Daily Archives for: February 12th, 2017

Writer’s Block: Lower Your Standards to Write Better

Do you have the dreaded cognophobia? It’s a Latin term that translates literally as “fear of thinking” or fear of facing your own thoughts. You may experience it as writer’s block.

“A writer must feel comfortable expressing herself in words, letting them flow before critiquing them or subjecting them to examination,” say Linda Metcalf and Tobin Simon in Writing the Mind Alive. “Many people who have an ambition to write are held back at the starting gate by some form of this condition.” Read More→

Categories: Writing Advice from Classic Authors Comments: (0)

Does one need connections to get published?

Dear Literary Ladies,
I’ve often heard it said that “it’s who you know that matters.” Well, I don’t know anyone in the publishing world. Does that mean my work doesn’t stand a chance of being looked at seriously?

There is no easy road. “Pull” will not help. Knowing an editor, or a publisher, or a successful writer, or having a friend who knows one, will not make up for a poor manuscript. Do not write to editors, or established writers asking them to criticize your work, or for help or advice in getting your book or story published.

They are unable to help you, even if they were willing to spend half their working hours trying to assist the beginner. Your work must speak for itself. Read More→

Categories: Dear Literary Ladies Comments: (0)

Orlando by Virginia Woolf: Gender and Sexuality Through Time

Orlando by Virginia Woolf (1928) was the esteemed British author’s sixth major work. It was written in a year, between To the Lighthouse and The Waves.

An epic novel, it follows the journey of one character, Orlando, over the course of about 350 years (1588 – 1928). It is a biography not of any one character, but of the nature and history of gender, identity, and sexuality through time.

At the start of the novel, readers will encounter Orlando as a young boy of noble birth. His family entertains Queen Elizabeth I, who is the first to notice Orlando’s beauty and potential. As he ages (slowly), Orlando will spend much of his time with “low” people – those well-outside the realm of nobility, though he himself is a member of the court. Read More→

Categories: Book Reviews, Literary Analyses Comments: (0)

Jessie Redmon Fauset, Literary Midwife of the Harlem Renaissance

Though her own work is no longer widely read, Jessie Redmon Fauset is still remembered as one of the literary “midwives of the Harlem Renaissance,” an influential circle that ushered in a new generation of creative voices in the black arts movement.

Fauset started her career after reading T.S. Stribling’s novel Birthright (1922). This novel about black life written by a white man introduced fallacies to the public, and influenced Fauset among others to write about their experiences as people of color for a more accurate account.

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Categories: Literary Musings Comments: (0)