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News from Dead Darlings

Here are the Dead Darlings’ offices we know writer's inspiration can come from nearly anywhere: news headlines, overheard conversations, or the characters in your life. This month, we got inspired not just with stories, but the craft lessons and novel fodder hidden in different media.

Books

Anna Williams takes a closer look at the hidden heroism in the Not-so-Brave Girls featured in the novels of her youth.  

January 20, 2017 | The Editors at Dead Darlings

Craft Advice The Writing Life

A Sense of Place: Cleveland and Me

It’s an old adage to “write what you know,” especially in nonfiction. And some writers, such as Natalie Goldberg in Writing Down the Bones, suggest that we write about our obsessions. Personally, those obsessions and my sense of self merged with the industrial city that formed me: Cleveland, Ohio.

When I was a boy, my hometown was a source of both pride and shame

January 18, 2017 | Judah Leblang

Craft Advice The Writing Life

Sound Quality: Henriette Lazaridis on Kate Racculia's Bellweather Rhapsody

We've all had that moment as readers when we stumble across a sentence in a novel or essay that sings to us from the page. There are sentences we want to wrap our tongues around, that we speak aloud just to revel in their aural qualities. For each installment of this series, Henriette Lazaridis chooses a single sentence from a work of literature and shows us why it is music to our ears.

This month's edition features a sentence from Kate Racculia's novel Bellweather Rhapsody.

January 13, 2017 | Henriette Lazaridis

Craft Advice

The Art of Overhearing

Take a sharpie away from my three-year-old and she will invoke Whitman, will begin sounding her barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.

 

But plop her on the toilet and the scene is much more reminiscent of the Romantics – as she ponders philosophical questions, her imagination wandering wildly and her intonations somewhere between speech and song.

 

January 11, 2017 | Ben Berman

Craft Advice The Writing Life

The Secrets to Writing a Great Book

By Katrin Schumann

People tend to think writing is romantic, and they’re not entirely wrong. It’s romantic in the way that being obsessed with someone who kind of, basically, mostly loves you back can be romantic—it’s a compelling, desperate, all-encompassing, occasionally fabulous experience. It’s romantic like starving in a garret is romantic: you’re hungry (which sucks), but at least you’re doing something that feels meaningful.

January 4, 2017 | Katrin Schumann

Craft Advice The Workshop The Writing Life