An august collection of links

If you can spare the time from the Olympics, why not cast an eye over these useful and entertaining links?

7 Ways you give away your power and how to avoid it
Rachelle Gardner on ways writers give away their power and lose out on what they want.

 It occurred to me that writers seeking publication are vulnerable to specific ways of giving away their power if they’re not careful. Here are seven ways I came up with, and some ideas for avoiding them:

The Wimp Effect
Rayne Hall on how easy it is to unwittingly turn your supposedly brave hero or kick-ass heroine into a wimp in the reader’s eyes.

You may have created a spunky, heroic, brave heroine, but the reader still perceives her as a wimpy wuss, because you’ve unwittingly used certain phrases which signal “wimp” to the reader’s subconscious. I call this the Wimp Effect.

7 Things Writers Need to Do Right Now
Some straight talking from James Scott Bell

True, there’s an even larger number of writers who don’t have the stuff yet, and won’t put in the hard work to get it. They’ll eventually get frustrated and drop off the map. But, like a Hydra’s head, they’ll be replaced by nine more writers who are working at this thing.

25 Bad Author Behaviors
Chuck Wendig on 25 of the things to please not do as a writer.

Submission guidelines — be they for a literary magazine, a blog, an agent or a publisher — exist for a reason. They’re not arbitrary. A bunch of editors didn’t just get high one night and giggle-snort their way through a bunch of absurd guidelines (“I’m supposed to include an SASE, a hamster, and a naked photo of my mother?”). They’re not pulling the wings off a fly; these guidelines exist for a reason. It’s making somebody’s difficult job (a job that entails fishing through dumpsters of sludge to find a rare gem) just awee bit easier. Guidelines aren’t suggestions. Follow them.

Being the New Kid in Writertown: A Top 10 List
A great list by Charlie Cochet of helpful advice, practical and generally encouraging, for the newly published and those on the way there.

2. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. I’m not saying you should interrogate folks, but asking for some friendly advice won’t hurt. Authors offer a fountain of knowledge and experience, and most of them love to help. Even if you aren’t comfortable talking directly to an author, visit their blog or website. Keep in mind that your experience won’t be the same as theirs, but you can pick up all sorts of great tips and advice from them. In the end, you’ll have to do things your way, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be aware of all the options, and pick what’s best for you.


My Thoughts on Writing As a Job

Maisey Yates on how she approaches the job of writing.

I love to write, it’s my passion, so don’t take what I’m about to say the wrong way. I work writing like a job. Like a real job. No, not 9-5, that’s not what I mean, what I mean is, I don’t let myself say ‘eh, I don’t feel like it today.’ Because when I had jobs outside my house, that wasn’t a valid excuse.

25 Things you should know about antagonists
Chuck Wendig on the characters who make like difficult for your protaganists.

Character is the driver. Plot is the getaway car. Character drives plot; plot does not drive character. The antagonist isn’t just here as a rock in the stream diverting the plot-churned waters — he does not exist in service to a sequence of events but rather, he exists to change them, sway them, turn them to a sequence hewants — a sequence that stands in opposition to the protagonist. For opposition is key.

Learning is not doing
Daniel Swensen talks about the limitations of studying about how to write.

The first four books I put on my Kindle? How-to writing books. All free, because man, if there’s one thing we writers know how to do, it’s how to give our advice away for nothing.

I’ve spent many hours reading up on craft, and it’s served me very well. But there comes a point where you have to set the driver’s manual down, get behind the wheel, and start causing some accidents.

Goodreads has a structural problem
I’m sure most of you have heard of the current insanity around Goodreads. Here’s an interesting post on Vacuous Minx about what might lie behind the problem and why the conflict was inevitable.

The more I think about it, the more I believe that these recurring and escalating problems are not going to stop, because Goodreads has a fundamental contradiction built into it. The name itself suggests the site is about reading and sharing the reading experience. But Goodreads also wants to attract authors. While authors and readers have a great deal in common, and while authors are also readers, the two groups have several contradictory interests. Authors want to sell books. Readers want to read good books and avoid bad books.

It’s Raining Men – Tackling the torrents of male/male romantic fiction flooding the market.
Slightly odd title, but an important article because of where it is, in RT Book Reviews. Another small step towards the mainstream for the m/m genre? There’s nothing especially new or revalatory in the article, but at least it avoids too much of the usual “those crazy wimminz” tone seen in most similar ones.

Suede agrees, decrying how “on Amazon, LGBT romance is primarily categorized as erotica. Even the sweetest, uptight, one-kiss-on-the-last-page young adult romance gets slopped in with bow-chicka-bow-wow erotica if it has LGBT characters,” he sighs. “That’s bad for LGBT romance in particular, and that’s bad for romance in general.”

Only Print Books Are Real Books, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Kindle
Stant Litore says pretty much exactly what I think about the coming of the ebook.

And five centuries ago, a majority of literate readers were decrying print books. Vehemently.

After all, print books are a newfangled, badly made, mass-produced thing that only heretics and Protestants would be so low as to purchase. Only a hand-copied and illuminated manuscript is a truebook, a book you can trust and enjoy, a book that is a delight to the touch and the scent, and not only to the mind. The only real book is one that took ten years to make.

The 25 Most Awkward Cat Sleeping Positions
And to finish off, a laugh at some daft cats!

1. The Full Situp
To achieve the full situp, you must begin with the genuine intention of exercising your abs and promptly fall asleep midway through the task. This position is extremely advanced and not recommended for amateur sleepers.

The Full Situp

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7 thoughts on “An august collection of links

  1. Just a couple quickies ;)

    The Wimp Effect – her heroes would absolutely not be believable for me. I agree with a couple of her ‘wimp points’, but otherwise – are we talking about humans here?

    James Scott Bell – Hmm. Sounds a little too gung-ho on the self-publishing schtick for me (yes, I’m jaded and suspicious! lol). I never trust anyone who has tells me there’s an unbreakable anything, or that there’s any ‘laws’ to writing. But then, I don’t follow any writer’s advice 100% – I’m a “picker and chooser”. ;)

    • Heh, well I won’t say I agree with everything the articles say, but they give me plenty to think about. The wimp one has had me looking out for all those little gestures that tend to end up being used as filler anyway, as well as making the character appear wimpy.

  2. Pingback: Stumbling Over Chaos :: Lack of lemurs lowers linkity

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