Tag: Advice

Video Saturday – Advice to Writers – Anne Rice

I don’t know too many people my age who love speculative fiction who did NOT go through that phase where they either read or were urged to read Anne Rice.  While I read 3-4 of her books, I have to admit to feeling lukewarm about her characters, and the stories always felt a bit “overmuch.”  However, looking back, I am surprised by how much I remember of those novels so many years later.  So maybe I shouldn’t scoff.  🙂  Just a few months ago Anne put up a new video with advice for writers. It is 12 minutes long so a bit more in depth than our usual fare over here at Unleaded, but still a fun watch.

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Video Saturday – Advice to Writers from Marie Forleo – “Time for Writing”

Today’s post is a quick one.  It’s from Marie Forleo and is actually pretty entertaining.  Usually, my YouTube hunts for writing advice focus primarily on “big name” speculative fiction authors.  This video is a deviation from that.  I discovered Marie is informative and also fun.  Nothing like a little enthusiasm and positive energy to put the “oomph” back in that pen/keyboard.  Hmm, I may have to check out more of her stuff.

Today’s focus is: Things You Can Do to Help You Get Your Writing Done.  Yes, I’ve heard “Pants to Chair” but that usually ends up with me just running around the house pantsless.  Something no one wants to see.  But in truth, everyone has little tricks that help them focus, or finish, or even just get to the writing desk!  As well as Marie’s suggestions, I’d love to hear your ideas. 

PS  You’ll notice this as a recurring theme.  Obviously, it’s something I continue to struggle with.  Here’s hoping I’m not the only one with scheduling woes.

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Video Saturday – Advice to Writers – Philippa Gregory

Today is author Philippa Gregory. I’m ashamed to say I haven’t read her novel, The Other Boleyn Girl or other historical novels but I fell in love with the film.  She has written novels set in several different historical periods – the bestselling Lacey trilogy — Wideacre, which is a story about the love of land and incest, The Favoured Child and Meridon in the 17th century; The Wise Woman, and A Respectable Trade, a novel of the slave trade in England, set in 18th-century Bristol. Not too surprising considering she has a PhD in 17th century literature.

The video is mostly about her writing and although interesting, I have to say I’m a bit disappointed it didn’t cover more about how she incorporates history into her novels and how to determine what to use and what to ignore.  As well as the risks of those decisions.

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Video Saturday – Advice to Writers – Ze Frank’s Invocation for Beginners

Those of you who frequent the blog may be aware of author DL Thurston’s  previous post on Ze Frank (Motivating Creativity and Motivating Creatively).  For those of you who don’t know who Ze Frank is let me illuminate, aw heck, let me just borrow from Wikipedia –

Ze Frank is an online performance artist, composer, humorist, and public speaker. In 2001, Frank created an online birthday invitation and sent it to seventeen of his closest friends. Forwarded wildly, the invitation soon generated millions of hits and over 100 gigabytes of daily web traffic to Frank’s personal Web site. The site grew to include interactive group projects, short films, animations, and video games, many Flash-based, including children’s educational videos featuring handy tips such as “Don’t vacuum your face”.

On March 17, 2006, Frank launched the daily video program the show with zefrank. The format of the program combined commentary on media and current events with viewer contributions and activities. Each tightly edited three-to-five-minute episode combined Daily Show-style commentary on world events with songs, observations, and occasional games or challenges for his viewers to participate in. Thousands of photos, videos and music files were contributed by the audience. The show appeared each weekday until its final episode on March 17, 2007, exactly one year after its start. 

On February 27, 2012, Ze Frank announced that he was going to do a thrice-weekly show, that will be “same same but different” from The Show. Similar to his other projects, Frank’s new venture will be a collaboration between him and his audience. The show debuted on April 9, 2012 with an episode titled “An Invocation for Beginnings“.

All I can say, is that it is ridiculously awesome and if, after watching this, you don’t want to get up, and get out there, and do something…well, you have no soul.  😉

Video Saturday – Advice to Writers – Amy Tan and Creativity

Today’s video (which is backdated because I’m running late again) is from Amy Tan’s TED Talk. It’s longer than my usual video clips at 24 minutes but is easy to listen to in the background while doing other things so I don’t want to hear any “I don’t have time” excuses. 🙂 It is an interesting discussion about creativity and where it comes from and the mystery of ideas and cosmological constants. So definitely worth a listen.

Amy Tan has written several bestselling novels, most famously, The Joy Luck Club. Also included are, The Kitchen God’s Wife, The Hundred Secret Senses, The Bonesetter’s Daughter and Saving Fish from Drowning. Her most recent novel Saving Fish from Drowning explores the tribulations experienced by a group of people who disappear while on an art expedition in the jungles of Burma. In addition to these, Amy Tan has written two children’s books: The Moon Lady (1992) and Sagwa, the Chinese Siamese Cat (1994), which was turned into an animated series which aired on PBS. This last of which I have seen and is really very cute.

But, lets get to the video!  And as she said, “Near death is good for creativity, as is childhood trauma.” (If you what to know what THAT means…watch the video)

Video Saturday (okay, it’s Sunday and I’m a bit late) – Advice to Writers from Stephen King

Going back through my list of authors included in Video Saturday, I was a bit shocked to discover that Stephen King was not on the list. Why is that surprising?  Because probably the book that has been the most helpful in providing me with the “oomph” to write is his, “On Writing.”  Note, I’m not saying that technically it was the most useful or that it held forth huge nuggets of wisdom but if there was ever any book that imbued in me the feeling of “rightness” about my work, then that was it.  There is also the personal connection that I was living alone in Washington, DC at the time and my girlfriend was till in Missouri.  This was the first book that we ever read together.  We’d read and then every night we’d talk about what we read.  As a result, I still have a very positive emotional reaction to it.

So, not to delay any longer, below is a very short video (and an old one) of Stephen King giving advice to writers.  His key point – you must be well-read.  Read a lot and write a lot.   And then because I couldn’t help myself and because I was looking for something a little more recent, I found a video of Stepehen King’s Afternoon in Savannah before the Savannah Book Fair.  The video/audio isn’t great but still understandable.  Note, the second one is 26 minutes long.



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