Category Archives: On Writing

Gabriel García Márquez, How Ideas For Stories and Novels Are Born: An Image

It all starts with an image… This is a short excerpt from Gabriel García Márquez‘s El olor a la guayaba (The Smell of Guava), a series of interviews/conversations with Plinio Apuleyo Mendoza (Tunja, 1932), Colombian politician, journalist and writer.  The translation is mine: Mendoza: What is, in your case, the starting point of a book? García […]

October 08

Writing Advice from Abelardo Castillo

  Abelardo Castillo (Buenos Aires, 1935) is an Argentinian writer, novelist, essayist, and playwright.  He is also well known for his short stories including “Ernesto’s Mother“.  An amateur boxer in his youth, Castillo worked as director of several literary magazines including El Escarabajo de Oro and El Ornitorrinco.  Following are a few tips from his book Ser Escritor (Being […]

September 29

10 Great Writing Prompts

This is a sample of some of the writing prompts available at Writing Prompt # 001 Picture prompt: Start a story or scene from a description of the picture above. Writing Prompt # 002 Art prompt: Write a story about what is going in the painting. Go back and write the story from the […]

September 27

“A Few Words About Short Stories,” Augusto Monterroso

“A Few Words About Short Stories,” Augusto Monterroso Born in Teguscigalpa, Honduras, Augusto Monterroso (1921- 2003) is mainly known as a Guatemalan writer.  In his early life in Guatemala city, where his family relocated in 1936, Monterroso began to publish his short stories and was one of the founders of El Espectador with several other […]

September 17

2012 Library of Congress National Book Festival

It looks like this year’s 2012 Library of Congress National Book festival on National Mall in DC will be nothing short of a book lover’s paradise!  President Obama and the First Lady will be honorary chairs of the event, and writers like Mario Vargas Llosa, Junot Diaz, TC Boyle, Patricia Cromwell, Geraldine Brooks, Sandra Cisneros […]

16 Rules for writing by Jorge Luis Borges

16 Rules for writing by Jorge Luis Borges In one of their many collaborative endeavors, Jorge Luis Borges and Adolfo Bioy Casares planned to write a story with Silvina Ocampo set in France.  The story never came to be, but what does survive from those days is Borges’ ironic list of 16 pieces of advice […]

Mario Vargas Llosa Internet Resources

Mario Vargas Llosa Bio English Español Nobelprize.orgWikipedia Novels/ Novelas English Español The Time of the Hero, (la ciudad y los perros) The Green House, (La casa verde) Conversation in the Cathedral (Conversación en la catedral) Captain Pantoja and the Special Service, (Pantaleón y las visitadoras) Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter , (La […]

Using Colorful Adjectives When Writing Fiction or Non-Fiction

Using Colorful Adjectives When Writing Fiction or Non-Fiction  By using more descriptive words for colors, you will paint a more accurate picture for your readers.  Instead of saying the sea was “blue,” you can say it was cerulean with streaks of slate. YELLOW RED BLUE PURPLE GREEN BROWN Gold Crimson Midnight Violet Olive Chocolate Citrine Magenta Navy Lavender Moss […]

Use more precise adjectives in your writing

      Use more precise adjectives in your writing  In writing, you can more accurate adjectives than “pretty” or “ugly” to describe people and things.  Use these adjectives to better paint a picture for your readers.   Pretty Ugly Large Small  Intensity         Strong Gorgeous Repulsive Huge Minute   Splendid Hideous […]

Warnings to a Writer, Advice to a Writer, Gabriel García Márquez

Gabriel García Márquez (1927, Aracataca, Colombia), “one of the most significant writers of the 20th century,” pioneer of magic realism, creator of Macondo, Nobel Prize winner, needs little introduction. García Márquez has excelled as a journalist, novelist, and short story writer.  His stories transport the reader far from reality but root him or her to […]