Thursday, May 23, 2013

Writing Post Round Up - Week of May 12-18

Wow!  I collected quite a few posts this week, so we’ll just get started:

Synopses.  We all know we’re going to have to write one (or more!) eventually, but what exactly are they and what purpose do they serve?  And how does one write one, anyway?  Here is a post breaking down one method of writing a synopsis, step by step.  There’s also a link to a previous post where Mindy discusses that first question – what are they and why do you need one.  Two-for-one!

Some tips on how to keep all the balls in the air.  Because who among us doesn’t have too much stuff to do, and too little time to do it in?  Plus, I just like the juggling metaphor.

Social media - because you’ve got to be there, right?  Here are some tips to make it work for you.

I like this one because a) Jan O’Hara is just an entertaining writer and b) although conflict may be our bread and butter on the page, it’s good to have tools for dealing with it when things go off the rails in the real (or digital) world.  Thankfully, the interactions I’ve been part of or witnessed in writing communities online have mostly been very positive, even when people disagreed.

I love these tips on writing fiction from Margaret Atwood.

The first in a very interesting series of posts on the daily rituals of famous creators (writers, painters, filmmakers, etc.).  Okay, I haven’t read them all yet, but the ones I did were interesting, so I assume the whole series is.

This is something I’m struggling with right now – the inner editor.  Sometimes it strikes before I even sit down in front of the computer.  “You suck,” it says.  “You have nothing to say that anyone is going to care about.  Why bother even putting words on the screen?”  I’d like to say I ignore it every day and put words on the screen anyway, but that would be a lie.  Anyway, this post kind of gives me hope that it’s possible to conquer that obnoxious voice.  Also, he shares some pretty awesome writing tools.

This is actually not a writing post – not really.  It’s a "know thyself" post, I suppose, and I freely admit that I cannot immediately think of answers to all these questions.  I’d have to sit down with it and think about it for a while – which I think might be a good thing for writers to do.  Know ourselves.  Also, it could make an awesome character questionnaire. 

Going back to that inner editor thing (sort of), here’s a post on doing things “good enough”.   (I know, I know, the grammar is atrocious.) This post is taking off on the quote “Perfect is the enemy of the good,” attributed to various really smart dead guys.

And I’m obviously catching up on Writer Unboxed posts this week.  Here’s one on finding a good title – a process that sometimes seems mystical in the way it works (or doesn’t).  I’m pretty happy with my title for my current WIP – if the work can live up to its promise – but I have another one on the back burner that’s pretty much called “the changeling story that refuses to be named”.  And my poor musical is currently languishing under the title “Chess Pieces.”  Sigh.  Maybe some of these tips will help.

A quick trick to spice up your characters.

Heaven knows I’m guilty of some (if not all) of these writing mistakes on occasion.  Here’s a handy list of common mistakes to watch for in your editing.

How do you know when it’s time (or not!) to give up on a manuscript?  One author’s story.

Still with the Writer Unboxed catch-up.  A compilation of advice from literary agents on what NOT to do in the beginning of your novel.

This is a question I’ve often wondered about, but haven’t really seen discussed a lot.  How much is too much truth in our writing?  This is a particularly important consideration for memoirists and other non-fiction writers, but fiction writers should probably think about it, too.  What is the cost of telling all (even a fictionalized version of it) and are we prepared to pay that price? 

Well, that’s all I’ve got folks!  Stay tuned for the next installment (in two days, when I actually post it on Saturday, for once!).  Happy writing!

Note: this is a list of blog posts and articles on writing that I collect weekly.  Inclusion on this list does not necessarily mean it was published this week, just that I read it this week and thought it was cool, interesting, and/or useful.