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Never Say You Can't Survive: How to Get Through Hard Times by Making Up Stories

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3.96  ·  Rating details ·  26 ratings  ·  9 reviews
The world is on fire.
So tell your story.

Things are scary right now. We’re all being swept along by a tidal wave of history, and it’s easy to feel helpless. But we’re not helpless: we have minds, and imaginations, and the ability to visualize other worlds and valiant struggles. And writing can be an act of resistance that reminds us that other futures and other ways of livi
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Hardcover, 240 pages
Expected publication: August 17th 2021 by Tor.com
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Nina Harrington
May 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Never Say You Can't Survive is a lot more than a manual about writing and life – it is solid gold sprinkled with fairy dust.
I am a bestselling published author in three genres, and a totally story structure geek, and I can honestly say that this is the first book that I have read in a long time that made me stop in my tracks, think hard about the writing process, and come out the other side inspired and motivated.
I took five pages of detailed notes on everything from characterisation and the psy
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A.M.
Dec 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Each chapter was posted weekly online at Tor.
But lately, I’ve been realizing that I haven’t actually gotten any better at finishing the stories I start. Instead, I’ve just gotten quicker to realize that something’s not panning out, and it’s time to jump tracks. When I was putting together my upcoming short story collection, I went back and looked through all the stories I wrote when I was starting out—and somehow, I had forgotten that for every story I finished, there were five or six that I did
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Linda
May 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
This was the most fun book on writing I've read, and I've read a lot of books on writing. Charlie Jane Anders avoids saying the same-ol-same-ol that so many how-to-write books say. Where most books tell the reader to finish something, absolutely finish stuff, she'll compare unfinished work to blind dates where the chemistry didn't click. In other words, Anders doesn't make the reader feel guilty for all the pages that never went anywhere.

Even when giving advice the reader has heard before, she m
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Ana W
Jun 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Charlie Jane Anders is one of my favorite authors. This is the first nonfiction book I've read of hers. It is a book about the writing process. Anders focuses on how writing can be helpful during difficult times and then on how to write. I read this on my kindle and found myself constantly bookmarking sections that I wanted to go back and reread. There is just so much practical information about writing: developing characters, revisions, plots, writer's block. But what I think sets this book apa ...more
Heather Jones
May 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I didn't read this book because I want to write. I've written, a bit, and decided not to pursue it seriously because it seriously cuts into my reading time. I read this book because I really like Charlie Jane Anders.

What I learned was, this wasn't the right reading choice for me, because it actually is about exactly what it says - how to write. Anders provides encouragement, inspiration, and solid, specific strategies, so for a person who does want to write, this will be exactly the right book f
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Natasha Glen
Jun 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
This was a great book about writing! So many craft books are fairly dry and focused on the mechanics of story. This is a book about the heart of writing and what story means - both to readers and writers.

This is a very special book. I highly recommend it, especially to writers who are struggling with the more abstract parts of writing.

I love how much the author talks about her own experiences. I love the author’s voice in this - she’s lively and it’s a wonderful read. And I love that she talks
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Howard
Apr 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
I read the collection of essays that were published on tor.com prior to actual publication.

I found these essays very inspiring. They made me jazzed to start writing my own fiction, even giving me food for ideas and knocking a few loose.

I only hope that more work goes into refining them as a book before publishing. Some parts just needed a bit more light editing. However, the theme of using writing as a respite or therapy for bad times was a bit heavy on the Trump presidency, which will be over f
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adeservingporcupine
Nov 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book as it was released, chapter by chapter on Tor. I usually don’t love writing advice (I’ve tried to get through Bird by Bird at least three times), but this one was written so specifically for this moment it felt comforting and joyful, even as the world feels like neither of those things. This is a book for anyone who loves stories, whether you write them or not.
Dean Reviews Books
Jan 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I read this book as a series on blog essays on Tor.com. I learned a lot from - and really enjoyed - reading it! I took notes that I will be going back to as I write. Thank you for writing this book, Charlie!
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3,063 followers
My latest book is Victories Greater Than Death. Coming in August: Never Say You Can't Survive: How to Get Through Hard Times By Making Up Stories.

Previously: All the Birds in the Sky, The City in the Middle of the Night, and a short story collection, Six Months, Three Days, Five Others.

Coming soon: An adult novel, and a short story collection called Even Greater Mistakes.

I used to write for a si
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