In contrast to last week, this week was full of interesting things that came my way. Hope you all find something to enjoy.
A moment of cute. Baby hedgehog pictures:
A nice summation on how to be human on Twitter and the like:
Jessica Faust of BookEnds talks about what “different” means to an agent and why so many times the author and agent miss on the definition:
An article on the point of killing off characters. I feel for this commentary because I had a story surprise me with a death and it almost killed me to write it. But ultimately, the death was necessary for a host of good reasons, if nothing else to reveal that no one was invulnerable. That doesn’t make it any easier to take, or to do.
A solid look at the costs of returnability versus the benefits with an example of how the reverse can work:
Reading this kind of article makes me even more grateful for finding Forward Motion and the dares it offers. Though I’ve been having a rough two years and haven’t been keeping up on the deadlines stuff as much as I have in the past, I still know that I could push myself to do it. Now, with examples like this published author, it makes me even more determined to get back on track.
A step-by-step presentation of what happens from the offer through to the bookshelf for novels based on Shannon Hale’s own experiences.
The author/editor relationship from the perspective of several published authors:
Tips on following up with agents after a query is sent:
Unconscious plagiarism is not an excuse according to these studies:
What hooks a reader from the perspective of agent Nephele Tempest:
A wonderful take on romance novels and the growing respectability of same. I’ve had a romance novel habit since I was 12 or so and went through all the appropriate phases of hiding the covers, reading late at night, etc. Now, I review them on my blog, I talk about them openly, and heck, I’ve even written one or two. Times have changed :).
I find this article on birth order interesting, but perhaps for different reasons than most. I read research on issues like how siblings are different and part of me (okay, a lot of me) is screaming, “Can’t you see the social aspects of this? Can’t you see how your research is relevant only to the group of people who grew up in the social conditions where the aspects you’re touting exist?” Simple example: firstborns are supposed to be more intelligent, high-achievers who are out to take risks. Later children are supposed to be less intelligent and less likely to take risks. But if you go back in time a bit and hop over to merry England, you had the firstborns constrained to a rigid order of inheritance, the secondborns were the priests, those highly educated influencers of both social and spiritual life, and the thirdborns were soldiers who went out to conquer the world. Seems to me it’s a nurture argument, not a nature one, which they make stabs at, but with the assumption that everyone is nurtured the same.
Interesting look at the origins of suffixes and prefixes by seeing how monkeys respond to grammar patterns:
Another reason to have coffee every day:
Of course I run across these articles after I just redesigned my site, but they have good tips on what to include…and what not to…on your author website. Some of them I’m not far enough along to manage, but others I’m going to have to schedule time to add.