Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, July 3-9, 2016

Some very interesting posts and articles this week 🙂

K.M. Weiland continues her most common writing mistakes series with part 52: stagnant story conflict. Helping writers become authors. Becca Puglisi guest posts later in the week with four ways to choose the right story setting. Kate returns with more lessons from Marvel: how to transform your story with a moment of truth.

Must you have conflict in every scene, disaster in every act? Roz Morris says, yes, and no. Nail your novel.

Kathryn Craft shares ten ways to add a spark of fire to your fiction. Writer Unboxed.

Donald Maass explores how to stay ahead of yourself . . . and your reader. Writer Unboxed.

Heather Bouwman writes (in the) happy middles. Writer Unboxed.

Annie Neugebauer begins a new series for Writer Unboxed. The query letter, part one: the pitch.

Sara Letourneau looks at the protagonist-antagonist relationship in DIYMFA’s developing themes in your stories series.

Data mining reveals the six basic emotional arcs of storytelling. MIT Technology Review.

“The six basic emotional arcs are these:

A steady, ongoing rise in emotional valence, as in a rags-to-riches story such as Alice’s Adventures Underground by Lewis Carroll. A steady ongoing fall in emotional valence, as in a tragedy such as Romeo and Juliet. A fall then a rise, such as the man-in-a-hole story, discussed by Vonnegut. A rise then a fall, such as the Greek myth of Icarus. Rise-fall-rise, such as Cinderella. Fall-rise-fall, such as Oedipus.”

Susan Spann busts some popular copyright myths. Writers in the storm.

Hugh Howey writes about an idea, broken. The Wayfarer.

Shakespeare and music.

 

Underwritten female character: the movie. (Bwahahahaha!)

 

What Mallory Ortberg learned about heterosexual female desire from decades of reading. The Toast.

Ted Ed: What makes something Kafkaesque?

 

Airship Ambassador interviews Colleen Anderson in four parts: part one, part two, part three, and part four.

Jen Doll explains how A Wrinkle in Time changed science fiction forever. One of my formative reads. Who’d a thunk it? Mental Floss.

Shawn Taylor wonders why Hollywood is ignoring Octavia Butler. Fusion.

The New York Times called this guy daring for “daring” to tackle slavery through science fiction. (Includes the author’s response.) J. Hotham for Slate.

Jonathan Barkan celebrates 30 years of Big Trouble in Little China. Bloody Disgusting.

Emily Asher-Perrin: Jupiter Ascending is a chilling look at our future, in more ways than one. Tor.com

Phil and I are looking forward to checking this one out. Netflix’s 1980’s science fiction throwback Stranger Things is must (binge) watch TV. i09

Until thoughty Thursday!

Tipsday

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Jan 17-23, 2016

There’s as much for you to watch as there is for you to read 🙂

Roz Morris shares three paradoxes of writing life.

Set up and pay off, the two equally important halves of foreshadowing. K.M. Weiland.

Jan O’Hara explores the ethical implications of the writing life with nods to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and a disturbing psychological experiment. Writer Unboxed.

Janice Hardy explains the difference between setting and world building. Fiction University.

Kim Bullock is desperately seeking darlings (to kill). Writer Unboxed.

Chuck Wendig has some thoughts for mid-career authors. Terribleminds.

Carly Watters explains how you can write for the market (not to trends) and write for yourself.

Joanna Penn discusses publishing trends in 2016 with Jane Friedman.

 

Jannifer Garam shares the secret of writing when no one gives a shit. Brilliant!

Hugh Howey offers his advice on how to become a writer. The Wayfinder.

Chris Winkle details the perils of land travel before engines for Mythcreants.

How authors can employ supernatural elements in a non-fantasy story. Authors First.

Carol Daniels shares her experience writing a strong indigenous heroine in response to the pain of history. Quill & Quire.

Iconic science fiction editor David G. Hartwell (yes, the same man who presented The History of SF at CanCon in October) has died. Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Making Light (with links to other tributes).

Kathryn Cramer, David’s wife, wrote this touching post: till death did us part.

Authors call for a boycott on literary festivals that don’t pay. Nadia Khomami for The Guardian.

Jeannine Hall Gailey is disturbed by the plight of the amazing disappearing woman writer. The Rumpus.

Anne Thériault writes about mental illness and the male gaze in the figure of the sexy, tragic muse. Guerilla Feminism.

Plans are in the works for the 162 Arts Hub, a gathering place for artists, centering on indie cinema, right here in Sudbury! Our Crater.

Lisa Cron presents her Wired for Story TED Talk:

 

The storytelling animal. Jonathan Gottschall’s TED Talk at Furman:

 

Shayne Koyczan. Turn of a light. So love this.

 

Mental Floss lists 25 words that are their own opposites. They’re called contronyms.

The Park of Monsters is featured on Atlas Obscura. There’s a literary connection.

Marco Kalantari made this epic science fiction short film called The Shaman. You need to watch it. A-MA-Zing!

When Nichelle Nichols met Martin Luther King Jr.:

 

Fantasy Fiction Focus interviews Suzy Vadori.

 

I hope something gave you that special little bit of writerly advice you need to take your WiP to the next level.

See you Thursday!

Tipsday

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Nov 2-8, 2014

First, it’s Remembrance Day.

Remember our armed forces and veterans and the sacrifices they’ve made for us.

Thank you, from the everywhere of my heart.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/remembrance-day-draws-huge-crowds-as-national-war-memorial-rededicated-1.2831009


 

K.M. Weiland discusses random story elements in her most common writing mistakes series.

Her weekly vlog focuses on scene breaks and including the right number in your story.

Katrina Kittle writes about how to facilitate your writing practice. Writer Unboxed.

How to invigorate your endings. Mythcreants.

Women heroes in pop culture, by Nina Munteanu.

DIYMFA’s master class with Jane Yolen.

Changing the way your world moves, by Brandon Kier on Mythcreants.

Patrick Rothfuss responds to the Ivory Tower.

 

How Hugh Howey Writes. Copyblogger.

Guy Gavriel Kay reflects on his apprenticeship. The Guardian.

Margaret Atwood on ageing, generational inequality, and what she’s working on now. The New Statesman.

Kurt Vonnegut on the shapes of stories:

 

Camilla Gibb on making a living as a writer. The Globe and Mail.

Molly Crabapple’s 15 rules for creative success in the internet age. Boing Boing.

More Molly at XOXO:

 

Why we should all be reading more poetry. Arts.Mic

See you on Thoughty Thursday!

Tipsday

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Aug 3-9, 2014

Anne R. Allen explores the good and bad of critique groups.

What’s the most important relationship in your story? K.M. Weiland explores how focusing on this aspect of your story could improve it.

Then Katie continued her blog tour on Janice Hardy’s Fiction University, on finding your character’s breaking point.

And then she continued the tour on Procrastiwriter with, What Jane Eyre can teach us about mind-blowing heroines.

Opening lines (and scenes) are some of the most difficult to write. K.M. Weiland has some suggestions for you in her post about Most Common Writing Mistakes: Boring opening lines. Podcast link included.

SF author Veronica Sicoe writes about opening line madness. See, everyone struggles.

MJ Bush guests on Writers Helping Writers (Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi) on the problem of overly self-aware protagonists.

Then she posted about inner conflict on WritingGeekery.

Casting your novel may seem like frivolous fun, but Fantasy Faction offers five ways it can help improve your story.

Stuck on a scene? Janice Hardy gamifies the work of sorting through scene outcomes on Fiction University.

QueryQuagmire (on Tumblr) offers ten things writers should keep in mind before diving into revisions.

Porter Anderson shares Hugh Howey’s ten counterintuitive tips for self-publishers on Publishing Perspectives.

The Canada Council has denied operational funding to On Spec. Susan MacGregor, On Spec editor and author, explains the situation and offers some options to help. On Spec is a Canadian institution in speculative fiction, and the quality of their fiction, editing, and production, is excellent.

I know this first hand. My SF short story “Downtime” will be appearing in the fall 2014 issue, and Barb Galler-Smith, the editor with whom I worked, was very professional. That the magazine is excellent is not just my opinion, though. On Spec is an award nominated, and award winning publication.

Their Patreon account has now been set up. Go to the On Spec web site for more information.

Why Fifty Shades of Grey has bondage all wrong. Tickld.

Forgotten Dr. Seuss stories and other news from Poets & Writers.

Mashable offers up their list of 22 summer reads.

Ten SF novels that will make you more passionate about science, from io9.

Ursula K. LeGuin talks to Michael Cunningham about genre, gender, and broadening fiction on ElectricLit.

Billy Collins shares two dog poems in this brief TED talk.

 

Wow! That’s a lot of Writerly Goodness.

Enjoy, folks 🙂

Tipsday

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz May 18-24, 2014

Tipsday

Roz Morris responded to a writer in a bind. The result was this post.

If you’ve read Lifeform Three, you’ll find this Roz Morris post on the inspiration of the Surrey landscape interesting. If you haven’t read the novel, you’d better get cracking!

The Geeks’ Guide to the Galaxy interviews Mary Robinette Kowal. Listen to the podcast.

Speaking of podcasts, listen to K.M. Weiland’s fourteenth instalment in the Creating Stunning Character Arcs series. Or read the post. As you wish, dear reader.

The draws and drawbacks of success as an author from The New York Times.

Jan O’Hara tells us why our characters need to make tough choices. Writer Unboxed.

And yes! Now WU has its web issues sorted, here’s Lisa Cron’s wonderful post: What kindergarten got (and still gets) really, really wrong.

Three more things you need to know about exposition and telling by Victoria A. Mixon.

Agent Carly Watters has some advice for when you start comparing yourself to other writers.

Maggie Stiefvater writes about how her characters are not based on her experiences, but they answer the questions she asks in her head.

Tech Crunch interviews Hugh Howey.

The Paris Review resurrects their interview with John Steinbeck.

Anne Lamott on how to handle the haters. Brainpickings.

Two of my favourite Neils talk about genius. More Brainpickings brilliance.

Writers’ Relief offers five techniques to help turn short stories into novels.

The Bookbaby blog presents this interesting infographic about 24 books that predicted the future.

Enjoy, my writerly peeps 🙂

CanWrite! 2013: Day 2 agents’ panel

After another morning of creative writing and lunch, conference-goers again gathered in the academic building for the 1 pm Agents’ Panel Discussion.

James Dewar acted as moderator for the panel, which consisted of: Sam Hiyate, president of The Rights Factory and Carly Watters, agent at the P.S. Literary Agency.

JD: What are you looking for right now?

CW: Picture books; contemporary YA (thriller/mystery, romance); women’s fiction; upmarket; non-fiction; and multi-media.

SH: New agents are looking for new clients. I’m full up myself, right now, but occasionally I do sign the odd author.  For non-fiction, a platform is essential. Most non-fiction sells on proposal alone.

JD: What can a fiction writer do to obtain representation?

CW: Write an amazing novel.  Platform does not matter.

SH: Debut novelists—sometimes even established ones—can fail to sell.  I like a strong voice, someone who can perform acrobatics with a sentence.

CW: I have a more commercial taste, a Book Club book would appeal to me.

JD: How do you move an “almost there” author to “there”?

SH: I’m a different beast than most agents and will work with the writer to edit the work.  Most agents won’t.  Others will set the writer up with a freelance editor.

CW: I’ll write an edit letter to the writer if the good stuff is REALLY GOOD.  Some books are edited seven times before they are sent to a publisher.  If the writer has the ability to turn their MS around quickly, the chances are better.

SH: My best advice is to find an agent who “gets you.”

JD: What should authors NOT do?

SH: Don’t send your MS in too early.

CW: In a pitch session, do not go through your whole synopsis.

SH: Sometimes the pitch or query can be better than the book.

JD: We’ll open the floor to audience questions (AQ) now.

AQ: Do I need an agent first, or can I approach a publisher directly?

CW: Agent first.  Most larger publishers won’t accept unsolicited manuscripts.

SH: An agent can say “no,” however.  An editor will refer the author to an agent anyway.  Send it and see what happens.

AQ: What does an agent do?

SH: Our job is to create a competitive situation around your book.

AQ: Can you have more than one agent?

SH: We contract exclusively, much like a real estate agent would.  Your book is the property we’re selling.  Our commission is 15% on domestic and 20% on foreign sales.

AQ: In the context of the “Literary Apocalypse” of self- and ebook publishing, do writers even need publishers anymore?

CW: Some agencies have publishing arms, but it gets complicated.

SH: Self-publishing is a new way for agents to discover talent.  Eventually, all the good material gets scooped up by the publishers.  Cases in point: Amanda Hocking, E.L. James, and Hugh Howey.

CW: These are exceptions to the rule.  Agents can’t turn $10k ebook sales into a traditional deal, but if you sell $200k+, that’s different.

SH: In the future, writers will have more control.

AQ: If an author has published a book but is not happy with the rights (terms) is there anything that can be done?

SH: No, if the rights have already been contracted out, that’s it.  Most agents won’t negotiate a bad contract for you, though.  Publishing houses and agencies start out with really talented, committed, and enthusiastic people who are grossly underpaid, for like ten years.  In that time, the ones who can’t maintain their passion leave for greener pastures.  The ones who can, become successful.

The agents’ panel was great, and both Sam and Carly were professional and up front with their insiders’ looks into the publishing world.

Tomorrow: I’ll cover Day 1 and Day 2 evening events, and Day 2 and 3 afternoons with Andrew Pyper and Cordelia Strube.  That will leave the Awards Gala and wrap-up posts.  So three more days, and it’s all over!

Don’t despair, there will be lots more Writerly Goodness coming your way this summer.  Book reviews and hopefully some more author interviews, pupdates (yes, there’s at least one more coming), and updates regarding the backyard office (interesting things afoot there).  I’ll also have some updates on my work in progress and any other conferences or events that I get to.

I will be returning to my weekends-only posting schedule after this week, though.  Blogging every day, though fun for a short period, takes up a lot of writing time (!)  My goal is to have my current revision done before the summer’s out.

Until tomorrow!