Mentors

For about a year and half or so, Place for the Stolen was dedicated to learning things from selected 'mentors' and this was the theory behind those posts. Rather than eliminate all that hard work, here's a page explaining what my friend, Ali (who you can find at Dancing with the Dwende) put together, along with links to our mentor articles:

"I'll begin with the standard disclaimer. I am a writer and a reader, and that's about it. I'm not a scholar or a literary theoretician, and any such notions that have wandered into this book [blog] have got there by the usual writerly methods, which resemble the ways of the jackdaw: we steal the shiny bits, and build them into the structures of our own disorderly nests."
~Margaret Atwood, Negotiating with the Dead: A Writer on Writing

This is and will always be a blog about writing. However, there are tons of blogs out in this world that talk about writing--how to build a platform, marketing, e-readers, publishing, etc. You will find most of these fantastic resources on the sidebar to your right. I've decided that I won't comment on these subjects (too much) until I gain more experience in them.

My strength, you'll find, is in stealing things. Or, at least, recognizing what should be stolen and applied to writing. Thoughts. Ideas. Practices. For example, as Margaret Atwood says above, learning how to write (and if you consider yourself a writer you'll quickly learn that the best you can ever be is a serious student of writing) is about collecting the good, shiny bits from the writers who have gone before you--and building your own style.

The best way that I can figure to do this is through mentors. Reading selections of work, reflecting on various writers' styles, and dissecting my own thoughts regarding philosophies of writing, and how they relate to my life, are important to understanding (my understanding anyway) the 'how-to' of this writing gig.

Along with my partner-in-crime, Ali, we will discuss and dissect what there is to steal. Every month there will be a new mentor...or possible a 'theme' or two thrown in for some variety.

Sherman Alexie
Mentor of the Month: Sherman Alexie: From Jenny's Major Writer's Class
Mentor of the Month: Sherman Alexie: Genre Mix-Ups as a Way to Expand Your Audience
Mentor of the Month: Sherman Alexie: Grounders
Contest, Alexie, and Others

Rabih Alameddine
Do I Have Your Attention Now?
Layers Like Baklava
Around the World
Modes of Storytelling

Margaret Atwood
Mentors Coming Along Right When You Need Them
Answering Questions with Questions
What Do Chapter Titles Reveal About Your Book?
Thursday Reviews: Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
 A Margaret Atwood Inspired Short
Thursday Reviews!: Good Bones and Simple Murders by Margaret Atwood
Farewell Gaiman, Welcome Atwood
Dear Reader: Saturday Pages
You Say To-may-to, I Say To-mah-to: Define Your Terms
Margaret Atwood on Her Creative Process
Margaret Atwood and Origins
World Building
Exaggeration: Saturday Pages
World Building vs Character Building
Transition: Saturday Pages
Myth, History, and Belief Systems

Julia Alvarez
The Secret Life
Feeding the Sea and Piggybacking on Deb's "Shortcuts"

Agatha Christie
The Bestsellingest Author Ever: Agatha Christie!
The Solution to the Pop-Up Character Syndrome in Mysteries
Plato and Aristotle Weigh in on Agatha Christie
Product-of-Your-Time Rhetoric -- Is Awareness the Answer?
How Fast the Machine Can Get Out of Hand 
Meditating on What Make Poirot a Good Series Character
Thursday Reviews: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
Working the Setting
Thursday Reviews: Cards on the Table
The Character Who Is You
The Character Who Got Away...Maybe
Young Marple? Jennifer Garner? What?
The Pen Name Game
Notebooks!!
Genre vs Literary: It's Not a New Debate
Thursday Reviews: Sleeping Murder
Those Little Bits of Insight
Two Different Ends to Two Different Series

Justin Cronin
Mentor of the Month: Justin Cronin: Taking Your Time and Character Motivation
The Summer Guest and The Passage, a small critique on repetition
The Twelve, and worries on a lengthy series

Anne Frank
A Question
Talent

Neil Gaiman
New Year, New You, New Mentor
Seeing in the Dark: The YA Novel in General and The Graveyard Book in Particular
How to Avoid Being Too Dark?
Thursday Reviews!: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (A Mentor Review!)
Winning the Newbery Medal: What Does It Take?
Chapters In Which Something Happens
The Second Reason to Read Widely: It's Probably Been Done
Expect the Unexpected: Turning
Neil Gaiman Selected Shorts Interview
Talking to You
From Deniz at The Girdle of Melian: An Unexpected Post About Neil Gaiman (interviews and Amanda Palmer included!)
Saturday Pages
Story and Poetry - Why Aren't They Together?

Nathaniel Hawthorne
Summer Reading Challenge Progress Report
Work Sucks but may be Necessary
Nathaniel Hawthorne (w/help from Jhumpa Lahiri): Where do titles come from?

Jack Kerouac
Beat the Drums! We've Got a New Mentor!
The Great American Novel and Jack Kerouac
The Kerouac-Ginsberg Letters: You Have To Write More Than You Think You Do
Kerouac’s Collaborative Circle: Indirect Collaboration
Kerouac, Burroughs, and Direct Collaboration
Thursday Reviews!: And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks by William S Burroughs and Jack Kerouac (A Mentor Review!)
The Scroll and The Legend
Charactouac? or Kerouacter?
Thursday Reviews! On the Road by Jack Kerouac (A Mentor Review!)
Kerouac, The Lotus Eaters, and Star Trek
Lightning, the Lightning Bug, and the Price of Some of Kerouac's Revisions
The Road Trip Story: Kerouac is Not a Beginner
Writing the Windblown, Schizophrenic World
Thursday Reviews!: Good Blonde and Others by Jack Kerouac (A Mentor Review!)
Haiku
Thursday Reviews!: The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac (A Mentor Review!)
Ben Hecht's Interview of Jack Kerouac
Writing to a Soundtrack
Kerouac’s Genius/Interpreter Theory vs. Jenny’s Genius/Genius Theory
Alcoholism, The New Fitness, and Writers
Legacies and Jack Kerouac

Stephen King
Mentor for the Month: Stephen King, Part 1: The Desk
Mentor for the Month: Stephen King, Part 2: The Commandment
Mentor for the Month: Stephen King, Part 3: Revision Time
Authors Who Have Humbled Me
Books on Writing: Yes and No

George R.R. Martin
March Mentor: George R.R. Martin
Character Twist: Saturday Pages
Giving Characters Their Arc
As Seen on TV!
Scene Breaks - Martin Doesn't Do 'em
It's a Kind of Magic
Westeros The Super Map!!!
When the Learning Curve is Steep - Sometimes HBO Can Help
Themes of Strength and Weakness
The Hedgehog and Feast for Crows - Incomplete Series Troubles?
A Game of Thrones Trailer to See Us On Our Way

Toni Morrison
Posing the Problem
Knocking Narrators
Work


Joyce Carol Oates
Write Whatcha Want
Punctuation As Art Form

Edgar Allan Poe
Mentor of the Month: Edgar Allan Poe: The Process
Mentor of the Month: Edgar Allan Poe: Author as Rock Star?
For Those Who Want More Info

Terry Pratchett
Terry Pratchett and a Good Reason to go to Conferences
L-Space
Illustrations and Story: The Last Hero
The Rule of Three in Discworld
With Pictures!
Terry Pratchett's Volume: High
Quick Change Artist
When Writing Is It

John Steinbeck
Sometimes You've Gotta Lose Your Mind
The Playable Novel
Short but Big

P.G. Wodehouse
The Man Who Needs No Introduction is Getting One Anyway
Satire I: Definitions, the Trick of It, and A Modest Proposal
Satire II: The Political Sphere of Satire; The Fine Line
Satire III: Wodehouse, WWII Radio Broadcasts, and When is Satire Okay?
Political Commentary Question in Literature
Taking the Trouble
The Influence, and How It, Well, Influences
Foiled and BalancedCurses! Foiled Again!: Another Note on Foils
Novelists in Novels
Trouble on Your Hands: Complications
Wodehouse's Traps: How he hints at the complications to come
Bringing it All Back AroundPersonificating
The Difference Between Poetry and Lyrics
In Which Stephen Fry Says It Better Than Myself
Fun With Lists...or Not Really...or Reading Like a Writer
Thursday Reviews: The Luck of the BodkinsFormula Doesn't Equal Easy
In Defense of Wodehouse
The Mystery of the Cow Creamer: An Imaginary Dialogue Between P.G. Wodehouse and Agatha Christie by Jenny

Virginia Woolf
The Guardian is on a Roll
Wildness vs. Control
Sketching
The Transition Between Periods
Recurring Themes and You
The Place on the Shelf
The Woolf Pack and Mentor
We All Need a Lytton
Google Your Name Much?Birthday Facts Anyone?
Your Form is Showing, or Is It?Writing Schedules!
Dangers of the Diary
Art Imitating Life Before I Even Knew It
More In-Depth Than I Can Do
Disegno--From Conception to Completion: What goes wrong?
Long, Luxurious Sentences; The Use of Semi-Colons
Writers, Virginia Woolf, and Suicide
Ending Virginia Woolf  
Wodehouse and Woolf in High School, an Imaginary Dialogue by Jenny