A bit of writing community business before we begin:
Author L.A. Banks is still fighting hard against her illness, and her fellow Liars Club members are throwing a Writers Rave bash on 8/6 at Smokey Joe’s, 40th Street in University City in Philly for her benefit! Fantastic silent auctions are in the works, including full ms. read and phone crit from lit agent Jennifer DeChiara, and two tix to Jersey Boys on Broadway plus backstage tour and signed poster. Come join this massive meetup and have a blast for a great cause!
In other news, don’t miss YA and sci-fi author David Roth’s blog tour when he stops in at The Author Chronicles on Friday, July 22!
Before we write anything, we need ideas. Author Dan Wells finds out where writing ideas come from—and it’s not a little old lady from Schenectady. Author Sophie Masson uses her dreams to enrich her work, and shows us how to do it, too.
Idea in hand, we need characters. As the Young Adult Library Services Association reminds us in two articles, YA readers love to see themselves reflected in the pages of books. So consider carefully the diversity of your protagonists—you may be able to speak to a group of kids who often feel neglected or overlooked. Chantele Sedgwick talks about the importance of naming your character, how she does it, and she garners a lot of good tips from her commentors as well!
Got idea. Got characters. Need research. Crime and mystery writers can head over to Forensics4Fiction for a crash course on CSI-ing. Historical fiction buffs can learn more than they ever thought there was to know about How To Undress a Victorian Lady from romance novelist Deeanne Gist. Dystopian writers, take note of Gene Lempp’s blog about a real-life dystopian Scottish island and the lessons to be learned from it.
We’ve got it all together now—on to the writing! First – voice, which Mandy Robbins Taylor describes as being “everything.” To keep things interesting, author Lisa Green outlines four steps to writing great action scenes. To make things even more intriguing, insert as much subtext as possible in every scene, as Deborah Halverson explains. Although we’ve linked to the Bookshelf Muse on this blog before, thanks to author Jami Gold for reminding us of their wonderful Thesaurus collections—a unique resource to help writers avoid using clichés for everything from Emotions to Weather.
After your writing is done, it’s feedback and advice time. Occasionally you’ll run into some toxic feedback, and the women at Ready, Aim, Hook Me hand us some tools to deal with it. On the encouraging side, eight best-selling authors stop over at the YA Fantasy Guide to pass on the best advice they ever received.
And for those of you who write, read, and love graphic novels, Publishers Weekly brings you an interview with artist Ashley Marie Witter, who is adapting Ann Rice’s Interview with the Vampire into a graphic novel.
It is no surprise that this week’s business news was dominated by the looming Borders liquidation. The Wall Street Journal announces it, The New Yorker analyzes it, Eric at Pimp My Novel takes an insightful look into it, author Jonathan Maberry comments on the closing’s impact on the author/reader relationship, and Backspace gives us a Borders round-up of links to more info about the liquidation.
Although Borders’ demise changes the publishing landscape yet again (it’s more like a seascape, really, since it’s different every time you blink), publishing still goes on and we writers need to know the new lay of the land (sea?). If you want an agent, you’ve still got to query, and Stacey O’Neale at YA Fantasy Guide interviews seven literary agents and a book trailer specialist, as well as listing several resources writers can use to get that killer query out there. Author Tiffany Schmidt shares her 8 steps for building your writing career. And a decidedly non-traditional way to fund your book comes to us from Unbound, a UK business that allows people to support unwritten books and make them happen—virtual patrons for the digital age.
Social media for writers expert Kristen Lamb serves up 10 ways to make your blog work harder for you, and Deepwood Inc. demystifies hashtags on Twitter and suggests a few of the most beneficial ones for writers.
Children’s and YA literary agent Jennifer Laughran gives the low-down on the current picture book market and how to give yourself the best shot at getting noticed.
On the Blood-Red Pencil, editor Kathryn Craft explains how working with an editor should work in an ideal world—and how it often actually works in the real world.
Want to encourage a teenage (or younger) writer? Are you one yourself? Check out author Joanna Penn’s tips and resources to help them keep the dream alive.
For those of you who are still looking to kick back with a good book this summer while on a long road trip, try some of these YA audio books recommended by the Young Adult Library Services Association.
SEMINARS, CONFERENCES, EVENTS
Early registration for November’s Backspace Agent Author Seminar goes on through August 30th.
If you need to get away and can’t, sneak a peek into Holly Black’s writing get-away in Provence with Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan.
Gentle Tentacle’s comical comment on how monsters have changed over the years.