Three Links 5/17/2020
1. https://www.livewritethrive.com/2020/05/11/momentum-and-pace-giving-readers-a-satisfying-ride/ “Imagine you’re trying to get to LA on a cross-country road trip and the driver keeps doubling back, or going on winding detours, or stopping on the side of the road to just hang out. And when you finally do get moving toward your destination, he does ninety miles an hour on the entire journey and never lets up—or crawls along at twenty mph the whole … way … there.
That’s momentum and pace, and when either element isn’t working well, readers are in for a frustrating journey. Momentum, as the engine of story, should be constant—the vehicle should always be heading toward the final destination.
But pace—how fast it gets there—can and usually should vary throughout.
Though often these terms are used interchangeably, momentum and pace aren’t quite the same thing. You can think of momentum is a function of story and pace as a function of scene.
Momentum is the story’s steady push toward its destination, the answer to the central story question that the reader is invested in finding out: Will Harry Potter defeat Voldemort; can Sherlock solve the crime; how does Stella get her groove back?”
2. https://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/critique-7-possible-hooks-for-your-opening-chapter/ “What are some good hooks for your opening chapter? This is a question every writer must ask at the beginning of a story. How can we introduce the story and the characters in a plot-pertinent way that also deeply interests readers?
A good hook sets your book apart. It promises readers”
3. https://jamigold.com/2020/05/breaking-the-rules-will-it-be-easy-or-hard/ “We’ve probably all heard the advice: Don’t edit as you go. Finish the draft first, then edit.
But as I’ve talked about here many times, most advice out there is not “one size fits all.” Like many other tidbits of advice, this common tip about drafting vs. editing definitely shouldn’t be taken as a rule.
Can we know how to treat writing advice that we come across? When should we treat a tip like a hard-and-fast rule? When is it more like a guideline? And when is advice just reflecting a personal preference? Let’s take a look…
The Writing Advice Spectrum
There are very few true writing rules out there—the type that we definitely shouldn’t break. For just about any example we could think of, probably someone else could think of an example that succeeded despite the rule-breaking.
Umm…okay, here’s one. We must use words in our written stories. *grin*
In truth, virtually all advice falls into one of two categories: guidelines and preferences. What’s the difference?
Writing Advice Guidelines:”
Research & Fun Bits:
1. https://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com/2020/05/11/a-long-weekend-2/ “I took Friday as a vacation day, and Monday was my flex day. This was just what I needed, to be honest. It doesn’t mean I wasn’t productive, but I didn’t hit it full speed either.
Start with Friday. Old What’s Her Face had to work, so this was my writing day. I tried to hit it hard, because I didn’t expect a better opportunity. I wound up adding 4100 new words to Lanternfish.
I’ve been setting the stage for some of this for a few chapters now. I started to reveal the con job my crew is going to have to pull once they arrive in the war zone. I also have some seeds that haven’t sprouted yet and look forward to those chapters.” I think we’re all harder on ourselves then we need to be.
3. https://www.thecreativepenn.com/2020/05/13/audio-for-authors-qa/ “Stephanie: Hey, writers. You’re listening to the Kobo Writing Life Podcast. We’re bringing you insights and inspiration for growing your self-publishing business. I’m your host, Stephanie McGrath, and the publisher operations specialist here at Kobo Writing Life.
Tara: And I’m Tara Cremin, the senior manager of author experience for Kobo.
Stephanie: In this week’s episode, we have a special recording of a Facebook live we did with Joanna Penn where she talked to Tara about audiobooks and podcasts.
Tara: It was a really great live event that we hosted on our page and we think it’s really beneficial to this audience as listeners of podcasts. Her new book is called Audio For Authors and it gives lots of tips about different production of audiobooks, why you should, how you should market.”
Some Things More Serious:
1. https://stevelaube.com/do-you-have-a-backup-plan/ “The question is not if your hard drive will fail; it is a question of when. Every year I have a client whose laptop or desktop hard drive has crashed.
Let me tell you a true story:
A few years ago an author was on a serious deadline. The author had already asked the publisher for two deadline extensions but had only written one half of the book. The editor said, “We’ll give you a third, two week extension, but this is the last one. It is now a ‘drop dead’ deadline.”
The author was unable, due to life circumstances, to effectively work on it for most of those extra days. So, in order to hit the Monday deadline, they borrowed a laptop from work (with permission) and headed out Friday morning to a hotel for the weekend. The author spent three straight days pounding the keys, finishing the second half of their book.
In the wee hours on Sunday night, well after midnight, in pure exhaustion, the author hit Send and emailed the manuscript to the publisher. Closed the laptop and slept for a couple hours.
The author staggered to work on Monday morning and returned the laptop after copying the file to a flash drive.
A few hours later the editor at the publisher wrote, “Thanks for sending the first half of your book to me this morning. Where is the rest?”
Dare I tell you the rest of the story?
The author had somehow sent the original half-finished book, not the completed” Yikes! That would be awful!
2. https://fantasyhandbook.wordpress.com/2020/05/12/why-not-poetry-too/ “For the better part of the last half of the twentieth century and all of the twenty-first, so far, the money for creative writers has been in screenplays. This is where you might actually make a million dollars selling a script that will probably never even be produced. TV, of course, could beat that if you get a staff job somewhere, especially on a successful sitcom. Of course, that means Hollywood is buried in spec scripts—probably millions of them by now.
But I don’t cover Hollywood. I’ve taken my stabs at it and heard all the tales of fame and fortune, and all the horror stories of watching your story rewritten and rewritten over and over again until whatever you started with is gone completely…
Outside of Hollywood, though, the money is in novels. And I like that territory because there the author is king. Editors are there to help you, not to rewrite you or homogenize you. If a publisher is behind a book it means they’ve decided that your vision might make them some money. I like that, and I bet everyone reading this likes that, too, so we’re all writing novels, trying to sell novels or self-publish novels. Yes! Don’t stop doing that.
Novellas are making a pretty good run at it, too. I’ll credit the e-book for that, which allows us to publish shorter works, sell them for a couple, two-three dollars, and that’s great.” I find poetry helps sharpen my tools. Plus, it’s just plain “Fun.”
3. https://jamigold.com/2020/05/what-does-it-mean-to-write-to-market/ “If we’ve ever researched how to be more successful as a writer, chances are we’ve heard the advice: Write to market. And if we’ve heard that advice, there’s a good chance we’ve had a strong reaction.
Some writers hear that advice and think, duh. Others hear the advice and feel a visceral protest.
What does the advice mean? Is there a way we can recognize the benefits of writing to market without running into the negatives?
What Does “Write to Market” Mean?
Given the dichotomy of views on the advice, we can find all types of perspectives on what “write to market” means, so I’m not going to say that my perspective is right and all others are wrong. *smile* However, I hope my view might help those who don’t like the advice see it in a different light.”
Teaser Fiction & Poetry:
3. https://conniejjasperson.com/2020/05/13/poetry-and-prose-part-1-structure-amwriting/ “In my previous post, I discussed how language and poetry were fundamental to how our human species survived and passed knowledge forward to future generations. Today, we’re going to look at two aspects of poetic structure.
Poets must convey an entire story in as few words as possible, and so must authors of other stripes.
An obvious trope of poets that we who write novels must make good use of are (what I think of as) power words. If we choose words that both carry emotions and have visual impact, we don’t have to use as many to show the story.”
Book Reviews, Cover Reveals, & Author Interviews:
1. https://writershelpingwriters.net/2020/05/the-occupation-thesaurus-writing-guide-is-releasing-soon-will-you-help-us/ “One thing that never gets old is being able to share when a new book in on its way, so as you might imagine, Becca and I are pretty happy to pen this post.
The Occupation Thesaurus will be here in July!
Covid-19 wasn’t a factor when we set a date, and so when it reared its ugly head we waffled a bit as to whether to hold off releasing this book. People are dealing with a lot, and it might not be the right time to get excited over a new thesaurus. But as a few lovely people have reminded us, while life is challenging, many writers are trying to write, research projects, or strengthen their writing craft, and this book might help. And helping…well, that’s what we do.”
2. http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2020/05/14/dan-moren-five-things-i-learned-writing-the-aleph-extraction/ “Aboard a notorious criminal syndicate’s luxurious starliner, Commonwealth operative Simon Kovalic and his crew race to steal a mysterious artifact that could shift the balance of war…
Still reeling from a former teammate’s betrayal, Commonwealth operative Simon Kovalic and his band of misfit spies have no time to catch their breath before being sent on another impossible mission: to pull off the daring heist of a quasi-mythical alien artifact, right out from under the nose of the galaxy’s most ruthless crime lord.
But their cold war rivals, the Illyrican Empire, want the artifact for themselves. And Kovalic’s newest recruit, Specialist Addy Sayers, is a volatile ex-con with a mean hair-trigger who might put the whole mission at risk. Can Kovalic hold it all together, or will the team tear themselves apart before they can finish the job?”
3. https://colleenchesebro.com/2020/05/14/colleens-2020-book-reviews-the-breaking-northern-witch-book-3-by-author-k-s-marsden-ksmarsden/ “Mark thought being a witch would be easy, but it has ruined everything.
Now, he has to fight for his friends and the guy that he loves.
Which would be challenging enough, without school being a living nightmare; more demons than he can handle; and witches that have strayed from the light.”