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writing

  1. Calling All Writers—Games Are the New Frontier

    Boring old stories for video game? Ocarinah.

    I live a strange double life, stuck between the diametrically opposed worlds of writing and gaming. When I go to an English class and mention that I’m a gamer, people treat it as a non-sequitur and the chatter moves on to the latest in an ever-growing list of efforts to get John Green to come to campus. But when I go to a game studies class, the conversation completely flips, and I get blank stares or condescending remarks if I try to defend story as an important part of games.

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  2. Writer and Poet Maya Angelou Passes Away at 86

    so long and thanks for all the fish

    A statement form Maya Angelou's family has confirmed that the renowned writer passed away this morning in her North Carolina home.

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  3. Graphic Posters For Your Library, Word Nerds

    Why Not Do It With Some Style?

    Etsy shop Folio Creations has some fantastic prints with pretty graphic design available for sale for the word nerds, writers, editors, readers, and lovers of shenanigans out there. Currently available posters include quotes from Gilmore Girls, Downton Abbey, The Princess Bride, Mary PoppinsEmma, and Anne of Green Gables. They also have a line of posters featuring punctuation that's pretty great.  Plus, they'll do custom quotes for you!

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  4. Game of Thrones Author George R.R. Martin Experiences The Pains Of Writing, Just Like All Of Us

    You know nothing Jon Snow

    As a writer, I think I can safely say a lot of us put our favorite authors on a pedestal. We somehow manage to convince ourselves that just because they're successful and prolific means they never suffer with self-doubt or writer's block. That's usually not the case. And now we know A Song of Ice and Fire writer George R.R. Martin is not except from the usual trials and tribulations. 

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  5. The Jim Henson Company Wants You to Write a New Dark Crystal Novel

    The Dark Crystal scared the hell out of me when I was a kid, but that's not going to stop me from submitting to this.

    Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal is one of the most terrifying and yet fondly remembered films from the '80s. It created an entire world from Henson's imagination, but that world has gone largely untouched for more than twenty years. The Jim Henson Company wants to change that. The JHC wants to start creating novels set in the Dark Crystal world, and you can compete to write one.

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  6. E.L. Konigsburg, From the Mixed Up Files… Author, Dies at 83

    so long and thanks for all the fish

    E. L. Konigsburg, Elaine Lobl Konigsburg, is probably remembered best as the long-named author of the even longer named From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, a book about a brother and sister who ran away to live at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in order to teach their parents a lesson about appreciating them and to live in comfort while doing it, and wind up uncovering the secret origins of an unattributed angel statue in the Met's collection, a mystery as old as Michelangelo. The author, not just of Mixed-Up Files but rahter a score of books and novels died this last Friday in Falls Church, Virginia.

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  7. Original Charlotte Brontë Manuscript Goes for $141,000

    Not all that glitters is gold

    One of the odd side effects of the digital age is the gradual loss of the acres and acres of handwritten or typed manuscripts that could be catalogued by archivists interested in following the career of an author. With "save" taking primacy over "save as," those windows (no pun intended) into the process of an author stay shut. Probably there are a lot of writers who prefer it that way. Like most smaller changes wrought by advancing technology these days, I find this more interesting than depressing or uplifting. However, it does mean that two hundred years from now, probably nobody is going to be bidding six figures for a copy of my Scrivener file.

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  8. Writer Creates Jane Austen Spellcheck List To Get Period Language Correct For Novel

    This Exists... Because of A Lady

    Have you ever been reading a story, supposedly set in a past time period, and spotted words you just know don't belong? Hugo-award winning author Mary Robinette Kowal has, and she's determined to not let it happen in her books. So she did something ingenius. She compiled a huge list of words from the collected works of Jane Austen and hopes to apply them to her spellcheck dictionary in order to weed out inappropriate usage in her novels. She just needs a little help. 

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  9. World’s Most Prolific Novelist Still Had Time to be a Daredevil Aviator; Meet Barbara Cartland

    Our Adorable Past

    Barbara Cartland is best known for penning "risqué" (though they rarely contained anything of an, ah, suggestive nature) thrillers, plays, and romance novels with titles like The Bitter Winds of Love, and The Wicked Marquis, and penning a lot of them. She holds the world record for most books written in a single year (twenty-three, in 1983 when she was fifty-eight), and has been named the top selling author in the world by Guinness. She sold more than a billion books over her career, with a total of nearly nine hundred novels, one hundred and sixty of which were published posthumously. But what she isn't well known for, as io9 shows us today, is her contributions to aviation and, relatedly, the war effort in England during WWII.

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  10. Neil Gaiman Gives A Commencement Speech I Wish I’d Heard Ten Years Ago

    Imagine What You'll Know Tomorrow

    Author Neil Gaiman recently gave the Commencement Address to the University of the Arts in Philadelphia chock-full of advice for aspiring artists of all kinds. He started his speech by admitting he never continued on to higher education and then talked about he simply started writing, wrote some more, and never stopped. Hit the jump to watch the speech in its entirety and find out why I'll be directing aspiring writers to it in the future. 

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  11. Feel Good of the Day: First Grader Wins National Handwriting Award, Despite Being Born Without Hands

    i'll just leave this here

    According to her mom, Annie Clark seemed overwhelmed when contest organizers from textbook publishers Zaner-Bloser announced that she was the winner of a national penmanship contest, but as the first grader received her trophy, things appeared to sink in, and a big smile made an appearance. Though Annie was born without hands, her adoptive parents say she's determined to do pretty much anything the other kids can do, whether it's bike riding, swimming, or even simply writing, and she's succeeded on all fronts.

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  12. Things We Saw Today: She Will Destroy You

    Things We Saw Today

    From the Idle hands exhibit by artist Coop. (Hi Fructose via Diary of a Death Starlette)

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  13. A Lesson In Knowing Your Audience

    It’s unfortunate that my list of tips for writers was published when it was this week. If it had only been a day or two sooner, it maybe could have saved Kotaku a major headache. Jen Schiller, an intern at Kotaku, published a rather dismissive article about professional gaming this past Tuesday that was based on an interview over at Alienware Arena with David "Zaccubus" Treacy. The final tip I gave in my list was to know your audience and, sadly, it looks as if Schiller might have misunderstood exactly who it was she was talking to and what she was talking about. At best, her article was insulting, dismissive, and poorly-sourced. At worst, it was full of falsehoods and a great example of negligent journalism. It takes more than a snippet of a quote or a quick skim of an article to fully understand the intent. As some have pointed out, it’s not as if there aren’t many an example out there of, shall we say, less-than-stellar journalism. Sometimes this is intentional trolling or sensationalism while a post of this kind from an intern feels more like a misstep and an opportunity to learn.

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  14. Tips for Aspiring Geeky Writers From a Fellow Geeky Writer

    As you read this, another aspiring writer is attempting to craft something that they hope someone else will pay them to publish. Hundreds of aspiring writers, if not thousands, are working on blog, Tumblr, or Facebook posts or, well, dozens and dozens of different kinds of writing. There’s a lot of room out there for growth as a writer—even one as niche as being a geeky writer—but the waters are hazardous and the heading uncertain. It doesn’t help that there isn't one unifying career path that will lead folks to being a writer of geeky caliber. Ask five writers how they managed to get where they are today and you’re liable to find five varying degrees of training with possibly more than five stories as to how they eventually did it. Sometimes it takes a failure to launch before the big break. The point is, formal training is sometimes hard to come by. There are some things you just have to learn by trial and error. That, or from a list on the internet with tips for becoming a geeky writer.

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  15. The Device Every Screenwriter Wishes Existed: The Plot Device [Video]

    I See What They Did There

    Every writer's nightmare is the blank page. Aaron Sorkin has an excellent quote about it: "I love writing but hate starting." Well, what if there was a thing that put your script in motion at the push of a button? Well, that's what this is about: a Plot Device. Get it? (Geeks Are Sexy)

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