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James was a tall, thin man with untidy black hair that stuck up at the back. During his Hogwarts years, he had an indefinable air of having been well cared for and even adored. As late as his fifth year, he started wearing glasses, although in his first year he had not.
While at Hogwarts, James became the very best of friends with Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, and Peter Pettigrew, and the group called themselves “the Marauders”. The four friends enjoyed untold popularity while at school, and particularly liked playing pranks together.
Though more mischievous than diligent, James was a very clever student. At some point, he became Chaser for his house’s Quidditch team, and he was entirely aware of his talent. He was something of an obnoxious youth for the majority of his time at school; he liked to show off and was exceptionally self-confident. He habitually ruffled his hair to make it even untidier, to look as though he’d just got off his broomstick, according to Lily Evans.
By his seventh year, James had lost the less savoury aspects of his personality, and was even appointed Head Boy, despite the fact that he had not been a prefect.
Trying to figure out what your style is isn’t as hard as it might seem. I’ve seen a lot of writers get asked questions like “how did you develop as a writer?” or “how did you find your style”, so I feel like this is a topic I should talk about. If you stop stressing out about it, it will all…
I don’t usually comment on stuff, but I’d like to respectfully disagree on one point.
Mimicking the writing style of an author you admire can actually be very helpful. As a developing writer, you need to figure out whats best for you. If you write in the same style, and find you’re not suited for it, or you just don’t feel right, that’s good! Its helping you! I, personally, love writing in first person. It gives me a sense of personality, and in my perspective as a writer, I need that. But I only started using first person when I was mimicking the styles of Rick Riordan (did I just misspell his name? Please say no…). It helped me to focus on what I really liked to write. Sure, it sucked. When you write your really serious stuff, you should never actually try to imitate someone else. But using someone elses style for a while, trying on their clothes in a sense and seeing if they suit you is a great way to develop your voice. Today, I know that first person is basically almost always the way to go with my writing, and that humor is my friend. And if I hadn’t started out by copying someone else, I don’t think I would have learned that.
And here’s a link from brain pickings: Mark Twain on Plagiarism and Originality: “All Ideas Are Second-Hand”
It’s true. There’s no such thing as pure originality — inspiration comes from everything organic. If you’re watching movies, reading books, looking at artwork, you’re influencing your own art. As an artist, you steal from everything you love. You base your writing on the voices you want to hear on the page — whether you recognize it or not.
Chuck Palahniuk • Friday, July 25th • 4pm ET /1 pm PT
Submit your questions via the Ask Box (here) and Chuck will answer them live from Comic-Con on Friday, July 25th at 4 pm ET/ 1pm PT.
And, be sure to check out the new book, coming October 21st, 2014.
First rule of Tumblr club: you should definitely talk about chuckpalahniuk's Tumblr Q&A.
My advice for losing passion or drive is kinda different than most my friends so take that with a grain of salt, but I can only say what’s worked for me: Make yourself work. Doesn’t matter what you’re working on, don’t let yourself sit around not doing anything. You don’t have to take on, like, your opus or anything… but you need to be doing something with your art. You need to make a project, and hold yourself accountable for finishing it. Even if it looks like trash or its a failed experiment, its okay to make bad stuff. You learn from making bad stuff. Just keep your hands busy, keep your brain busy.
If I waited for when I felt my “groove” or had passion for it, I’d probably be out of a job because there was a 3 month period not long ago when I was burnt out and tired of drawing/writing, but I had to cuz its my job. I did good work I was proud of, regardless of being in my groove. I just had to find a motivation that wasn’t passion for those 3 months… which turned out to be “fear of not getting paid” and “refusing to drop quality.”
I am not of the opinion people should only work when they feel inspired. Sometimes, you just have to do it. You have to sit down and work. You have to find a reason to keep going at it during the times when the passion isn’t there, cuz the passion will not always be there.
like I said, take my advise with a grain of salt. This is what’s worked for me and how I function.
PUBLICATION OPPORTUNITY: Glimmer Train
“Susan and Linda started Glimmer Train in 1990 to publish great literary fiction by established and emerging short-story writers. We have, from the beginning, paid our contributors with real dollars as well as with copies. In a year’s time we pay writers over $50,000, nearly a third of that going to new writers.”
Glimmer Train is one of my favorite literary magazines, mostly because they’re focused on the welfare of their writers. Run by two sisters, GT is one of the kindest website experiences for the up and coming writer looking for submission opportunities I’ve ever visited. Their payment is more than generous, and they’re committed to publishing new voices.
Pays on acceptance, and publishes an average of 15 months past that (according to the 2014 Writer’s Market). Simultaneously submissions are OK, and editors respond around two months after submission. Their genre is literary fiction, and they have five submission categories, including regular magazine submissions and type contests.