Here you will find a selection of the best of the blogsphere from the past week. Starting this week you’ll find a NaNoPrep section about halfway down. Grab your coffee, straighten the glasses or spritz those contacts and above all – enjoy!
Earlier this week a close friend of my wife and I passed away due to a tragic twist of fate and health. Hasan Niyazi was always there to inspire and encourage others, a man driven by a deep passion for the arts. His insights into the old masters, Raphael, Caravaggio, and many others unveiled the mysteries of these works to those of us who appreciate the power and wonder of art. Hasan will be deeply missed by all who knew him, a special man with a golden heart and mind. Here is a link to the blog he leaves behind, a memorial to his insights and passion.
Inform & Inspire
James Clear: 10 Common Mistakes That Prevent You From Being Happy and Healthy Today, Backed by Science. “I’m fascinated by the link between the way we live our daily lives and the health and happiness we enjoy. There are choices that you make every day, some of which seem completely unrelated to your health and happiness, that dramatically impact the way you feel mentally and physically. With that said, here are 10 common mistakes that can prevent you from being happy and healthy, and the science to back them up.”
Hugh Howey: Writing Advice from C.L. Stone. “Ever seen an interview happen in reverse? Or inside-out? I think that’s what’s about to happen here. C.L. Stone is an indie author with a few published works to her name. She has built up a loyal following and is having success with her ACADEMY series. A month ago, she released her latest novel, and it shot up into the top 300 on Amazon. That’s no mean feat.”
Janice Hardy: I Hear You: Character Voices in Non-POV Characters. “Voice is a bit harder for non-POV characters because internalization is a large part of character voice, and without that, you have to rely on the dialog and how your POV character sees and hears that character. But there are ways to help differentiate your characters and know what dialog and traits go with what person.”
Chuck Wendig: The Zero-Fuckery Quick-Create Guide To Kick-Ass Characters. “When writers are tasked with creating characters, we are told to try these character exercises that entreat us to answer rather mad questions about them: hair color, eye color, toe length, nipple hue, former job, phone number of former job supervisor, what she had for lunch, if she were a piece of Ikea furniture what piece would she be (“Billy bookcase! NO WAIT, A SKJARNNGFLONG LINGONBERRY-FLAVORED COCKTAIL TRAY”). And so on and so forth. Most of these are, of course, abject badger-shite.”
Jami Gold: How to Avoid a Sagging Middle in Our Stories. “The middle act of our story isn’t about adding page count to drag out the tension and make the story novel-length. And the middle isn’t just a delaying tactic before we get to the “good stuff.” *smile* Instead, the middle of our story should be the “meat” of the story, as far as conflicts and arcs.”
Roz Morris: Dialogue special part 3: subtext. “Novel dialogue has to be more condensed and purposeful than real-life chattering. As writers, we need to pick the encounters that will show something significant about the characters, the way they interact, the way they view the story events. Subtext is useful when we don’t want to show this significance plainly.”
Eve Paludan: 10 Tips For Creating a Bestselling Series. “The series name is important for authors to establish from the very first book. Give your series a name that conveys to prospective readers a clear idea of the genre. Here are some examples: Brotherhood of the Blade, Witch Detectives, Ranch Lovers Romance, Angel Detectives, and Ghost Files (J.R. Rain, Scott Nicholson, et al.). Brotherhood of the Blade is about vampire hunters, and these other series names likewise shout out to the prospective readers, “This is what I am!””
Becca Jordan: Ask Becca: Six Facts about Rejection. “Rejection is tough. I’ve published a half-hand-full of poems (three exactly), and do you even want to know how many form rejections I have? Do you really? More than fifty, and I get a new one every day. And I’ve got news: They don’t get any easier to swallow.”
Lindsay Buroker: Pen Names for Different Genres, Yea or Nay? “Let’s talk about pen names today. Not the type of pen name you adopt because you need to hide your writing career from employers, stalkers, mob bosses, or grannies who don’t approve of your “active romance” novels (all valid reasons to write under a pseudonym), but the type you feel you have to create because you’re going to publish something in a different genre.”
Martha Alderson: How to Write in the Zone for a Fast Draft. “One of the greatest predictors of successfully pre-plotting and writing a novel or memoir in a month is the ability to write in the zone. When you’re in the flow of your writing, words and ideas come to you effortlessly. You don’t second-guess yourself. You’re not timid and paranoid about your ability to persevere.”
Ruth Harris: The Big “O” for Writers—Organization: The Writer’s Toolbox #3. “Ideas come helter-skelter. Plot points arrive unbidden and in no coherent order. Characters can be stubborn and do what they what—not what the author wants. Dialog arrives in disjointed bits and pieces. The “perfect” sassy/ominous/devastating come-back might take a week (or more!) to marinate and then create.”
Office of Letters & Light: A 100% Awesome, 100% Thorough Guide to NaNoWriMo 2013. From NaNoWriMo, covers pretty much everything a participant needs to know.
Jenny Hansen: Tips for Surviving the Agony and Ecstacy of NaNoWriMo. “I love the community, the late-night writing sprints, the before and after parties my local team throws. I love the write-ins, the pep talks, the excitement and uploading my word count. I adore getting the chance to encourage my peeps and watch everyone chase their goals. Whether you’re gearing up for NaNoWriMo or not, I wish you luck in your writing goals this month. I’d like to address the dreaded phenomenon of the Week Two Wall in the NaNo challenge where the initial endorphins have faded and the grind of a crazy writing schedule sets in.”
Jami Gold: NaNo Prep: 4 Tips for Starting Our Story. “On this occasion, I wanted to bring together several tips from my previous posts about story openings to ensure everyone has a successful start. Here in one place, find the top advice from some of my posts about story openings…”
Gabriela Pereira: Announcing the DIY MFA Weekend Writing Sprint! “To celebrate this writing season, DIY MFA is hosting a FREE Weekend Writing Sprint the weekend of November 16-17. It’s like a virtual writing retreat, one that you can participate in from the comfort of your home computer or your favorite local writing spot.” (Visit the site for details on joining in).
Porter Anderson: Writing on the Ether: The Haunting of NaNoWriMo. “Being only 28 years old (prematurely aged by overindulgence on the Ether, you know), it’s a long time before I’ll be swiping Kindle pages of the eBook of Life toward that Heavenly Afterword. But if I were to guess some things that I might want to come back and haunt in the industry! the industry! one of them high on my list would be NaNoWriMo.”
Ava Jae: Helpful NaNoWriMo Links. “In honor of thousands of writers around the world jumping in full steam ahead and making words happen today, I’ve decided to share some links with helpful NaNoWriMo tips, both from the archives here at Writability and from across the interwebs.”
David Gaughran: Publishing Is Easy. “There are three primary tasks a writer must undertake to get her work into the hands of readers: writing, publishing, and marketing. Out of those three, I respectfully submit, publishing is by far the easiest.”
Anne Kubek: 5 Digital Distribution Tactics for Startups and Publishers. “As European, South American, Asian and other global markets are opening to ebooks and other content in English, established trade houses, digital publishing startups and self-published authors are gaining market share and finding international customers. But how can independent players, who are typically much shorter on money, personnel and tools than large conglomerates, keep up in the race to reach new audiences?”
Edward Nawotka: Why is the Ebook Business So Out of Sync with Consumers? “Let’s face it, do you really own your ebooks? Even as someone whose day-to-day job is covering the book business as a journalist, I’m not entirely confident of what I think I know. But I do know one thing: “reader” and “consumer” I’m as frustrated as anyone.”
Lisa Hall-Wilson: When Spammers and Trolls Take Over – Authors Innovate – Facebook Groups. “Indie authors especially are very good at innovating and finding creative solutions to problems they face trying to connect with their readers/fans. Recently, former lit agent Nathan Bransford posted about the ongoing bully/gang-mentality that’s become prevalent over on Goodreads. People were leaving bad reviews of books they’d never read, or just didn’t like the title or subject matter of.”
Phi Tran: IDNA Demonstrates 360 Degrees of Spatial Storytelling with iPad. “Immersive storytelling has grown new roots with technology, but this revolutionary iPad demo takes those roots to a deeper level of three dimensional integration that we’ve only seen with the likes of Oculus Rift. Now, we know it’s possible that this three dimensional storytelling style can also be available for iPad users.“