Linko de Mayo

MaypoleIt’s May! Which means summer should be right there on the horizon – shame it’s still freezing and they’re still talking about frost on the weather forecast.

But never mind, as the wind howls and the rain falls (while still leaving the UK in drought, inexplicably) check out some lovely links.

The Writing Life
You tell us: Should an author thank a reviewer?
Everyone knows an author should never reply to a negative review. This post on Carina Press deals with the question of whether they should say thanks for a positive one. (This one inspired my own post on the subject.)

On one hand, there’s an argument that it might feel rude not to thank someone for a particularly glowing, thoughtful or in-depth review. On the other hand is the idea that’s been put forth before that having the author show up in the comments–whether on Goodreads, Twitter or blog comments can stifle conversation about the book, or make readers feel as if the author is watching. 

Taking critique like a pro
Lynne Price of Behler Publishing on how to take critique and how to use it to make your book better.

Taken aback, I reminded her that my opinion is simply that – an opinion – and that it was her decision to listen to what an experienced editor has to say, or she could leave. She packed up her things and blew out of there in a huff.

Wow. She paid $50 to storm out. Guess she showed me.

2 Tests That Can Help Writers Sort Through Feedback
Jody Hedlund on how a writer makes sense of critique from various sources

There is a third camp of writers. The writers in this group are humble enough to know they need help polishing their stories. They realize the benefit of the right kind of feedback, and they’re willing to accept it. But they’re also strong enough not to bend to every whim of every piece of advice they get.

The Special Snowflake Syndrome

A bit of a whack with the reality stick by K.Z. Snow

Man, I’ve seen a lot of this in the past couple of years. Among writers, I mean. Maybe the increase is directly proportional to the increase of authors in the m/m romance genre (the one with which I’m most familiar). Maybe it has something to do with the proliferation of review sites. But yikes, more and more writers seem to be getting inordinately upset over less than Omigod-this-is-the-best-thing-since-toilet-paper! reactions to their published work.


Your Pitch Letter: The Blowout Blurb!

Tara Lain on writing a killer query.

Trouble is, writing a blurb is nothing like writing a book. My day job is in advertising and PR, so i know that writing a blurb is more like writing an ad than a story. 

25 Reasons I hate your main character
Another 25 things post from Terrible Minds. All the things not to do with your main character.

Your Mileage May Vary, but just the same I thought it an interesting exercise to list those things that make me want to punt your main character into a pterodactyl nest. Where he will be promptly ripped into ribbons and gobbets of man-meat.

Female Friendships in Fiction (part 1)
Stevie Caroll discusses how rare female friendships are in literature these days.

Now, though, I’m hard pressed to think of more than half a dozen memorable stories in which two or more women are friends, and nothing tragic happens to ruin that friendship.

Five things writers need to know about being knocked out

Some practical advice about that old favourite of writers – a quick whack on the head.

Writer’s love knocking people unconscious. Mostly I mean fictional people, but not always. I’m pretty Matt Wallace wouldn’t hesitate to knock someone all the way into intensive care if the situation arose.

How to Choose a Creative Writing Degree

Is a creative writing degree for you?

But courses can be bruising experiences, where criticism is badly managed and destructive. Also, courses’ ability to help you stand out from the pack of the unpublished is undermined by the fact that each year they churn out thousands of graduates.


The Value of Editing: An Editor’s View

Carina Press editor Denise Neilsen, on how editors make your book better.

Because I am a book editor, working with the fabulous authors who choose to publish through Carina Press, perhaps it is natural that I think editing is crucial. But talk to other published writers and I would bet most of them will tell you the same thing: an edited book is a better book.

M/M specific

Men are Not Emotional
Erica Pike on the myth of the unemotional man.

Apparently, all men are strong and confident. They all like sports, drink beer, and thump their chests gorilla-style on a regular basis. They don’t talk about how they feel and they most certainly don’t show it. They don’t cry – ever. Crying and talking is for girls.

Gendered power relationships and m/m

Vacuous Minx explodes the myth that m/m romances are free of “gendered power relationships”

In an m/m romance, the substitution of the heroine with a second hero does not mean that gendered power relationships disappear. It means that we now have two protagonists whose socially constructed roles are drawn from the same side of the gender binary rather than one each from opposite sides.

Social Networking

Blog/tweet = success: chicken or egg?
Nicola Morgan discusses whether social networking is useful for unpublished writers.

Whatever you do, remember that Twitter and your blog are public: so, be yourself but be your nicest self. If you are not nice, shut up or disguise yourself.

Stop the auto-DM torture! (social media for aspiring authors)

Mhairi Simpson on how not to use Twitter to win friends and influence people.

Her post pretty much says it all, but it’s worth underlining the reason why I hate auto-DMs. I hate the ones that ask me to do something for them without me even knowing who they are. Now, I suspect some of these people have read John Locke’s book. The thing about John Locke (the first man to sell a million books via self-publishing) is that he was a very successful salesman long before he was a writer.

And to finish off – some of my favourite pictures of the month.

Just mind the giant spiders on the way.

Google Easter Egg
Worth having a go of yourself, to see where it suggests Mordor actually is. Remember to pick Walking directions.

If I was American, I’d vote for Mr Obama on the strength of this picture alone.

President Obama meets Nichelle Nichols and looks all: “OMG, I’m meeting Uhura! This is so cool!”

Though of course, someone else was more excited about meeting him than he was about meeting Nichelle Nichols…

Madalyn Starkey meets President Obama

9 thoughts on “Linko de Mayo

  1. I was delighted when I came across the directions to Mordor in Google Maps, too! 😀 And the Nichelle Nichols photo is awesomesauce. 🙂 (And you soooo know you make linkity every time with this post, right?!?!)

    1. Thanks, Chris. I love the thought that people at Google get paid to come up with this kind of stuff, and can seriously propose it to their bosses. 😀

  2. There’s a place just outside Oswestry caled Morda, so I guess round here we wouldn’t simply walk into Morda – it’s a 40-minute drive, take the car!

    1. Heh, I don’t really get that “zerg rush” one, but it’s fun! 😀

      I liked that article. I love Twitter, and hate it when people use it in an impersonal, cynical way. I’d better go comment on it actually! Just had a DM related annoying moment earlier.

  3. Okay – just done the directions things on Google maps and that does come up… Basically it places The Shire in London and Mordor somewhere over in Europe (Holland I think). So basically, “One does not simply walk into Mordor”… because you need to go by boat. 😀

    But I am pretty sure that line feels familiar in Lord Of The Rings… soooo Kewl!

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