Nathanael Green's Blog

An advertising copywriter, novelist, and freelance writer's brain goo.

Posts Tagged ‘writing

Carefully Crafting Headlines and Barfing Up Titles

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There’s a distinct difference between writing headlines for advertising or marketing copy and writing titles for fiction. Here is that difference:

Writing headlines is an interesting, challenging process where I get to try different techniques
to craft an engaging line to elicit a specific response.

Writing titles sucks.

Oh, I know they’re both in my job description. As a freelance copywriter, I often write multiple headlines in a day. (Here’s an old post on what it is a copywriter really does, just in case you’ve forgotten.) And as a fiction writer, every piece I write needs a title.

So why the big difference? Read the rest of this entry »

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Written by Nathanael Green

January 7, 2013 at 9:02 am

I Listen to Podcasts. Wanna Know 6 of ’Em?

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We’re all friends here, so you can admit it:

You’ve always wondered what I’m listening to while I’m folding laundry.

Keep reading for 6 of my favorite podcasts…

Give Me Your Shorts and Win NGEP!

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You WILL give me names.

You had such a great time with my last NGEP contest that I couldn’t in good conscience postpone this one another day.

(Yes. You did have lots of fun. Don’t argue with me.)

Last time, I pretty broadly asked you to recommend your favorite writers. I got everything from Richard Brautigan (whom I’ve since read) to Christopher McDougall (whom I’m reading right now) to Lev Grossman (whose The Magicians is sitting on my to-be-read shelf at home).

Good show, folks, but this time around, I’m looking for something more specific:

Recommend your favorite short stories to win more
Nathanael Green Endorsement Points!

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Nathanael Green

February 29, 2012 at 10:03 am

Listening to Find Your Characters

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I don’t generally attribute specific sources of inspiration to my writing, but occasionally, something grabs my attention and says, “Hey! You need me!”

That’s how I had a theme song for a novel before I even started writing.

Here’s what happened. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Nathanael Green

July 13, 2011 at 8:36 pm

SUBMIT! How You Get a Short Story Published

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Rawr.

I felt a twinge, something along the lines of angry defiance the first time I noticed the link on a literary journal’s website:

SUBMIT

Later, I figured out that this was the link I needed to click to get my fiction published. It had nothing to do with domination of any sort.

*shrug*

“How do you get a story published?”

I’ve been asked that a few times lately, and there are entire libraries written on craft and storytelling and selling your novel. So I’m going to skip all that for now. Instead, here’s a quick explanation the submission process and how writers’ creative brain-dribbling ends up on public display.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Nathanael Green

March 24, 2011 at 7:28 am

A Writer’s Obligation to Readers?

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Summer is coming, and with it, Martin's new book.

The five-year wait is over.

I got an email from Tor.com today that gleefully announced (yes, it actually was gleeful) that George R.R. Martin’s next book, Dance of Dragons has a release date.

For those of you who aren’t wrapped up in the world of fantasy fiction, this comes five years after the release of the previous book in his Song of Ice and Fire series and it has been the subject of much, much discussion on its delay. More on that in a bit.

And those of you already involved in A Song of Ice and Fire, you may officially begin rubbing your grubby little gauntlets together in anticipation.

Did it take forever? Or are fans just whiny?

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Nathanael Green

March 3, 2011 at 10:26 pm

Absolutes: Some Very Unique Words

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Can something be more than perfect? A little bit perfect? Or, if something’s one of a kind, can it be more one of a kind?

If you’re taking these ideas literally, the answer is no. Perfect, by definition, means there’s nothing better to be had. It’s as good as it can possibly be.

Perfect is what’s known as an absolute. Perfect is perfect; it doesn’t come in degrees of perfectness.

But what gets tricky, is that in everyday speech, absolutes like perfect get modified all the time. So, you may ask, is it ok to say “more perfect?”
Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Nathanael Green

August 11, 2009 at 7:22 pm