It’s that time of year again, when the rest of the world asks “Why are Americans so obsessed with pumpkins anyway?” While we ponder this question and look forward to Halloween – and more importantly NaNoWriMo – try out these links.
Tea and No Sympathy: the Invisible Editor
KJ Charles about how the best editing leaves no trace it ever happened.
And of course, because editors are invisible, you get people thinking they don’t need them. Authors who refuse to accept editing, self-published authors who say, ‘I’ll get my friend to read it over’. And, worse, people who work as editors without really understanding the job. People who think it’s about tidying up, who have no idea how to tackle deep structure or tonal issues or limp characterization, or how to do that without breaking an author’s heart.
Mistakes Made, Lessons Learned on the Path to Publication
Renita D’Silva shares what she learned while working toward publication.
Research your market. Think hard about who you are aiming your book at. Who is going to read your book? What is the demographic? What are they interested in? Answer these questions, then rework your book, story and characters so they appeal to your chosen market.
Ten Ways for Authors to Fail on Social Media
KJ Charles (again! She blogs good) about the ways writers damage their prospects on social media.
Obviously, authors have been unlikeable throughout history. This is why we have to sit alone in small rooms with our imaginary friends. But in previous years, it was reserved for their long-suffering loved ones and their editor. Now fans can get a share too.
Twist Arms – Lose Friends
Posy Roberts talks abut the latest crap from Facebook.
Wait now, what? You mean Facebook wants people to use the horrid tool they call Pages—and I don’t mean tool in the useful sense—where maybe 10-15% of followers are shown the content we put out there? Pages were okay up until Facebook started messing with the algorithm and broke it on purpose. I stopped posting on mine with any regularity, partly to avoid the continual prompts to “Boost This Post”, but also because of the knowledge that no one saw the posts anyway. Many artists are focusing their energy on focused groups instead
Margaret Atwood’s 10 Rules of Writing
Exactly what it says on the tin. Margaret Atwood and ten bits of advice on writing.
1. Take a pencil to write with on aeroplanes. Pens leak. But if the pencil breaks, you can’t sharpen it on the plane, because you can’t take knives with you. Therefore: take two pencils.
Pacing Can Make or Break Your Story
Maggie Touissant on Writing University blog about pacing your story at both the macro and micro level.
Some liken pacing to a heartbeat, which has an everyday rhythm and an excited rhythm. While others liken it to music, which has meter and beat. Regardless of how you perceive pacing, it’s the glue that pulls sentences into paragraphs and yields scenes and chapters.
How to Write a Book: The 5-Draft Method
Jeff Goins describes his “five draft” method of writing a book.
We have this idea that writing a book is a magical process involving only inspiration but nothing that looks like hard work. The truth is the most creative, successful people I know are also some of the most disciplined — in their own way.
If you have a project you want to share with the world, chances are it’s going to take more of you than you want to give. It might break you and cause you to scream. But in the end, you will be better for it. And it will be worth it.
From Hero to Zero With Your Wordcount
Kelly Maher on Romance Univerity about how she increased her productivity.
A couple of years ago, I could barely get one short story written in a year’s time. I had all of the excuses in the world and, man, they were good ones. What I came to realize was that while the desire to write was there, the deeper will was not. Ultimately, I was not in the right headspace to write more than I was. I was focused on building my primary career as a librarian, and it was sucking up all of my mental energy. When you have two careers, you need to realize that this will happen. What doesn’t help is berating yourself for not giving more time and energy to your second career if you honestly can’t.
5 Moral Dilemmas That Make Characters (& Stories) Better
Steven James on Writer’s Digest about how to chase your characters up trees, basically.
Key #1: Give Your Character Dueling Desires.
Before our characters can face difficult moral decisions, we need to give them beliefs that matter: The assassin has his own moral code not to harm women or children, the missionary would rather die than renounce his faith, the father would sacrifice everything to pay the ransom to save his daughter.
A character without an attitude, without a spine, without convictions, is one who will be hard for readers to cheer for and easy for them to forget.
My Very Male, Very Gay Views On Gay Sex As Portrayed In Gay Romance Stories
Liam Livings guests on Multitasking Momma blog about his thoughts on the sex in gay romance as opposed to gay literature.
These are some review comments I’ve had about Frangipani Kisses and I’d like to explore why I write like this a bit in this post. It’s a few thoughts I’ve had as a gay man writing gay romance. I’m not saying women shouldn’t write gay romance, because fiction should be judged on its merits, not the author’s gender but I do have some observations on gay romance as a gay man reading it. I may be barking up the wrong tree as it’s a genre a lot of women enjoy reading, but as I am the type of man mainly portrayed in these stories, I think I can say my piece, even if I end up killing some gay romance fairies somewhere.
10 Things that Red-Flag a Newbie Novelist
Very useful list from Anne R Allen that tell agents and editors you’re new around here.
I think some of the patterns come from imitating the classics. In the days of Dickens and Tolstoy, novels were written to be savored on long winter nights or languid summer days when there was a lot of time to be filled. Detailed descriptions took readers out of their mundane lives and off to exotic lands or into the homes of the very rich and very poor where they wouldn’t be invited otherwise.
Queer Romance Month
Not just one post or article, but a month’s worth of them, at least three a day, sometimes more, and lots of prizes on the way. I’ll have a post there on the 11th of October.
We believe that love is love, and nobody should be relegated to a sidebar or a subgenre. Queer romance is romance.