently, French Women Don’t Get Facelifts.
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by Amanda Patterson for Writers Write

Happy Birthday, Mireille Guiliano, born 14 April 1946

Seven Quotes

  1. I can never leave a book store without buying a book. I read four or five at a time.
  2. We only have one body, and you have to show respect for it.
  3. Make treating yourself a priority and always remember your life is happening now. Don’t put off all your dreams and pleasures to another day. In any balanced personal definition of success there has to be a powerful element of living life in the present.
  4. French women typically think about good things to eat. American women typically worry about bad things to eat.
  5. Since the pleasure of most foods is in the first few bites, eat one thing on your plate at a time, at least at the start of the meal when you can concentrate and enjoy the full flavors.
  6. Don’t let a busy life or electronic communication gadgets be your excuse for excess solitude - it’s a talent, but a rare one, to make yourself laugh.
  7. Intelligence, knowledge or experience are important and might get you a job, but strong communication skills are what will get you promoted.

Guiliano is a French-American author. She is the author of five books including French Women Don’t Get Fat, and most recently, French Women Don’t Get Facelifts.

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by Amanda Patterson for Writers Write

— 1 day ago with 22 notes
#Mireille Guiliano  #Literary Birthday  #writers write  #amanda patterson 
Literary Birthday - 13 April
Happy Birthday, Seamus Heaney, born 13 April 1939, died 30 August 2013
Five Quotes
I can’t think of a case where poems changed the world, but what they do is they change people’s understanding of what’s going on in the world.
Debate doesn’t really change things. It gets you bogged in deeper. If you can address or reopen the subject with something new, something from a different angle, then there is some hope…. That’s something poetry can do for you, it can entrance you for a moment above the pool of your own consciousness and your own possibilities.
If you have the words, there’s always a chance that you’ll find the way.
Poetry cannot afford to lose its fundamentally self-delighting inventiveness, its joy in being a process of language as well as a representation of things in the world.
I’ve always associated the moment of writing with a moment of lift, of joy, of unexpected reward.
Heaney was an Irish poet, playwright, translator, and lecturer. He won the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature. 
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by Amanda Patterson for Writers Write

Literary Birthday - 13 April

Happy Birthday, Seamus Heaney, born 13 April 1939, died 30 August 2013

Five Quotes

  1. I can’t think of a case where poems changed the world, but what they do is they change people’s understanding of what’s going on in the world.
  2. Debate doesn’t really change things. It gets you bogged in deeper. If you can address or reopen the subject with something new, something from a different angle, then there is some hope…. That’s something poetry can do for you, it can entrance you for a moment above the pool of your own consciousness and your own possibilities.
  3. If you have the words, there’s always a chance that you’ll find the way.
  4. Poetry cannot afford to lose its fundamentally self-delighting inventiveness, its joy in being a process of language as well as a representation of things in the world.
  5. I’ve always associated the moment of writing with a moment of lift, of joy, of unexpected reward.

Heaney was an Irish poet, playwright, translator, and lecturer. He won the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature. 

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by Amanda Patterson for Writers Write

— 2 days ago with 179 notes
#Seamus Heaney  #Literary Birthday  #amanda patterson  #lit  #Writers Write 
Happy Birthday, John Braine, born 13 April 1922, died 28 October 1986
Seven Quotes
To be shockingly original with your first novel, you don’t have to discover a new technique: Simply write about people as they are and not as the predominantly liberal and humanist literary establishment believes that they ought to be.
If the original of any of your characters would win a libel case against you, you have failed to create a real character.
Writing’s not always a pleasure to me, but if I’m not writing every other pleasure loses its savour.
Being a writer in a library is rather like being a eunuch in a harem.
There isn’t, unfortunately, any way of discovering whether you can write a publishable novel except by writing it.
The worst that can happen to the writer who tries and fails – unless he has inflated or mystical notion of what it is to be a novelist – is that he will discover, for him, writing is not the best place to seek joy and satisfaction. More people fail at becoming successful businessmen than fail at becoming artists.
Solitude and quiet are highly desirable, but the lack of them is no barrier to writing… The will to work builds all the seclusion that one needs.
Braine was an English novelist, associated with the Angry Young Men movement. His novels include Room at the Top, The Crying Game, and The Jealous God. He also wrote Becoming a Writer and How to Write a Novel.
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by Amanda Patterson for Writers Write

Happy Birthday, John Braine, born 13 April 1922, died 28 October 1986

Seven Quotes

  1. To be shockingly original with your first novel, you don’t have to discover a new technique: Simply write about people as they are and not as the predominantly liberal and humanist literary establishment believes that they ought to be.
  2. If the original of any of your characters would win a libel case against you, you have failed to create a real character.
  3. Writing’s not always a pleasure to me, but if I’m not writing every other pleasure loses its savour.
  4. Being a writer in a library is rather like being a eunuch in a harem.
  5. There isn’t, unfortunately, any way of discovering whether you can write a publishable novel except by writing it.
  6. The worst that can happen to the writer who tries and fails – unless he has inflated or mystical notion of what it is to be a novelist – is that he will discover, for him, writing is not the best place to seek joy and satisfaction. More people fail at becoming successful businessmen than fail at becoming artists.
  7. Solitude and quiet are highly desirable, but the lack of them is no barrier to writing… The will to work builds all the seclusion that one needs.

Braine was an English novelist, associated with the Angry Young Men movement. His novels include Room at the Top, The Crying Game, and The Jealous God. He also wrote Becoming a Writer and How to Write a Novel.

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by Amanda Patterson for Writers Write

— 2 days ago with 27 notes
#Writers Write  #Amanda Patterson  #Literary Birthday  #John Braine 
Happy Birthday, Beverly Cleary, born 12 April 1916
Seven Quotes
I didn’t start out writing to give children hope, but I’m glad some of them found it.
I had a very wise mother. She always kept books that were my grade level in our house.
One rainy Sunday when I was in the third grade, I picked up a book to look at the pictures and discovered that even though I did not want to, I was reading. I have been a reader ever since.
I was a great reader of fairy tales. I tried to read the entire fairy tale section of the library.
Quite often somebody will say, What year do your books take place? and the only answer I can give is, In childhood.
I don’t necessarily start with the beginning of the book. I just start with the part of the story that’s most vivid in my imagination and work forward and backward from there.
I was a very observant child. The boys in my books are based on boys in my neighbourhood growing up.
Cleary is an American author of books for young adults and children. She has sold 91 million copies worldwide. She won the 1981 National Book Award for Ramona and Her Mother and the 1984 Newbery Medal for Dear Mr. Henshaw.
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by Amanda Patterson for Writers Write

Happy Birthday, Beverly Cleary, born 12 April 1916

Seven Quotes

  1. I didn’t start out writing to give children hope, but I’m glad some of them found it.
  2. I had a very wise mother. She always kept books that were my grade level in our house.
  3. One rainy Sunday when I was in the third grade, I picked up a book to look at the pictures and discovered that even though I did not want to, I was reading. I have been a reader ever since.
  4. I was a great reader of fairy tales. I tried to read the entire fairy tale section of the library.
  5. Quite often somebody will say, What year do your books take place? and the only answer I can give is, In childhood.
  6. I don’t necessarily start with the beginning of the book. I just start with the part of the story that’s most vivid in my imagination and work forward and backward from there.
  7. I was a very observant child. The boys in my books are based on boys in my neighbourhood growing up.

Cleary is an American author of books for young adults and children. She has sold 91 million copies worldwide. She won the 1981 National Book Award for Ramona and Her Mother and the 1984 Newbery Medal for Dear Mr. Henshaw.

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by Amanda Patterson for Writers Write

— 3 days ago with 125 notes
#Beverly Cleary  #Literary Birthday  #Amanda Patterson  #Writers Write 
Happy Birthday, Mark Strand, born 11 April 1934
Seven Quotes
The future is always beginning now.
Pain is filtered in a poem so that it becomes finally, in the end, pleasure.
I is for immortality, which for some poets is a necessary compensation. Presumably miserable in this life, they will be remembered when the rest of us are long forgotten. None of them asks about the quality of that remembrance—what it will be like to crouch in the dim hallways of somebody’s mind until the moment of recollection occurs, or to be lifted off suddenly and forever into the pastures of obscurity. Most poets know better than to concern themselves with such things. They know the chances are better than good that their poems will die when they do and never be heard of again, that they’ll be replaced by poems sporting a new look in a language more current.
A great many people seem to think writing poetry is worthwhile, even though it pays next to nothing and is not as widely read as it should be.
A life is not sufficiently elevated for poetry, unless, of course, the life has been made into an art.
From the reader’s view, a poem is more demanding than prose.
Poetry is, first and last, language - the rest is filler.
Strand is a Canadian-born American poet, essayist, and translator. He was appointed Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1990. 
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by Amanda Patterson for Writers Write

Happy Birthday, Mark Strand, born 11 April 1934

Seven Quotes

  1. The future is always beginning now.
  2. Pain is filtered in a poem so that it becomes finally, in the end, pleasure.
  3. I is for immortality, which for some poets is a necessary compensation. Presumably miserable in this life, they will be remembered when the rest of us are long forgotten. None of them asks about the quality of that remembrance—what it will be like to crouch in the dim hallways of somebody’s mind until the moment of recollection occurs, or to be lifted off suddenly and forever into the pastures of obscurity. Most poets know better than to concern themselves with such things. They know the chances are better than good that their poems will die when they do and never be heard of again, that they’ll be replaced by poems sporting a new look in a language more current.
  4. A great many people seem to think writing poetry is worthwhile, even though it pays next to nothing and is not as widely read as it should be.
  5. A life is not sufficiently elevated for poetry, unless, of course, the life has been made into an art.
  6. From the reader’s view, a poem is more demanding than prose.
  7. Poetry is, first and last, language - the rest is filler.

Strand is a Canadian-born American poet, essayist, and translator. He was appointed Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1990. 

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by Amanda Patterson for Writers Write

— 4 days ago with 29 notes
#Mark Strand  #Literary Birthday  #Amanda Patterson  #Writers Write 
Stamp out that cliché – How clichés and jargon can ruin your writing →

Today we’re going to start the weekly blog with a philately lesson. In traditional stamp making, a cliché was an individual unit consisting of the design of a single stamp, combined with others to make up a printing plate. Clichés as we have come to know them are the kiss of death for good writing.

Jargon, another word with French origin, derives from a phrase meaning the chattering of birds. Meaningless jargon is another cause of death for your writing. It is the kind of stuff politicians use or what we see in brochures.

We fall into these two hollow literary traps for three reasons.

1. Lack of passion or laziness. If we don’t feel connected to our writing or we’re in a hurry to meet a publishing deadline, we tend to go for the first phrase that pops into our head.
So we say: I envied Ilse. She lived in a luxurious penthouse in Hyde Park. Instead of: Ilse’s white tiles blinded me, as did her taste in fake Picassos and flokati rugs.

2. No first-hand knowledge. Sometimes when we don’t understand our material – either because we have no intimate knowledge of it or we have not researched it deeply enough – we stay with safe and acceptable description.
So we say: The average temperature in subtropical Phalaborwa is 35 degrees Celsius as the incoming troops were told in their orientation brochure. Instead of: Don’t expect shade in hell. That’s what the sersant was screaming at them. Benjamin was just a troepie – he didn’t know if he was going to throw up or pass out.

3. Caution or timidity. When we don’t wish to upset a group of people – sometimes known as polite society – or are too scared to be bold and fearless, we use innocuous and politically correct language that says nothing.
So we say: Deborah did not care for her son’s lifestyle, but made allowances for it as best she could. She was worried about the December holidays. Instead of: Deb’s son was buying his’n’his Chihuahuas with someone called Kyle. This was going to crap all over her Christmas seating plan.

When we use jargon or clichés, we create fuzziness around the image or emotion we’re trying to get across. Be as specific as you can be and authentic as you can be. Every word must have your blood in it – anger, irony, admiration, etc. Don’t make it look like everyone else’s.

by Anthony Ehlers for Writers Write

— 5 days ago with 686 notes
#How clichés and jargon can ruin your writing  #Writing Advice  #Writers Write  #Anthony Ehlers 
Happy Birthday, William Hazlitt, born 10 April 1778, died 18 September 1830
10 William Hazlitt Quotes
The art of conversation is the art of hearing as well as of being heard.
Books let us into their souls and lay open to us the secrets of our own. 
We are never so much disposed to quarrel with others as when we are dissatisfied with ourselves.
Poetry is all that is worth remembering in life.
I’m not smart, but I like to observe. Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton was the one who asked why.
A gentle word, a kind look, a good-natured smile can work wonders and accomplish miracles.
Prejudice is the child of ignorance.
Poetry is only the highest eloquence of passion, the most vivid form of expression that can be given to our conception of anything, whether pleasurable or painful, mean or dignified, delightful or distressing. It is the perfect coincidence of the image and the words with the feeling we have, and of which we cannot get rid in any other way, that gives an instant “satisfaction to the thought.” This is equally the origin of wit and fancy, of comedy and tragedy, of the sublime and pathetic.
The only impeccable writers are those who never wrote.
If I have not read a book before, it is, for all intents and purposes, new to me whether it was printed yesterday or three hundred years ago.
Hazlitt was an English writer. He was the greatest art critic of his age, as well as a drama critic, social commentator, philosopher, and a painter. He is considered one of the great critics and essayists of the English language, placed in the company of Samuel Johnson and George Orwell. His fiends included Charles and Mary Lamb, Stendhal, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and William Wordsworth.
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by Amanda Patterson for Writers Write

Happy Birthday, William Hazlitt, born 10 April 1778, died 18 September 1830

10 William Hazlitt Quotes

  1. The art of conversation is the art of hearing as well as of being heard.
  2. Books let us into their souls and lay open to us the secrets of our own. 
  3. We are never so much disposed to quarrel with others as when we are dissatisfied with ourselves.
  4. Poetry is all that is worth remembering in life.
  5. I’m not smart, but I like to observe. Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton was the one who asked why.
  6. A gentle word, a kind look, a good-natured smile can work wonders and accomplish miracles.
  7. Prejudice is the child of ignorance.
  8. Poetry is only the highest eloquence of passion, the most vivid form of expression that can be given to our conception of anything, whether pleasurable or painful, mean or dignified, delightful or distressing. It is the perfect coincidence of the image and the words with the feeling we have, and of which we cannot get rid in any other way, that gives an instant “satisfaction to the thought.” This is equally the origin of wit and fancy, of comedy and tragedy, of the sublime and pathetic.
  9. The only impeccable writers are those who never wrote.
  10. If I have not read a book before, it is, for all intents and purposes, new to me whether it was printed yesterday or three hundred years ago.

Hazlitt was an English writer. He was the greatest art critic of his age, as well as a drama critic, social commentator, philosopher, and a painter. He is considered one of the great critics and essayists of the English language, placed in the company of Samuel Johnson and George Orwell. His fiends included Charles and Mary Lamb, Stendhal, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and William Wordsworth.

Source for Image

by Amanda Patterson for Writers Write

— 5 days ago with 23 notes
#William Hazlitt  #Literary Birthday  #Amanda Patterson  #Writers Write 
What watching Disney taught me about writing suspense →

It’s all in the timing

Sometimes you’ve got it all. Awesome characters, a cool plot, a great setting and the perfect amount of description, but it still lacks something. You need a bit more, but what is it? What does the story need? I’ve decided that suspense is often the unsung hero.  

My kids are 4 and 6. Frozen was really the only Oscar-nominated movie I got to see. And because kids like watching movies over and over I get to watch them over and over too. I have to admit that Pixar and Disney are among the best story tellers. A similarity I noticed with their plots is that there is almost always a time constraint. The role it plays varies, but it is always there. It adds suspense, it improves pacing, and it always adds to the conflict. 

Consider these:

  1. Frozen: The town is literally frozen. People are going to die. Anna has to find Elsa to thaw it.
  2. Up: Carl wants to get his house to Paradise Falls. He uses helium balloons to fly the house there, but the helium will only last a certain amount of time.  
  3. Toy Story 1: Andy’s family is moving. Buzz and Woody have to get back before the moving van leaves or they won’t know where the new house is.   
  4. Tangled: Rapunzel has been locked in a tower her entire life. Once a year, on her birthday, the sky is filled with lanterns. She will do anything to see them. She blackmails Eugene to take her to the town where the lanterns are launched. 
  5. Epic: The Leaf People can only pick their new queen on the one night when the solstice and the full moon coincide. This only happens every 100 years. The queen chose a new pod, but she has died. The pod must open in the light of the full moon for the new queen to be crowned. 
  6. Beauty and the Beast: Belle must fall in love with The Beast before the rose dies.  
  7. Little Mermaid: Eric must kiss Ariel before the sun sets on the third day. 
  8. Monsters Inc.: The city of Monstropolis runs on scream-energy that is collected by scaring children. The city is running out of power. The monsters need to up their game to get more screams. 
  9. Finding Nemo: Darla (a fish killer) is coming in a few days. Nemo is her gift.
  10. Cars: McQueen has to get to L.A. before the other racers to start practising for the final race.

And for people, who actually get to watch real movies, think of stories like The Life of David Gale. The journalist races to find the evidence before the execution date. In the series 24, Jack Bauer has a time limit to thwart terrorists. 

Use wedding dates, bombs with timers, board meetings, deadlines, solar eclipses, or anything that ups the odds for your characters. 

by Mia Botha for Writers Write

— 6 days ago with 124 notes
#Mia Botha  #writing advice  #What watching Disney taught me about writing suspense  #Writers Write  #Writing Suspense 
Happy Birthday, Sam Harris, born 9 April 1967
10 Quotes
There is another possibility, of course, and it is both the most reasonable and least odious: the biblical God is a fiction. As Richard Dawkins has observed, we are all atheists with respect to Zeus and Thor. Only the atheist has realized that the biblical god is no different. 
It’s simply untrue that religion provides the only framework for a universal morality.
Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make when in the presence of religious dogma.
We have a choice. We have two options as human beings. We have a choice between conversation and war. That’s it. Conversation and violence. And faith is a conversation stopper.
My concern with religion is that it allows us by the millions to believe what only lunatics or idiots could believe on their own. That’s not to say that all religious people are lunatics or idiots. 
As an atheist, I am angry that we live in a society in which the plain truth cannot be spoken without offending 90% of the population.
Everything we do is for the purpose of altering consciousness. We form friendships so that we can feel certain emotions, like love, and avoid others, like loneliness. We eat specific foods to enjoy their fleeting presence on our tongues. We read for the pleasure of thinking another person’s thoughts.
The president of the United States has claimed, on more than one occasion, to be in dialogue with God. If he said that he was talking to God through his hairdryer, this would precipitate a national emergency. I fail to see how the addition of a hairdryer makes the claim more ridiculous or offensive.
The only angels we need invoke are those of our better nature: reason, honesty, and love. The only demons we must fear are those that lurk inside every human mind: ignorance, hatred, greed, and faith, which is surely the devil’s masterpiece.
Theology is ignorance with wings.
Harris is an American author, philosopher, and neuroscientist. He is the author of The End of Faith, which spent 33 weeks on The New York Times Best Seller list and won the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction. His other books are Letter to a Christian Nation, The Moral Landscape, and Free Will.
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by  Amanda Patterson for Writers Write

Happy Birthday, Sam Harris, born 9 April 1967

10 Quotes

  1. There is another possibility, of course, and it is both the most reasonable and least odious: the biblical God is a fiction. As Richard Dawkins has observed, we are all atheists with respect to Zeus and Thor. Only the atheist has realized that the biblical god is no different. 
  2. It’s simply untrue that religion provides the only framework for a universal morality.
  3. Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make when in the presence of religious dogma.
  4. We have a choice. We have two options as human beings. We have a choice between conversation and war. That’s it. Conversation and violence. And faith is a conversation stopper.
  5. My concern with religion is that it allows us by the millions to believe what only lunatics or idiots could believe on their own. That’s not to say that all religious people are lunatics or idiots. 
  6. As an atheist, I am angry that we live in a society in which the plain truth cannot be spoken without offending 90% of the population.
  7. Everything we do is for the purpose of altering consciousness. We form friendships so that we can feel certain emotions, like love, and avoid others, like loneliness. We eat specific foods to enjoy their fleeting presence on our tongues. We read for the pleasure of thinking another person’s thoughts.
  8. The president of the United States has claimed, on more than one occasion, to be in dialogue with God. If he said that he was talking to God through his hairdryer, this would precipitate a national emergency. I fail to see how the addition of a hairdryer makes the claim more ridiculous or offensive.
  9. The only angels we need invoke are those of our better nature: reason, honesty, and love. The only demons we must fear are those that lurk inside every human mind: ignorance, hatred, greed, and faith, which is surely the devil’s masterpiece.
  10. Theology is ignorance with wings.

Harris is an American author, philosopher, and neuroscientist. He is the author of The End of Faith, which spent 33 weeks on The New York Times Best Seller list and won the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction. His other books are Letter to a Christian Nation, The Moral Landscape, and Free Will.

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by  Amanda Patterson for Writers Write

— 6 days ago with 64 notes
#Sam Harris  #Literary Birthday  #Amanda Patterson  #Writers Write 
The Author’s Promise - two things every writer should do →

'The first duty of the novelist is to entertain. It is a moral duty. People who read your books are sick, sad, travelling, in the hospital waiting room while someone is dying. Books are written by the alone for the alone.' ~Donna Tartt

I have read thousands of books and reviewed a lot them - 800 according to my Goodreads profile. Sometimes, I finish a book, and I think, ‘Wow! I loved that. I wonder what else the author’s written.’ Sometimes, I finish a book, and toss it aside with great force, and sometimes, I discard it without a second thought. 

I have spent hours thinking about what makes me turn the page, pushing sleep away, determined to finish the story. I have spent just as much time thinking about what makes me want to throw the book away so that nobody else has to go through the literary torture I endured.

Read more here: The Author’s Promise

— 1 week ago with 83 notes
#two things every writer should do  #The Author’s Promise  #Writers Write  #Writing Advice  #Amanda Patterson 
Happy Birthday, James Herbert, born 8 April 1943, died 20 March 2013
Seven Quotes
I’m never going to win the Booker and I have no great literary pretensions, but I know how to write well. I do it the old-fashioned way with a pen and paper and I know my spelling and grammar.
I’ve always suffered from being labelled a horror writer - just because I didn’t go to university, just because I still talk in my natural voice, just because I’m not as articulate as Martin Amis.
I’m terrible in the mornings, but I’m always at my desk by 10 A.M.
I’ve always loved comic books. As a kid, I used to read cowboy stories and historical comics about other worlds, unknown places that would take me out of myself and which helped to develop my imagination.
Horror novels were written by upper-middle-class writers like Dennis Wheatley. I made horror accessible by writing about working-class characters.
The books are full of that neurosis and I guess people tune into that. I have a dread of sounding pretentious and try not to talk too much about what I do. Sometimes, though, it is necessary to point it out: I’m not just in it for the gore.
The trick is to keep working and to get things done – just bloody well do it! Yes, you might be writing rubbish but you can always go back over it and make it a better read. With every book you do you may get to a stage where you think ‘this is silly’. That’s happened to me a number of times but I’ve persevered and got on with it.
Herbert was a best-selling English horror writer who sold 54 million books that were translated into 34 languages. His best known novels are The Fog, The Survivor, and The Dark. Some of his novels were adapted for film, television, and radio.
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by Amanda Patterson for Writers Write

Happy Birthday, James Herbert, born 8 April 1943, died 20 March 2013

Seven Quotes

  1. I’m never going to win the Booker and I have no great literary pretensions, but I know how to write well. I do it the old-fashioned way with a pen and paper and I know my spelling and grammar.
  2. I’ve always suffered from being labelled a horror writer - just because I didn’t go to university, just because I still talk in my natural voice, just because I’m not as articulate as Martin Amis.
  3. I’m terrible in the mornings, but I’m always at my desk by 10 A.M.
  4. I’ve always loved comic books. As a kid, I used to read cowboy stories and historical comics about other worlds, unknown places that would take me out of myself and which helped to develop my imagination.
  5. Horror novels were written by upper-middle-class writers like Dennis Wheatley. I made horror accessible by writing about working-class characters.
  6. The books are full of that neurosis and I guess people tune into that. I have a dread of sounding pretentious and try not to talk too much about what I do. Sometimes, though, it is necessary to point it out: I’m not just in it for the gore.
  7. The trick is to keep working and to get things done – just bloody well do it! Yes, you might be writing rubbish but you can always go back over it and make it a better read. With every book you do you may get to a stage where you think ‘this is silly’. That’s happened to me a number of times but I’ve persevered and got on with it.

Herbert was a best-selling English horror writer who sold 54 million books that were translated into 34 languages. His best known novels are The Fog, The Survivor, and The Dark. Some of his novels were adapted for film, television, and radio.

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by Amanda Patterson for Writers Write

— 1 week ago with 27 notes
#James Herbert  #Literary Birthday  #Amanda Patterson  #Writers Write 
Happy Birthday, William Wordsworth, born 7 April 1770, died 23 April 1850
10 Wordsworth Quotes

Happy Birthday, William Wordsworth, born 7 April 1770, died 23 April 1850

10 Wordsworth Quotes

— 1 week ago with 39 notes
#william wordsworth  #Literary Birthday  #Amanda Patterson  #Writers Write