Links you won’t have time to read if you’re doing NaNoWriMo

So you can always save them up for December. And you should as there’s good stuff there.


And to start with an appropriate one…

How to do NaNoWrimo when you don’t have the time
Writer Alison Wells has some advice about how to make a success of NaNoWriMo.

Musing on your story and characters before you begin is creating a well of associations and references on which you can draw whi le writing. This will help save time because the details and relationships between place, object and people will come thick and fast when you go to write, you won’t have to spend time making things up, you will be tapping in to associations already made.

Ask the writer: how do I get published?
Advice from Chuck Wendig on focusing on the actual hard part – producing saleable work.

Part of what always stuns me about these conferences is the focus — more from the standpoint of the question-askers rather than the answer-givers or the conference-holders — on the end game. The then above the now. The result rather than the process. The publishing above the story. More crassly, the questions end up being more about the commerce rather than the craft.

How to Write a Novel in a Month
More NaNoWriMo advice, this time from James Scott Bell, writer of some of my favoutite writing advice books.

That’s a lightning strikes once or twice kind of thing, and most writers are not going to have that kind of out-of-the-gate success, but that’s almost beside the NaNo point. The point is to get you to get your story down, fast and furious (I wish that term hadn’t been purloined by political culture), and unleash the writer within. It’s to give you a sense of the value of finishing an entire novel (even though it will need massive editing).

Warts and all: imperfect characters
Scarlett Parrish on why characters should not be paragons and why endings don’t have to be a puppies and rainbows.

There’s one book I wrote which narked a few readers because the ending isn’t “and they all lived happily ever after. Twu wuv. The end.” It’s also my bestselling book, so…*shrug* Can’t please everyone, but I’m pleasing a few, judging by my royalties statements.

The Mystery of the Missing Rejection Letter
Kimberly Hitchens talks about why so many self-published writers are shocked by criticism.

Then it dawned on me–we’re now talking about an entire generation of authors who’ve never known a rejection letter. I mean, think about this seriously: authors who’ve never thrown a manuscript over the transom; who’ve never received a rejection letter. Who’ve never been ignored, or turned down by, an Agent. They’ve determined to write and publish a book, and they do so. Isn’t the phrase itself, “author who’s never received a rejection letter” oxymoronic? Isn’t it practically a fantastical creature?

Do writers need thick skin?
Agent Rachelle Gardner about the old advice for writers to toughen up their hides.

I know people are telling you “develop a thick skin,” and I know some of you are thinking, “I don’t know how to do that.” And I’m here to tell you: Some of you will never develop a thick skin.
But the important thing is: You’ll survive.

Making Memorable Minor Characters
Jody Hedlund talks about how to make those minor characters and walk on parts in your book stick in the reader’s mind.

So often writers have the tendency to put a lot of attention and care into shaping major characters. And we neglect our minors who then end up resembling cardboard cutouts. At the opposite extreme, we can try too hard to bring our minors to life and allow them to take over the story altogether.

Baloney Advice Writers Should Ignore
James Scott Bell on the supposed writing rules you’d do well to ignore.

Where does such advice come from? I have a theory that there is a mad scientist in Schenectady, New York, who cooks up writing advice memes and converts them to an invisible and odorless gas. He then secretly arranges for this gas to seep into critique groups across the land, infecting the members, who then begin to dispense the pernicious doctrine as if it were holy writ.

Why Writers Must Beware Quackery
Chuck Wendig on being careful of the source off the advice you take.

Dangerous in that it will set you back rather than spring you forward. Dangerous in that it has all the air of medical quackery — untested answers that sound like truth and promise result (published book! robust boner! magic tonic!) and often require you to shell out some cash to get a taste of what sounds like the nectar of the gods but is really like, 7-Up and hull cleaner.

And to finish with the funny – an old favourite of mine.

The Infamous Weight Watchers Recipe Cards
Wendy McClure’s hilarious commentaries on a set of bizarre Weight Watcher’s recipe cards from 1974, found while clearing out the basement of her mom’s house.

These cards mystify me. None of them have calorie or nutrition information of any kind, and in some instances it’s hard to tell what’s dietetic about the recipes at all, except that they’re unspeakably grim. And yet also, completely insane. They appear to be from a much kookier era of Weight Watchers. There’s a certain serve-it-at- your-next-key-party freakiness to a lot of these dishes.

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