In the Blogosphere: 3/15-3/19
“In the Blogosphere” is a weekly series, which lists links to writing-related blogs I’ve stumbled upon throughout a given week. Most posts will be from that week, but if I find some “oldies but goodies,” I’ll throw those up here as well.
I never find as much time to read blogs as I want, but here are a few posts that struck me this week.
If you didn’t see my post about the Shenandoah Writers Query Symposium I’m helming, please check it out. I’m looking to compile some of best query-writing resources out there and discuss them with my writing groups. I plan to turn this “symposium” into a series of blog posts, so even if you’re not a member of Shenandoah Writers, give me your two cents (i.e., comment or e-mail with your favorite query resources or tips). A few brave souls have even given me queries they’ve written so we can critique them, so there are multiple ways you can get involved.
This is an oldie but goodie. It was actually written on my birthday in 2006 (but I digress) by the long-retired literary agent known to millions only by her scathing pseudonym, Miss Snark. She gives the straight dope on your plot pitch versus a synopsis.
Here, mystery writer Elizabeth Spann Craig offers some ways to reveal a protagonist’s character through self discovery.
I recently discovered young adult fiction writer Jamie Harrington‘s blog, Totally the Bomb.com (love that name, BTW!). And I’ve already found two posts I love. In this one, Harrington talks about five clichés used in young adult lit. And in this one, she dissects the classic love triangle.
This is another oldie but goodie, but at her blog, The Bookshelf Muse, the Jill Corcoran-repped kids’ lit author Angela Ackerman has a great resource for conveying emotion through a character’s body language. It’s not just for overcoming the five clichés Harrington outlines above, and it’s not just for juvenile lit. In this post, Ackerman introduces the idea of the “emotion thesaurus,” (which provides alternatives to having a character shrug his shoulders or roll his eyes). If you look in her sidebar on the right, she’s got a slew of entries under The Emotional Thesaurus.
Blogging making you crazy? Author Jody Hedlund offers some advice on what do to when your blog overwhelms you.
And here, Carol T. Cohn of Compukol Connection explains why you need to edit those pesky blog posts.
Shane Nickerson gives this amusing take on how Twitter slowly takes over your life.
Not sure whether to go with a big agency or a boutique agency? Epstein Literary agent and founder Kate Epstein discusses the pros and cons of both.
And I really felt for Caren Johnson Literary Agency‘s Elana Roth when she posted her thoughts on the protocol with regard to those queries/partials/fulls left hanging when a writer is offered representation. Although she got a bit bashed in some of the comments, she started a discussion that I think needed to be addressed. And she handled the backlash well. Kudos!
POTTER PROVIDES HELP
Dudes—Harry Potter is on the brain! Like it or not, writers can learn a lot from J.K. Rowling‘s famous example.
Last week, I did a post on how to break up a manuscript of epic proportions, and I used the Potter series to illustrate dramatic arcs (in it, I outlined Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone‘s dramatic arc and discussed the overarching arc of the series).
This week, I’m seeing posts—left and right—using Rowling’s baby to illustrate all kinds of things. Coincidence? Actually, yes. I’m not that important! As well, some of these posts are older:
- Here, guest blogger Jim Adams talks “showing” and “telling” in scenes and dialogue on Jane Friedman‘s (of Writer’s Digest) blog, There Are No Rules.
- In this post, Adams is at it again, giving tips on how to stretch the tension in a series.
- On St. Patty’s Day, Adams addressed conflict, according to Potter.
- Here, Friedman provides a complete list of links to all the posts in Adam’s 13-part series.
- And the good folks over at guardian.co.uk‘s Book Blog talk about character names in fantasy (but the post will interest writers of all genres)—with special attention to The Series that Need Not Be Named.
IN THE NEWS
Business Wire reported that Follett, college textbook wholesaler, will join forces with Bookrenter to start a textbook rental program. Where was this when I was in grad school?
Are you a Jane Austen fan? Adept at writing queries? Here’s a contest over at Getting Past the Gatekeeper that combines both of these things—write a query as if you wrote, and are pitching, Pride and Prejudice!
Last, but not least, congratulations are in order. My Writer’s Digest Books editor pal Chuck Sambuchino got a mention in Publishers Weekly for his upcoming humor book . . .
. . . and in the same post, it was announced that young adult fantasy author Beth Revis signed a huuuuuge three-book deal (I don’t really know her, but we have some mutual friends and I’m deciding to share in her excitement).