Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Writers on Writing - from Nieman Storyboard & The Oatmeal

There's a couple of pieces I've come across lately on the subject of writing that stood out as particularly great... one a series of talks by writers on writing and one a comic about the writing process.

From the Nieman Storyboard website was a four part series taken from "The Power of Storytelling" annual writing conference in Romania and it featured some compelling thoughts from excellent writers. Introduction was “The Power of Storytelling,” Part 1: A bunch of American storytellers go to Romania… and it noted the writers who spoke and provided a brief excerpt from each person's address.

The speeches were all interesting, but four of them in particular stood out to me. From “The Power of Storytelling,” Part 2: Jacqui Banaszynski on the future of stories and Evan Ratliff on digital entrepreneurship Banaszynski provided a beautiful description of an obituary for her mother and Ratliff (founder and editor of Atavist) talked about just going with an idea and seeing where it takes you. Additionally of note was “The Power of Storytelling,” Part 4: Chris Jones on why stories matter, Pat Walters on endings, Walt Harrington on integrity and in it Jones wrote of not being a cynic (referencing a great bit from Dave Eggers) and Harrington provided an excellent take on truth and facts required in non-fiction writing.

In of course a very different genre, but equally great on the subject of producing writing was a comic strip I came across from The Oatmeal. "Some thoughts and musings about making things for the web" is just... great. It's funny, profound, realistic stuff from site creator Matthew Inman who also wrote the paperback book How to How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You.