I've been podcasting all morning, and before I dash off to hack at my weekend word-count (+3,000 words by midnight, or my manuscript will turn into a pumpkin), I wanted to share some of the blog posts from this week that I found interesting, timely, informative, and/or helpful. So, without any more babbling:
BitchFest - YA Author Scott Westerfield gives a summation of the Bitch Magazine editing faux pas, which has been a hot topic in the writing (especially YA) industry this week. If you don't know what I'm talking about, read this. If you like Scott, Maureen Johnson, Holly Black, etc., read this.
On the Craft
Finding the Question - Over on the Magical Words blog, AJ Hartley discusses the importance of finding "the question" that your genre-fiction book poses as a means of focusing your story. I found this VERY helpful.
'I do think that the novel as a form lends itself to thoughts and feelings which push beyond genre formula, and that where they grow organically out of story and character, they give an extra level of interest to the work. I would also say that most books have these questions in them already, even if the author has focused simply on plot, but that the book can be made better if the author can become more aware of the question or questions shimmering just under the surface.'
You Can Write Without Inspiration - Loved this post on Writer on Fire by David Arthur Smith. There comes a time in every story I've written when the "magic" left, and finishing was a matter of discipline. I think it's crucial for aspiring writers to learn the three M-words "Momentum, Methodology, and Motivation" that he cites as the backbone to writing when "the inspiration runs out".
Depth of Character - (Writer Unboxed blog) Can I just say how much I love Donald Maas? If you haven't read his book on writing, I suggest you do. He's a literary agent who gives writers the straight facts about craft from the perspective of an agent. The questions and tips in this post got me to thinking about my characters.
How to Avoid the Endless Revise - (at Jill Kemerer's blog) Technically, not this week (Jan 26th), but I was late to the party, so I included it anyway. Jill discusses the pitfalls of revisiting old projects, or continually revising them, and gives a really simple way to decide if it's worth it, followed by a four-step revision method and a revision sheet. *ahem* I needed this post. I printed out the revision sheet. I will flagellate myself with it daily.
The Good News? Writing Never Gets Easier - (on Word Play by KM Weiland) You know you want to read this post.
'A writing life without any challenges would hardly be worth the effort, now would it? Recognizing, and even appreciating, the fact that writing willalways be difficult, frees us from the doubt, and even guilt, of feeling we’ll never be good enough—because the truth is we won’t. We’ll never be perfect, but we can always be better. '
Part II of an interview with bestselling ghostwriter Roz Morris - on Victoria Mixon's blog. This is really interesting! Read the comments.
And that's it for this week! Now, to hack at those 3,000 words...