Sunday, August 13, 2006

Web sites offer advice from novelists

Here's another column I wrote at work a few months ago.

Many novelists who make it into print feel a need to pass on their experiences and knowledge to those still trying to make it into the business. Below are some helpful Web pages from writers for writers.
Nicholas Sparks is probably best known for his debut novel, “The Notebook,” which has been made into a motion picture. His Web site offers plenty of information about his novels, but also includes a message board and a “Writer’s Corner” with plenty of advice for beginning novelists.
Fantasy writer Holly Lisle had many jobs before picking up the pen professionally. She has been a nurse, a singer, a McDonald’s employee and she sold advertising. Now she churns out fantasy novels such as “Midnight Rain,” “Vengeance of Dragons” and “Fire in the Mist.” Her Web site is one of the most informative I have discovered, especially for those who want to write fantasy or science fiction. Holly has plenty of free advice she offers writers, including a downloadable ebook “Create a Character Clinic.”
Romance novelist Jennifer Blake has been writing for more than thirty years. A few of her many novels are “Challenge to Honor,” “With A Southern Touch” and “Love’s Wild Desire.” If you are interested in writing romance novels, her site is worth checking out. Not only does the site offer advice, but the author has a blog she updates often allowing you to see into the daily life of a novelist.
Ursula K. Le Guin might be best known for her Earthsea fantasy novels and other science fiction works, but she has also written children’s books, non-fiction writings and more. Her Web site offers plenty of advice for would-be writers, including manuscript preparation and a brief overview of U.S. copyright law.
British writer Neil Gaiman hit the spotlight big in the late ’80s with the “Sandman” comic books which have been collected into a series of graphic novels by DC comics’ Vertigo title. Since then, Neil has spread his writing talents to novels, movies, theater and more. His Web site offers advice for writers, but also includes message boards, a daily journal from the writer, downloads and more.
What I’ve been reading: “My Life,” by Bill Clinton. Regardless of your politics, this autobiography gives you a look into the mind of a former president. The book itself is extremely long-winded, but takes you through nearly every political event during the 1990s. Former President Clinton must keep a journal detailing every moment of his day. If you’re writing a political thriller, or story set in the ’90s, you might want to check this book out.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've been to Holly Lisle's site, and Ursula K. LeGuin's. I'll have to check out Gaiman's. Thanks for the links!

-- Steve