Three Links 2/21/2020 Loleta Abi

Image by Công Đức Nguyễn from Pixabay

Three Links 2/21/2020

Loleta Abi


1. “The title question, “Is yours a book or an article?” comes up on a regular basis with nonfiction authors. Someone has lived an interesting life, survived a horrible disease, lost a precious loved one, suffered terribly (emotionally or physically) and feels led to write their story. But is it a story that can be sustained for an entire book? Or is it one that can be told in a shorter form? Or is it both?

Everyone Has a Story to Tell; Write Yours

Many counselors will say that writing can be a cathartic way to work through an experience. Putting it on paper helps memorialize the events, especially since time can blur the details. I will never tell someone not to write their story.

Be Prepared for Industry Reality

Multiple times a month I have to share the hard news about our publishing industry. It is a business. A business that tries to make a profit. No publisher can publish all the stories that are available. Decisions must be made using “commercial viability” as the criteria. Reread my earlier post “When Your Book Becomes Personal” to understand this concept further.” This is one of the reasons, I joined another blog. To push myself to put my writing out there, article or not. It’s also why I push to do these poetry contests and send out short stories while editing my books.

2. “Genre authors have one enemy in common as it is boredom.

Our number one goal, our Prime Directive, our First Commandment, our first principle is:

Never be boring.

Our readers come to us for a cure for boredom. I am a voracious reader and always have been. I have never curled up with a book thinking, I hope this bores me to sleep. Books that do that—and of course I’ve read my share—are books I don’t finish, and it’s rare that I’ll give that author a second try.

I will not engage with the snobby anti-genre literati, I will not fight the same pointless”

3. “This past weekend, I saw the movie Birds of Prey, the DC comics’ Harley Quinn movie produced by star Margot Robbie. Much has been made in various movie industry news and hot takes of whether the movie is “bombing” or not.

Many of the poor reviews are from male reviewers, and compared to similar sales figures and budgets for other movies, Birds of Prey‘s results are being presented and interpreted differently. In other words, sexism might be playing a role. *cough*

Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. But one (male) member of our viewing group didn’t like the movie initially, calling it too ridiculously unrealistic. To be fair, some scenes are absurd, but they’re intentionally absurd.

As another (male) member of our group pointed out, Harley’s an unreliable narrator, and lighting and filming styles throughout were cues to when the movie was purposely more unrealistic due to her narrative choices (and Harley’s character is famously mentally unstable). With that new understanding, the original member”

Research & Fun Tidbits:

1. “Not having WiFi sucks, but now that I have a hotspot available, I decided to get busy.

I skipped out on most of my social media lap this morning, opting instead to address my work in progress.

My writing days always start by reading the last section I wrote, and this really helps when I’ve been away from it for a few days. The Lanternfish crew arrived in Giapon and got into a bind with the political upheaval in that country.

I picked it up from there, and approached this problem with more of a diplomatic approach. At 1.5 books in, they’ve blasted their way out of plenty of issues, so I felt like something else was in order.”

2. “One time, years ago, I went to a writing conference, and while there, one group of people decided to organize a “first chapter” critique meet-up in the evening, where anyone could come and get feedback. It was great. But one of the people leading it brought up regularly that he hated description. Whenever someone read a description that was longer than two sentences, he commented that he hated description. Seemed a bit erroneous to me. I sort of worried that someone there would take his opinion to heart.

You see, I don’t believe that most people hate description.

I believe that most people hate boring description.

A lot of people today blame technology for making readers unable to sit through a passage of description, and they argue that instant gratification has dulled their patience. This is only a half-truth.

Yes, technology plays a role in the way description should be written today, but not because we are all more lazy. Because of accessibility. You see, back in the day, the average person didn’t have access to all the information we have now. A reader might not have actually known what a bayou in the South looked, smelled, and sounded like. They might never have been to the desert. They maybe had never tasted wasabi. Or seen a giraffe. Or heard an Irish accent.”

3. “You’ve heard of writers block? Well, I have bloggers block. I’ve been blogging about all aspects of historical fiction for 8 years and this is the first time I’ve come up dry.

I’m working out the details for a new theme that I’m excited about, but I’m not ready to announce it yet.

So let’s just put this post down as the shortest ever on A Writer of History. See you soon!”

Some Things More Serious:

1. “As a crime writer, a large part of my life is devoted to delving into murder, serial killers, death, and heartless, brutal crimes. With fiction, research is important for realism, but your mindset changes. The fiction writer concentrates more on the crime and investigation aspect while becoming almost desensitized to death. It’s how we cope while studying the body farmautopsies, and forensics. Our goal is to learn what we need to create believable characters and a plot that makes sense. Fiction writers view death more like a detective… detached, logical, unimpeded by emotion.” I give her credit. I would be terrified to look into some of these cases. I’m a tamer girl.

2. “Any other job would get easier over time, but not writing books.

With the February release of The Lucky One, my fifth novel, I’m coming clean on a question I get often. The question goes: Isn’t it easier now that you’ve done it a couple of times? 

It is. 

And it’s not. 

For the first novel, you have all the time there is, or at least all the time you can chisel out for yourself. Few people are waiting for that book; many will be surprised if you ever finish it. You can take years. You should probably take years.

In my case, I got serious about writing in 2006, started a short story in 2007 that turned into a novel, which turned into a drawer novel in 2010 and was pushed aside by another project that finally got me an agent in 2012 and a book contract and a spot on a bookshelf in 2014. 

That doesn’t sound easy, and it wasn’t. That was eight years of fairly consistent effort. In another life, in eight years, I could be called a doctor.

The next book would be published exactly one year after the first one.

Take that in for a second. Eight years. Then one.”

3. “I read a quote recently from an indie author who said he felt sorry for new writers who fall for scammy vanity publishers — because they obviously have no writer friends to clue them in.

It is true that networking with other authors is the best way to stay safe from scammers in this business. You can usually get by with a little help from your friends.

Unfortunately, the latest batch of scams are calculated to turn friends’ faces and familiar names into weapons to use against you.

Here are some of the nasty ways they’re trying to con you.”

Teaser Fiction & Poetry:




Book Reviews, Cover Reveals, & Author Interviews:




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