Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Tantalizing Ten: January

It's a new year, so how about a new feature? I've decided to do something called The Tantalizing Ten where I share ten of my favorite blog articles, most targeted to writers, that I may have come across this month (whether or not the articles were actually written this month). I can't promise that this will be a long-lived feature, as I'm full-bore into classes again in a couple of weeks, but no matter how erratic, I'd love to turn this into a semi-regular thing. Maybe regular if it becomes popular enough.

I promise not to be biased and put links to my own articles in here, though it's going to be hard since some of my articles still give me the gigglefits. I hope you enjoy this month's jewels and then decide to stay a while to check out some of my articles. Maybe you'll learn something, maybe I'll learn something, but either way, it will be fun!

Warning: Some articles may contain graphic language or references to things inappropriate for children.

Tongue-in-Cheek Articles

1. Cracked.com: How to Write a Novel in Simple Three-Step Processes
Excerpt: By following the simple rules outlined above, anyone can write an unoriginal work of fiction that will sell for a dime at used library book sales!"

2. Cracked.com: Writing a Novel
Excerpt: Writing a novel is one of the most difficult, aggravating, frustrating, painful but rewarding things you can do. It's like sex, but with more paper cuts. (Sooo, exactly like sex for some of us).

Serious, But in a Pee-Yourself-Laughing Kind of Way

3. Terrible Minds: 25 Things Writers Should Stop Doing (Right Fucking Now)
Excerpt:  You don’t get to be a proper storyteller by putting it so far down your list it’s nestled between Complete the Iditarod (but with squirrels instead of dogs) and Two words: Merkin, Macrame. You want to do this shit, it better be some Top Five Shiznit, son. You know you’re a writer because it’s not just what you do, but rather, it’s who you are. So why deprioritize that thing which forms part of your very identity?

4. Terrible Minds: 25 Things Writers Should Start Doing (ASAFP)
Excerpt: Get the hell out of your house. Open the door. Kick out a window. Escape. Go somewhere. I don’t care if it’s the corner store or the island of Kauai or Mount Kilimanfuckingjaro. Writers are often too insular. They think those two oft-cited pieces of writing advice — “Put your ass in the chair and write” and read a lot — are all it takes. Bzzt! Wrongo! You’ve got to see a bit of the world. Have some adventures. Experience what’s going on around you. Become a part of the whole crazy machine. Let it fuel your wordsmithy.

Shooting Straight: Publishing

5. Dean Wesley Smith: A Number Of Things I Am Confused About
Excerpt: I get very confused when a writer with a few hundred friends on Facebook and Twitter thinks that repeating the publication of their book over and over and over and over will make them more than a handful of sales. And fewer friends.

6. Writer Unboxed: 5 Attitudes Toward Publishing You Should Avoid
Excerpt: If you’re the type of person who is initially interested in traditional publishing, are you sure that self-publishing will satisfy you? Are you hoping to use self-publishing as a way to attract a traditional deal? If so, be careful. Self-publishing is a full-time job if you intend to build a readership. Are you ready to take on that full-time job of marketing yourself? Do you know who you’re marketing to? Do you know how to market to them?

Shooting Straight: Writing

7. io9.com: 10 Writing "Rules" We Wish More Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors Would Break
Excerpt: [S]ometimes a nice done-in-one story is also exceedingly welcome. And this is one area where science fiction seems to have a slight advantage over fantasy — both genres have tons of sprawling series, but science fiction at least sometimes spawns one-off novels. And there's something to be said for getting a satisfying story in one volume, without a cliffhanger or any loose ends afterwards. And sometimes, characters can actually be developed more fully if the author doesn't have to hold anything back for future books. A character who gets a full arc in one book can be a richer character.

8. Write It Sideways: Think Backward to Write Meaningful Metaphors
Excerpt: [M]etaphors can be tricky. However, it’s helpful to think of them not as puzzles writers use to baffle us, but rather as keys unlocking more layers of meaning than we could possibly gain with a literal description.

9. Writer's Digest: 6 Simple Ways to Reboot Your Writing Routine
Excerpt: 1. Your New Year artist statement: You do have one, don’t you?
From those first drafts to that Pulitzer Prize party, I believe that your writing should be inspired by something much deeper than getting rich or getting famous or getting even with your ex. It should cohere with your own personal vision or belief system.


10. The Green Water Blog: Tutorial: How to Hold Your Kindle or E-reader in Your Hands JUST LIKE A REAL BOOK!
Excerpt: Several readers have told me that they would love to buy my ebooks, but you see, when they read they like to “hold the book in their hands.” ... Until recently, I didn’t realize how complicated a problem this actually was. To remedy it I’ve decided to write a detailed, step-by-step tutorial on how to hold a Kindle or other e-reader in your hands just like a real book. If you follow these instructions very carefully and concentrate, paying close attention to all the details, I’m almost sure it will solve your problem.


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