How to Keep What You’re Reading Out of Your Writing

A lot of food for thought here, as Drew Chial discusses ‘creative kleptomania.’

Drew Chial

Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance

I read a lot of non fiction, mainly social psychology books on the cutting edge of our understanding of the human condition. I’m interested in why we do what we do, why modern society still enjoys a public shaming, why we follow charlatans into oblivion, and why a certain segment of the population falls asleep after copulation. I consider these books general research materials. I don’t use them to inform any specific projects, but rather all of them. I read them before the conception stage and they educate my characters’ behaviors.

When I read social psychology books as I’m writing something else happens. I get so enthralled by these new concepts that I feel an urge to include them.

I just finished Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance. The book started as a joke about texting in Ansari’s standup act, but it’s become the…

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“What’s Your Book About?”

Keeping it short and sweet, thanks to Jack Cotner.

Jack Ronald Cotner


If you’re published you will get multiple opportunities to present your book pitch. Be ready. It’s inevitable and something any author desiring sales should compose, practice, and be ready to recite in an instant.

During my book sales and signings, I have people walk up to my booth, pick up a copy of one of my works. They’ll turn it over, peruse the back cover, flip quickly through the pages before asking, “What’s the book about?”

I doubt L. Frank Baum ever mentioned his Wizard Of Oz in any form was about two women trying to kill each other over shoes, but I admit the short, humorous statement grabbed my attention. And that’s what your book pitch should do, albeit not quite so short. But it should hook your potential readers and book purchasers. But how to do that?

Joel Friedlander has some very helpful advice on this subject. I’ve…

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