We must admit: we totally adore Steph and his project ‘dudewithsign’! It is fun… but also literary! Don´t you believe?
In our opinion, each of Steph’s signs is a great example of saying a lot and meaningful in just a few words – everyone understands the meaning of his signs. Plus, it is written with such humor!
As we planned to post about ‘International Women Day’, we could only start our post with the dudewithsign’s post: ‘celebrate women every day’. In fact, women should be celebrated and recognized every 365 days of the year!
If you, just like us, love to read and write, you can do it by discovering some of the best female writers. There are thousands of female writers we could highlight but today we will focus on Virginia Woolf.
Why Should I Read Virginia Woolf?
Virginia Woolf is definitely one of our all time favorite writers and a great inspiration for everyone who wants to make a living writing. Reading a Woolf’s novel is a pleasure but also a challenge, which means it is also a great practice for an aspiring writer.
Woolf’s lyrical, stream-of-consciousness style may seem confusing or intimidating at first—but once you get accustomed to Woolf’s characteristic approach, you’ll find yourself reading some of the loveliest, smartest prose ever written.
Where to Start with Virginia Woolf?
Our top recommendations on Virginia Woolf’s books:
Mrs Dolloway – Woolf’s 1925 novel about a day in the life of high-society English woman Clarissa Dalloway. The novel is a perfect example of Woolf’s style, jumping from present to past, and between the thoughts of various characters in Dalloway’s life to create a rich portrait of its central character and the societal milieu of England after World War I;
To The Lighthouse – one of Woolf’s most beloved novels, To The Lighthouse (1927) is a fascinating work about the Ramsay family and their friends, who are on vacation in the Ramsays’ summer house. Taking place almost entirely inside the minds of various members of the group, Woolf plays with perspective and perception to give the reader both a bird’s eye view and a profound understanding of the personalities of the vacationers;
Orlando – now it’s time for what may be her most intricate and elaborate novel: Orlando is a wild ride, telling the story of a genderfluid English poet who lives from Elizabethan times to the 20th century.
Orlando is considered a highly influential work in feminist, queer, and transgender literature, and at the time of its publication was highly unique in its interrogation of gender roles and sexuality. It isn’t always an easy read, but if you stick with it, you’ll be rewarded with an epic and spectacular story.
If you started to read Virginia Woolf and found it hard don’t worry! The most important is to read read read: point out your difficulties and, from there, challenge yourself, understanding what Woolf can teach you.
If you would like to deepen your writing skills and be challenged every day, feel free to discover our fiction write course! Good luck!
Today is John Irving’s anniversary and we would like to share with you some of his most important recommendations to write a book:
‘The building of the architecture of a novel — the craft of it — is something I never tire of.’
People write for different reasons: one has an unique story to tell; while others want to challenge themselves. If you want to become a novelist, it is important to fall in love with the process of writing: you have to dedicate yourself to your story and put a thousand pieces together to form your novel.
From the starting point to the outlining and to the first draft of revisions, and every surprise that happens in between, to write a novel is a long and challenging process, that you should take with excitement and commitment.
‘I don’t want to write that first sentence until all the important connections in the novel are known to me. As if the story has already taken place, and it’s my responsibility to put it in the right order to tell it to you.’
Write every day but start your novel only when you have a clear vision of how you want it to be, from beginning to the end. Detail major character’s bios in a long character for each one, describing their physical traits and motivations, where they begin and how they end in the novel.
You should understand the important connections and events that will take place, as if you have already lived the story and now you just need to find the right way to put it on paper.
‘I write very quickly; I rewrite very slowly. It takes me nearly as long to rewrite a book as it does to get the first draft.’
One of the reasons for aspiring writers to fail is to work really long and slow on the first drafts of their novels, instead of finishing it. An incomplete novel is nothing compared to a crappy novel that has an end and, slowly, from this point, can be shaped and set into something remarkable.
‘When I love a novel I’ve read, I want to reread it — in part, to see how it was constructed.’
As novelists we should always be open to learn from other talented fellow writers. Make a selection of great novels and dedicate some time to understand the craft of the book, ask yourself: what is the plot? how does the tension evolve?; why does the author choose these words instead of others?. Answering these questions will inspire you and will make you discover strategies that will help you become a better writer.
‘Your memory is a monster; you forget — it doesn’t. It simply files things away. It keeps things for you, or hides things from you — and summons them to your recall with a will of its own. You think you have a memory; but it has you!’
As we wrote before, a clear vision of your novel can be its own fuel. When you know what you want the scene to be, your subconscious takes over and you just have to follow: characters start to speak for themselves in a way and your memories will often appear when you least expect in a scene that resembles a moment from your real life.
Irving’s idea is very simple: if you can use writing to access your memories, your writing will be even more authentic and powerful.
‘More than a half, maybe as much as two-thirds of my life as a writer is rewriting. I wouldn’t say I have a talent that’s special. It strikes me that I have an unusual kind of stamina.’
It is a great feeling to finish the first draft of your novel. However, be aware that, sooner or later, you need to begin the second draft… and so on! Revision is a long and tiring process, frustrating sometimes. Yet it has to be done! As Irving said, you will need to dedicate time to revising and to rewriting. And the most talented writers are the ones who have this stamina. Work on it!
Develop your writing skills with our Fiction Writing course and start now to write your novel!
Fiction Writing Course is the ideal for those who have a great story to tell and don’t know how to start to write it.
In this online course you will understand how to set up a compelling structure of events that make your plot logical, as well as a series of narrative methods to captivate your reader.
Each module of our Fiction Writing Course gives you tips and shows how the greatest novelists developed their writing style.
Furthermore, you will have access to exercises to put into practice what you have learned.
Start your Fiction Writing Course for just $12 dollars and enjoy a 25% discount. Start today the novel you have in your mind!!
> START NOW FICTION WRITING COURSE! <
read what other students wrote about this valuable course:
It helped me to develop a series of efficient methods to unlock my full potential and find my inner voice. Before it was really hard for me to pull out the words and now I write everyday! I also love the fact this site is so minimal, it helped me to focus. Judith Parker