July Links

Romance Novel Think Pieces For Dummies
Jessica Tripler on Bookriot with some – ahem – advice to journalists who want to write about the Romance genre.

1. Use an image of Fabio. He hasn’t graced a romance novel cover in decades but you want your readers to think they recognize him as the guy who’s on all the covers of those books they don’t read.

The One Thing You Need to Know Is Everything
Natalie Damschrode on the Romance University blog about continuing education for writers, but not only about the writing itself.

Jennifer commented on how much publishing has changed since my first post in 2009, so of course the first thing I did was go back and read that. And she’s right. Obviously, authors have so many more options, so much more control over their careers, so many ways to individualize their path to publication. But it struck me that one thing has never changed, not in the 23 years since I started writing romantic fiction.

Education is probably the most important element in the foundation of your writing career.

When to Use Bad English
James Harbeck at the Sesquiotica blog with a long, but well worth reading, presentation transcript, about when and why you should sometimes break the rules of English.

We use language to produce an effect on a specific audience.

Your job as an editor or writer is to make sure that it produces that effect as well as possible, without producing bad effects that undermine it. Don’t choose words that will make people snicker or think of unpleasant things. Don’t say things in ways that will irritate your audience. But also make sure you know who your most important audience are.

How to Analyze White Characters in Book Reviews
Justina Ireland on Bookriot – if white characters were discussed in book reviews the way POC characters are.

If you take the time to read book reviews it’s hard not to notice some…tendencies toward similar language when it comes to the way characters from ethnically diverse backgrounds are reviewed in comparison to white characters. It’s almost as bad as how men are slighted in book reviews! So here’s a quick guide to reviewing white characters in the same careful manner characters of color are reviewed.

Enjoy Your Art Or Don’t Do It At All
Shane Mehling at Creative Live blog about taking your art so seriously you let it make you miserable. I think I;ll be directing people I see having anxiety attacks about NaNoWriMo – in October – to this one.

One problem with taking on creative projects is the common belief in an all-or-nothing strategy. We hear so much about the “true” artists locking themselves away until they have created a masterpiece that we feel that’s the only way something can get done. If we don’t cancel our weekend plans and throw our phones in the gutter and rip out our hair then we’ll never make something truly worthwhile.

‘How do I edit my own writing?’ 5 easy steps
Useful guidance for those asking “I know I have to edit, but how exactly do I edit?”

Develop a plan

You should make yourself a checklist for dealing with all the large and small issues you want to examine over the course of your novel. Some of your points will be genre-specific. For example, if you are writing a romance novel, one thread you should look at is the progression of the love story. If you are writing a crime novel, you will have your work cut out for you as you ensure that your clues are appropriately placed and reveal just enough to the reader. If you are writing science fiction or fantasy, you will need to make sure your worldbuilding is solid.

Plagues and Plagiarism
K.J. Charles about why being plagiarized is so horrible to an author.

Here’s the thing: my ‘brand’ isn’t a magpie attached to stuff. My brand, as a writer, is me. My thoughts, my ideas, my characters acting within my plots, my politics and convictions and morals and swearing problem, and all of it expressed in my words. That’s what I am as an author. I am my words.

14 Dos and Don’ts for Author-Bloggers
Anne R Allen with loads of great blogging advice for authors.

One of the challenges for an author-blogger is that most of the information on blogging is written for professional bloggers. These are people who blog to sell ads and monetize their blog content.

But for the author-blogger, a blog is a means to an end, not the end in itself.

This means a lot of the blog “rules” don’t apply to us, and a lot of authors are jumping through hoops and wasting time that could be spent on our primary activity: writing our books.

Ten Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me As a Newbie Author
Sarah Madison has compiled a list from published authors of what they wish they’d known as a newbie authors.

1. Google your pen name before you start using it. Yeah, I wish I’d done this. Because there’s Sarah Madison the actress, and Sarah Madison the cardiovascular surgeon, and Sarah Madison the published historian, and if you are looking for any of them and you get me instead, yikes! On the other hand, I like to think of someone enjoying one of my stories while recovering from cardiovascular surgery… Seriously, though. Google your pen name.

Five Ways Point of View Can Make You a Better Writer
Janice Hardy on Romance University about how to leverage POV to make your book better.

Whenever a new writer asks me to share advice, “learn how to use POV” is tops on the list. No other element of writing can do so much, and it helps eliminate the common problems new writers (and let’s face it, some of us old writers, too) stumble over.

No matter what story we’re writing, we filter it through a literary lens—be it the author, a character, or a series of characters. Think of POV as the color of that filter. Maybe it’s green, or yellow, or blue, but whatever filter we use will make what we see (and write) a little different.

Annoying Things Only Writers Will Understand
Tim Baker on his Blindoggbooks blog about writerly annoyances.

Temptations, Obligations and Favors:

If you’re like me, you have a full time job, and the majority of your writing is done on the weekends.

While your friends are firing up the grill, hitting the beach or taking the Harley out for a spin, you’re shuffling to your home office in your pajamas with a bagel and a cup of coffee thinking about your target word-count and hoping the muse hasn’t gone fishing.

I have to read it AGAIN?! …or Proofreading: The Bane of an Author’s Existence
Jenn Burke on proofreading and some tips on how to do it efectively.

As an author, you need to proofread your own work. Professional editors and proofreaders are great, don’t get me wrong, but this is your book and you know your book. It’s hard, I know (GOD, I know). When you’ve already read the manuscript ten times, the words tend to blend together, right? And it’s tough to remember what scenes got cut in the developmental edit stage and if there are ramifications elsewhere in the book, and did we end up keeping that scene in Chapter Five or…

6 Bad Reasons to Write a Novel… and 6 Good Ones
Anne R Allen on the motivation to write a novel and which will help you make it.

Nobody’s born with the knowledge of how to craft a novel any more than anybody is born with a perfect golf swing or a great operatic voice. No matter how much native talent you have, you need to study and practice a long time before you’re going to be able to create something that will appeal to readers.

So people need to make sure they really want to embark on the journey before they start down the book-writing road.


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