Tag Archives: Rebecca Makkai

Novelists, You’re Doing It Right

You’re trying to write a novel. Sometimes, it’s exhilarating: characters wake you in the night, yammering, springing into action. Sometimes, it’s excruciating: you stare into blankness, and finally, when the words arrive, they reek of your incompetence. It’s taking forever, … Continue reading

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One Year In—Writing the Novel: Rebecca Makkai

After one year of writing my novel, I took stock of what I’d accomplished—which seemed like very little. Would writing always feel like flailing? How do novelists find their way through? For guidance, I turned to published novelists, whose interviews … Continue reading

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The Thirsty Games

It’s so cold in Chicago that the temperature isn’t even negative; it has one of those calculus sigmas in front of it, and there’s some kind of logarithm involved. Maybe you’re sitting in the sun on your California balcony, you … Continue reading

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Roundup: End of the Year

In our Roundups segment, we’re looking back at all the great posts since the blog started in 2009. We explore posts from our archives as well as other top literary magazines and websites, centered on a certain theme to help you jump-start your week. … Continue reading

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One Gift Guide to Rule Them All

It’s getting late, people. And your literary friends expect brilliant Festivus gifts from you. So let’s get cracking! Here’s something for everyone on your list. For the English major: These fake blood page markers and some hipster glasses. (Remember: your … Continue reading

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Write As If…

I have a problem with inversion. I’ve never been able to do a cartwheel, a handstand, or a headstand. On my high school swim team, I was consigned to the backstroke because I couldn’t dive off the blocks. (I balk, … Continue reading

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Writers Behaving Badly

I’m at that stage in editing my second novel where I’m confronted with my own bad habits. It’s much like cleaning out your closet only to discover you still own not one but three pairs of those chunky clogs that … Continue reading

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The Coffeeshop You Meet in Heaven

The New York Times blog recently highlighted a website called Coffitivity that plays ambient coffee shop noise on an endless loop to help you work more productively from home. I can only assume they previously deduced, through the same vigorous … Continue reading

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How to Shop at a Bookstore: An Easy 20-Step Guide for Authors

1) First, smell it. Look at the new arrivals, lined up like candy. See if, for just one second, you can remember what it was like to walk into a bookstore as a reader. Just a reader, a happy, curious … Continue reading

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The Five Books I’d Rescue From the Fire

I have favorite books. And then I have favorite books, as in, the objects themselves, the ones made weird and irreplaceable by the extra markings in or on them—the annotations, the inscriptions, the love notes. When people ask for my … Continue reading

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