Thursday, October 17, 2019

Planning For The Future

This week I have been thinking about Preptober and the drive to write a novel in a month. I was listening to Joanna Penn’s interview with Grant Faulkner, the executive director of NaNoWriMo and the comment came up that even if you don’t write your 1700 words in a day or you binge write and take day-long breaks- you are still laying a foundation of habit. The habit of writing. 

While we are in Preptober... Reedsy has a roundup of things to help you prepare for November. Perry Elisabeth has 15 simple things to help you survive NaNoWriMo
If you are wondering about giving dictation a go in November check out Daily Writing Tips. They recently had an article about dictating books into speech recognition software. There are writers who absolutely swear by this. 

Jami Gold has been thinking about vision and goals. How do we know we have succeeded in our goals if we never articulate them? Jami has gathered together great worksheets and resources to help with goal setting and author business.

Over in the Publishing world, it’s Frankfurt Book Fair, one of the biggest industry book fairs in the world. Publishing Perspectives reported on the opening keynotes. Did you know that Netflix is sourcing content from books in translation? They are looking at best sellers in other languages and then creating a TV series. Book then TV show.

The other keynote that caught my eye was the warning to the publishing industry about the rise of AI and what that may mean for copyright going forward. This is a hot new topic and one that is getting a lot of traction from publishing commentators. Last week I linked again to Joanna Penn’s article on how she thinks AI will impact the author community. Keep an eye on this tech development.

Mike Shatzkin keeps an eye on the publishing industry. He has been a commentator and consultant on publishing and future predictions for over 40 years. Recently he published an article on the 7 ways publishing will change in the next few years. Backlist will be king and watch out for major changes in Non-Fiction publishing.

The other writer I like to go to is Kris Rusch. She also has a long history in the publishing industry. She has edited, commissioned, written just about every type of writing there is. In this weeks article, she looks at the three types of writers that are in publishing now. She predicts only one of them will survive. 

Kris references that article that I commented on last month. If you are still trying to get to grips with what a book deal means and what an advance is check out this article from Electric Literature where an agent explores the ins and outs of a book deal.

James Scott Bell has a great post on How To Describe Your Main Character. You may think duh, but how often do you write a list of attributes? Do you sprinkle them in your writing or avoid it altogether? This week I had a conversation about this with a writer from a minority culture. I have tended to avoid descriptions thinking readers would fill in their own preferences until it was suggested to me that readers have been conditioned to expect that the character will always be white, able-bodied and without glasses unless specifically stated otherwise.  Hmm. Lots of food for thought for me. I imagine all my characters as mixed race. I don’t know why because I’m not. I have never described skin tone deliberately in my writing, maybe it’s time to start. 

In The Craft Section,

How to create an antihero- Icy Sedgwick

Rules – do we need to follow them?

How to proofread- TCK Publishing

Watching out for redundancy- Jami Gold- Bookmark

A story idea each day- Go Into The Story- Bookmark

Tweak boring stereotypical white dudes- Litreactor- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

How to build a long term career- James Scott Bell

Two great posts from Penny Sansevieri- Using competing book titles for book marketing and 12 questions I’m always asked about Book Marketing- Bookmark

3 reasons to start planning Christmas Social Media campaigns now- Frances Caballo

Using kindle keywords- Dave Chesson (New research from Dave.) – BOOKMARK

Tips for compelling book description Part Two

To Finish,

Every year the good folks at Storybundle put together a special bundle for NaNoWriMo. Over the years I have filled my Kindle up with great writing craft books from these bundles. Take a look at this year's Nano Storybundle. The money goes directly to the authors, a little bit goes to charity, you get a great bargain... WIN/WIN


Do you want the best of my bookmarked links in a handy monthly newsletter?
When you subscribe you will also get a nifty mini book crammed full with marketing notes as a thank you. 
If you like the blog and want to shout me a coffee, hit the coffee button up top. I appreciate the virtual coffee love. Thanks.

Pic: Flickr Creative Commons – Marco Verch 

Friday, October 11, 2019

Excuse Me – We’re writing.

Keen eyed blog readers will be aware that this blog is a 24 hours late.... I have a great excuse. I was teaching suspense and other deep dive techniques to young authors in a holiday writing camp. Teaching techniques is a sure fire way to tighten up your own writing. Add in eager bright young writers (and their writing is so good it keeps you on your toes,) and your day is fun but exhausting! Delaying my blog to assist the writers of tomorrow... a good trade off I think.

It’s October and that means it’s prep month for NaNoWriMo. In catchy phrase terms Preptober. This is where those people who set aside November to write a 50,000 word novel in a month start to plan their stories, get their new journals, and lay in a stock of food for the duration. Shayla Raquel has the ultimate guide on how to rock Preptober so you can hit the keyboard running on November 1st.

With NaNoWriMo around the corner... it is timely to be aware of how to keep yourself well as you binge write. Don’t forget to build in breaks... and figure out a way to keep yourself sane throughout November. Procrastination and writing excuses can hijack you at just at the wrong moment. Chris Smith has a 5 step guide to defeating writer procrastination. 

Janice Hardy has written a remarkable roundup of all the lessons she has learned from her decade in publishing. What she would do differently if she knew. This is the information you wished you had known, the advice you should have taken. Share this with all the newbie writers out there. Old hands will be nodding all the way through.

Sam Bleicher recently guest posted on Joanna Penn’s blog on dealing with facts in science based fiction. Writing science fiction means getting the science right. This can be paralysing for the writer. How much science is too much? If you write in a genre that relies on facts like gravity this is a good article to help you out. (Thought: Space explosions... if there is no air in space can you have those movie firey explosions?) 

Kris Rusch always like to change things up around her publishing schedule and she has come up wit an ambitious idea for the holiday season... which starts around now. However the idea is so novel there are no contracts out there to cover the kind of collection she is thinking of... How do you write a contract for  creative contributors  for something that hasn’t been invented yet.

Recently Penny Sansevieri asked if I would write a blurb for the revised edition of How To Sell Books By The Truckload On Amazon. I was happy to do it as Penny is one of my Go To resources for understanding author marketing. Take a look at this excerpt on writing Amazon descriptions that recently appeared on Jane Friedman’s blog.

In The Craft Section,

Choosing the right setting for a powerful scene- Angela Ackerman

Chekov’s gun and your story- Anne R Allen- Bookmark

Conflict in scene writing – Go Into The Story- Bookmark

How writing a novel is like romance- Janice Hardy Bookmark

20 writing tips to improve your craft- Reedsy- Comprehensive!

In The Marketing Section,

Audiobook promotion for authors- Alli Blog Bookmark

Font tips for book covers-Christine Holmes - Bookmark 

Tips for Compelling Book Descriptions - David Kudler

Free podcast tool- Cool Resource

5 easy steps to repurpose your blog into a podcast.- Kunzonpublishing
(If you are keeping up with changes in tech, you will be aware that voice search is fast becoming mainstream. Audio is taking off like a rocket and voice search bots will be playing audio clips more often. Check out Joanna Penn’s AI and the future podcast she did in July. Already changes she thought were coming in a few years were announced this week.)

To Finish,

NaNoWriMo is often a time when everybody starts to share their best craft books for writers. Sacha Black has pulled together 11 of the best books around. I have a few of these. Take a look there just might be the perfect book for you in the list. Feel free to comment with your own best book on the craft of writing.


Do you want the best of my bookmarked links in a handy monthly newsletter?
When you subscribe you will also get a nifty mini book crammed full with marketing notes as a thank you. 
If you like the blog and want to shout me a coffee, hit the coffee button up top. I appreciate the virtual coffee love. Thanks.

Pic: Flickr Creative Commons 1894 NCCA

Related Posts with Thumbnails