Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, June 4-10, 2017

It’s another week chock full of informal writerly learnings!

K.M. Weiland wonders, are you a writer, or a storyteller? Helping Writers Become Authors

Julia Fierro guest posts on Writer Unboxed. The three tiers of point of view technique: observation, interpretation, and imagination.

Gwendolyn Womack also stops by Writer Unboxed to write about intuition and writing: what happens next?

Kathryn Craft: early hints of backstory. How to work backstory into your story from the first line. Writer Unboxed

Kathryn Magendie explores mind to muscle focus (self-awareness) for writers. Writer Unboxed

Sara Letourneau shares part ten of her developing themes in your stories series: the act II crisis. DIY MFA

G. Myrthil teaches SCBWI conference 101. DIY MFA

Gabriela Pereira shares her experience at this year’s Book Expo for DIY MFA radio.

Dawn Field shares five ways to improve your verbal imagery. DIY MFA

K. Tempest Bradford writes about WisCon and who is allowed to feel welcome (hint: it’s everyone).

Janice Hardy helps us shift between drafting and editing. Fiction University

Later in the week, Janice wonders, how many settings does your novel need? Fiction University

James Scott Bell explains how to let your characters live and breathe. Writers Helping Writers

Jami Gold explores Wonder Woman as the essence of a strong female character. [For moar Wondy, see below!]

Sonja Yoerg guest posts on Writer’s Digest: how to treat mentally ill characters in your novels.

Fae Rowan lists eleven writers’ survival tools. Writers in the Storm

Chris Winkle examines the four critical elements that make stories popular. Mythcreants

Kristen Lamb shows us how to remain calm when it all goes pear-shaped.

Tanya Huff shares her experience writing a series: what goes around, shoots back. Unbound Worlds

Jenna Moreci shares her self-editing process:

 

Elise Holland visits Jane Friedman’s blog to offer advice on the perfect cover letter.

Nathan Bransford offers a brief but comprehensive guide on how to research literary agents. Later in the week Rachel Stout visits Nathan’s blog to talk about personalizing your query.

Joanna Penn interviews Orna Ross on the Creative Penn podcast.

Kameron Hurley posts about carrying the weight of the world.

Kate Laity explores Finnish folklore: Louhi, the witch of the north. Folklore Thursday

Nathan Gelgud: how George Orwell’s 1984 almost didn’t get published. Signature

Mary Hines interviews Margaret Atwood on how religion influences utopias and dystopias. CBC’s Tapestry.

Wonder Woman takes over Tipsday:

Charles Pulliam-Moore shares the epic Black Panther teaser trailer. i09

And with that, I shall leave you until Thoughty Thursday!

Be well until then, my friends.

tipsday2016

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, March 5-11, 2017

The writerly goodness just keeps on coming 🙂

K.M. Weiland offers the next in her most common writing mistakes series: dead end relationships. Helping Writers Become Authors

John J. Kelley: the care and feeding of relationships. Writer Unboxed

Bryn Greenwood explains hot bunking for writers. Writer Unboxed

Kathryn Craft explores the power of unexpected elements. Writer Unboxed

Emily Cavanaugh helps you take yourself seriously as a writer—before anyone else does. Writers in the Storm

Orly Konig-Lopez explores living with writerly self-doubt. Writers in the Storm

James Scott Bell is in the Writers Helping Writers coaching corner: conflict and suspense belong in every kind of novel.

Dan Blank guest posts on Writers Helping Writers: the daily practice of growing your audience.

Jamie Raintree examines authenticity and the discomfort of vulnerability.

Robin Lovett extols the merits of happily ever after. DIYMFA

Gabriela Pereira interviews Clare Mackintosh for DIYMFA radio.

Jami Gold: right brain vs. left brain vs. creativity.

What’s the purpose of story structure for readers? Jami Gold

E.R. Ramzipoor guest posts on Janice Hardy’s Fiction Univerity: token or broken? Writing LGBT.

How to outline your novel, part 2. Jenna Moreci

 

Susan Spann lists ten questions you should ask before you accept a publishing deal. Writers in the Storm

Nevertheless, she persisted: a Tor.com flash fiction project. Awesome stories by awesome writers.

Margaret Atwood: what The Handmaid’s Tale means in the age of Trump. The New York Times

Molly McArdle takes a look at the rise of Roxane Gay. Brooklyn Magazine

Mary Walsh is coming out with her first novel! CBC Books

Kathleen O’Grady reports on the discovery of a true language universal. Ars Technica

David Schultz: some fairy tales may be 6,000 years old. Science Magazine

Robert MacFarlane considers Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising the eeriest novel he knows. 1843 Magazine

Twenty questions with Ursula K. Le Guin: The Times Literary Supplement

Simon Tolkien writes about his grandfather and how WWI inspired The Lord of the Rings. BBC

Here’s a literary cold case for you: Jane Austen may have died of arsenic poisoning. Christopher D. Shea and Jennifer Schuessler share the evidence, and the theory, so far. The New York Times

And that was your informal writerly learnings of the week.

See you Thursday!

Be well until then.

tipsday2016

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Oct 9-15, 2016

Time to get your thoughty on!

This is the only post I’m sharing on the Trump thing from last week: every woman in America knows Donald Trump and Billy Bush. Erin Gloria Ryan for The Daily Beast. Seriously, after hearing him say that rapacious shit—I have no words.

Michelle Obama had plenty, however. I’ll let her speak for the outrage we should all be feeling right now:

 

John Ralston Saul on the CBC’s Unreserved: indigenous peoples don’t need your sympathy. They need you to take action.

And though he’s dying of brain cancer, this man is acting: watch Gord Downie’s Secret Path on CBC, October 23, 2016. It should be streamed on their web site, too, in case you’re not in Canada.

Colin Schultz remembers the day Canada burned the White House. The Smithsonian Magazine

The Roma in Peterborough. John Tyler Lyon for Canada’s History.

Medievalists.net lists ten great Anglo-Saxon girls’ names.

Marianne Ailes shares new Charlemagne research for the Medievlists.net.

This is what 18th century Paris sounded like. Erin Blakemore for The Smithsonian Magazine.

Lindsay Baker looks at the 20’s, the era that changed the way we dress. BBC

Meet the woman correspondent who scooped the world. Dominique Rowe for Time.

You know how much I love abandoned places and urban exploring. Sarah Laskow of Atlas Obscura takes us on a tour of the New York public library’s last, secret apartments.

Is there a limit to how long humans can live? Richard Faragher for Quartz.

Omid Safi states that being busy is a disease. On Being

Annette Heist looks at living with anosmia. NPR

Rose Eveleth reports that people put too much emphasis on Myers-Briggs Type Inventory results. The Smithsonian Magazine

Conversations with dolphins. CBC‘s The Nature of Things.

MIT creates a world of eternal May to help save bees. Mark Wilson for Fast Company.

The colonization of Mars could put astronauts at risk of chronic dementia. Victoria Woollaston for Wired.

Neil de Grasse Tyson and Bryan Cox debate the physics of lightsabers on StarTalk. National Geographic Channel

The good people of Minute Physics explain time’s arrow. Phil Plait for Slate.

Will you become a citizen of Asgardia, the first nation state in space? Nicola Davis for The Guardian.

And if you want to find out more, here’s the Asgardia web site.

Marcel Schwantes lists twenty ways to reduce your stress. Inc.

Grace Eire offers twelve signs that you may be an old soul. Little Things

Take a first listen to Tanya Tagaq’s Retribution, courtesy of Katie Presley of NPR.

And that’s how we pop your mental corn 🙂

See you Saturday for more WorldCon reportage.

Thoughty Thursday

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Sept 18-24, 2016

The thoughty is gaining strength again.

The Golden clock: how one simple time hack can increase your happiness at work. Steve Farber for Inc.

Eric Barker explains how mindfulness really works. The Week

Anna Lovind explores the truth about procrastinators and overachievers.

The Dalai Lama redefines the word terrorist. Patheos

Lolly Daskal lists seven reasons employees quit, even when they like their jobs. Inc.

Katharine Trendacosta lists this year’s Emmy winners, including Tatiana Maslany (eeee!). i09

Rami Malek is the Emmy’s first non-white best actor winner in 18 years. Tahirah Hairston for Fusion.

Toronto’s new street signs present the indigenous history of street names. CBC

A new generation suffers from mercury poisoning at Grassy Narrows. CBC

A DNA study confirms that indigenous Australians are the most ancient civilisation on Earth. Hannah Devlin for The Guardian.

The US faces a scathing UN human rights review. Natasja Sheriff for Aljazeera America.

Laura Kastner explores the boy code and toxic masculinity. This is another reason why everyone needs to be a feminist. Parent Map

Chelsea G. Summers: the politics of pockets. Racked

France has banned plastic cups, plates, and cutlery. Shehab Khan for The Independent.

Ancient Persians built really effective ice houses. The Vintage News

The Vintage News shares the good reasons why castle stairs were built spiralling clockwise.

Ross Kenneth Urkin reports on the forgotten Jewish pirates of Jamaica. The Smithsonian

Farnam Street shares The Feynman Technique, the best way to learn anything.

George Dvorsky reports that scientists have finally figured out why tardigrades are so indestructible. Gizmodo

No, NASA did not just change your astrological sign. Ria Misra for Gizmodo.

Futurism shares an infographic on human evolution into the near and far future.

Jennifer Ouellette: quantum cat experiment captured on camera. Gizmodo

Allyson Souza shares seven reasons your dog should sleep in your bed. Little Things

Dogs vs. stairs. Petcha

 

Here’s hoping your mental corn is well and truly popped.

See you Saturday for the September edition of the next chapter.

Thoughty Thursday

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Sept 18-24, 2016

You want moar informal writerly learnings, you say?

Here they are!

K.M. Weiland shares the secret to writing dynamic characters: it’s always their fault. Helping writers become authors

Later in the week, Kate returns with more lessons from the MCU: stay true to your characters.

Tonia Marie Harris guest posts on Writer Unboxed: confessions of an intrepid mermaid.

Lisa Cron digs deeper into the response to her last Writer Unboxed post, in which she posited an alternative to the plotter/pantser dichotomy. It’s hard to own what you believe.

Dave King: give your characters roots. Writer Unboxed

Lisa Janice Cohen shares the seven lessons she’s learned over five years and six novels. Writer Unboxed

Dan Blank: share your voice. Writer Unboxed

Chuck Wendig: here’s how to finish that fucking book, you monster. Terribleminds
Later in the week, Chuck posts: it’s art that will help us survive.

Susan Brooks returns to Janice Hardy’s Fiction University: the importance of genre specificity, part two. Then, Janice guests on C.S. Lakin’s Live, write, thrive: are you making these three common revision mistakes?

Megan Hannum shares five apps that will help you revise your manuscript. DIYMFA

Laura Drake: nail that first line. Writers in the Storm

Chris Winkle shares her insights into creating your antagonist’s journey. Mythcreants

W.B. Sullivan shares six ways to cultivate urgency that will captivate readers. The Write Life

Rebecca Smith: what Jane Austin can teach us about building suspense. Literary Hub

Alice Sudlow posts on the proper order of adjectives.* The Write Practice

*It should be noted that I posted about this in past weeks, including Chuck Wendig’s take.

Indigenous or aboriginal, which is correct? CBC

Roz Morris offers her views on writing as a hobby, an art, a profession, a business, or a vocation. Is there a difference and why is it important? Nail your novel

Kimberly Brock embraces her inner weirdos on Writers in the Storm.

Kirsten Oliphant posts on Jane Friedman’s blog: how to leverage the power of someone else’s platform without being smarmy. Later in the week, Andrea Dunlop shares five questions you should ask yourself when you’re getting ready for a book launch.

So this was a thing that happened:

Writescape profiles Jenny Madore.

Leonard Cohen celebrates his birthday with a present to us. Bob Boilen for NPR.

Buzzfeed lists 28 underused words that you should start using.

Jane Friedman offers her annual state of publishing update.

Publishers Weekly shares the results from their publishing industry salary survey. The trends and disparity are still unsettling.

Susanne Althoff looks at The Bestseller Code and how algorithms could save publishing but ruin novels. Wired

Viet Thanh Nguyen unpacks the complicated issue of diversity in publishing. The Library Journal

Alyssa Wong, Alice Sola Kim, Cat Valente, and Seth Dickenson discuss diversity in science fiction. Leah Schnelbach for Tor.com.

The Fantasy Faction presents part five of their gender and stereotyping in fantasy series: bisexual characters.

Emily V. Gordon says that television writers are doing a better job at portraying characters with mental illness. The New York Times

Keri Walsh: the taming of the bard. Public Books

Watch the PBS trailer for their documentary, Maya Angelou: And still I Rise. The Vulture

More sadness: Terry Jones diagnosed with dementia 😦 The Telegraph

Cinephelia & Beyond takes an in-depth look at Alan Parker’s Angel Heart.

A Nigerian comics startup is creating African superheroes. Lily Kuo for Quartz.

Sarah Gailey posits that Hermione Granger is more than just a sidekick. Tor.com

Watch the Stranger Things kids warm up the Emmy audience with their version of “Uptown Funk.” Entertainment Weekly

And now, I’m a little exhausted.

See you Thursday!

Tipsday

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, July 24-30, 2016

And here we are in August . . . where has the year gone (so far)?

Jim C. Hines hosts a couple of special guests for this post on policing in problematic times.

Onto the good news . . .

Sudbury will get a new rooftop mural for this year’s Up Here Festival. CBC

Jennifer Wolkin recommends mindful eating for a healthier brain-gut connection. Mindful.

The discovery of the heart. Paul Kennedy’s Ideas, on CBC.

The Scottish Refugee Council: Courage.

 

Parmigiani Fleurier restores a 200 year old double barrel pistol and its animated songbird.

 

Nicole Prause: what women (don’t)  need. Nova’s secret life of scientists and engineers.

 

Bored Panda presents pictures of modern women wearing traditional Ukrainian crowns.

The Vintage News reports on crinolinemania, the dangerous Victorian fashion garment that killed nearly 3,000 women (!)

April Holloway reports: DNA testing on the 2,000 year old Paracas skulls may change anthropology. Ancient Origins.

It turns out you only need one hour of moderate activity to make up for a day’s sitting. Exactly what I didn’t need to hear (Mellie = sluggie). Jennifer Ouelette for Gizmodo.

Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Oprah Winfrey all use the five hour rule. Inc.

Dying is hard. Death Doulas want to help make it easier. Ellen McCarthy for The Washington Post.

Rosetta’s final resting place has been chosen. Phil Plait for Slate. Later in the week: A white dwarf zaps its red dwarf companion with a death ray.

Kevin Kelly wonders if we’re heading toward a Minority Report style future. Tech Insider.

Monarch butterfly population triples over last year. Terry Turner for Good News Network.

When a crow dies, other crows investigate. Katherine Ellen Foley for Quartz.

Watch the Chincoteague ponies complete their 91st annual swim. Jason Daley for the Smithsonian Magazine.

Humpback whales protect other sea animals from killer whale attacks, but no one knows why. IFLS.

Tony Wu captures amazing sperm whale rituals. bioGraphic

Happy Friday!

See you Saturday for July’s next chapter update 🙂

Thoughty Thursday

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Nov 29-Dec 5, 2015

Gah! Almost didn’t make it, this week. The holiday season is starting to take over (!)

K.M. Weiland offers a final lesson learned from writing Storming: how to choose the right point of view.

Nina Munteanu shares her thought on how to end your novel.

Lance Schaubert picks apart the axiom that there is nothing new under the sun in this post for Writer Unboxed: Old books > new books.

What’s the current Donald Maass is writing about on Writer Unboxed? . . . and the greatest of these is hope.

What Cathy Yardley learned from writing erotica. Writer Unboxed.

So, Chuck Wendig saw this article in The Wall Street Journal and responded, no, ejaculated, most fizzily.

Junot Diaz shares his MIT writing class syllabi with Open Culture.

CBC Books presents its winter reading recommendations.

How the literary class system is impoverishing literature. Literary Hub.

A brilliant spoken word performance that explains depression perfectly. Upworthy.

Air New Zealand’s epic flight safety video:

 

Grandfather Frost and Baba Yaga: The weird and wonderful world of Russian fairytales. The Guardian.

Futurity examines science fiction’s lasting obsession with Mars.

J.J. Abrams actually said that Star Wars was always a boys’ thing. That toe jam taste good?

Phil and I are enjoying Jessica Jones. Here are a few posts about the show:

Suffering from #droughtlander ? Here’s a trailer for you to drool over. E!Online.

See you on Thoughty Thursday!

Tipsday

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Nov 15-21, 2015

Slightly smaller batch this week. Then again, I was traveling and training and NaNoWriMo-ing last week. Some things must be sacrificed.

Sudbury’s new small publisher releases its first anthology. The Sudbury Star.

K.M.Weiland continues to share her lessons learned from writing Storming with this post-and-podcast combo: How to write can’t-look-away chapter breaks.

Then Katie busts six stereotypes of strong female characters.

MJ Bush explores writing unforgettable characters. Yes. For realsies. Writingeekery.

Jan O’Hara writes about surviving trout syndrome and electric shocks for Writer Unboxed. What it’s really about? Learned helplessness.

Gwen Hernandez shares some Scrivener fundamentals on Writer Unboxed.

Chuck Wendig welcomes you to the midpoint of your novel. Let it not sag like an overloaded clothesline.

What did Veronica Sicoe learn about writing faster? Read on and find out 🙂

Writers & Authors shares this cute infographic about the eight reasons writers make great friends.

The CBC shares Booknet Canada’s infographic comparing Canadian and American readers.

The secrets hidden in the gilt.

 

This might be a bit controversial. Chis Winkle shares lessons learned from the bad writing of Battlefield Earth. Mythcreants.

Barnes and Noble lists its best science fiction and fantasy of 2015.

I may have shared this before, but I am so looking forward to The Shannara Chronicles:

 

And just because: Bustle presents Sesame Street’s eleven best literary moments.

See you next Tipsday for moar Writerly Goodness.

Tipsday

Mel’s movie madness, September 2015 edition

I just checked, and my last edition of Mel’s movie madness was a year ago. Yup. I’m a movie-watching machine (self-deprecation mode engaged).

Despite my lack of movie-watching prowess, I watch movies like I read books and watch television series (Series discoveries will be coming up later in the fall season once I’ve had a chance to watch a few of the new and returning shows).

So with each of these wee summaries (HERE BE SPOILERS) I’ll be offering takeaways for the working writer.

American Ultra

Phil and I decided to have a date night last weekend and I wanted to see American Ultra. We’d heard decent reviews from a couple of our trusted sources, Richard Crouse of Canada AM, and Eli Glasner of the CBC, and decided to give it a try.

It was supposed to be dinner and a movie, but ended up being a movie and dinner deal because of the timing of the shows. The theatre was practically empty because it was a long weekend. It was practically perfect.

For those of you who don’t know, American Ultra takes the premise of such movies as The Manchurian Candidate, the Bourne series, and Conspiracy Theory, and transplants it into stoner culture.

It might be a myth, a legend, or the underpinnings of a government conspiracy, but there’s this thing out there called the MK Ultra program. The CIA supposedly used experimental procedures and drugs to control the minds of American and Canadian citizens.

It’s an enduring fascination, judging by the number of movies that have been made about it.

Mike Howell just wants to work at the local convenience store, get high, and work himself up to propose to his girlfriend Phoebe. He saved up and wanted to make the ultimate romantic gesture by proposing to Phoebe in Hawaii, but he suffers debilitating panic attacks whenever he tries to leave his hometown of Liman, VA.

Mike knows he’s fucked up, in more ways than one, but one night, a strange woman comes into the store, repeats several cryptic phrases to Mike, and then leaves.

Shortly thereafter, Mike notices two men messing with his old beater, and when he asks them to get away from his car, they attack him. They have knives and body armour. All Mike has is his lunch—a noodle cup—and a spoon.

Shenanigans ensue.

Because this one’s still in the theatres, I don’t want to get too spoilery here.

I enjoyed the movie thoroughly.

Takeaway: There’s nothing new under the sun, but you can give a tired premise new life by changing one critical piece of the puzzle.

Interstellar

I’ve heard the complaints. It was hella long. It was boring. It was all kinds of crazy and implausible.

I loved it, though.

To me, Interstellar had the same feeling as 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Contact, both epic science fiction movies, and both all kinds of crazy and implausible.

I watched it with Phil (at home), and he warned me that he would be screaming at the screen before long, as he had with Gravity, which I have not yet watched. He didn’t, though. In fact, he said that the movie took the same liberties that many of the classic science fiction authors took, and that it was, by and large theoretically sound if not factually so 😉

The premise is that Earth is dying and it’s taking humanity with it. In school, everyone is expected to become a farmer, because, though the world’s population is significantly reduced, one by one, all of our staple crops are dying off. We’re down to corn, and even that crop won’t last long.

Science and scientific achievements are no longer encouraged, and history has been rewritten so that space travel was all a hoax concocted during the cold war to force the enemies of America to waste their time and money on trying to win a space race that didn’t exist.

A widowed former NASA pilot, Cooper, farms with his father-in-law, son, and daughter, Murphy. Early on in the movie, Murphy asks her dad why he named her after something bad (the implication: the other kids have been teasing her about it). Cooper clarifies and explains that Murphy’s Law isn’t that something bad will happen, it’s that anything that can happen, will. Epic moment of FORESHADOW.

Murphy’s gotten into trouble at school for fighting with the other kids and not toeing the line with regard to the accepted view of the space program. She’s also trying to figure out why the books on the shelf in her room keep falling.

Eventually, a dust storm reveals that it’s not a poltergeist (Murphy’s theory), but gravity being used to send messages. Cooper deciphers the message—a series of coordinates—and they’re off on an adventure.

The coordinates take Cooper and Murphy to the vestiges of NASA, who have been trying to come up with a way to save humanity. Plan A is a massive space station that would theoretically save most of Earth’s population as well as frozen specimens of animal and plant embryos. Plan B is to investigate a number of planets that can be accessed through a stable wormhole that has mysteriously appeared near Saturn.

Cooper is recruited for the mission, his son takes over the farming operation, and Murphy—resenting her father’s departure—ends up being inducted into NASA as a theoretical physicist, helping to solve the problem of getting Plan A off the ground.

Despite the tragedies that ensue, Interstellar is a hopeful story about survival, perseverance, and love.

Takeaway: I can sit through a complex, two-plus-hour epic, as long as the pay off doesn’t leave me on an ultimate downer. I’ve realized recently that this is how I like my books, too (and how I write them), long and complex, replete with tragedy and triumph.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Marvel’s done better with the Captain America series than it has with some of its other offerings recently.

The big question here is: who can you trust? This is a big problem for Steve, because he grew up in another age in which trust of authority was ingrained and the delineation between the good guys and the bad guys was clear.

S.H.I.E.L.D. turns out to be an ends-justify-the-means kind of organization. Hydra has turned Buckey into a brutally efficient assassin, and Steve struggles to do what’s right in the face of the enemies, and frenemies, all around him.

Takeaway: Even if your protagonist is Mr. (or Ms.) Perfect, tear out the underpinnings of their values and see how they manage. This is just another way of saying that we authors love to torture our characters, but you knew that already, didn’t you, clever people?

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, part 1

Last year, I’d seen Catching Fire and said I wasn’t really impressed. The second instalment was an iteration of the first, with the stakes raised a little more. It was basically about getting Katniss from competing in the hunger games to the rebel base in District 13.

Mockingjay, part 1, however, was better. It was about how Katniss, after having been broken by the games, starts to rebuild. And of course, as she seems to be making headway, she’s broken again.

I thought it was interesting how events played out in this movie and will probably see the next one, just to say I have. I’ve only read the first book in the series, though. I’ll eventually get there, but since they’re sitting on my shelf, there’s no urgency at the moment.

Katniss’s initial goal, to protect Prim, is presented again, this time not as an alternate Tribute for whom Katniss voluteers, but as one of many refugees from the districts that have found their way or been taken to District 13.

The real sacrifice in this movie is Peta, tortured and brainwashed into a blind hatred of Katniss and all she stands for. Though he’s retrieved from the Capitol, he’s drastically changed, perhaps forever.

It could be argued that the sacrifice has become all of Panem outside the Capitol, but Peta is a very concrete symbol of what will happen to the people of Panem if President Snow has his way.

Takeaways: You can only have your protagonist at the mercy of external forces for so long. She has to act. Also, you can’t use the same motivation repeatedly without that motivation losing its power. It has to change. That’s what I think was bothering me about Catching Fire, ultimately. Weak sauce.

The Maze Runner

This is another YA dystopian novel/series that I have not read, but I was curious to see what it was about.

The premise: a boy with no memories is sent to live in a compound surrounded by a giant maze. The other boys who have preceded him all live in the Glade in fear of the reavers, fearsome, robotic monsters that live in the maze and hunt anyone stuck inside it overnight.

Thomas eventually remembers his name but, in short order, breaks every rule of Fight Club the Glade there is. He runs into the maze without authorization. He manages to kill one of the reavers and rescue one of the maze runners. He won’t shut up if he thinks he’s right.

Rather than punish him, as many of the other Gladers want, Alby, the leader of the Gladers, makes Thomas a Maze Runner.

Then, the unthinkable happens. A girl is sent to the glade and with her a message: this is the last one EVER.

So, of course, Thomas decides he’s going to figure out how to get everyone out of the Glade and the Maze, despite a swarm of reavers released from the maze to kill them all.

What could possibly go wrong?

Though I saw the denouement coming, the movie was entertaining.

Takeaway: If nothing else, be entertaining. This is something I may have to work on. I tend to the grim side of dark in my novels. Unrelenting has been used to describe my work o.O

I’ve seen other movies in the past year. Dark Shadows (campy, but not challenging), Frankenweenie (sweet, but disturbing), and a number of others that have failed to make much of an impression on me. Rest assured, I’ll share anything from which I’ve gleaned some Writerly Goodness.

That’s it for this week.

Hope the coming week is full of all kinds of Writerly Goodness 🙂

Mel's Movie Madness

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, June 7-13, 2015

Yeehaw! It’s another great week for Writerly Goodness 🙂

So this was a thing: Irene Gallo, a Tor employee made a personal statement in the comments of her personal Facebook account about the Sad Puppies (if you don’t know who they are, Google it) and was given a public scolding by her employer.

Here are some reactions:

Kameron Hurley.

Chuck Wendig.

Maureen Johnson and Holly Black defend their writerly friends.

A little local literary news about Wordstock. The Sudbury Star. It’s happening this weekend 🙂

Anna Lovind wrote this absolutely amazing post: A letter from the psych ward. The Blog.

Allison M. Dickson blogs about generalized anxiety, or, when your brain makes you think you’re dying. Because writing.

K.M. Weiland posted another in her most common writing mistakes series. Part 41: Inferring non-POV characters’ thoughts.

The only thing you need to know about writing strong, female characters. Katie’s Wednesday vlog.

Bruce Holsinger wrote this great post for Writer Unboxed on how to find you mythic theme.

Jefferson Smith, the creativity hacker, explains why readers bail on books (so we won’t make the same mistakes).

Though Extra Credits is a gaming channel on YouTube, the “awesome-per-second” rule is definitely Writerly Goodness!

Here’s part two of Mary Robinette Kowal’s interview on Adventures in SF Publishing. Told you I’d share 🙂

Sword and Laser interviews Beth Cato.

Check out these summer reads by award-winning SF women from Glamour (who knew?).

Stephen L. Carter responds to Ursula K. LeGuin’s anti-Amazon article (you may remember, I shared it last week). Bloomberg Review.

Anne Roiphe: A life 50 years in the writing. Publishers Weekly.

How Canadian writers changed The New Yorker. The National Post.

Wayson Choy talks about life, death, and the hallucinations that saved him. CBC.

You may have to turn up the volume a bit for this one, but it’s well worth it. Sheila from Dala (she’s the la) performs an intimate arrangement of W.B. Yeats’s “When you are old.”

Caitlin McDonald shared this cool thing of the day: The Last Bookstore.

You know you’re a serious book collector when . . . The Antiquarian.

Look at these 29 book-inspired tattoos. Buzzfeed. Breathtaking? I dunno.

Ok. I know this just marks me as a HUGE geek, but Reboot is coming back and it makes me #furiouslyhappy! The Huffington Post.

An Outlander wrap post, courtesy of Access Hollywood.

What do you think of the season two casting? Access Hollywood.

Whew! Gotta love the linkage 🙂

See you Thursday!

Tipsday