Saturday Summation – 09 August 2014

Bits and pieces of things that caught my eye not only for my own interest, but enough to want to share with you, too…

Writing Stuff:

I read all over the place about authors getting accused by family members or community members that they have written these people into their books. When most of us talk about writing what we know, this is the kind of thing that this encompasses – using real tidbits of human nature (such as having one of my characters like sandwiches with a pickle, which is a character trait of my husband) to create authentic characters. So far, as I write my third novel, I have not ever used a real person as a character. Michelle Huneven offers a great response to this kind of concern in The Paris Review.

“It is not uncommon for the fictionalized to assume that the writer has revealed the real, possibly hidden way they feel and think about a person….The laws of literature, like the laws of gossip, usually demand exaggeration, decontextualization, a heightened or minimalized reality, and a lot more shape and order and impact than everyday life. ‘You’ve been fictionalized’ actually means, ‘You’ve been exaggerated!’ (Or downplayed!) You’ve been snipped and shaped and built on, face-lifted, aged and/or repainted for maximum artistic impact.”


NPR interviewed author Lydia Netzer about experiencing social media and publication. There are various bits of tidbits in here, but probably the valuable one I liked best was yet another piece of evidence that self-promotion on Twitter (or even on other self-run social media sites) is NOT how books are sold. Word-of-mouth, reviews, exposure… that’s the way it happens.

Agent Donald Maas frequently has great writing posts that draw you in with a story. I always wish I had that talent for my own posts. This current one talks about taking your reader along for the ride on the character’s emotional journey. Good stuff.


Publishing Stuff:

A while ago in a different Summation, I shared an article about authors who are branching into hybridization in publication – ie: not just print vs. ebook, but also experimenting with the comeback of serialization (among other things). Wired talked more about that this week. What do you think? Are you willing to pay $.99-$1.99/month for good story installments?


Reading Stuff:

Penguin has a new cover for the 50th Anniversary of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Have you seen it? Take a look and see if you agree with me on how creepily ridiculous it is and also if you understand their rationale for it, because I sure don’t.


Recent Books I’ve Read and Recommend:

Breathe, Annie, Breathe Miranda Keanneally (Young Adult) Goodreads Review

The Eyre Affair Jasper Fforde (Adult) Goodreads Review

(Just FYI fun fact about this book – there is a scene that describes a performance of Hamlet on the stage that plays out like a Rocky Horror Picture Show. It might have been my favorite scene of the whole book.)


Song of the Week:

I really love that this song has made it to the airwaves. Like Colbie Caillat’s recent release of “Try”, Meghan Trainor’s snappy song cheers a more positive self-image for women. Here’s your earworm of the day:

One thought on “Saturday Summation – 09 August 2014

  1. All sandwiches should have a pickle, and I saw that new cover for Charlie & the Chocolate Factory. I agree that it’s creepy and doesn’t exactly seem to fit, but I’ve always found that story itself to be creepy. I’m not feeling the uproar over this one.


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