So spring into action and check out the links I’ve collected for your delectation this month
So why does a straight, happily married mother of three write gay fiction?
Charlie Cochrane explains in a guest post on Raining Men
I’m clearly not a gay man (but then Tolkein was neither ent nor elf and I know Richard Adams isn’t a rabbit).
Out with Slash, In with Non-trad Heroes
How slash fiction influences the type of heroes commonly found in m/m fiction
I bet, per capita, there are as many cowboys in M/M as there are red-heads in het romance (i.e., far more than the current world population supports).
Your Contract. Read It. Really.
Loose Id’s Treva Harte with some sound advice – read before you sign.
The worst time to read it is after you’ve signed and you discover you’re unhappy.
From Britches to Petticoats
Writer Harry Bingham talks about being asked to use a female pen name for a book more romantic than the rest of his output.
Romance, in the eyes of my publishers, was to be written by women, for women, featuring women protagonists, and with women prominent on the cover.
Why should I write a good synopsis?
Malle Vallik, an acquiring editor for Carina and Harlequin, talks about why you should make a real effort with your synopsis.
This makes me wonder if writers understand how many different ways a synopsis is used in a publishing house, so I’m going to list them. I am sure I will miss some but the most important thing for writers to realize, especially after they are contracted, is that your synopsis is the only part of your writing some people who will work on your book will read.
Why your work never gets read as quickly as you want it to.
Lucienne Diver explains that agents and editors don’t take so long to get back to you just because the wanna mess with ya.
All of the above also explains why we don’t offer critiques of everything we read that we don’t represent. To do that we’d have to take time away from authors to whom we’re committed, and there simply aren’t enough hours in the day.
The role of editors
Juliet Marillier with a writer’s perspective on the role of editors.
I mention this because, of recent times, social media sites and other forums have seen a rise in scathing comments about traditional publishing houses, mostly coupled with pro self-publishing arguments. People who make those derogatory comments generally disregard the huge amount of support a traditional publishing house offers a writer, and completely overlook the critical role an editor plays in helping that writer produce the best book she can.
Ten myths about editors
It’s not all three-Martini lunches and evil cackling while crushing fragile writers underfoot apparently.
Don’t quibble over details unless they’re important details, and by important we mean, “The woman on my cover has three arms.” *
* Yes this has happened.
Publishing: Perfection not required
I think perfectionism is a dangerous quality for most writers. Jody Hedlund agrees.
In that quest for perfection, writers spend inordinate amounts of time on the same book, perhaps even years trying to “get it right.” Sometimes I hear from writers who can’t move past the first book or two because they’re in love with them and want to make them “the best they can be.”
How I Went From Writing 2,000 Words a Day to 10,000 Words a Day
Practical advice from Rachel Aaron about how to up your word count
Drastically increasing your words per day is actually pretty easy, all it takes is a shift in perspective and the ability to be honest with yourself (which is the hardest part). Because I’m a giant nerd, I ended up creating a metric, a triangle with three core requirements: Knowledge, Time, and Enthusiasm. Any one of these can noticeably boost your daily output, but all three together can turn you into a word machine. I never start writing these days unless I can hit all three.
25 Things I want to say to so-called “aspiring writers”
Chunk Wendig gives his usual shooting straight from the hip writing advice to “aspiring” writers.
Lots of good ideas out there, but none of it is gospel. One person will tell you this is the path. Another will point the other way and say that is the path. They’re both right for themselves, and they’re both probably wrong for you. We all chart our own course and burn the map afterward. It’s just how it is. If you want to find the way forward, then stop looking for maps and start walking.
The dignity of labour
It’s been a month of drama, with at least two cases of plagiarism or alleged plagiarism breaking in the romance writing genre. Aleksandr Voinov talks about the psychology of the plagiarist.
Every time they get an email saying “I loved your book” should feel like a red-hot needle piercing their heart. They know they cheated, that they haven’t achieved anything but fooling some good people and wasting everybody’s time. Deep down, plagiarists are very unhappy people, even if they sell a lot of books, even if they get away with it.
Gay Marriage will Ruin My Marriage?
Blogger Mama Duck on the validity of – or lack of validity of – arguments that marriage equality will “devalue” marriage. Funny and moving.
I’ll miss my marriage and my husband once this whole thing unravels as a result of some guys with good taste tying what will no doubt be a fabulous knot.
I answer questions about Higher Ground and writing as a guest of my friend and crit partner Teresa Morgan. Find out how I see Zach and Adam! And what the boys would order for a pub lunch!