April Links

Winter is wearing out its welcome around here, but these links kept my mind off the cold.

Sleep On It: Notion Potion #11
Jordan Castillo Price talks about the advantages of letting an idea simmer while you sleep, and how to make sure you capture the results in the morning.

It’s important to set your intention just before you go to bed. (This is true too if you’d like to remember your dreams.) As you lie down, think about the point in your project in which you normally hit a wall. You’re not looking to come up with an answer right then…and, in fact, you’re not encouraging yourself to stay up worrying about it, either. Think about your issue, the crucial question that will allow you to move forward with your project. Jot it down and plant it. Then, intend to mull it over as you sleep.

29 Ways NOT To Submit To An Agent by Carole Blake
Agent Carole Blake talks about 29 things you can do wrong when submitting your book to an agent. Ah, writers, we show such imagination when it comes to screwing up.

1. No gimmicks. Don’t send food, flowers – or anything else. Food goes straight into the bin … just in case. I’ve read lots of crime fiction.

I once received a large parcel that weighed almost nothing. Inside was a rubbish bin and a letter saying the writer assumed the submission would end up there so was sending me one to speed up the process. The partial for a crime novel that was attached looked rather good. I left the bin, letter & ms on my desk. Next morning our office cleaner had removed the contents and put the rubbish bin neatly next to my desk. There was no way to contact the author despite a story on our website and some tweets … That was the end of that.

The 7 Deadly Sins of Self-Editing
Janice Gable Bashman and Kathryn Craft talk on Writer’s Digest about the sins you can commit while editing.

1. Greed
Many authors damn their efforts from the start with a premature focus on snagging a lucrative book deal. They submit to agents or self-publish before their work is truly ready. But building a career requires that you lay a strong foundation of only your best work—and nobody’s first draft is the best it can be. Careful editing is the mortar that holds the story bricks together.

Guest Post: Not Your Fairy &@*#% Godmother
Karina Cooper on Dear Author about how LGBTQ characters are used as “accessories” in some books.

How many books have we read, how many chick flicks, romcoms, and bro-mantic comedies have we seen that feature the sassy gay friend? You know, the guy who miraculously went to the same School of Styling that every other gay man has been to, graduated with honors and bases his entire sense of self around giving our protagonist a make-over to help him or her find love?

How to Defeat the Plot Zombie Menac
Nicola Kimberling on how characters fall victim to becoming Plot Zombies and how to save them!

“Plot Zombie” is a term that I picked up from Ginn Hale a while ago. It describes a character whose slavery to the author’s plot choices render their actions emotionally and motivationally incomprehensible.

I’m your reader, not your fan
Vacuous Minx on the difference in the relationships between writers, reader and fans.

In the old days people collected books as objects but they didn’t necessarily collect information about the author unless it was relevant to the written work (or the author was particularly interesting as a person). But now, in the age of social media, the reader can’t escape the fact that there is a human being behind the book. If you’re a reader like me you either avoid knowing that information or you discover that the author, as a person, is someone you’d like to know. But while that impulse stems from liking the book, it can only be sustained by liking the person apart from the work.

Multiple Writer Personalities
Maisey Yates on keeping that delicate balance between self-doubt and ego.

It took me a long time to arrive at a point where I felt like it was okay to love what I was working on. I just thought you weren’t supposed to. But sometimes I DO! And when I do? It all feels so much better. I writer faster, I write happier, I write with Bruno Mars playing in the background!

Why I’ve been reading fewer and fewer m/m books
Vacuous Minx on some problems with the genre.

I’m tired of the woman-bashing. Women are evil plot devices, BFFs of the narrator/main character who exist to be sounding boards or comic relief. Generally they can’t get a date or you don’t want them to. It’s lazy, stereotypical writing and no mature genre with standards would put up with it. And that’s if there are women in the books at all. I just finished a short novel in which there are no on-page women. Granted, that may be because the entire word count was taken up by sex scenes, but having no women in a contemporary romance is quite a feat.

no girly bits!: the (mis)treatment of women and trans* characters in M/M romance
Sam Schooler talks about the misogyny and transphobia in the m/m romance genre.

The issue that I take with M/M romance is, most often, the treatment of people. The treatment of women, certainly, but also the treatment of transgender characters. I’ve seen stories turned down by popular M/M-only publishers because one of the main characters was a trans* man.

5 thoughts on “April Links

    1. I know. Hell, the issue with women characters in fiction in general isn’t going away and may be going backwards. As for trans* people, well it’s hard to say if it’s going backwards or forwards, because there actually needs to be a starting position for either of those to happen!

  1. May I just say how much I love having these link posts to look forward to every month? You always find the most interesting and useful stuff!

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