11 21, 2017

5 writing tips from Paula McLain

By |2017-11-21T06:00:42-05:00November 21, 2017|

Bestselling author and spectacular human Paula McLain visited us for National Novel Writing Month.

She discussed finding inspiration for her bestsellers, The Paris Wife and Circling the Sun, in Hadley Richardson and Beryl Markham, respectively. She also mentioned how a dream about Martha Gellhorn—a war correspondent and Ernest Hemingway’s third wife—inspired her newest novel, Love and Ruin.

She also offered some writing advice for aspiring authors, gleaned from her own life.

  1. You have to be open to inspiration. (“There’s an undeniable, not-subtle-at-all experience that happens to me when I find that inspiration. Now I know to pay attention to that feeling; and if I don’t have it, I’m not going to discover it along the way.”)
  2. If something you’re writing is not working, you can’t force it to work. Before writing Circling the Sun, McLain tried to write novels about Georgia O’Keeffe and Marie Curie. No matter how hard she tried, neither worked out—not because there’s anything wrong with the subject matter, but it didn’t resonate with her like Richardson, Markham, or Gellhorn.
  3. Read what you want to write. (“Read in the genre you want to write in. Read in the genre that’s important to you. Read as if your life depended on it.”)
  4. Keep books that inspire you close at hand. While writing The Paris Wife, those books were Colm Tóibín’s The Master and Michael Cunningham’s The Hours for McLain.
  5. Write your face off.

11 20, 2017

D.M. Pulley returns to talk writing, torso slayings

By |2017-11-20T12:23:01-05:00November 20, 2017|

Award-winning writer D.M. Pulley is returning to Mentor Public Library on Thursday, Nov. 30, to help us conclude National Novel Writing Month.

First, Pulley will lead a session where writers can share and discuss their stories that they’ve written this month at 6:30 p.m. at our Main Branch. They can also decompress and share war stories from a month’s worth of writing.

Then, directly following, Pulley will read from and discuss her newest novel, “The Unclaimed Victim,” which was inspired by the Cleveland Torso Slayings.

Afterward, Pulley will sign copies of her book, which will be available for purchase.

Both the writing session and Pulley’s reading are free and open to the public. However, registration is required. You can sign up for either or both programs on our event calendar or by calling us at (440) 255-8811 ext. 216.

11 16, 2016

9 Writing Tips from Author Tricia Springstubb

By |2016-11-16T06:00:50-05:00November 16, 2016|

Tricia Springstubb offers advice to new authors during the National Novel Writing Month kickoff at Mentor Public Library

Tricia Springstubb offers advice to new authors during the National Novel Writing Month kickoff at Mentor Public Library

Author Tricia Springstubb visited our library last week to help us launch National Novel Writing Month.

Springstubb has written “Moonpenny Island” and other popular books for young readers, as well as award-winning short fiction for adults.

She offered strategies (and coping techniques) for writing 50,000 words in 30 days. (That’s an approximate word goal. The aim of National Novel Writing Month is to complete a draft of your novel in one month.)

Here are nine pieces of advice she offered our fledgling authors:

1. There’s no such thing as a perfect first draft

“You’re not going to write a book in one month. Very few people can do that. But you can write a draft. It might be a bad draft, but it’s a place to start … I never write just two drafts. I write three or four. I’ve never written a novel in less than a year. Some take me three or four years.

2. Have a pattern

“Especially with novel writing, consistency is important. I sit in a certain place at a certain time and I write. I write six days a week.

3. Appreciate the value of what you’re doing

“You are making something new. You’re not tearing anyone down. That’s beautiful. It’s good for the world and it’s good for you.”

4. When you get writer’s block, think about your characters

“When people say, ‘I don’t know what happens next,’ they’re usually saying, ‘I just don’t know my character well enough.’

“Start listing traits, things that may never make the novel but help you understand your character: What’s her morning routine? Her shoe size? Her favorite team?”

5. If your mind is blank, then take a walk

“I’m a huge fan of going on walks. It’s like giving my brain recess. And I never go without a notebook and a pen in my pocket.”

6. Accept that this is difficult work

“Just accept that, at times during this process, you’re going to feel scared, you’re going to feel frustrated, you’re going to feel dumb. The best thing to do then is write and write and write.”

7. Writers write

“I get worried about talking about writing. It’s fun, but you need to do it. Sometimes talking about writing dilutes the idea.”

8. Don’t let rejection dissuade you

“I have the usual stack of rejection letters from publishers. I still get rejected.”

9. Every writer is different

“Everything I say, you should take with a grain of salt, because you can talk to another writer and they’ll tell you something different.”


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