Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, May 29-June 4, 2016

Your Writerly Goodness for the week!

Bonnie Randall upcycles and upends clichés on Janice Hardy’s Fiction University.

K.M. Weiland offers six tips for how to organize your novel’s edits. Helping writers become authors. Later in the week, she provides three resources to help you unlock fascinating character goals.

Leanne Sowul explores learning through failure for DIYMFA.

Kristen Lamb looks at botched beginnings and common first page killers.

Ruth Harris lists nine ways editors can make you look good and seven ways they can make you miserable. Anne R. Allen’s blog.

Julia Munroe Martin asks, are we having fun yet? Why can’t the work of writing be fun? Writer Unboxed.

OMG, I love this! Lauren Carter explores the difference between discipline and devotion.

Juliet Marillier writes about focus, and how to regain it. Writer Unboxed.

Donald Maass characterizes the difference between literary and genre as the difference between scenes and postcards. Writer Unboxed.

Jami Gold wonders, can we track out improvements in writing quality?

Becca Puglisi covers this entry in Emotional Wounds for Writers Helping Writers: Being Stalked.

Here I am, curating the curators again 🙂 Elissa Field shares some great resources in her Friday Links for Writers.

Porter Anderson interviews Aron Levitz of Canada’s WattPad Studios. Porter Anderson Media

Debut novelist Anakana Schofield wonders why media is more interested in her than her novel, and . . . why can’t she get paid? The Guardian.

Sachiko Murakami interviews Anita Anand on the hardest thing about being a writer. Writing So Hard.

This is BEAUTIFUL. Astronomers attempt to date Sappho’s Midnight Poem using the stars. Carey Dunne for Hyperallergic.

Elizabeth Alsop says, the future is almost now. On the power of science fiction storytelling. The Atlantic.

Kim Stanley Robinson explains the technology behind his novel, Aurora. BoingBoing

Storytelling sadness for me: Makiko Futaki, the animator behind some of Studio Ghibli’s best anime, has died 😦 Konbini

Yum! Brit Mandelo wrote an amazing essay about Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle. Please do not read this if you haven’t read the full series. Major Spoilers! But it’s so good 🙂 Tor.com

This goes in Tipsday. One of my favourite ballads that tells a lovely story 🙂 The Once: Maid on the Shore.

 

Have fun! See you Thursday.

Tipsday

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

Dialling back on the writerly goodness this week, but there’s still a shit-tonne to share 🙂

Sudbury IS Reading Town Canada. April 30 to May 8, 2016.

K.M. Weiland shares everything you need to know about writing third person point of view (POV). Helping writers become authors.

Dave King writes about writing class accurately in an historical context for Writer Unboxed.

Elsa S. Henry guest posts on Terribleminds about writing blind characters realistically.

K.M. Weiland points out the one major pitfall of writing strong characters. Helping writers become authors.

Becca Puglisi discusses friends as enemies for Writers Helping Writers.

Diverse fantasy is better fantasy. Fantasy Faction.

Oren Ashkenazi lists five signs that your story is racist. Mythcreants.

Ricardo Fayet lists twelve common writing mistakes even bestselling authors make. BookBub.

What’s your potential? Dan Blank on Writer Unboxed.

Jamie Raintree shares her thoughts on the real reason we want to be published. Writers in the Storm.

Awesome process alert! Kameron Hurley discusses why she writes non-chronologically. I can’t. One thing needs to lead to the next for me. But try it out. If it works for you, why not do it? Process is an evolutionary thing.

Janice Hardy explores how to balance writing and working without losing your mind. Fiction University.

Kameron Hurley writes about the slog on the mountain and the calm before the storm.

Related: Lauren Carter writes about climbing gear.

Jim C. Hines considers shield theory as a way of explaining spoon theory to his son.

Publishing news: proposed settlement reached in Harlequin class action suit.

SFWA contracts committee alert.

Nina Munteanu examines the moving target of indie publishing. What every writer and editor needs to know.

I read Janet Reid’s blog religiously. Here’s an excellent post on author/agency agreements.

Carly Watters interviews Kurestan Armada concerning her first year as an agent for the Things I wish I knew series.

Agent Chip MacGregor defines success. MacGregor Literary.

Chris Winkle analyses the fantastic writing of Andy Weir’s The Martian. Mythcreants.

Charlie Jane Anders lists eighteen short stories that pack more of a punch than most novels. Gizmodo.

Michael Peck explores the literature of cyborgs, robots, and other automata. Literary Hub.

Leah Schnelbach wonders why we’re still white-washing Asian characters. Tor.com

These are all kinds of beautiful: Studio Ghibli’s greatest works drawn in Art Nouveau. Go Boiano.

Colm Tóibín on writing. Sentences as rhythm. Sentences as brush strokes. Yummy. Louisiana Channel.

Jeanette Winterson examines Shakespeare’s take on love: bed tricks and broken women. A friend took exception to the dim view of Anne the piece presents, but y’all know not to believe everything you read, right? The Guardian.

The manuscripts of the first two English women writers are now on display. Alison Flood for The Guardian.

Thoughty Thursday is full of videos. See you then.

Tipsday

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, May 31-June 6, 2015

My god, it’s full of links 🙂

Well, this is distressing. The Writers Union of Canada has released the results of their writing income survey and it seems we’re doing worse than we did in 1998 (!). And we’re working harder for the privilege of earning less.

Some good news for Canadian creatives: The Canada Council for the Arts is revamping its programs.

Locally, a group has been working behind the scenes on their proposal for an arts centre that “transforms.” The Northern Life. We won’t be able to keep our tax freeze if this goes ahead, but it would be an efficient and multi-purpose space. I like the idea, but I don’t know if the municipality can afford it.

And what the hairy fuck is this? The Guardian reports that books about women are less likely to garner awards and critical favour?

Do you know the difference between a reactive protagonist and a passive one? K.M. Weiland uses examples to illustrate that vital difference and explains why a passive protagonist is the kiss of death (!)

Why authors can’t afford to dupe their readers. Kind of goes without saying, but Katie makes her point by expressing some extreme displeasure with Avengers: Age of Ulton for its use of misdirection.

Neal Abbott guest posts on Helping Writers Become Authors with this great post about how Doctor Who can help you become a fantastic writer. (I’m a timelord! I knew it!)

Donald Maass posted this lovely piece on working with third level emotions on Writer Unboxed.

Therese Walsh continues her series on multitasking with part five: Know your nature, nurture your focus. Writer Unboxed.

Jami Gold guides us in the process of formatting a manuscript for printing using MS Word.

Moshin Hamid and James Parker share their thoughts on whether the size of a book suggests significance or not. The New York Times.

David Mitchell says YA SF&F books are like gateway drugs, but in a good way. Bustle.

For the query-weary: 15 SF&F classics that were rejected. i09.

Kind of related: Found this link on an agent’s #MSWL. Kick-ass women in history: Khutulun on Smart Bitches/Trashy Books. She wants a book based on the life of a Mongol Queen!

The Huffington Post Books column shares their list of seven new badass YA heroines you should check out.

CBC Books shares their list of five books they can’t wait to read.

20 words that, when confused, can make you look dumb. LinkedIn.

Lauren Carter shows off her writing space with The New Quarterly.

Cheryl Strayed says, “Write like a motherfucker.” Is she channelling Wendig? BrainPickings. Favourite quote:

“Writing is hard for every last one of us… Coal mining is harder. Do you think miners stand around all day talking about how hard it is to mine for coal? They do not. They simply dig.”

Ursula K. LeGuin explains why she doesn’t want us buying books from Amazon. Electric Lit.

Mary Robinette Kowal is interviewed on the Adventures in Sci Fi Publishing podcast. Part one. I’ll post part two when it pops up 🙂

Check out the BBC’s Hardtalk podcast, too. I shared the June 1 interview with Colm Toibin.

Show runner Ron Moore shares his thoughts on the pivotal climax of Outlander and why nothing will ever be the same. E! online.

Sam Heughan explains why acting in those harrowing final episodes was a gift. Zap2It.

So that’s your helping of writerly goodness for the week.

See you Thursday!

Tipsday

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, May 24-30, 2015

It’s writer-palooza, er, um. Tipsday. Yeah.

Make sure you include these five factors in your story if you want it to make an impact on your readers. K. M. Weiland.

What’s the trick to creating vivid descriptions? Focus on the obscure details. Katie’s Wednesday vlog.

Harrison Demchick guest posts on Katie’s blog about what to do with your very long manuscript.

Scars and shame: the secrets of female characters. Barbara O’Neal nails this post for Writer Unboxed.

John Vorhaus gets into something deeper on Writer Unboxed.

Heather Webb asks, As writers, what are we worth? Writer Unboxed.

Jane Friedman writes about the age-old cynicism surrounding the book writing dream.

Kazuo Ishiguro and Neil Gaiman debate “genre fiction” on BBC Radio 4.

Phoenix Sullivan digs deeper into the latest Author Earnings report for David Gaughran.

The Authors Guild dumps Author Solutions (yay!). David Gaughran.

Use these five steps to write a killer elevator pitch for your book. Jennie Nash for BookBub.

Bryan Collins posts the ultimate how-to guide to blogging with Scrivener.

Terrorism in Elizabethan England, a post by Barbara Kyle for English Historical Fiction Authors.

Lauren Carter, whom I’ve featured here on the blog for a workshop she delivered in Sudbury, won the 2014 Room Poetry Contest. Here’s their interview with her.

Ten books that will change the way you think about fairytales. i09.

The horrifying origins of your favourite Disney films. Diply.

Mental Floss presents ten Old English words you should be using.

What do you think of this list of 24 brilliant portmanteaus? Ima start using some of them 🙂 Earthporm.

This little bit of awesome is courtesy of Addicting Info: J.K. Rowling slams Westboro Baptist Church’s hate-tweet.

John Doyle writes about Outlander and the triumph of the true female superhero. The Globe and Mail.

Caitriona Balfe’s serves up an insider’s view of Outlander. LA Times.

How Outlander broke the mold with their two-part finale. MTV.

Cute writing comic from The New Yorker.

Have a good week until Thoughty Thursday!

Tipsday

Lauren Carter: Deep Character Workshop, Oct. 6, 2013

I spent the afternoon with Lauren Carter, her mother, Laura (a visual artist with a good feel for story), and five other wonderful writers talking, and writing, about character.

SwarmcoverLauren is on a tour to promote her literary dystopian novel, Swarm, which was released in September by Brindle & Glass publishing.  She’s been to Orillia and Blind River (both places she used to live), and has made a stop in Sudbury for a couple of days before she heads south to continue her journey.

As part of her Sudbury leg, Lauren agreed to offer a writing workshop for the Canadian Authors Association Roving Writers program.  Tomorrow night, she will be giving a reading at the south end branch of the Greater Sudbury Public Library as part of the Luminaries reading series.

Lauren indicated that nothing she had to teach was proprietary and so I’m going to offer a bit of a run down of her workshop.

  • Lauren is a firm believer that there are no rules in writing.
  • People come to writing as artists – organically.
  • Character is important in prose, even in plot-based fiction, someone has to be at the heart of the action.
  • The reader (and therefore the writer) must know those characters intimately.
  • Each writer will have her or his approach.
  • All great art begins at a point of absolute confusion.
  • Writers make decisions about their characters.

Eric Maisel – characters are not people, they are in the novel to serve the writer.

We then reviewed two writing samples: Matadora, by Elizabeth Ruth and Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery.  We looked at the clues the writers offered about their characters, their backgrounds, the techniques used to engage the reader in the character, how descriptions were used, and so forth.

Lauren passed out a character development questionnaire put together by Kathy Page.  We didn’t use it, however.  Not yet.

Then followed the first of several writing assignments.  This first focused on character description.

Next, we wrote specifically about a possession or place specific to the character, like a purse, car, or room.

Then we focused in on a specific object within the last writing assignment and worked with that.

Finally, after having gotten to know our characters a bit better, Lauren guided us back to the questionnaire and focused the next writing assignment on that.  Having written through a few iterations of describing our characters through physicality, place, and possessions, it was not easier to enter into the details of the list and discover even more.

The last writing assignment took all that we’d learned about our characters and focused on plot. This was set up by another reading from Eric Maisel about “The writer as Experimental Psychologist” taken from his book, What Would your Character Do?

Essentially, plot is a matter of answering three questions:

  1. What does the character want?
  2. Why does the character want it?
  3. How will the character achieve his or her goal (or not)?

After that, it’s a matter of the author rigorously testing the hypothesis she or he has developed until all three questions are answered satisfactorily.

So first, we explored our characters’ psychological make-up; then, we answered the first of the three questions.

Each writing assignment was a free-write and delivered with the instruction to follow the writing wherever it led.  In several cases the characters did, as they are notoriously known to do, their own things 😉

It was a good workshop, and I was happy to have been part of it.

Workshop alert: Lauren Carter Oct 6, 2013

You may remember that I’ve become a member of the Program Committee for the Canadian Authors Association.

The committee is responsible for the annual conference, the Literary Awards, professional development of the membership, and something called the Roving Writers program.

I volunteered to be on the sub-committee for the Roving Writers and our first event will be in a scant week!

Author Lauren Carter will be coming to Sudbury as part of her book tour.  So on Sunday, Oct 6, from 1-4 pm at the Parkside Older Adult Centre in the YMCA building, she will be delivering a workshop on Deep Character.

Here’s the poster with the deets (including how to sign up):

RWTP_Carter Poster

The CAA office will be sending me a copy of the participant list and I will be taking payment (cash or cheque only, please) at the door. The discounted fee of $25 applies to members of the CAA only.

Light refreshments (fruit, muffins, water, and juice) will be provided.

I can’t thank the Sudbury Writers’ Guild enough for their assistance in getting this event off the ground.

Following that, on Monday, Oct 7, Lauren will be at the south end branch of the Greater Sudbury Public Library as part of the first LUminaries reading series.  This has nothing to do with the CAA or the Roving Writers, but I thought I’d spread the word.

She will, of course, have copies of her dystopian literary novel, Swarm, available for sale and signing.

Have a lovely evening!