Tomorrow I’m leaving town for a couple days, so I better post something before I go! If you’re not interested in links, please skip to below—I have a question for you!
Rachelle Gardner talks about the difference between a theme and the story and chasing your dreams. I especially liked this excerpt from Rachelle: “Whatever happens, however this journey goes for you, be assured you’re not on the wrong path if you are pursuing a passion and willing to work hard. Go for it. It’s all yours.”
Nathan Bransford opened a discussion on how well-read a good writer should be. He also warned against claiming your book idea is completely original. An excerpt: “It isn’t important that you write a novel that has never even remotely been done before. What’s important is that you write it well.”
Also, you know how I’m always preaching about “showing, not telling” during critiques? Nathan described it much better than I do, read it here! My favorite line: “universal emotions should not be ‘told.’ Instead, we should be shown how the character is reacting to their feelings.” One last post from Nathan (it’s hard to stop!): how it’s wrong to use quotation marks for emphasis!
This week Maria Schneider is advising about self-publishing. If you’ve ever thought about self-publishing, you should check out her posts, including who should consider self-publishing and the right print-on-demand publisher to choose. From last week, a post about landing a book deal via Twitter.
Wish I could’ve gone to the Writer’s Digest Conference: The Business of Getting Published. But I couldn’t, so I’ll settle for these Tweets and blogs featuring juicy tidbits from the conference.
Read Through the Tollbooth this week for tips on how to draft a poetry novel.
If you would like to donate money towards a publisher of children’s books, consider this fundraising project for Tu Publishing. In addition, editor Stacy Whitman said: “Our first two books will be fantasy or science fiction, and I’ll specifically be looking for books that feature characters of color, characters from minority or non-Western cultures, and/or non-Western/minority cultures. That’s pretty broad–it could be Japanese or Jamaican, Alaskan Inuit or African American settings and/or characters, and I’m not looking for books where race is necessarily the issue–just really great stories that will entertain readers from 7 to 18 (and up, if you count me and all you folks like me!). So if you’ve got a children’s or YA novel that you think will fit this criteria, if we make our Kickstarter goal I’ll be acquiring manuscripts beginning January 1.” I know at least one person who might be interested in this … you know who you are!
Okay, that’s all the links for now. Time for my question: do you want to see more critiques? I did have someone volunteer an excerpt, but I wonder if public interest is waning. Should I try something else for awhile, or forge ahead with more critiquing?
One thing I know for sure—these critiques have improved MY writing, too! A few days ago, I reread an old story of mine and found tons of mistakes. Looking for mistakes in other stories makes it easier to edit my own stories! I think it allows me to step back and use an editorial eye. Plus, the more time I spend drilling grammar and mechanics, the more it seeps into my brain. I ended up cutting about four thousand unnecessary words from my story! So I hope it helps you as much as it helps me.
Let me know what you think … what type of post would help YOU? And have a great weekend!