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.)
Children’s writers have been discussing ways they can help
children come to terms with the next four years in US politics. As other
writers have pointed out now is the time to write inspirational stories to
foster hope. 18 children’s writers look at writing girl characters.
Donald Maass is a contributor to Writer Unboxed as well as
being a respected agent and writing coach. This week he wrote about aiming to
answer the big questions in your writing. Putting your purpose on the page is
one of those stand out posts that make you reframe your thinking around
writing. A must read. (As are the comments.)
It wouldn’t be December without a host of ideas for writerly
gifts. I spent a long time in front of journal and pen displays today before
finding a great writerly gift for my Christmas draw. So if you need some
inspiration check out this list from Ava Jae and if the writer has
everything... this list from Bookriot.
The last Writers Island podcast is up for the year. Click on
the pic in the sidebar.
The last newsletter for the year will be going out this
weekend. My To Do list is getting long. Ahh the joys of Christmas, the end of
the school year and summer in the Southern Hemisphere.
Last week my theme was contingency planning... and knowing
where the chocolate is. This week planning is still a hot topic.
Jane Friedman has a great article on checklists for authors... it’s comprehensive and covers everything you can think of and a few
things you may not have thought of. Jane also has a great article on editorial control. Who has it (at what stage) and How to keep it.
Kristen Lamb has also been thinking about planning but in a
different way. Do you protect yourself as a writer? She has an excellent post
on ways to protect your muse and it starts by getting rid of toxic time
wasters...(sometimes known as relations.)
Joanna Penn has a fabulous interview with Gabriela Pereira of DIYMA. This is a MUST watch/ Listen/ Read on creating your own course of
study to up-skill your writing. (Your own M.A. in writing.) Gabriela has a huge
library of articles and ideas as well as a very involved community.
About five years ago I talked about Book Espresso machines.
This is a book printer machine that sits inside a bookshop. Publishers Weekly recently
took a look at what bookshops are doing with them. From becoming publishers to
vital links in the community.
Forming communities of like minded writing buddies and doing
something wonderful has long been a hobbyhorse of mine. Whether it’s to exploit
Instafreebie or growing your email list or group marketing your books or
producing an Annual. There is power in harnessing collective creative brains.
We are still getting after shocks from last weeks
earthquake. Every day brings news of another building being evacuated. We sat
down and did some planning and now our Go Bag is packed by the door. I know
where I’ve stashed a supply of chocolate....
Subscribe to my monthly newsletter for a collection of the best of my bookmarked
links and extra's (Christmas Draw coming up.)
This week New Zealand was rocked by a 7.8 earthquake. As
luck would have it, it struck two minutes after midnight on Monday morning.
After we picked ourselves up we spent the night on a hill waiting for the Tsunami.
New Zealand is known as the shaky isles and we have had our
fair share of big earthquakes recently. In the back of our mind we think we are
prepared for just such an emergency. But when you are sitting on the side of a
hill in the middle of the night waiting for the all clear it occurs to you that
better planning would have meant you ate chocolate instead of the cough drops
from the bottom of your coat pocket.
The election this week highlighted archetypes and caricatures.
Many believed that the voting public would see through the buffoonery to the
straw man beneath and so they did not prepare for the unthinkable result. There
are positive archetypes to identify with. Paul Minors has 8 productivity archetypes that might help you find a way to turn dross into gold.
Every year around this time writing craft books get
promoted. There are always good sales. I have picked up some great writing craft books in NaNoWriMo StoryBundles. This year has a great selection. Kris
Rusch’s contract book with all that contract info I’ve been sharing this year is
in the bundle along with some other familiar names. And it’s a great price.
There are even sites that have free writing craft books.
November is also NaNoReadMo - where you promote reading and
sharing great books.
As I look over my Twitter feed this week I have the distinct
impression that many writers will be hitting NaNoWriMo with relief to get away
from the media storms over the US Presidential elections. Vote Early and switch
off all media to write the novel.
Joanna Penn has an interview with Chris Fox on using data science to sell books. This is a fascinating interview because once you
identify your ideal reader, data science can help you market your book
without you doing any work.
Looking after your international audience is the subject of
Elizabeth S Craig’s blog post and it is full of ideas for marketing across all
the different countries Amazon has presence. She also goes into great detail on
Chris Syme has a guest post on Jane Friedman’s blog about
running short Social Media campaigns to market your book. This comprehensive
article is an excerpt from Chris Syme’s new book.
Shannon Gibney has penned a thoughtful article - 7 things I have learned so far as a writer. This is a great roundup of advice... always
say yes if you can... be prepared and deadlines are your friend. Shannon also
What happens when you get Book Apathy? How do you overcome
it? Is something wrong with you or the book? Ginny Carter has an interesting article on remedies for this malaise that strikes every author.
Orna Ross is the director of The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi )They have run three
very successful online free one day conferences coinciding with the three major
Book Fairs in the Northern Hemisphere. With the Frankfurt Book Fair just
wrapping up the theme of their last conference was Writers and Business. 24 hours of amazing content for writers at all stages of the writing profession.
Check out what’s on offer and enjoy a feast of quality content.