October Links

Hannibal Leaves Us Starving: Queerbaiting in Modern TV
By Kate Aaron on her blog.

Fans went crazy over Destiel, and for a while, show writers went along with it, until it “got old” and that’s when the gaslighting began. If fans so much as mention the word Destiel at conventions where SPN is represented they are removed from panels [x/x]. People irritated with the Destiel crowd demand to know why they have to sully the show by shipping that pairing, as if Destiel fans weren’t given crumbs to follow, and when they followed them, were blamed for buying the hints and hoping for actual realisation of a same-sex pairing among two male leads on a popular TV show.

Creating Your Villain’s Journey
By Chris Winkle on the Mythcreants blog.

Poetic Justice

Characters can accumulate negative karma by doing bad deeds, and when they do, it feels like an open plot thread to the audience. As soon as your villain cheats a grandma out of her retirement savings, your audience will expect that bad guy to get his due. You can close this plot thread just by letting them die, but it will feel more satisfying if you link their punishment to their bad deeds.

Bashing Romance Novels Is Just Another Form Of Slut-Shaming
Sarah MacLean on Bustle

“So, still writing sex books?” It’s not the kind of question you expect at a funeral, walking from the church to the burial plot, particularly from a man who has known you for most of your life. But there it was, boomed through the cemetery on a clear winter’s day, loud enough to ensure that half the assembled mourners heard what he no doubt thought was a terribly unique, terribly funny question. A question he no doubt believed would embarrass me, and not because he was asking it at the top of his lungs at a funeral.

Puppy? What puppy?: Publishing genre fiction creatively
Agent Lizzy Kremer on Publishing for Humans blog.

I met with an editor of commercial fiction recently who had plenty of ideas for novels she wanted to commission. They were okay set-ups; each one had a decent premise, or character idea at their heart. The ideas all took inspiration from something that had already been successful, in books or on TV, and then combined that plot or setting or character idea with something else of universal popularity, such as summertime, or biscuits, or gardens, or sex. It’s really not a bad recipe, this: take a pinch of something people have already invested book money in, chop in some seasonal goodwill, stir in a complementary ingredient from another source…

My Muse Went to Aruba, Now What do I Do?
By Carrie Peters on Romance University blog

I know, I know. How much can people really write about writer’s block? A lot. =) Why? Because it happens for all sorts of reasons – trauma, health problems, tiredness, life in general. One morning you wake up, sit in front of a blank screen and…you draw a blank. Your muse has left the building.

Don’t have a muse? I bet you do. =) You might not realize it, but when you’re driving along and suddenly an idea pops into your head for a terrific story line? Yup, that’s your muse.

23 Translations: What Your Editor’s Queries REALLY Mean
By Holly Kothe on litreactor.com

But writers, BEWARE! Even the sweetest and most encouraging editors have a dark side. It’s not that we hate our job. It’s not that we think you are a bad writer (unless we do). But editing can be a dry, tedious, thankless, mentally draining job. We read every single word carefully, and we do that for ten, one hundred, one thousand pages, all the time! There’s a whole passive aggressive undertone that goes along with many of your author queries. I love that I get to do what I do, but I often find myself rolling backwards in my little black chair and yelling, “What the fuck is this supposed to fucking mean?” at my screen. Just a typical Friday night. You know what query accompanies such a reaction? One like this: “Your intended meaning is not quite clear,” along with another line addressing the specific issue.

How Getting Published Changes your life. Or not.
By Tom Hocknell on his own blog.

Publication day is the sort of day that validates all those annoying motivational Twitter status updates involving ‘following your dreams’, and ‘Stars can’t shine without darkness.’ The sort of updates that no one says to your face in fear of being strangled, and without which Twitter would be diminished to people declaring themselves as coffee addicts, uploading photos of cats and flogging vampire novels thinly disguised as porn. Or is it the other way around?

How Your Narrative Distance Affects Show, Don’t Tell
Janice Hardy on the Romance University blog.

One of the reason show, don’t tell is so annoying, is that several factor can influence what feels told versus shown. The biggest, is the narrative distance you’re using. Change the narrative distance of the story, and a line that feels told in one book can feel shown in another.

Narrative distance is how far the reader feels from the point-of-view character. It ranges from experiencing what the character experiences (close, such as first person) to watching the character experience it (far, such as third person omniscient). The narrative distance of a story is your yardstick for show, don’t tell, and can help you determine how detached you can be without falling into told prose.

Writing Tips: How To Find And Capture Ideas For Your Novel
By Joanna Penn, at the Creative Penn

“Where do you get your ideas from?”

Authors get asked this all the time and some get tired of it, because once you get into the hang of capturing ideas and writing them down, it seems like they just happen by magic.

But I remember back when I was a cubicle slave and used to write technical specifications all day. I didn’t feel creative at all and I certainly didn’t have any ideas.

I had to retrain my brain in order to start writing fiction.

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