- Truth is Consequence: A great and snarky and blunt look at getting your writing from critique-worthy to publish worthy. Direct quote (curse words and all): "First of all, throw the goddamn writing reference books away."
- Here's a free e-book on writing for publication. I've not read it yet, so be warned: it may be worth exactly what it costs.
- Speaking of e-books....I recently won a copy of Agent: Demystifed, and will be reviewing as soon as school lets out.
- Joyce Wolfley has a good article on using slang in writing.
- And Jenna's got about the best advice I've seen on cliffhangers. Call it Cliff Notes on Cliffhangers, if you will.
- MIG Writers discusses whether or not there are any original plots left. My favorite quote from this article:
In Where Can I Find An Original Plot, Richard Young theorizes that there is really only ONE plot in literature:
‘The central character needs something, very, very badly. Failure to get this thing or do this thing will have dire consequences for this character or his or her loved ones. To begin with, every effort she or he makes to get this thing only adds to the complications and makes success look even less likely, but in the end there is a resolution, and either the protagonist gets the thing, and avoids the dire consequences, or doesn’t, and the feared dire consequences come to pass.’
- Whoa. I've been using Wordle for ages, but Screaming Guppy found a feature I'd ignored.
- Carolrhoda Books compare writing to bread. Trust me, the analogy works.
- You need to know good description? Tara Maya posted the best description I've ever seen:
So what does hakarl taste like then? It tastes like crying. It tastes like broken promises. It tastes like the Lord God Almighty ripping the Bible out of your hands and saying, "Sorry, this doesn't apply for you. I think you want "Who Moved My Cheese?" It tastes like the Predator wading into a Care Bears movie and opening fire.
- See this book? See this author? Yeah, I'm totally going to get a signed copy of that book this afternoon! If you live near me, come to Fireside Bookstore to meet the author and get his John Hancock!
- An article on how YA is going to save SF. It's a bit old, and I think I've linked it before, but it's good.
- Reviewer X is giving away 25 copies of The Chosen One, and so is Cynthia Lietich Smith! Come on, those are some good chances--go ahead and sign up for one (or both).
- Hip Writer Mama shares the story of Rick Riordan's latest book...and how you can get one and help out a cancer victim at the same time.
- The craziest publishing story I've ever heard. EVAR.
- 10 reasons why you don't make it out of the slush pile.
- Check out Cynthia Leitich Smith's interview with Models Don't Eat Chocolate Cookies author Erin Dionne
"Have you ever considered turning this into a novel?" Wendy said when I was done.
"Uh, no," I said. "I have a novel. It's completed." In my head, I added: And it's not funny. It's dark and sad.
"But this could be a novel," she said. Others in the class nodded.
"But I have a novel," I repeated, all the while, thinking, what is she talking about?! Why would I want to turn this funny story into a novel? How could I even do that?!
- Speaking of author interviews, this one on My Favorite Author with Janni Lee Simner (author of Bones of Faerie) is so brilliant that I had to repost an entire Q&A:
MFA: The premise of BONES OF FAERIE is quite unique, it is post apocalyptic, social commentary, but also a fantasy. Was it hard to find a genre under which to market this book?
JLS: When I first started writing Bones of Faerie, I remember worrying that no one would want a post-apocalyptic story. Writing about the end of the world seemed ... a little dated, harkening back to my own late cold war childhood perhaps. Yet by the time my agent and I sold the book, young adult fiction had become filled with both post-apocalyptic tales and faerie stories. It's sort of like the market for Bones of Faerie came into its own while I was off writing the book and telling myself not to worry about the market.
If I'd waited until there was a already a clear place for a post-apocalyptic faerie story before I started writing, though, that never would have worked--the market would have moved on by the time the book was written. Which is one reason I think writing to our fascinations--and hoping others will share them--can often work out better than trying to write something that seems safer or more likely to sell.
We really never entirely know what will sell, anyway--but if we write the books we want to write, we get the experience of having written them, and no matter what happens next, no one can take that away.
- Let's just round out the author interviews with Enchanted Inkpot's interview with Tamora Pierce.
Books I Want
- The Navel of the World, by our own PJ Hoover. Make sure to check out the preview here!
- Distant Waves: Titanic + supernatural = awesome.
- Beautiful Creatures. Honestly I wouldn't care about this book at all, until I saw Vania rave so much about it on Twitter....I'm like Steph: that's a pretty good reason to get excited about a book, imo.
- Eternal Hourglass.
- Daughter of the Flames.
- My Fair Godmother.
- Faery Rebels. Plus: Author Interview.
So to writers who are struggling with the long process of submissions I'd say first: don't give up. Don't let the manuscript languish just because you're discouraged. Keep making it better, keep sending it out. If you get nothing but form rejections, then maybe this isn't the right book to be submitting and you need to write another one.