There may be links ahead

10 things not to say (or do) to your editor
Andi Marquette with advice for those maybe working with an editor for the first time.

I know what it feels like to be working with an editor who you think is missing the point of your vision, who is crushing your writing dreams by saying a scene doesn’t work, who just might be a cross between a werewolf and a vampire and is merely toying with your emotions before stomping on your ego. I get that. But I also know what it’s like to help a writer realize her vision in clearer, stronger prose so that she goes on to write better prose later and she remains a colleague and works with you many times after that because she trusts you.

5 Ways Keeping A Diary Helps Writing Fiction
Liam Livings talks about how keepeing a diary – since 1997 – has helped with his writing.

1) write through writers’ block. I don’t meant to sound smug, but honestly I’ve never had writers’ block. I’ve always been able to write something. It may not have been to continue with what I was writing at the time, the big complicated project whatever it was, but I’ve always been able to write something. It may have been writing about what I was feeling at the time – why I couldn’t write what I was meant to be writing. Or writing about how I feel stuck and can’t write – still writing. The great thing about writing a diary is there’s never any expectation to share it with anyone ever. Which is enormously freeing and takes away all the ‘is it any good’ ‘what will people think about it’ angst. It means I can write about anything, just letting the words flow.

Please shut up: Why self-promotion as an author doesn’t work.
Delilah S. Dawson on why all that time authors spend on promo is possibly wasted.

From the very beginning of my writing career, I’ve been told that publishers want a writer to have a brand, a platform, a blog, a built-in army of fans. But that was 2009, and now it’s 2015, and that doesn’t work anymore. Book blogs become paid services, giveaways become chum pits, conference-goers dump purses full of business cards out in the trash to make room for more free books that they won’t read. It is virtually impossible to get your blog seen or your book discovered. We are glutted with information, and yet our answer to “How do I get people to buy my book?” is social media marketing, which is basically throwing more information out into the void.

Wait, Keep Talking: Author Self-Promo That Actually Works
And the follow up to the above on the same blog the next day!

Just as you can tell when someone’s smile is real or forced, one’s internet persona reveals the true person behind those tweets. Rants, rages, whines, wheedling, violent superiority– over time, they turn me off. I know that no one can be positive and upbeat all the time, and it makes an author and their books more real when I know she deals with some of the same challenges I do. But I’ve noticed that the authors who win my respect and my book dollars are kind and informative, help lift others up, don’t punch down, try to pass on opportunities, and show support and encouragement. Beyond that, they interact in ways that are warm and not hurtful, sarcastic, or humorous at the expense of others. They’re part of a conversation, not lords on high, tossing down scraps for the rest of us.

Writing Kick-Ass Women in M/M Romance by Jordan L. Hawk
Jordan guests on Joyfully Jay abut her female characters – including the awesome Christine – and female characters in M/M in general.

When I was initially planning Widdershins, one of my first thoughts was “okay, how do I keep this from being a total sausage fest?”

Which is often a question in gay romance anyway. The two main characters identify as male already, and even though they would logically have female-identifying family members, friends, and co-workers, by default the focus is already on two dudes. Compound that with setting a book in the late nineteenth century and…well, I had a quandary.

How to Guarantee Rejection: Top 10 Ways Writers Self-Reject when Querying Bloggers, Editors, and Agents
Anne R Allen on the mistakes writers make to get themselves rejected summarily.

A query is a job interview. Give it 100% or don’t do it. Picture the real person behind the company, blog, or agency you’re querying, and talk about what’s of interest to them.

Whoever is reading the query is looking for a reason to reject you so they can move quickly through the inbox. Don’t give them one.

Do a little homework, be respectful, and you can avoid most of these pitfalls. We were all newbies once, and some of these are typical newbie mistakes. But if you educate yourself and practice empathy, you can avoid them.

Why romance novelists are the rock stars of the literary world
Emma Teitel on the romance genre and industry and the (usually wrong) perceptions about it and its readers.

When American filmmaker Laurie Kahn set out to make Love Between the Covers, a documentary about the women who read and write romance novels, she was struck by how often she heard the same story. It wasn’t a tale of beefy bodice rippers or love at first sight; it was a story about snobs. “I can’t tell you how many people I interviewed,” says Kahn, “who told me that people will walk up to them on a beach and say, ‘Why do you read that trash?’ ” Apparently, where lovers of romance novels go, contempt follows. Sometimes it’s subtle contempt—a raised eyebrow from a colleague, or a snarky comment from a friend (usually the kind of person who claims to read Harper’s on a beach vacation). Other times it’s more overt, even potentially damaging. When Mary Bly (pen name Eloisa James), an academic and New York Times bestselling author, began writing romance, she was advised to keep her fiction writing secret or risk not making tenure at the university where she worked.

Why Artistic Genius Is A Dangerous Concept
Great post from Liam Livings about how the idea of of artistic genius has changed and why the modern concept of it is not always helpful to artists.

So, right through ancient human history civilisations talked about people having genius – when the damon or whatever that civilisation called it, joined the human to create the art. Which has all the great advantages I’ve discussed above.

Until in the last 500 years of less we started talking about people being a genius. Note the difference: having genius, and being genius. Avoir and etre if you’re into French. To have, and to be. A small, but important difference between the two.

The Culture of Your Story, Not Just for Multiculturals
Sonali Dev on The Romance University talks about how stories are better when they give the reader a world to inhabit, whether real or created by the writer.

The best stories I’ve ever read are the ones I’ve lived inside. And I don’t mean that purely in terms of character. Of course, it’s wonderful to inhabit exceptional, heroic, funny, insightful minds, but every once in a while the world in which they live is so absorbing, so tangible, you want to live in it not just as though you were a character in the story but as yourself. A place where the world of the story becomes even more memorable than the story itself.

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