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Posts Tagged ‘Derek Sivers’

Derek Sivers: ‘At the end of every computer is a real person’

Writer Derek Sivers posted a short video that contains an important reminder for all authors and readers online: “At the end of every computer is a real person.”

Over the past few months, the literary folks have argued about two basic questions: Are some online reviewers being too nice? Are other online reviewers being too mean? No matter what you think about the state of literary reviews, you need to watch this video (embedded above) before you send a nasty email or respond angrily to a negative review.

Here’s an excerpt from the video: “when we yell at a website or company, using our computer or phone appliance, we forget it’s not an appliance, but a person that’s affected. It’s dehumanizing to have thousands of people passing through our computer screens, so we do things we’d never do if they were sitting next to us. It’s too overwhelming to remember that at the end of every computer is a real person, a lot like you, whose birthday was last week, who has three best friends but nobody to spoon at night, and is personally affected by what you say. “

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NaNoWriMo Tip #13: “Obvious to you. Amazing to others.”

Are you worried that the first draft of your novel seems too obvious or clichéd? Relax and read Derek Sivers‘ inspiring essay, “Obvious to you. Amazing to others.” You can watch the video embedded above for some extra inspiration.

Here’s an excerpt: “Hit songwriters, in interviews, often admit that their most successful hit song was one they thought was just stupid, even not worth recording. We’re clearly a bad judge of our own creations. We should just put it out and let the world decide. Are you holding back something that seems too obvious to share?”

This is our thirteenth NaNoWriMo Tip of the Day. As writers around the country join the writing marathon this month, we will share one piece of advice or writing tool to help you cope with this daunting project. Click here for weekly free eBooks from eBookNewser.

Kurt Vonnegut Story Grids for Writing & Editing

In a tribute to Kurt Vonnegut, blogger Derek Sivers reproduced a series of story grids that the great novelist made during a New York City lecture. These story grids are invaluable tools during the editing process.

Follow this link to see all the charts.  Writers can chart their manuscript against popular and successful story arcs–deciding how much they want to deviate from a classic structure.

Here’s more about the “Common Disaster Story” grid embedded above: “It’s an ordinary day in an ordinary town.  But something horrible happens!  A child falls down a well!  The whole town gathers to save her … ‘People LOVE that story! This story arc has been written a thousand times in a thousand tales. And because of it, people think their lives are supposed to be like this.’”

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