Here you will find a selection of the best of the blogsphere from the past week. Grab your coffee, straighten the glasses or spritz those contacts and above all – enjoy.
Inform & Inspire
Ava Jae: 5 Truths I Wish I Knew When I Began Writing. Excerpt: “I sometimes think back to new writer me. The younger version of myself who began writing the first ever novel, fully expecting to get it published. The one with timed goals like get an agent this year or be published by age x.”
Jami Gold: How to Use Character Flaws to Develop a Plot. Excerpt: “Every personality trait is a continuum, with a good and healthy expression of the trait on one side and a bad and unhealthy expression on the other. Our characters (just like ourselves) might fall on different places along that line depending on the situation, who else is involved (does the other character push the main character’s buttons?), stress level, etc.”
Janice Hardy: How to Format Remembered Dialog. Excerpt: “How you format remembered dialog varies, same as internal dialog. A lot depends on how you’re using it, how much there is, and the style you prefer. You can also mix and match, using, say, introductory phrases and italics, or italics with the narrative.”
David Corbett: The Art of Character: The Five Cornerstones of Dramatic Characterization. Excerpt: “Creating believable and resonant characters is one of the great challenges of the fiction author. The concept of character has also become more important in narrative non-fiction and memoir, and even business books start with character stories to illustrate their points.”
Kristen Lamb: Great Fiction Goes for the GUTS. Excerpt: “I believe the hardest part of writing fiction is that, for most of us who aren’t crazy, conflict is something we avoid at all costs during our daily lives. In fiction? We must go for the guts. I’d like to offer you a simple way to make your stories and characters three-dimensional and grab hold of great fiction’s throbbing heart.”
Elizabeth S. Craig: Recording our Ideas. Excerpt: “Idea files are, in my way of thinking, completely necessary. And not only for the work we’re currently writing, but whatever else we might be interested in writing down the road.“
Tiffany Reisz: From Brain to Bookshelf: An Author’s Timeline. Excerpt: “For those who aren’t published authors, the process of writing, editing, and publishing a book may seem like some kind of mystical voodoo. I know it did for me before my publishing career began. I thought I’d throw back the curtain and give the curious an insider look at the timeline and process of how a novel goes from brain to bookshelf. “
Susan Spann: Trusting … But Not in the Force (Author Trusts, Part 2). Excerpt: “Today we’ll take a look at how to divide your copyrights and other intellectual property within the trust itself. Dividing your copyrights among your heirs essentially boils down to two different – but equally important – questions.”
Indie / Self-Publishing
Dean Wesley Smith: Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing: Writing Fast. Excerpt: “Now this silly idea that the writing process has anything at all to do with quality of the work has been around in publishing for just over 100 years now, pushed mostly by the literature side and the college professors. It has no basis in any real fact when it comes to writers. None. If you don’t believe me, start researching how fast some of the classics of literature were written.”
Lindsay Buroker: How Leeland Artra Is Rocking the Amazon Sales Charts with His First Book. Excellent interview with Leeland about his methods and experiences. Insightful post. Highly Recommended Read for Indie’s.
Elizabeth S. Craig: Why Some Traditionally Published Writers Aren’t Self-Publishing. Excerpt: “Sometimes when I’m scanning my blog reader or reading through some of the messages from writer loops I’m on, I’m stunned by the lack of recognition or acknowledgment of the rapidly changing industry on traditionally published author blogs. This applies to some agent blogs, too, although certainly not all of them“
Kristine Kathryn Rusch: The Business Rusch: Book As Event. Excerpt: “The most prolific traditionally published writers (back in the day) were in the romance genre, and most of them could manage about six new books per year. I know that some tie-in writers did more—Dean famously wrote five in one month, but he didn’t sleep and then he rested for the next two months. In the old, old days of publishing, a lot of pulp writers wrote two novels a month, but those books averaged about 40,000 words, less than half of what the average midlist novel is right now.”
August McLaughlin: Reducing Social Media Stress. Excerpt: “As with most aspects of our careers, it’s important to utilize social media practices that work for us individually. I thought I’d share practices that seem to work well for me, and invite you all to chime in with your fabulous thoughts.”
Jami Gold: WordPress Questions and Answers. Excerpt: “Today, I’m summarizing the questions and answers from the Facebook chat about WordPress I did last week with Lisa Hall-Wilson. Facebook makes looking through old posts a hassle, so I wanted to capture this information for others. If you’re thinking of implementing WordPress but you’re not sure when, you might want to check out my workshops anyway, as I’m not planning on offering them again this year. Everyone who signs up can play with a self-hosted WordPress.org site for one month—at no additional cost—thanks to my Tech Guy at my hosting company.”
Jane Friedman: 3 Ways to Improve Your Author Website Today. Excerpt: “To maximize the effectiveness of your author website, it’s necessary to study the data behind how people find your website, navigate it, and use it. This is typically done via Google Analytics, a free tool available to anyone with a Google account. On the day you install it, you’ll immediately start collecting data on your website traffic and visitors; while you won’t be able to see into the site’s past, you’ll start collecting and storing analytics data indefinitely.”
Roger Tagholm: At LBF, Authors Encouraged to Think Like Entrepreneurs. Excerpt: “If any talk emphasized just how much we are in a new world now, it was the Author as Entrepreneur session on the final day of the London Book Fair. Here, authors Orna Ross and Polly Courtney talked about why they decided to walk away from contracts with Penguin and HarperCollins and go down the self-publishing route — and each offered advice for those wishing to do the same.”
Mike Shatzkin: The three forces that are shaping 21st century book publishing: scale, verticalization, and atomization. Mike discusses: Scale, Verticalization and Atomization and how they impact the modern book publishing paradigm.
Amit Agarwal: How to Embed Just a Portion of a YouTube Video. Excerpt: “Do you want to embed the most interesting part of a YouTube video in your website and isolate the rest. Here are simple workarounds to help you embed portions of any Youtube video.”