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It’s all in the numbers

Taking an analytical approach to prose composition, with Michael Allen

GRUMPY OLD BOOKMAN

Earlier this year Simon and Schuster published a book entitled Nabokov’s Favourite Word Is Mauve, by Ben Blatt. The subtitle of the book is The literary quirks and oddities of our mostloved authors.

Blatt is distinctly shy about biographical info, but he appears to be a Harvard graduate, now working mainly as a writer for some well known US journals. Somewhere along the line he seems to have acquired a sound working knowledge of how to use computers to carry out statistical analyses of large amounts of data; and in his latest book he turns his attention to comparing and contrasting the ways in which famous writers construct their novels.

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About Writing Magazine

How do you follow up one of the biggest books of the decade? The Girl on the Train author Paula Hawkins tells us about changing tracks and writing the book that matters to you in our star interview. What do editors want? There can't be anyone in a better position to tell you than debut novelist Anna Pitoniak, who worked as a Big Five editor before landing her book deal. How is your year's writing plan going? As 2017 hits the halfway mark, we help you stay on target. Look for leads, find the most up-to-date markets for your work and enter the latest writing competitions, with more than £50,000 in writing prizes, in the Writers' News pages, packed with news you can use.

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