It seems that nary a month can go by without some huge flap going on in the m/m genre. I’ve thought long and hard about linking to the various posts concerned with the latest one, which is a whole explosion of feelings around the ‘gay for you’ trope. It’s a horribly complex issue with a lot of differing points of view, but it seems to me to boil down to another instance of bisexuality erasure and in the end, I’ve opted to showcase those posts I found thoughtful, helpful, calm.
How to Like Bad Things – K J Charles
On problems and messes – Alexis Hall
But there are a few things I’m personally taking from it. If you’re straight and writing books about LGBT characters and you claim to be an ally, then it behoves you to do your damndest to get things right, to listen to what LGBT people (people, not characters, dammit) tell you. If you get it wrong and they tell you so, don’t take it as a personal attack. Don’t be defensive, be analytical and work out what’s problematic. If someone tells you that you’ve hurt them or misrepresented them or (even) erased their entire identity, you damn well apologise unreservedly and try to do better. It’s not about being a decent author. It’s about being a decent fucking human being.
Getting Inspired to Write – James Scott Bell at the Kill Zone on inspiration and perspiration. Good post. “The best cure for not writing is writing. The best antidote for the writing blues is writing.”
Break Yourself Out (or how to start your book) – James R Tuck guesting at The Fiction University. “Start anywhere! Do it any way you feel comfortable! Color outside the lines! Be a rebel!”
The Difference Between a Writer and a Storyteller – a short post at The Write Practice. Perhaps too short a post—I found it quite thought provoking and would have liked more. Gives me something to think about for a post of my own, I suppose…
Two Essential Words for Writers – Ruthanne Reid at The Write Practice, on not giving up. Loved this quote she uses: Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying ‘I will try again tomorrow.’—Mary Anne Radmacher
Joe Hart: Five Things I Learned Writing The Last Girl
E.J. Wenstrom: Five Things I Learned Writing Mud
Please Let Me Motivate You With My Gesticulations And Screams – only Chuck could write this. Seriously. “MAKE / CREATE / DO. WRITE / REWRITE / WEEP / WAIL / REPAIR. ART HARDER, MOTHERFUCKER” Oh, the caps are all his. Chuck is screaming his writing advice at you.
How Much Should Writers Pay To Be Published? Ha. Trick question of course. Chuck analyses what A&M Publishers offer new writers who must pay for their services. Summing up? “Pass the bullshit repellent, indeed.”
Introducing Deep POV—WTH IS It? Can We Buy Some on Amazon? / Getting in Character—Deep POV Part Two / Want a Page-Turner? You Need Deep POV – links to three posts re Kristen Lamb’s advice on deep PoV. Funny, readable and useful. Recommended.
6 Reasons “Show Don’t Tell” Can Be Terrible Advice For New Writers – Interesting post from Anne Allen (and that’s a Tell, not a Show).
How to Make EVERY Page of Your Story Interesting – Alex Limburg guesting at Kirsten Lamb’s blog with advice on how to avoid the boring bits.
Liar, Liar! Pants on Fire! Writing the Unreliable Narrator – excellent Kill Zone post from P J Parrish. She gives a list of the various types of unreliable narrator, but my point would be to ask if we can *ever* trust the narrator? Nothing comes to us unfiltered.
The Shocking Truth About Info Dumps – Lisa Cron at Writer Unboxed, on a topic very dear to my heart at the moment, as I’m wrestling with backstory in the second Rafe book. Hard to get right, my dears.
Rethinking the Mentor – Donald Maas at The Writer Unboxed, with a post on the role of the mentor figure in literature and some challenging questions about the relationship between mentor and mentee. Ignore the awful grammatical howler in the last sentence.
First Drafts (Excerpt #1)—Launch Week Festivities* The Magic of Fiction was launched at the Editor’s Blog this month, and posts included this interesting post about first drafts. They produced a plethora of great posts – listed here – all of which are worth a look. You’ll find at least one or two that speak loud.
Thoughts On Writing a Scene – Janice Hardy at the Fiction University.
Past Tense Or Present Tense? Which One Tells A Better Story? – Amanda Patterson at Writers Write, with a run through of the pros and cons of choosing a verb tense. Also links to her post on which PoV to use – I, you or he/she, which is also worth a read
Does Your Website’s First Impression Sell Books? – June Stevens Westfield at Writers in the Storm with a very thought provoking post on web design. I’m a bit lumbered with WordPress’s limitations, but I must try and incorporate some of her ideas.
A Marketing Tool That’s FUN! – Laura Drake at Writers in the Storm on a tool called Canva. It appears to produce the sort of memes that populate (infest?) Facebook, but I can see that with a compelling image and a line from your books, you can create some fun composite meme. Whether anyone will pick up on it is another matter, and you could be spending lots of time diverted from writing.
Six Ways You Are Ruining Your Book Marketing Campaign – Cate Baum at Self-Publishing Review with a depressing post. There’s never a ‘how to do it right’ post, is there? Note: there’s a sales pitch at the end.
Amazon Takes Aim At Scammers But Hits Authors – if you self-publish or are thinking about it, read David Gaughran’s post about how Amazon’s robotic, unthinking approach to dealing with Kindle Unlimited scammers is seriously affecting genuine authors. Don’t ever think Amazon is on your side. It isn’t. Authors a commodity in its business. Which makes the next link all the more interesting…
Top 10 Reasons to Publish Through Amazon – Diana Hurwitz at The Blood Red Pencil.
Amazon Self-Publishing on a Budget – Dos and Don’ts – Morgan Mandel at The Blood Red Pencil.
My Book’s Been Orphaned–Now What? – considerations when a press goes under and you’re trying to get your rights back. Main article at the delightfully named Evil League of Evil Writers (Can I join? Is there a uniform? Does it involve spandex?) with an interesting additional comment at The Passive Voice
For me, traditional publishing means poverty. But self-publish? No way – a provocative article by Ros Barber at The Guardian, rehashing yet again the old guard’s disdain for self publishing. Am resisting the temptation to describe her as a numpty. No wait… I’m not resisting at all. Also a long discussion of this at The Passive Voice, where the majority of the commentators think she’s male. I’m not sure if that’s because Ros as a name may not be common outside of the UK, or whether it’s gender bias in glorious action. No wait… I’m completely sure.
Subsidiary Rights – the second of Susan Spann’s essential reading posts on rights and contracts (she gives a link to the first in the post). Bookmark these.
Top 10 Productivity Books For Ambitious Writers – Veronica Sicoe with her list of the books self-publishers should read, because “The self-publishing business is all about speed of delivery and consistent quality.”
As usual, an awesome and thoughtful recap. 🙂
Thank you, Sarah. I just wish that each month didn’t bring yet another example of our genre tearing itself apart. It’s like one of those self-harming teenagers with too good access to razors.
Thanks so much for including my article in your links! You have a great blog. I definitely recommend switching over to a self-hosted wordpress.org platform whenever possible (I recommend that to EVERYONE.). It is cheaper than the “premium” services of wordpress.com and gives so much more flexibility and functionality!
I thought it was a great article. I was particularly struck with the general thrust about leaving a visitor in no doubt about what the website’s about. Usually my front page has a gif at the top of it, rotating through slides of each of my books – currently put aside to plug the cover of the book that will (hopefully) be published soon – so that helps a little to define the site to a visitor.
But I looked at your advice and the examples you gave, and realised that my header image is wrong, that my name isn’t prominent enough and that generally I am missing tricks there. I’ll look into transferring to .org – if there’s more flexibility there I’d be a chump not to think about transferring, and getting someone to design a proper website for me, rather than the amateurish one I’ve put together myself here. In the meantime, I’ll look at reworking the header image and title.
Thank you for the article. Your advice will be heeded!
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