Happy Valentine’s Day!
I hope you’ve love these links I’ve gathered for you.
In Defense of the Gatekeepers
Hilary Monahan on why the much feared gatekeepers of publishing are a good thing.
2) Quality control exists in every facet of our lives.
Every part in your car was inspected by number fourteen to make sure when you put your key in the ignition, your gilded chariot doesn’t explode in a fiery ball of death. Every implement in a doctor’s hands was inspected to ensure it passes standards before the doctor removes your spleen. Your jeans were inspected to make sure the stitching is secure and your fly doesn’t stay down exposing your tallywhack to children at the mall. Your goddamned CHEETOS were inspected to make sure you don’t get some conjoined twin giant Cheeto in your bag of snacks. Quality control is, by and large, a great thing that improves our lives. Until it’s not working to your personal advantage, I guess?
Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb on the limits of where it’s okay to criticise an author.
Readers are absolutely entitled to opinions, and there are a zillion places on the internet to express any dissatisfaction. I’m not going to go onto those sites and debate with a reader over her opinion on my work. But these are my pages.
Let’s talk productivity and limiting beliefs
Aleksandr Voinov on how “limiting beliefs” can harm a writer’s productivity.
NLP works at identifying “limiting beliefs” – in short, convictions that we all hold that are counterproductive to achieving our best. If you look at the paragraph above, there’s a limiting belief right there – one that a lot of writers have: Having fun and getting paid for it is a conflict. It’s strange to get paid for “having fun”. It’s kinda cool, but it’s not what work is ABOUT, right?
Speech is free and silence is golden
KJ Charles on the right to not speak up about a subject.
Some people don’t want to be drawn into the argument in the first place. That’s a valid choice that deserves respect. We aren’t obliged to engage with every topic, even when we feel strongly about the subject, and we’re probably happier when we don’t.
Chris Jane on the power of gender in an author’s name: Right, Like a Man
Chris Jane on the difficulties of selling and marketing a war story as a woman author.
Because males were clearly having better luck selling their war stories, it was hard not to imagine a parallel universe in which Pretty Much True had been published under a male name. Men writing a lot like women, even about women, generally achieve higher literary acclaim and garner more universal interest than do women when the story has nothing to do with war (Irving, Eugenides, Franzen), so wouldn’t the same be true if it were a story about a female during wartime?
My Book Is Not My Baby, Though Sometimes It Does Reek of Poo
Heidi Cullinan on why you must lose the tendency to treat your books like your children.
When I write a story, there’s definitely a big stage where the thing is unformed, but it’s not an infant I’m teaching to walk or hold its head upright. I’m trying to find eyeballs and get rid of that weird third ear on top of its head. It’s clay, not flesh. Absolutely I talk to it and nurture it, but I also rip it apart, and kick it, and yell at it—if my books were my babies, they’d all be taken away by child protective services.
Characters extra – piling on the Angst
Sally Quilford on resisting the temptation to load your characters up with extra helpings of painful backstory.
It is too easy, when you create your heroine (or hero) to pile on the angst in order to make your readers sympathise with them. My own heroines are often orphans, but I generally put their sad events way back in the past so that by the time the story begins, they’re still orphans but they’re also getting on with their lives.
It can be too easy to pile on the angst so much that in the end your reader actually thinks, ‘No? Really?’
24 Things No One Tells You About Book Publishing
Curtis Sittenfeld on Buzzfeed shares some of what she’s learned from 10 years in the writing and publishing game.
13. Female writers are asked more frequently about all of the following topics than male writers: whether their work is autobiographical; whether their characters are likable; whether their unlikable characters are unlikable on purpose or the writer didn’t realize what she was doing; how they manage to write after having children.
6 Mistakes that Can Sidetrack New Writers
Anne R Allen on some common traps new writers fall into.
I heard from a writer recently who had already paid a vanity press a huge amount of money to publish his book, but he’d never had the manuscript read by anybody. He wanted to know where he could find beta readers. Arrggh! He had the process completely backwards.
Learn to write before you try to find a publisher! You need to have a manuscript (or two) polished, critiqued, edited and polished again before you even think about publishing.
3 Ways We Writers Are Too Hard on Ourselves
Victoria Grefer on the Crimson League blog about some of the ways writers make writing even harder.
Writing a great short story, or a novel that is engaging and inspiring enough to touch SOMEONE and make just one person’s life a little more fruitful… That’s what we aim for when we write fiction. At least, that’s what I hope my fiction might accomplish.
And that is the beginning of the problem, at least when it comes to my approach to fiction. Writing is wonderful, and a worthy aim, but it is not an easy hobby or job, for a number of reasons.
Writing Tips Index
K.J. Charles has compiled an index of her many useful and awesome writing advice posts. Posts on editing, general writing, publishing, reviews and social media and for giggles…
10 Things To Stop Doing To Yourself As A Writer
The Writers Write blog on some self-sabotaging things writers do.
2) Stop wasting time. Stop thinking about writing and write. Stop dreaming about book deals and learn the craft. Confront your issues and get on with it, but remember that getting what you want often involves risk and sacrifice. Are you ready for this? ‘You can’t sit around thinking. You have to sit around working,’ says David Long. Nobody ever feels 100% ready because adventures – even adventures in writing – force us beyond our comfort zones.
Confessions of an Irritable Romance Novelist
KJ Charles replies to yet another article from someone who thinks anyone can dash off a Romance novel, unless they are just too discerning and refined like her.
I saw so many ‘knock it out for the money’ submissions in the slush pile. So many clichéd, spark-free, lifeless, lazy, dull, grating, cranked-out MSS that someone had the unmitigated gall to think ‘would do for Mills & Boon’, without knowing the trade, or the market, or the readership. With the very natural desire to make money by writing, but completely lacking the bit where the author wanted to write the book, or had any gift/inclination for doing so.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck
Mark Manson with an important life lesson – not giving a fuck about things not worth your fucks.
The point is, most of us struggle throughout our lives by giving too many fucks in situations where fucks do not deserve to be given. We give a fuck about the rude gas station attendant who gave us too many nickels. We give a fuck when a show we liked was canceled on TV. We give a fuck when our coworkers don’t bother asking us about our awesome weekend. We give a fuck when it’s raining and we were supposed to go jogging in the morning.