Reading · Writing

Saturday Summation – 16 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:

My sister long ago put in a comment on one of my posts that she’d like to know more about who reads short stories. I’ve never gotten around to writing that post, but it would be a good one, because literary magazines still abound and short story collections still get published. I’m not currently much of a short story writer, but I do value the skill behind it. Do you have the skills? Suzannah Windsor Freeman gives her advice on how to publish a short story in literary magazines. 

How much thought do you put into the names for your characters? I remember when I discovered I had 3 different names for the same minor character in one of my manuscripts. OOPS. For my part, much to one of my beta-reader’s unhappiness, I like names that can collect nicknames, because I feel like what other characters use for each other and also what characters will allow for others to call them can give some fun insight into their relationships. Ninie Hammon wants you to consider potential pitfalls to character names including issues about time period and ethnicity/nationality.

Revising? Agent Susan Hawk gathers a “best of” sort of list from her authors with advice about the revision process. Check out Rachael Allen’s one about character – really interesting approach that I will keep in my arsenal.


Reading Stuff:

Susie Rodarme talks about how following an author on social media eventually led her to not want to continue reading the books in that author’s series. Isn’t this the way with actors, too? Sometimes, we just don’t want to know more about the artist behind the art. If I’m Rodarme, I think it’s a real shame, because she was invested. Reading a stand-alone novel or two of an author and finding out how much you don’t like him/her personally is a lot easier to bear. Also, there are varying levels of tolerance, no? I know of a couple of actors I no longer wish to support due to their expressed views. There are a few authors like that, too. Fortunately for readers (and viewers), there are so many other movies/TV shows/books to enjoy. But this new engagement we have with artists behind the art is very different than it once was, isn’t it?

Chuck Wendig wrote this post about the cost of an ebook in reaction to some more Amazon stuff, but frankly, I just like the whole approach he brings to the discussion of ebook (and print book and music and coffee) pricing. We want things like books, music, and movies free, but then again, we pay $5 daily for a fancy coffee ($25/week – the cost of one hardcover book, the cost of 19-25 songs). I agree with Wendig – I don’t know what the magic price of these things are, either, but the comparisons are worthwhile to make when we consider our priorities and what we value.


Video of the Week:

The Onion has solved the dilemma about being able to show off how smart we are with the books we choose to read. Their version of the Kindle will shout out continuously the book you are reading and its author. Watch to the end for how to adjust for books you don’t necessarily want to brag about, too. 😀



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