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Creative Writing

By Maria Coveou

Introduction

Sites, blogs, videos, books, resources and other material for those interested in creative writing, literature and language.

Maria Coveou — journalist, translator, freelance script supervisor for film & TV, film buff, lover of the written ...

Added by Maria Coveou: “I think any learning of any craft that involves creativity should begin here, with Sir Ken Robinson. If you don't know him already, watch all of his talks on TED and listen to what he has to say about creativity and education. He is truly inspiring and one of the best speakers out there! He was certainly a revelation to me. After you've finished watching his talks you can proceed with this playlist any way you like because it has no specific design. Since I too am in a learning process and I keep discovering new things, I will keep adding links to this learning flow, so the playlist and the order of its chapters will keep changing. I hope you enjoy learning with me and I hope you get inspired same way I was.

1 Ken Robinson - on Creativity

By Kate Torgovnick, Morton Bast, Thu-Huong Ha The future. When it comes down to it, it's not about flying cars, flashy robots, jetpacks, or awesome sunglasses. It's about the little things we can do to advance healthcare, better education, create opportunities, improve connections between each other, and make lives just a little bit easier.

Added by Maria Coveou: “Pocket - a very useful platform for anyone using Gibbon. If you don't have time to read something on the web, just put it in your pocket and read it later. A wonderful alternative to bookmarks, in my opinion.

2 Pocket - Make the Internet your personal Library

My Reading Process First rule: Add all the things. I save everything to pocket that I even consider reading. Even if it's already read, I save and archive. Even if I won't read it for a month. Even if it's a whole book. Most of my saved pieces come from Twitter (use 'read later' in app).

Added by Maria Coveou: “I love the English language, even though it's not my mother tongue, and I have found this blog to be particularly interesting for it explores the origins of English words. It is written by Mark Forsyth who has recently turned his blog into a book called "The Etymologicon" - you should get a hold of it!

3 Inky Fool - a blog by Mark Forsyth

Added by Maria Coveou: “I think anyone who loves the English language should get a hold of Mark Forsyth's books. Especially if you are a writer, you will find his book 'The Elements of Eloquence: How to Turn the Perfect English Phrase' particularly helpful not to mention delightful.

4 Mark Forsyth's Books

About Mark Forsyth Mark Forsyth is a writer, journalist, proofreader, ghostwriter and pedant. He was given a copy of the Oxford English Dictionary as a christening present and has never looked back. In 2009 he started the Inky Fool blog, in order to share his heaps of use-less information with a verbose world. Follow Mark on Twitter @InkyFool. The Unknown

Added by Maria Coveou: “I mentioned Mark Forsyth in the previous chapter. Here's a review of his book 'The Elements of Eloquence' that I think everyone should get a hold of!

5 'If you have nothing to say, at least say it well'

An alternative title for this sparkling book, which would fit with its occasionally over-jocular tone, would be Locution. Locution. Locution. Such a title is an example of epizeuxis, I can now, thanks to this slim volume, inform you. All of us use rhetoric, but few of us understand what it is we are doing, and therefore we don't do it

Added by Maria Coveou: “The Philosopher's Mail is an endless source of wisdom. It was created by modern philosopher Alain de Botton. If you don't know him already, please go out and buy some of his books. I recommend 'Essays in Love'. This here is a wonderful article about how romantic novels (and romantic comedies I may add) "ruin" our love lives. The Philosopher

7 How love stories ruin our love lives

How love stories ruin our love livesIt sounds strange to ask what a novel might be for. We tend not to wonder too much what role made-up stories should have in our lives. Generally we suppose we just read them for entertainment. © GettyYet that is to be unstrategic about a major cultural resource. A novel is a machine for

Added by Maria Coveou: “Hi is a relatively new platform that I think it's ideal for writers or people who like using words to express themselves. Check out this presentation and then join at https://hi.co

9 Hi: Narrative mapping the world

Added by Maria Coveou: “If you like writing you should definitely try keeping a blog. Anything to keep you writing, basically. This is one of my blogs. I created it in order to collect all my writing assignments for the various creative writing courses and MOOCs I take. The name of my blog is my pseudonym; we had to come up with one as part of a creative writing course I took in Athens, Greece some years ago. Coming up with it was quite hard, but also quite fun in the end. I suggest you try coming up with one. Think of it as a game!

10 Aurelia Gould - a pseudonym & a blog

Added by Maria Coveou: “Jack Cheng is an author and I discovered him in the platform 'Hi'. This is one of his blogs where he writes poetry with the help of subway signs. Some are really great. Like this one: http://subwaycento.com/post/37790590889/te-estoy-aprendiendo. I include his blog here to remind us all that inspiration can be found all around us. We just need to train ourselves to look better.

12 Subway Cento - a blog by Jack Cheng

Added by Maria Coveou: “J.J. Abrams is a director and producer. You all know the TV series 'Lost', right? In this TED talk he discusses creativity, inspiration and mysteries. Love it!

15 J.J. Abrams - The mystery box

Added by Maria Coveou: “If you are into writing and literature, you should definitely start following Brain Pickings. Here's a collection of famous advice on writing presented on their site over the years. Happy reading!

18 Famous Advice on Writing: The Collected Wisdom of Great Writers

by Maria Popova Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Didion, Sontag, Vonnegut, Bradbury, Orwell, and other literary icons. By popular demand, I've put together a periodically updated reading list of all the famous advice on writing presented here over the years, featuring words of wisdom from such masters of the craft as Kurt Vonnegut, Susan Sontag, Henry Miller, Stephen King, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Susan

Added by Maria Coveou: “I have never read any Stephen King to tell you the truth, but his books have been made into great films like The Shining, The Body (which became Stand By Me), Misery, The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile. Here are 20 tips for writers from his 2010 memoir 'On Writing'.

19 Stephen King's Top 20 Rules for Writers

In one of my favorite Stephen King interviews, for The Atlantic, he talks at length about the vital importance of a good opening line. "There are all sorts of theories," he says, "it's a tricky thing." "But there's one thing" he's sure about: "An opening line should invite the reader to begin the story. It should say: Listen. Come in

Added by Maria Coveou: “A helpful site for writers

20 Daily Writing Tips

If you understand the meaning of etymon and lemma in the two following statements, you may want to skip this post. Lovers of language and literature, especially those with children or grandchildren still in Grades K-12, will find The Language Police by education historian Diane Ravitch riveting, revelatory, and extremely disturbing. A reader comments: I have seen and heard the

Added by Maria Coveou: “Tools of the trade: excellent tips with helpful examples

21 Punctuation Tips

Photo by Roco Julie // FlickrPunctuation TipsHow to properly use dashes, hyphens, parentheses, quote marks (double and single), apostrophes, ellipses, brackets, slashes, question marks, and exclamation points.Excerpted from Clean, Well-Lighted Sentences: A Guide to Avoiding the Most Common Errors in Grammar and Punctuationby Janis Bell. Punctuation marks are to writing what vocal delivery is to speech. Can you imagine talking

Added by Maria Coveou: “Beware of those commas!

22 A Quick Guide to Using Commas

Unlike the hipster semicolon, the misunderstood colon, and the purposely avoided dash (both the en- and em- variety), the comma is used every day, all the time, by everyone. But who's actually using it correctly? Let's stop guessing. Here is a list of when and how to use a comma (in no particular order): 1. To separate complete sentences when

Added by Maria Coveou: “This was the first MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) I attended and it is about Storytelling, or rather the Future of Storytelling. It was quite interesting. You can create an account on iversity.org and enrol in the course when and if they run it again.

23 'Future of Storytelling' MOOC on iversity

Are you interested in the mechanics of current fiction formats? Do you want to know how stories are told? Do you want to analyze, understand, contextualize and create stories and narratives? Then join our MOOC and share our passion for storytelling! What to ExpectTogether with a whole network of media researchers, creators and students we will: - learn storytelling basics

Added by Maria Coveou: “This was the second MOOC I attended on Creative Writing. This one was offered by FutureLearn, a well-known platform within the MOOC community. It's now over and I am not sure you can still apply but you should keep it in mind whenever they offer it again. It was very helpful!!

24 'Start writing fiction' MOOC on FutureLearn

Added by Maria Coveou: “Josip Novakovich is a Croatian Canadian writer. If you are looking for a book about creative writing his book 'Fiction Writer's Workshop' would be a great place to start. I bought it recently myself. Apart from teaching you about the various aspects of story writing, like plot, character, it uses countless examples from literature and it gives you countless exercises at the end of each chapter that will help you practice your writing. I strongly recommend it!

25 Fiction Writer's Workshop - a book by Josip Novakovich

Added by Maria Coveou: “This is the site of author Sarah Selecky. I came across it one day when I was looking for writing prompts. If you are stuck and want to be inspired you can sign up for her 'Daily Writing Prompts'. You can also visit her blog for writing tips and even take online creative writing courses with her.

26 Sarah Selecky - Write What You Want To Read

The winner of this year's Little Bird Contest is Corrie Adams, author of "Paradise." First Place: "Paradise" by Corrie Adams, from Newmarket, Ontario, Canada Neil Smith picked her story out of 101 blind entries we received this year. I couldn't wait to read the story when I learned the prompt she used to start it: [...] When I was in

Added by Maria Coveou: “I cannot say I find it easy to always follow this advice, but I like it nonetheless.

27 Sarah Selecky - Why you should write by hand.

Why you should write by hand.I know: it's messy, and it takes a longer. A whole page of handwriting only comes to about half a page of typing once you transcribe it. Handwriting can look sloppy and unclear. And an hour's worth of scribbling on a page in blue ink doesn't hold nearly the same crispness and efficacy of a

Added by Maria Coveou: “This reminded me of Sarah Selecky's advice to write by hand instead of on a laptop. I think it's a very interesting article. You should read it especially if you are a student.

28 A Learning Secret: Don't Take Notes with a Laptop

The old fashioned way works better. Credit: Szepy via iStock "More is better." From the number of gigs in a cellular data plan to the horsepower in a pickup truck, this mantra is ubiquitous in American culture. When it comes to college students, the belief that more is better may underlie their widely-held view that laptops in the classroom enhance

Added by Maria Coveou: “Sarah Kay is this amazing young lady who performs spoken word poetry. I didn't know what that was until I saw her speech on TED. If you haven't watched this already, please do! She's a-ma-zing! Recently she published her first collection of poems called 'No Matter The Wreckage' - I recommend it!

29 Sarah Kay - If I should have a daughter

Added by Maria Coveou: “I bought and read Susan Cain's book 'Quiet' after I watched her TED talk. I kept underlying passages which for me is a sign that the author has some very interesting things to say. I recommend you watch this talk and even read her book because if you are into writing chances are you are an introvert and you will learn a lot about yourself by listening to what she has to say.

32 Susan Cain - The power of introverts

Added by Maria Coveou: “Three fun "anti-social" skills for writers

34 Three anti-social skills to improve your writing - Nadia Kalman

E.B. White wrote, "The best writing is rewriting." With that idea in mind, look at a few of the examples of ineffective dialogue in the blog post, "Bad Dialogue - Bad, Bad Dialogue," by Beth Hill, at http://theeditorsblog.net/2011/11/03/bad-dialogue-bad-bad-dialogue/ Now, select one example to rewrite and improve. If it's repetitive, eliminate the repetition. If it's too formal or stilted, mutter to

Added by Maria Coveou: “Joss Whedon is a writer and director. Here are his writing tips!

35 Joss Whedon's Top 10 Writing Tips

Film critic Catherine Bray interviewed Joss Whedon in 2006 for UK movie magazine Hotdog to find out his top ten screenwriting tips. Catherine has kindly given us permission to reproduce the article here. Photo: Joss Whedon at San Diego Comic Con - courtesy of Gage Skidmore. Joss Whedon is most famous for creating Buffy the Vampire Slayer, its spin-off Angel

Added by Maria Coveou: “Tips for travel writers. This is part 1 of 5. Search for the rest on Matador.

36 Transform your travel writing

1. What is the editor's first name? 2. Who are her associate editors? 3. Which of these people are you emailing and why? 4. Is your pitch scannable / actionable in 15 seconds or less? 5. Is a single URL of your other work readily available? 6. How does your story or proposal support / advance the publication's brand mission?

Added by Maria Coveou: “F. Scott Fitzgerald, the great Lost Generation author, offers his tips on writing.

37 F. Scott Fitzgerald - the Secret of Great Writing

by Maria Popova "Nothing any good isn't hard." What is the secret of great writing? For David Foster Wallace, it was about fun. For Henry Miller, about discovery. Susan Sontag saw it as self-exploration. Many literary greats anchored it to their daily routines. And yet, the answer remains elusive and ever-changing. In the fall of 1938, Radcliffe College sophomore Frances

Added by Maria Coveou: “More tips from Kurt Vonnegut

40 Kurt Vonnegut - Tips on How to Write a Great Story

by Maria Popova "Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia." The year of reading more and writing better is well underway with writing advice the likes of David Ogilvy's 10 no-bullshit tips, Henry Miller's 11 commandments, Jack Kerouac's 30 beliefs and techniques,

Added by Maria Coveou: “An interesting platform I discovered last week I think. I haven't had time to explore it much, but I believe you can even become a contributor and write your own human stories and send them for publication. Check it out and see what you think!

41 Narratively - Human stories, boldly told.

Added by Maria Coveou: “Here's a fun playlist for all you literature lovers created by John Green, author of the recently turned into a movie "The Fault in Our Stars." And let me grab this opportunity (might be the only one I get) to say this: if you are serious about writing and literature, always get to the book before you watch the movie based on the book because, more often than not, movies tend to disappoint, and what a pity it would be to never have a chance to read what the storyteller actually intended. Because let's face it, once we see the movie, we usually don't want to read the book afterwards. Especially if the movie is bad. But you know what, a good book CAN be reduced to a bad movie, while the opposite is not usually possible. So get to the book before any director and script-writer does, to form your own opinion. That was my lesson for today!

42 Literature Playlist by John Green

44 9 Essential Books That Will Transform Your Writing Forever

Admit it. You have several half-read writing books stacked up on your nightstand, several more squirreled away in a desk drawer and a dozen more on your Amazon wish list. You scrutinize all the books that "customers also bought" looking for those one-of-a-kind books that will transform you into a great writer. You jump "inside the book" to read the

Added by Maria Coveou: “"When you write and share your writing, you are putting a piece of yourself out there; it is an opportunity for an asynchronous connection between you and a virtual stranger."

45 The power of your writing — Medium

The power of your writingwhy you should write even if you think nobody is readingIn recent years, I have been advocating to anyone I come across, that they should write. Not only should they write, they should publish their writing online for the purpose of sharing it openly with as many people as possible. "Nobody would read what I write,"

46 10 Literary Laxatives

Writer's block can be debilitating. Thinker's block (e.g., analysis paralysis) can be equally as brutal. Yet comedian Jerry Seinfeld once wrote in a Reddit AMA: Writer's block is a phony, made up, BS excuse for not doing your work.What on Earth does he mean? You are not alone. Everybody runs into these creative blocks. Some of us have figured out

Added by Maria Coveou: “I have created this magazine on Flipboard with various interesting articles I find across the web about literature, writing, books, etc. If you don't know Flipboard already, sign up! It's an app and a website, great for reading articles on a variety of topics, same way you would read a magazine. You can follow other people's magazines, or even curate your own.

48 The Literary Journal on Flipboard

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy The inciting event is probably one of the easier things to write (because it's usually a lot of fun), and also one of ... It's a familiar scene: you're slumped over your keyboard or notebook, obsessing over your character. While we tend to agonize over everything from ... Sites, blogs, videos, books, resources and other material

Added by Maria Coveou: “Always go back to the basics! Enroll now to this free MOOC!

50 English Grammar and Style | edX

WRITE101x aims to introduce you to key concepts and strategies related to grammar and style. Absorbing and applying these in your writing will help you to confidently respond to the unprecedented and accelerating demand for high levels of literacy that have arisen in the 21st century.

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