Been doing a lot of reading round the traps this week on the craft of writing. I also love discovering new authors via their blogs! If they blog about a subject I have an interest in, it makes me want to check out their fiction writing.
- I discovered Dean Wesley Smith's "Killing The Sacred Cows of Publishing". I first came to the series this week with "Writers need to be taken care of", a no nonsense look at not letting yourself be taken advantage of by agents and publishers. DWS is the husband of Kristine Kathryn Rusch who writes the very useful "Freelancer's Survival Guide". These two make a great writing craft tag team! (via @KristineRusch)
- Juliette Wade at TalkToYoUniverse writes about owning your identity as a writer in "Becoming 'A Writer'". This piece really spoke to me because I've only just started experimenting with finding my identity by admitting I'm a writer and blogging. It's an odd experience, like changing your career or a huge part of your personality. (via SFSignal)
- Juliette also blogs about creating an "interview" for character creation purposes in "Getting to know your character inside and out". A useful tool, if you're the sort of writer who prep is important to. At this stage, I let my characters fall out on the page and I clean up their idiosyncracies in editing. This may change if I ever get to starting The Novel and I need to start making better notes.
- Rachelle Gardener at "Rants and Ramblings On Life as a Literary Agent" has a tip which looks incredibly useful, which I can start doing now - "Keeping Track of Details" outlines how to start using an editorial style sheet. (via SFSignal)
- More on editing. Steve Harper Pizik's "Edit Smackdown" pits writer versus editor in a battle of the red pencil. (at Book View Cafe)
- Nalo Hopkinson's "About Writing" is a comprehensive list of tropes and mis-steps often seen in fiction writing (via @CatRambo). There are many lists like this for writers, sometimes even available through their submission guidelines. For example, one of the first lists I ever came across was at Strange Horizons, with "Stories we've seen too often".
- And for something a bit different, Mike Brotherton takes on mixing critique of a story with critique of the writer in "The Issue of Separating Writer from Story". I agree that it's problematic to conflate a story's issue to the intentions of a writer if those original intentions were good, but this issue deserves deeper introspection. Especially, in the perspective the good art someone makes should not give a pass for their awful personal views (eg: Polanski, Ellison). Also on the flip side, what about that writer who writes/creates something contentious AND holds that world view, but it still gets a pass because it's "art" or because of the writer's privilege? (via SFSignal)