Author Archive

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Cycle

by Neil Fein

Hardcover book gutter and pages

How can I improve my writing? It’s a common question. There are a few things you can do:

Reading

Reading and writing is a cultural conversation. People write books to say something. Other people read those books and a few of those write books in return.

As has been pointed out many times, you should read. You want to write books and stories and contribute to the cultural conversation? That’s great! Read a variety of books in different genres, from different eras. Pay attention to what you’ve read, internalize it. This is exactly how native speakers learn the language.

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Friday, July 4, 2014

Flash Fiction week VII: “On Your Doorstep”

by Neil Fein

Tidy Junk Mail

Since we have some pieces left over from the last week of flash fiction, we’ve created a theme week to use those pieces. And so we present:

Flash Fiction week VII

  • Topic: On Your Doorstep
  • When: 21–25 July
  • Word length: 500 words

As usual, contact the editor to sign up, or leave a comment here and we’ll get back to you.


Monday, June 23, 2014

Pictures? Why Do I Need Pictures?

by Neil Fein
I’m an art school graduate, and in many ways a visual person. So when Kathleen and I discussed ways to improve the Nose last year, one thing we agreed on was that pictures are a good thing: They make the site look nice, they’re more interesting in social media links, and they’re fun. So most posts here now come with pictures. But how does a small website get pictures to use? And how to do it legally?

I’m a bit of a painter and photographer, but I can’t make images for each post. The biggest source of free, legal images on the net is on Flickr. The site lets you search for pictures under the Creative Commons license–When you search for images on Flickr, there’s an option to search for those only. I prefer to look for images that, rather than being literal representations of the article, are more peripherally related to the topic and interesting enough to pull you in.

I asked some folks on a Facebook group to suggest some blog post titles for this article.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Flash Fiction Week VI: Fathers, Mothers, Others

by Neil Fein

family

I can’t believe it’s been over a year since our last week of flash fiction. And so we present:

Flash Fiction week VI

  • Topic: Fathers, Mothers, Others
  • When: June 9–June 13
  • Word length: 500 words

As usual, contact the editor to sign up, or leave a comment here and we’ll get back to you.


Update: The stories.


Monday, May 19, 2014

How to Keep Bloggers Happy: An Editor’s Guide

by Neil Fein

Broken Hearts Orginal

I’ve learned a few things from being the editor of the Nose. My goal is to help writers write regularly, and learn how to work with an editor. I’ve also learned a lot about how to work with writers along the way. This is written to other editors who might want to put a blog together.

Writers want to write.

Anyone who writes a post week after week (struggling to find a topic and reconciling editorial meddling all the way) obviously wants to write. The best advice for a blog editor? Let them write. Encourage them. Toss them prompts if they’re struggling. Answer their emails and chat and text promptly, and be helpful. A writer like that is gold, and you’re lucky to have a writer who wants to generate text for your site.

Some good ways to generate post topics:

Monday, April 14, 2014

Skip day

by Neil Fein

There won’t be an update today; Magnificent Nose returns on Wednesday 16 April with a guest post from former regular columnist Sara Goas.

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Sandman: Overture 2

by Neil Fein

Anything written by Neil Gaiman is always worth waiting for. It’s been almost four months since the first issue of Sandman: Overture came out, and I have the second issue next to me on the couch as I type this; I bought it late last week, and have since read it twice. Overture will clearly read better in the collected “graphic novel” edition than it does when reading it one issue at a time, but I’m still enjoying it immensely.
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Friday, March 7, 2014

Questions about Tech Writing

by Neil Fein

Question Everything / Nullius in verba / Take nobody's word for it

Over at the Writers Q&A site, the moderators have been trying to encourage questions about tech writing. Here are some recent questions I quite liked. (Questions lightly edited and condensed.)
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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Life Happens

by Neil Fein

You’ll be seeing fewer posts here at the nose for a little while. The editorial staff apologizes for this, and we hope we’ll be back very soon with great articles four days a week. But until further notice, expect that postings will be less frequent.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Dear Readers

by Neil Fein

From: The writers and editors of Magnificent Nose
To: Our dear readers

We love you all dearly. You’ve read what we wrote, been kind to us, and encouraged us. Of course, we’d like it very much of there were more of you–it sometimes feels like we’re writing to a room of crickets–but we know that you’re out there, reading what we write and sweat over. We do this for the love of writing. Thank you for that.

It’s been an exciting year for many of us, but blogging (how we hate that word!) takes time and energy. So we’re taking a couple of weeks away from all things Nosey. From December 23rd through January 3rd, we’ll be recharging, spending time with family and friends, and also getting some well-deserved alone time.

We have some great ideas for 2014. We hope you’ve had a wonderful 2013, and that your 2014 will be even better.

See you next year!


Neil Fein is a freelance editor who specializes in novels. If you’ve written a manuscript or are getting close to finishing, you can get in touch with him here. He rides his bicycle as much as he can, and he paints when he damn well feels like it. He’s also a musician who plays in a Celtic fusion band.

The illustration for this article uses a photo by bradleypjohnson as an element, as per its creative commons license.

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