Some links on writing that have excited me recently

  • James Bridle on Chetan Bhagat. I read all of Bhagat's novels on my holiday. They were a more interesting glimpse into India than many of the books I read written by non-Indian journalists. Bhagat is one of the most widely read authors in the world.
  • Russell Davies has posted some of his favourite quotes from the new Coupland novel. The comment he makes introducing them is interesting: "I'm sure I'll read more of Mr Coupland's books but I'd almost rather read his lists or his notes. It seems like he's the perfect novelist to write the something-that's-not-a-novel that must be just around the corner." Having recently read Reality Hunger, I'm starting to see signs of this something-that's-not-a-novel all over the place.
  • Another James Bridle article Birth Pangs of a New Literature: " Authors will keep on writing. They won’t get paid much, but hey, they never did. In fact, there’s a chance they’ll get paid more, if they’re smart, but probably not.
  • John Scalzi's Open Letter to MFA Writing Programs (and their students), prompted by the James Frey controversy. Some good points here, but one thing fills me with horror: some Americans are going into six figures of debt for a creative writing program? That sounds insane. More here.
  • An awesome post from Everett True. The comments are worth a read too. "You don’t have to work for them. You don’t have to write for them."
  • Fantastic interview with Mark Z. Danielewski, author of House of Leaves: "20 pages of architectural names. Ed Kastenmeier recalls this as MZD’s way of telling/showing Ed that the names weren’t meant to be read, that you were not expected to absorb every syllable in this book. Which is why when he was asked to cut them down, he sent back a revision with double the amount of names in it. Ed then understood that some of the passages in House of Leaves were not meant to be studied, at best, a misdirection at worst."
  • Via Tom: Six Word Story, which seems to be an online game similar to the Not for the Faint-Hearted workshops Ellen and I run.
  • Yet another link from James Bridle, who argues that publishers are losing millions to book guilt: "When someone with a bad case fails to finish a book, they don’t start a new one; they go into a holding pattern, crippled by guilt over their failure and unable to let go and start over. All reading stops. People have confessed to me that it’s been months since they last picked up a book, because they still haven’t finished the last one."
  • The cost of a Richard and Judy recommendation: £25,000 and 50p per copy sold
  • One last link, not really on writing… Path sounds like an interesting social network. Like twitter, it adds limitations: only 50 'friends' – focussing on quality of interaction, not quantity. Another limitation is that communication is restricted to photos, with the idea of 'giving' glimpses of moments. There is an interesting article at Wired. Today, I saw Path described as an 'anti-social social network'. Not sure how useful that description is, but this is an interesting category.
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