Here’s the latest collection of articles that caught my eye over the last week or so. Enjoy!
Five Laws of the Fiction Reader
James Scott Bell on writers and readers. I love this man’s thinky thoughts when he gets started on the philosophy of writing and the relationship between reader and writer. His ‘Plot and Structure’ was the first book on writing I ever bought—brilliant.
The Shapes of Stories
Video of Kurt Vonnegut’s classic talk about storytelling, at the Passive Voice. Well worth it.
What’s Good For You: ‘detoxifying’ reading
KJ Charles with a piece on book snobbery and how that seeks to limit readers. A rant, really, but an eminently readable one.
25 Writing Hacks From A Hack Writer
Delilah Dawson guesting at Chuck Wendig’s gaff with 25 things about living. Some of them touch on clearing the headspace to be a writer.
Arting Hard Like An Artful Motherfucker: 25 Ways To Be A Bad-Ass Maker Who Makes Bad-Ass Stuff
Waves hands. Well, it’s Chuck Wendig, isn’t it? I don’t even… no, go and read it. Chuck follows up on the previous post by Dawson, with, basically, another 25 points/suggestions/rants on how to be a kick-ass writer. It reads like profane poetry.
7 Tips For Balancing Backstory
Sharon Donnelly at Writers in the Storm, with some very good tips to help you use backstory better/at all.
Hooks, Lines and Stinkers – In Praise of Great Openings
P J Parrish at the Kill Zone on great openers. He has some lovely examples of openers that come, as he says, from master storytellers who just grab the reader. I am most awed by John MacDonald’s Darker Than Amber opener which is complete awesome sauce, and by the pithy but elegant explanation of why it’s important, from Joan Didion.
Get Rid of On-the-nose Dialogue
K M Weiland talks about how to get messages over in silences and what’s not said, rather than hitting your reader over the head with the obvious. Interesting blog post.
The Basics of Endings
Joe Moore at the Kill Zone on what makes for a good ending. Some interesting comments that take it a bit further – actually where I got the most benefit.
Yup, you read that correctly. My favourite post of today’s collection, with a fascinating look at Latinate vs Anglo Saxon based language by Dave King at Writer Unboxed. The paragraph about atoms and molecules translated into Anglo Saxon equivalents is just… well, darling. It does have a point to make, though, about authentic dialogue.
Marketing for Writers
8 Ways to Make People on Twitter Want to Stab Us IN THE FACE
Kristen Lamb on how not to use social media to gain readers and followers.
Marketing, Social Media & Book Signings—Why NONE of These Directly Impact Book Sales
More Kristen Lamb at her blog, on the use and misuse of social media. Basically, we over rely on their ability to shift sales. Yup. You notice she’s fond of shouty CAPS in her titles though. That’s worrying.
130,000 words to one picture
Cassandra Rose Clark guesting at Chuck Wendig’s place with an entertaining look at the power of book covers.
Should You Set Limits With Your Readers
An interesting post from Jan O’Hara at Writer Unboxed on how to manage social media. And by manage, I mean making rules to govern your interaction with readers that actually makes some sense.
Why Email Newsletters? To Become an Enthusiastic Respite in the Lives of Your Readers
Dan Blank on Writer Unboxed on a rather neglected medium for getting information to readers. Not engaging with them mind – I can’t see it working as a two way thing. But worth thinking about.
24 Things No One Tells You About Book Publishing
Curtis Sittenfeld at BuzzFeed (seriously, I know, right? BuzzFeed.) on 24 things authors should know. It made me laugh. I’m sharing.
The Self-Publishing Sky is Not Falling
James Scott Bell at the Kill Zone on the hype and despair engendered by Kindle Unlimited. It’s safe to say he thinks it exaggerated and he has a few thoughts on what constitutes success.
Reminder: In Publishing, There Is No Debate
Chuck Wendig’s thoughts on the current publishing upheaval. A joyful review of the world of publishing with, buried in his usual delightful MO of stunning you with words, some real sense.
Why Traditionally Publish?
Chuck’s follow-up to the previous post, with a thinky piece on the advantages of going with a traditional publisher rather than go indie and self-publish.
Your Publisher is Your New Best Friend—Not
Janet Grant at Books and Such proving that common sense well, isn’t that common.