Reading · Writing

Saturday Summation – 08 September 2012

Here are some of my most interesting blog and news reads of the week.

Writing Stuff:

There are writing tips and advice everywhere. For newer writers, it can be stifling. So many rules, shoulds, and should nots. Laura Tobias and her writing group team on Pen Warriors has a post titled, “Advice That Resonates”, and really, the title says it all. Each writer picks out some of her favorite advice that works for her. In a field so broad, that’s all we can really do, right? Follow what works for us as individual writers.

And speaking of advice and tips… here are some useful, non-threatening ones from Jael McHenry, who talks about writing endings. “Flip the Script: End Anywhere” offers some insights into satisfying readers, but reminding us that satisfaction doesn’t have to mean tying up every single minor loose end in the story and that tying things “neatly” doesn’t always have to happen, either.

Writer Julia Munroe Martin shares her conundrum of finding out that a novel she has completed writing shares a character name with another unofficially published one out in the interwebs. She is contemplating changing her character’s name because of that. Several valuable comments exist on this post that can give all writers some ideas on how to resolve this kind of thing. For me, this brought up my broader issue with the idea of shared book titles. It amazes me how many authors (and publishers, for that matter), decide that titles do not have to be original. Sure, we can play on words and shift title to be similar, but offer their own twist, but as I watch my Twitter timeline go by, on a regular basis I see at least three variations of “Shades of Gray” go through. I’m not even talking about that huge bestseller one that at least adds a twist. Looking in Amazon, in just the first 2-3 pages I found 7 distinct novels by the exact title of Shades of Gray. Do you know what words will never be a part of one of my novels if I can help it? Right.

Reading Stuff:

This is sort of a writing thing, but mostly has reader impact. Amazon is releasing their latest Kindle iteration and even though I have not read any of the articles surrounding this, I saw several reactions to idea that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos must have put forth. This Tumblr post from author John Green gives a look at Amazon’s self e-publishing model. Green says this:

“I wanted to criticize Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, because I felt that in his introduction of the new kindles, Bezos repeatedly peddled the lie that a book is created by one person, and that therefore a book’s author should be the sole entity to profit from the sale of the book. (Aside, of course, from Amazon itself.)”

Green is clear to say that he is not against self-publishing, but I encourage you to read his thoughts on the damage that believing in the idea that authoring is a one-person show can create.


Video of the Week:

Matchbox Twenty released their new album, “North” this week. I have generally enjoyed Rob Thomas’ solo work better than the group’s stuff, but this album has some good tracks on it. Here is the single that has been out for a few weeks, now – “She’s So Mean.” Catchy.


2 thoughts on “Saturday Summation – 08 September 2012

  1. For too long writers have been hounded by “experts” who try to impose all sorts of rules, They’ll lecture you about exposition, adjectives and adverbs, metaphors, and a hundred other sins, although we all know famous authors who do these things with impunity. The best advice contained in these links is simply to write the best book you can, send it out into the world, and prepare to be surprised by the reactions. Thanks for sharing.


    1. So true about all of the best authors. There is a lot of sound advice out there, of course, but the funny thing is that most of the “rules” do not come from those famous and talented writers, but from unpublished wannabes like me. 😀

      “Write the best book you can”. Indeed.


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