New Year Links

Happy new year! Check out this month’s links to help you with your writing resolutions, among other things.

Words of wisdom from Jeff Seymour on the Carina blog about giving your NaNoWrimo novel – and heck, any novel – some time to simmer before you edit and maybe submit it.

You’ve just spent a month pouring yourself into this project. Maybe it came easily for you. Maybe you had to grind out the last three chapters by sheer force of will. Either way, your brain is saturated in it right now, and unless you’re a phenomenally talented self-editor, you can’t look at it objectively.

Writing Tip: Too Much Dialog Can Spoil the Soup
Writer Alan Chin on why too much dialogue will hurt a book, however good the dialogue is.

Dialog should not be used to tell the story. It should be used to punctuate the action in a story. Think of dialog as TNT. You want small controlled detonations in your prose in order to highlight certain ideas or actions or character traits.

Don’t Reject Yourself
Maisey Yates talks about how fear of rejection can stop you getting your work out there at all.

As the deadline for that book gets closer (March) and the need to get going on it LOOMS (like a doubt crow) those sorts of fears were starting to get really, really big in my mind. And it’s silly, because I haven’t written more than 1K on that book and I’m turning it into a demon beast before it even has a chance to…at least evolve into that organically.

Authors – Run your business like a business
Sarah York advises authors to make sure they are being hard-headed about the business of writing.

I know this isn’t a popular subject or maybe it is right now depending on where you are sitting. If you are a full time author you need to diversify. You can not depend on any one publisher to be your meal ticket. And you actually shouldn’t depend on any one genre to be your meal ticket.

8 Words to Seek and Destroy in Your Writing
Rob D Young on those annoying words that bog down your prose.

Creating powerful prose requires killing off the words, phrases, and sentences that gum up your text. While a critical eye and good judgement are key in this process, some terms almost always get in the way. Here are eight words or phrases that should be hunted down in your story and deleted with extreme prejudice.

Why You Need a “No Rules” Creative Process
Marcia Yudkin on how not to get hung up on so called writing rules that don’t work for you.

You see, we’re not all wired in the same way. What works for the writer who lives down the street, the guru teaching the rules of productive writing or the guy working in the next cubicle may not work for you. I discovered this years ago while teaching creativity workshops and paying careful attention to the comments, questions and worries of people trying to write the way they were supposed to.

What Does It Really Take to Be a Die-Hard Writer?
Jody Hedlund on what a writer who’s in it for the long haul needs.

Obviously there will be seasons in our lives. Some writers go through times when they need to take a break for one reason or another. I’ve been there, done that.

But what about everyone else? Why do so many quit?

Why I love Twitter and barely tolerate Facebook
Matt Haughey expresses much of what I feel about Facebook and Twitter. Facebook drags you down to Earth, but on Twitter, you fly.

For the past decade, I’ve tried every new social media product to come along but I find myself returning to the two giants of the industry most often: Twitter and Facebook. I’m optimistic and delighted every time I open up Twitter on my browser, while Facebook is something I only click on once or twice a day and always with a small sense of dread. This week I sat down to think about why that is.

Ellen Ripley and the changing nature of Heroines
Sally Quilford has a series about Advent Heroines on her blog, and discussed the iconic character of Ellen Ripley and how she broke the stereotype of women characters.

Before Alien, women were generally treated as baggage in a story; to be carried around and cared for by the hunky hero. In romances, that role was played up the nth degree as breathless damsels waited for a man to save them from their lives of drudgery.

So when I first watched Alien, I expected that Dallas, as played by Tom Skerrit, would be the one to save the day. I don’t think I was the only one.

Ripley, Dallas and Kane in Alien
Who would you have pegged as being the one who’d make it to the end of the movie?

How to Edit Your Own Writing
Caroline McMillan on Lifehacker talks about the art of editing. Focused on business writing, but still useful to fiction writers too.

It could be a company memo, a PowerPoint presentation, an email, or a report—but no matter the medium, these quick editing skills will always come in handy. Some other bonuses of good self-editing skills: People are less likely to misunderstand you, and bosses and peers will pay more attention to the meat of your message.

How Long Should You Keep Trying to Get Published?
Article by Jane Freidman about how to know how close you are to achieving your goal of publication.

I’ve counseled thousands of writers over the years, and even if it’s not possible for me to read their work, I can usually say something definitive about what their next steps should be. I often see when they’re wasting their time. No matter where you are in your own publishing path, you should periodically take stock of where you’re headed, and revise as necessary.

write or DIE
Editor Jenn, a Senior Editor for Etopia Press, talks about how to make this the year you finish your novel.

I’ve made some pretty important New Year’s resolutions this year, like finding the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe, but I know that some people have made really silly resolutions, like writing or finishing a novel. So I thought I’d use this space to drop some hints and tips in hopes that you’ll get your pesky book out of the way, thereby freeing up some time for you to practice your cookie recipes. Because we should stay focused on what’s important, right? Right.

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