Five Links 8/29/2020
1. https://killzoneblog.com/2020/08/have-your-characters-say-what-you-wish-youd-said.html “We’ve all been there. We’re driving home from a party where we were engaged in robust conversation. Someone said something boneheaded and we thought, That was a boneheaded thing to say. But not wishing to hammer that very obvious nail, we did not reply.
Now, halfway home, it comes to us. The perfect comeback! Witty, wise, pithy. If only we could go back in time! We’d be like the legendary members of the Algonquin round table. (“He and I had an office so tiny, that an inch smaller and it would have been adultery.” – Dorothy Parker.)
There’s an entire Seinfeld episode based on this premise. George is at a Yankees’ board meeting where a platter of shrimp is served. He over-enthusiastically consumes the crustaceans, prompting another board member, Reilly, to remark, “Hey, George. The ocean called. They’re running out of shrimp.” The other members laugh. George can think of nothing to say in return.
Only later does he come up with what he thinks is the perfect comeback. “Oh, yeah? Well, the Jerk Store called, and they’re running out of you!” George’s friends are not impressed and offer alternatives. “No!” George insists. “It’s Jerk Store!” I sometimes have characters do what I didn’t necessarily do in those situations as well. The words and the actions can make the character stand out.
2. https://stevelaube.com/a-growing-readership/ “It recently came to my attention that the email list for our agency’s blog has grown by 40% over the last two years. It’s now the size of a small town or a rather large church!
That is only the email list. It doesn’t count those of you who use the Facebook feed, the Twitter feed, an RSS feed, or come to the site directly on a regular basis. That is a pretty big crowd, and it is humbling to say the least.
It does raise a few questions.
Why do you read this blog?
Is it for the ever-delightful Tamela? For the always-fetching Bob? For the fascinating podcaster Thomas? For the curmudgeon comments of grumpy Steve? Or do you only come to watch videos on Fun Friday?
Actually, it is a serious question. We are regularly asking ourselves, “What do we address next?” “What do our readers want to read?” “What do our readers need to read?”
4. https://marciamearawrites.com/2020/08/28/the-nutshell-catch-and-the-point-of-no-return/ “Staci Troilo’s back on Story Empire today explaining the next part of The Nutshell Theory. This is great stuff, and something we can all learn from, so I hope you’ll stop by and check it out. As usual, please consider sharing on your favorite social media sites so others can learn as well. Thanks, and thanks to Staci for giving me a whole new batch of things to consider before I start my next book. Great job!”
Research & Fun Tidbits:
1. https://fantasyhandbook.wordpress.com/2020/08/25/a-fantasy-word-list/ “One thing I do, and have done, with every edit (at least of a fantasy or science fiction novel or story) since starting at TSR in 1995 is create a word list/style guide. I’ll share my basic template here and encourage everyone to create and maintain this resource. I guarantee it will be a valuable tool not just for you while you finish your story or book—or series, even more so!—but it’s something you not only can but should give to editors and others who will be working with your text.
You might be surprised how often, as an editor, I get manuscripts in which the spelling of even the primary characters’ names change subtly throughout the text. Rules for initial caps and other things can easily end up being more or less randomly applied, too. But a sense of plausibility is often signaled in the subtlest of ways, including the judicious application or careful revision of an exiting rule of grammar and usage that works on a subconscious level so your world just “feels real.” Believe me, you’ll really come to appreciate it when it prevents an editor like me from “fixing” a perceived “mistake” that was an intentional component of your worldbuilding. The word list will warn your editor ahead of time that this was intentional, and not a typo.” This sounds like an awesome thing to do! I’m going to try this while I edit and going forward, each story I write.
2. https://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com/2020/08/29/one-of-those-kind-of-days-2/ “I’m glad there is pumpkin beer in the refrigerator, because I need it.
I wanted to pick up some kind of fuel additive to use on my generators. I have one that runs beautifully, and one that acts like it’s on life support. When I ran them a couple of weeks ago, one would only run if I left the choke on. Home Depot was our first stop.
My brother said to get one of two specific products, but they didn’t have either one. I found something that sounded like it would do the job and bought it.
My Dad and my Grandfather each had small generators. Even after 20 years they started right up with a couple of pulls. I whined to my brother about that, and he said it’s all because gasoline has ethanol in it today. I can see how that might be the” Not sure what a jackfruit is, lol.
3. https://pitchwars.org/day-1-part-1-of-the-pitch-wars-mentor-workshops-with-keena-roberts/ “Welcome to the Pitch Wars Workshops with some of our amazing past and 2020 mentors. From a lottery drawing, we selected writers to receive a query and first page critique from one of our mentors. We’ll be posting some of the critiques leading up to the Pitch Wars submission window. Our hope is that these samples will help you in shining up your query and first page.
We appreciate our mentors for generously dedicating their time to do the critiques. If you have something encouraging to add, feel free to comment below. Please keep all comments tasteful. Our comments are set to moderate, and we will delete any inappropriate or hurtful ones before approving them.
First up we have …
Pitch Wars Mentor Keena Roberts …
Keena Roberts is a 2020 Pitch Wars mentor for the Adult category. She is the author of Wild Life (Grand Central, 2019), about her childhood growing up in her primatologist parents’ research camp in the Okavango Delta in Botswana. She lives outside New York in the mountains with her wife, daughter, and several pets and enjoys reading by campfires, wherever she can find them.”
Some Things More Serious:
Teaser Fiction & Poetry:
Book Reviews, Cover Reveals, & Author Interviews: