1. https://megdowell.com/2019/05/15/you-dont-have-to-be-good-at-writing-right-away-to-be-successful/ “I know, I know, you had to reread that headline a few times to make sure you weren’t just seeing things. Yes, I am suggesting that you don’t have to be a good writer to succeed in writing. AT. FIRST.
Sound too good to be true? It isn’t. I promise.
If you’re new to this blog and don’t yet trust a single word I’ve written so far, take a deep breath. Give my advice a chance. You won’t be quite so skeptical by the time this post reaches its end.”
“I’m about to begin a series of short stories featuring a Hollywood studio troubleshooter in the 1940s, as part of my Patreon project (see “Escapism Rocks!” from a couple of weeks ago). Technically, this qualifies as historical fiction, and I find something very comforting about the genre, namely: things don’t change!
With contemporary thrillers, you have to keep up with technology, forensics, communications, law, weapons and so on—knowing there’s always the possibility that some radical innovation that would solve one of your plot problems may occur between the time you finish your manuscript and when it hits a bookstore shelf!”
3. https://www.janefriedman.com/plan-book-reading/ “When you’re nervous about reading in public, you tend to picture the audience as the enemy, distant and judgmental, just waiting for you to mess up. If you think about this for a moment, you’ll realize that it’s an illusion born of fear. In fact, your audience wants to love you and your work. Some of these people probably already do.
The audience is on your side. They love writing just as you do; that’s why they’re there. These wonderful people have taken time out of their lives, probably traveled some distance and spent some money, just to hear you read. They’ve come to witness your imagination at work. They’ve come to be moved, entertained, motivated, validated, informed, provoked, stimulated and inspired. In short, they’re receptive.
They are your allies.”
4. http://4writersandreaders.com/2019/05/18/4-reasons-to-use-action-beats-when-writing/ “If you’re wondering what an action beat is, you’re not alone. Not too long ago, I didn’t know what it was either.
I’ve since learned it’s an action your character is doing while they’re talking.
Yeah, it’s not exactly an earth-shattering revelation and is something you’ve probably been writing naturally anyway, it’s just now you know there’s an actual name for it.”
5. http://whenangelsfly.net/2019/05/18/9-tips-for-writing-better-short-stories-a-writers-path/ “In April, I was a judge for two writing contests – Dan Alatorre’s Word Weaver contest and Ryan Lanz’s short story contest. I was honored to be asked to fill the role once, let alone twice. And while I enjoyed judging great stories, I also learned a few things about how to make short stories better because some patterns emerged.
These tips can be applied to any short story, but I would pay closer attention to them if I were entering a story in a contest. Simply put, stories that didn’t do these things didn’t stand out as the best, at least not to me.
So, let’s get cracking.”
6. https://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/quotes-about-writing/ “I’ve been really into writing quotes lately. Many of the posts I write are inspired by great things I read from other authors, so I decided to go on a hunt through my archives and find twenty of my favorite instructive quotes about writing.”
7. http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2019/05/20/endings-are-not-stoppings-on-game-of-thrones-and-how-we-conclude-our-stories/ ““Dear Penthouse Letters…”
Ahem. So. Endings are fucking hard.
They just are. It’s hard enough with one book, much less seven or eight books (or seasons of television, or movies, or what-have-you). The more epic the tale, the tougher it is to conclude that journey, because you’re not just concluding a “plotline,” you’re trying to tie dozens of threads — character, primarily — off in pleasing and appropriate knots. Some are tied together, others more grand than others, some get no knots or bows at all and are snipped cruelly with a pair of scissors. The larger the story, the more threads you have to deal with, and the goal is to have woven them into some kind of tapestry — not just a bundle of loose, untied threads that dangle in a waterfall of unfinished narrative. And Game of Thrones was a very large story, indeed. To its credit, it was both epic and intimate, beautiful and harrowing, twisty and entangling. I say with no small appreciation that the existence of this show is genuinely astonishing, and it is due credit to George R.R. Martin and the showrunners that it not only got to happen, but happened in a way that made it one of the biggest, most satisfying, and routinely most upsetting television show of the last decade, if not of all damn time. Big show. Big audience. Lotta meaty, chewy stuff.
It is therefore worth noting that no matter what Game of Thrones did last night, its ending would’ve been disappointing to someone. There is no way to satisfactorily end such an epic undertaking — especially such a morally and emotionally complicated undertaking — in a way that values every viewer and every fan. Everyone had their favorite characters, their pet theories, the questions they hoped would be answered. Who will be king, why did the White Walkers arrange things in a mysterious spiral, why did Bran just Warg off from the Battle of Winterfell in a bunch of fucking crows I mean was he trying to poop on something or just get some sweet sweet berries or what.”
Research & Fun Bits:
1. https://somethingferal.com/2019/05/18/re-lig-ion/ ““Most religious stories
Are more ancient than their religion.”
– Count Jack Black”
2. 5. http://megdowell.com/2019/05/19/write-as-you-grieve/ “Loss hurts. Goodbyes hurt. Grief … hurts.
It’s so easy, so tempting, to just lie down and avoid the world when you’re hurting. Well, maybe keeping your head down for a little while is OK. Healthy, even.
But eventually you have to get back up. Right?
The thing to know about grief is that it affects everyone differently. There is no predictable path from one end of the journey to the other. This isn’t a linear progression. Some people get sad for a little while and then move on. Some get angry and stay angry for a very long time.”
4. https://nicholasrossis.wordpress.com/2019/05/19/fear-of-missing-out-or-is-that-joy/ “When I was in my first year at Uni, about a century ago or so, I took a summer job. For a few months, I was running a one-man quality control lab. I was responsible for taking daily samples of cement, processing it, and recording a number of data including temperature, moisture, etc.
This was the last job I ever held in an office, if it can even be considered that. Ever since, I’ve worked from home. Which is probably why a writer’s life suits me so well.
I thought of this when I came across an article on The Economist. Its author argued that workers, and possibly all people, can be divided into two groups. Those who like to be involved in everything and can be dubbed “FOMOS” because they suffer from a “fear of missing out”. And then there are those who would ideally want to be left to get on with their own particular work, without distraction—the “JOMOS” (joy of missing out).”
6. https://feeds.feedblitz.com/~/602248272/0/sethsblog/posts~Blockbusters-vs-building-blocks/ “It’s the blockbusters that get all the hype. The home runs, the viral videos, the hits.”
7. https://jamigold.com/2019/05/branding-101-defining-our-brand/ “When we look at the writing-related skills and insights we need to learn, we often find it easier to understand lessons about the tangible aspects of our career. For example, craft skills about grammar or plot events can seem more straightforward to learn than skills about theme or voice.
Developing our skills for elements like theme, voice, motifs, style, mood, character likeability, etc. often feels more intangible. The “rules” or guidelines that might help us know what to do are less clear—or missing entirely—and practice alone is less likely to be enough for us to get things right.
Understanding what branding means for writers is similarly intangible. We don’t necessarily fully grasp what branding is at all, much less what our brand is or how to develop our brand.”
Some Things More Serious:
Teaser Fiction & Poetry:
2. http://mythsofthemirror.com/2019/05/19/watch-shield/ “I stroke the blank page in fury. He was an intruder
in my dreams after all.
For months he would visit me every night, no days off, or holiday, or any disappointments!
I would open the door for him every time.
The nonsensical segments of a sketch progressively became more refined.”
3. http://mythsofthemirror.com/2019/05/19/is-this-the-future-writingprompt/ “You told everyone this is what I am made of:
Levers and Axles and Nuts and Bolts.
Replacing one with
another when there was a problem.
Injecting chemicals and metals, even when not necessary.
Yes, you did a
great job in saving lives and protecting them
I wish you had stopped there and not become greedy”
Book Reviews, Cover Reveals, & Author Interviews: