Going boldly into the unknown...a weekly roundup of writing tips and trends from a NZ children's writer.
Comments always welcome. (Image is of two galaxies colliding. Images Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech.)
Kris Rusch has a great blog and is well worth reading
frequently. This week she comments on writing by committee. It is a great read
and I found myself nodding, having experienced it in the educational publishing
world. Some times the ‘team’ can kill the storytelling aspect of the story. Kris
then lists what you need to do to succeed as a writer. First get a reader, not
a writer, to read the finished draft.
Joanna Penn has been at a crime writer’s conference and she
was asked about the pro’s and con’s of self publishing. Joanna outlines
honestly what she is thinks is the good and the bad and has advice for those
people trying to make up their minds.
Jane Friedman has a post up on her blog about literary self publishing. Can
you even do this? It seems to be accepted that the literary genre is steeped in
the traditional publishing model. But really literary is just a genre and you can self publish it if you are careful about it.
James Scott Bell continues his series - Is our writing culture in mortal danger? This week he looks at whether it is a good time to be a
writer. He says yes and then tells you why. Long live storytelling.
Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi started a little website
(The Bookshelf Muse) exploring words that described emotion. Then the Emotion
Thesaurus was born followed by The Positive Trait Thesaurus and then The
Negative Trait Thesaurus. These books are fast becoming the go to indispensible
books on the writer’s desk, right next to the dictionary. Angela and Becca have just launched their fourth book The Emotional Wounds Thesaurus... and it looks
just as great as their other books.
Should Illustrators be credited in the Nielson ratings? This
question has started a lot of comment, mostly along the lines ofWhaaat? You mean they aren’t? or It’s
about time! or This is a debate? Porter Anderson takes a look at the issue and
held a #futurechat on it this week. Nielson claim it is too difficult to credit
illustrators. It is all about the metadata, folks.
Are literary journals in trouble? Jane Friedman examines the way literary journals are run and
whether they will still be around in a decade. Can they afford to rest on their
laurels as print gatekeepers in today’s digital age? The comments make
interesting reading. Would you
accept rejections for 10 years until they took one of your pieces?
Kris Rusch wrote this week about what it is like to stand up for yourself as a writer to your agent or editors. When you have to burn the
bridges to get out of a toxic relationship that will harm your career. She has
great advice and is well worth reading from a writer beware point of view.
Storybundle is a website that offers curated bundles of
eBooks. These bundles mean that authors get a bigger share of the pie, they
also support charity and you get some great reading. The bundles are up for a
limited time. This week Kris Rusch has curated a bundle of writing craft books.
Included are some I have had my eye on for a while. So now I own 10 for the price of the 4 I was thinking of. A present to myself for my 350th blog post.*
Alex Cavanaugh founded the Insecure Writers website which
has grown from strength to strength. All writers suffer from
insecurity at some time or other. She has a great post on taking small steps to conquer insecurity in your craft and move forward and maybe take a stand…
* Thank you for popping by every week to read. Thank you for all the comments over the years either on the blog, Twitter or Facebook. I really appreciate it.
This week I have been thinking about writing communities.
There is the small community of writers that you meet with regularly, then the
larger community of writers that you know of in your genre that you see
occasionally at events. The engage-with-only-online community and the global
community of writers. There is a wealth of online information for
writers but make sure you meet up with other writers for
face to face interaction. It is an important part of feeling that you belong in the community.
The UK publishing community got together recently for their
association AGM and heard some straight talking from their guest panel on
changing publisher perceptions. Publishing Perspectives reports on the speeches
that must have made uncomfortable hearing while any author in the room would
have been silently cheering.
Claude Nougat has a blog post saying that Newbies should not be self publishing. The game has changed so much it is a waste of time. It is
an interesting point of view and she makes some good points. All communities
need robust voices.
Zetta Elliott has an article in the School Library Journal
that makes the call to change the publishing community from the 89% white
to a more diverse lineup because surely this would result in more diverse
publishing. She has to self publish to get important black stories out there
for children. It is an amazing article and echoes indigenous issues in
publishing here in NZ.
An interesting comparison was recently examined in the
Huffington Post on book launches.
Chuck Wendig (warnings on language) is master of the
descriptive sentence that explains a writing truism. Here he explains the writing journey for experienced writers to a newbie writer in his Chuck
style... a nice example of community. (choking with laughter warnings)
As I have been writing this my region has been undergoing
flooding and roads have been cut off all around. People have been opening up
homes to stranded commuters all across the city. Half of my family are sleeping
in a strangers home tonight. A great community celebrates its members and also
reaches out and supports its members in times of crisis.
Content is the new
word for story. Container is the new word for form that the story comes in. It
could be digital or print or images or audio or interactive game…
project I’m involved in is creating a found artifact which takes the form of a
journal. This is to be part of a larger art project looking at different ways
artists and writers collaborate together. I seem to be coming across content collaboration everywhere.
Joanna Campbell Slan talks about serialising a novel on her website and what she has learned. Is this controlling your content or letting
it go? I know of other authors who do this in other canny ways. (If you can’t wait for the next
installment you can go buy the whole book...)
The latest Author Earnings snapshot is out. You may have
heard that e-book sales are declining. Author Earnings gurus Hugh and Data Guy
have discovered that this is happening only to Trad publishers who raised
their prices after negotiating new deals with Amazon. Check out the Author
Earnings website for other interesting news from the 6th snapshot.
Joel Friedlander has an interesting guest post up. Short is the new black- your shrinking reader attention span. This is spinning your
content in another way.
Mandy Hager recently had to give a lecture on Dystopian Fiction so she posted it on her blog. What does an author have to think about when constructing a dystopian world.
With the suspension of NZ Book Month... A group of writers
have taken to Twitter to promote NZ Books. #NZBookMonthMay A lot of us are
posting a NZ book a day so check in for your next great read.