To do good writing, read good writing. Here’s the good writing I’ve been reading this week:
Why fiction matters (America: The National Catholic Review) – Kevin Spinale’s wide-ranging interview with George Saunders, who Time called “the best short story writer in English” in its 2013 list of the 100 most influential people in the world, covers everything from faith to family. Here’s an excerpt, on the challenge of writing about love, and what it says about the craft of fiction writing:
The way to write about love, I guess, is to get some of it in the room, so to speak: have a character who loves, or claims to love something or someone or some idea, and then put him to the test. If we stumbled upon some mystery material, and wanted to know what it was, we might first ask: What are its essential properties? And then proceed to put it through some end-condition tests (extreme heat, stress, etc). I think fiction can do the same—and that mystery material is…us.
Revenge, ego and the corruption of Wikipedia (Salon) – Read this and you’ll never again regard the online research resource as a completely neutral arbiter of information. Andrew Leonard’s investigative piece reveals that a writer named Robert Clark Young used an anonymous alias to alter Wikipedia entries for a well-regarded Southern author, part of a long-standing grudge the former held against the later.
Freelance Writing Advice
Advice to a young freelancer (Medium) – Portland author and freelancer Nancy Rommelmann shares wisdom accummulated from writing for the likes of the Wall Street Journal, New York Times Magazine and LA Weekly. My favorite parts are about working with editors. “Make your editors’ lives easier,” she says. “File a nice clean story. Be open to criticism and suggestions. The best editors will ask questions that make you think, wow, that’s such a smart suggestion.”
Why blogging isn’t enough (Pushing Social) – This is for everyone who blogs, and particularly if you’re signing up for the 2013 WordCount Blogathon to grow your online presence. It’s no longer enough just to have a blog, you have to use a “supporting cast of marketing tools to magnify your blogging efforts,” writes Pushing Social Marketing Director Stan Smith.
Coding for the future: The rise of hacker journalism (PBS MediaShift)
Lessons from teh school of data journalism (PBS MediaShift)
[Wikimedia photo by David Shankbone]