My monthly round up of links that have made me think, made me smile, made me retweet.
As long as the community rewards plagiarism, it won’t go away
Interesting post on Vacuous Minx about how the consequences of plagiarism are often not what you’d expect or hope they’d be.
And if there’s a groundswell of support for the plagiarist, then there’s a good chance, on balance, that the plagiarizer will not only get away with it but get to keep the ill-gotten gains. That creates incentives to plagiarize and disincentives to out them.
Make it Sustainable
Maisey Yates talks about building a sustainable writing routine that works for you.
There are a lot of opinions out there about how many words you should write a day. How fast. How many house you should spend in your office, hunched over your keyboard, banging out words until your finger joints lock up. About what the perfect balance is between writing and life, and how often you should stop and sip from the well of sparkalay creative magic that imbues you with the power to continue on.
On the privilege of being a writer
Chuck Wendig talks about the reasons writers have to be grateful that writing is their job.
Art matters. What we do is a craft and it takes some mad combination of skill and talent to both survive and thrive, and I’m not going to take that away from myself or any other hardworking ass-busting wordsmith out there.
Writing Criticism: Taking It Gracefully
Daniel Swensen on the Surly Muse blog gives seven pointers to taking critique.
First of all, be honest with yourself about why you asked for criticism in the first place. By “criticism” did you mean “praise”? No, seriously. Think about that before you answer.
25 Reasons you should quit writing
Funny and potty mouthed as usual. And if you are writing and any of them convince you, blame Wendig, not me! Right now, the quote below is the one I identify with most…
In addition to becoming a lumpy word-goblin, you also sit there all day in one chair staring at a freakishly bright square of light and the ant-like words and images that dance across it. Your back will become a quilt of twisted muscle, your eyes like grapes covered in a greasy film. Save your body. Quit now.
Creating “Moments” So You Don’t Bore Your Reader
C.S. Lakin talks about creating “moments” in your story.
We remember great scenes because they contain a great moment in them. Often that moment is not something huge and explosive. On the contrary—the best moments are the very subtle ones in which the character learns or realizes something that may appear small to the outside world but is giant in scope to the character.
Why Skimping on Macro Editing Could Cost You Readers
Jody Hedlund on the importance of getting the big picture when editing.
The point is this: Without the macro-edit, I could spiff up my story, get rid of adverbs, tighten my dialog, and make sure I’ve included sensory details, etc., etc., etc. (all the things that come with line and copy edits). But what good would all of that do if I’ve neglected to shape the story itself?
Buttons and Brass
Josh Lanyon on Chicks & Dicks about how romance heroes in uniform should be about more than just the uniform.
The first thing to remember when choosing to make your protagonist an FBI agent or an ex-Navy SEAL or a fireman is these are not jobs. Just as teaching is not a job. These are vocations — and they are not for everyone.
How to respond to negative reviews
Insightful post by Beth Revis about keeping a sense of perspective about a negative review.
Got the book in mind? Now go to GoodReads. Look the book up. Filter the reviews for 1-stars (because I promise you, it does have one stars). And smile. Because if people can rate your favoritest book in the whole world with one star, then of course people can rate your book that way, too.
Give Us the ‘Tude
James Scott Bell critiques a first page and talks about how to establish the all important attitude of the first person narrator.
The main way I’d strengthen this opening is to root us in the POV right from the start. I see this kind of opening a lot—a sensory description, but from a voice we have not identified yet. Could this be the author’s omniscient voice? A third person “in the head” voice? Or is this First Person? If so, who is the person?
Insta-Love, Love, Lust – What the hell are you talking about?
Sarah York talks about the oft-mocked “insta-love” concept.
Some people believe you have to first have a very long courtship, dating for a long time, then do all the “right” steps, eventually moving into the stage of living together in the same house as the person you love for it to be real. That a relationship lived differently than the traditional norm isn’t real.
And picture – or pictures rather – of the month
The Ultimate Collection Of Hot Shirtless Navy Guys Climbing A Monument Covered In Lard
Thanks to Josephine Myles for bringing this important post to my attention.
In case you didn’t already know, every year the Annapolis Naval Academy freshman class, known as ‘Plebes,’ climb a monument covered in lard to retrieve the Plebian Sailor’s hat and replace it with an officer’s hat.
Here’s a sample pic. Click it for 49 more!