What I Am Reading
I’m in the middle of Steamed: A Steampunk Romance by Katie MacAlister. It’s not quite what I expected, but I’m enjoying the ride so far. Ballsy characters in a neat setting make for a fun read.
The Last Stand of the Ant Maker by Paul Jessup on Apex Magazine is a bizarre almost prose poem. I skimmed the first few lines, thinking I wouldn’t like it, but ended up reading the whole thing, pulled in by its surreal nature. I wanted to know what was going on even though I could tell I never would be able to exactly.
Using Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to create character conflict:
Why it’s so important to give your all at every stage, even after a contract:
Basic writing blunders to avoid:
A good look at useful feedback:
Though I think this article is a little mistitled because it doesn’t say how to craft a unique voice so much as what are the elements that make up a unique voice, it’s a good breakdown of things that agents might look for when asking about voice:
As writers, we often put a lot of thought into the given names of our characters. This post points out why those names are irrelevant, but the nicknames imposed during the tale can have endless power:
There’s a conflict going on over the question of fan fiction right now because one author stated that her characters and world were her own playground and she didn’t want strangers to come in and kick about the sand. (Yes, you can tell where I fall on fan fiction and author’s wishes.) Anyway, this post took a slightly different approach by providing some examples that really brought things home, in my opinion:
While a potential wake-up call for reducing gender bias (in either direction) within academic pursuits, this concept of stereotype threats, or rather how easy it is to manipulate results by what students are exposed to (there was an earlier article that found students exposed to a F before test scored below average while those exposed to an A scored above). I detect a devious story where lives are changed based on subliminal images that act as stereotype threats.
Is the Kraken all it’s cracked up to be? (Sorry, had to ;).)
Tips on how to support your favorite authors:
Tips on how to construct and deliver a good agent/editor pitch:
I’m putting this under submitting, but it could go in any number of categories. As a follow up to the “go ahead and post your work online” blog post, here’s a look at what’s safe to post and what could cost you. Certainly got me thinking:
A look at how best to spend the time between contract and publication: