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Thursday, November 9, 2023

'50 words a day is all it takes'


“When we talk about good books, we often talk about good sentences, but what we rarely talk about is reader pleasure. Yet it is reader pleasure that is going to make a book break out into the kind of success that makes it into a household name.” – Holly Black
Born on this date in 1971, Black authored The Spiderwick Chronicles, a series of children's fantasy books she created with writer and illustrator Tony DiTerlizzi.  But, it’s her 2013 novel Doll Bones that made the biggest splash, earning her a Newbery Medal honor.   A prolific writer, she's authored dozens of short fiction and poetry works and three dozen novels, the most recent being The Stolen Heir in her "Books of Elfhame" series. 

A native New Jerseyan and graduate of The College of New Jersey, she started her career as a medical books editor then broke onto the creative writing scene in 2002 with Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale.  The book won a handful of awards and started her down a distinguished writing path.    Every one of her books has won some sort of award, led by the resounding success of Doll Bones.                
Black’s advice to new writers is to not let writing overwhelm you.  “Can you write 200 words a day? 100? 50? In six months, 50 words a day is 9,000 words,” she said.  “That's 2-3 short stories. If you did 200 words every day, in three months that's 36,000 words. That's half a short novel.”

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