THE BIG NEWS THIS WEEK
It's NaNoWriMo time again! We'll be seeing tons of Nano advice this month, but here's a quick round up to get you started: Philip Siegal points out that Nano trains you for the very important task of meeting deadlines; Writer's Relief has all the pieces for your writer's block emergency kit; Nia Madden encourages teens to join the Nano Young Writers Program; Veronica Roth says, "Don't look back;" Nathan Bransford lists 5 ways to stay motivated while writing a novel; auntie Maureen Johnson is answering a Nano question every day this month; and author Rachel Hawkins has a motivating pep talk with lots! of! exclamation! points!!
THIS WEEK IN WRITING
- Author/agent Betsy Lerner on how writing is a lot like smashing an egg on your head and expecting no mess.
- Author Dianne K. Salerni has an interesting look at the particular difficulties of writing historical YA.
- Think your blog has book potential? Find out the "nitty gritty pros, cons and considerations" at Think Traffic.
- Improvements to stories usually come at the expense of truth. Wired explains with "How Friends Ruin Memory" (via Molly O'Neill).
- Fascinating look at writing workshops led by cartoonist Lynda Barry (via The Rejectionist).
- Fourteen punctuation marks you never knew existed (via Rachel Stark).
- Author Jill Murray has practical how-tos for dealing with plot.
- As always, author Libba Bray kills it, this time almost literally with "Killing Your Darlings."
- Writing at home is a luxury, but it also has its challenges. Elizabeth S. Craig has several helpful hints for making it work.
- Editor Alvina Ling reveals that editors worry authors will think they're stupid-- just like we worry they'll think the same thing!
- Why creative writing is better with a pen (via Regal Literary).
- "(T)he vast majority of aspiring authors (somewhere over 99 percent) self-terminate their dream. They quit. Think about this for a minute, because it's important: THEY KILL THEIR OWN DREAM." Jim Butcher with the most important thing an aspiring author needs to know.
THIS WEEK IN READING
|I mean personally, I ship Drapple.|
- Goodreads Choice Awards 2011 voting is open! YA Highway's Veronica Roth is nominated in several categories, and you can always nominate your other favorites (*cough* Kirsten and Kody *cough*).
- We're a few weeks late on the scoop, but author Tim Federle asks at the Huff Po, "Where are the YA protagonists who just happen to be gay?" Meanwhile, Robin Talley admits that she is "a total queer YA reading fail."
- NPR launches a "Back Seat Bookclub" for kids.
- Jaymee Goh at Racialicious on how multiculturalism in steampunk (and in general) needs to mean more than just "not white."
- The Guardian has JRR Tolkien's original sketches for The Hobbit.
- Flavorwire looks at the worst consequences of literary teenage romance.
- Book Drum offers a crowd-sourced literary world map.
- What do you do with an ARC after its publication date? You do NOT sell it, explains author CJ Redwine.
- Ten literary trends that need to go away.
- Margaret Atwood ponders pointy metal bras and The God Test.
- More Hunger Games excitement this week, starting with Vanity Fair's interactive image portfolio (hover over each actor for more information about their character), followed by an interview with Jennifer Lawrence with the most ridiculous headline ever: "The Hunger Games: It's Not Twilight." (See also: It's not Hemingway, Harry Potter, the Iliad, Slaughterhouse Five, nor The Baby Sitters Club. I hope this clears things up.)
THIS WEEK IN PUBLISHING
- Several posts about dead girl covers this week: Librarian Allison has a wee rant for Halloween with "I See Dead People;" Stacked proves the trend with "There's always room to drown," and Rachel Stark asks, "Why the obsession with elegant death?"
- I am not going to bother to link to Barry Eisler's post comparing "legacy" publishing writers to house slaves and victims of Stockholm Syndrome. But I will send you to Courtney Milan's "Help! Help! I'm being oppressed!" commentary on the subject.
- Agent Jane Dystel on what happens when a client's published book just doesn't work.
- The Story Siren explains "Klout" and what the heck it means.
- The Steve Laube Agency has a week's worth of posts, explaining what it means for Christian writers that HarperCollins is buying Thomas Nelson Publishers.
- YES. Submission guidelines are important, and they're not arbitrary. Agent Lucienne Driver explains why.
- Two from agent Janet Reid this week: How "you're wrong" shuts down the feedback process, and further explanation of platform.
- The Intern has a semi-related post on Kindle swindlers, e-piracy, and exploding bottles of beer. Love it.
- Oh money. Why do you suck so much. Natalie Whipple talks about the price of putting a price tag on your work, and says, "The money doesn't have to mess with you." Chuck Wendig explains how writers are the 99%: "Ever try to get a mortgage? Or health care?" Ha ha ha ha. That Chuck. He's a riot. Meanwhile, The Atlantic looks at the income disparity of women in the creative class (via @bemissh).
- What's scarier than Halloween? Signing contracts with clauses you don't understand. Luckily agent Kristin Nelson has some explanations (and warnings).
- Self-publishing can be great for authors with an existing following, but for others, "it's a slog," says the WSJ.
THIS WEEK IN OTHER STUFF
- However, the mostly manufactured tiff between Stephenie Meyer and Anne Rice just made me roll my eyes.
- Tyler Oakley reports on a lesbian couple crowned Homecoming King and Queen.
- Not only did John Green finish signing his entire first run of TFIOS this week, he also announced that he and VlogBrother Hank are launching two educational vlog channels in January 2012!
THIS WEEK IN CONTESTS
- Beth Revis has an enormous giveaway, with 19 signed books + swag!
- Win one of two signed copies of The Implosion of Aggie Winchester from YA Fusion or YA Stands!
- Lori M. Lee is giving away an ARC of Everneath!
THIS WEEK IN THE RANDOM
Very cool interactive map showing the evolution of Western dance music.
James Franco will conduct a seance to contact Tennessee Williams. OF COURSE HE WILL.