Friday, May 25, 2012
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Kate followed this up with another post that clarified some reader questions, and addressed what writers can do to help--especially writers who are white (like me). It's very thought-provoking and has me thinking about my own responsibility as an author. Though I have characters in my books who are ethnically and sexually diverse (LGBT), I'm not sure how much control I'd have over the covers. Per Kate's post, even mega-author John Green admitted not loving several of his book covers. I'm not sure what the answer is but Kate poses some great questions that we, as writers, need to keep asking.
Have you read these posts? What are your thoughts on these issues? Anyone else happy to see the decrease in dead girl covers?
Monday, May 21, 2012
Friday, May 18, 2012
1) Share useful information. I love it when people pass along informative links or RT articles on the publishing industry.
2) Engage with others. Though it's great to share, don't solely rely on RT's and links to other things. Spend some time engaging with your fellow writers and industry peers.
3) Be yourself. The people that I enjoy following the most are those that seem to just be themselves. Whether you are naturally interesting, witty, or funny--embrace it and do that. Trying to present as something other than you are comes through.
1) Promote your book constantly. One of the few things that will cause me to immediately unfollow someone is if they follow me and I follow them back--only to get a "message" a minute later asking me to buy their book or check out their site. Don't do this!
2) Follow people just so they'll follow you back, and then unfollow them to jack up your numbers. Rather than making you look popular, you look like a [insert favorite curse word]. NOTE: People reading this post are clearly awesome people who don't do this.
3) Don't exclude. Even if I can't follow everyone back (because it's only possible to keep track of so many people in my feed), I always respond to @replies. Unless you're Neil Gaiman, you are not too cool for school, and will come across as a [insert favorite curse word] when you are only seen interacting with published writers.
What are your Twitter tips? Do you autofollow everyone? Share below.
Monday, May 14, 2012
Monday, May 7, 2012
Wired has a great interview with Joss Whedon. It's very long, but a great read if you're a fan of his, or interested in his thoughts on writing, characters, and plot. Here's the part that I want to talk about though, it's about characters and their motivations:
Reading this made me feel good because it's something I've always tried to do with both my characters and my plot. I think it's important that in any scene you write, you should be able to turn to each character there and ask "Why are you here?" and they should have an answer. Whether the reason is personal, "I'm here because I love him." or not, "This is my English class, I have to be here." they should be there for some reason that has to do with THEM, and not your plot. If I ask and my character answers, "I'm here because you need me to overhear this argument so that later I can use that info to solve the mystery." then, in my opinion, I've failed to make him three-dimensional, he's merely a plot device in the shape of a person.
Every character, whether they're the main character or one who pops in for one scene, should have a full life, regardless of how much we see of it. When people appear only to prove a point, or drop a clue, or to tell us something about the main character, the whole world of your story feels a little less real.
Achieving this can be tricky. You don't want a minor character to walk into a scene and say, "I'm here because this is my English class, where I'm supposed to be, and I just noticed that your hair looks different." Subtlety is key. This is one of those things where the reason doesn't always have to be spelled out on the page, but YOU need to know it. When you know why a character is there, it shows in your writing, and scenes feel more real.
When it comes to plot points, I always check that all the characters involved are there for a reason, and not because I NEED them to be there in order for the story to move forward. Without that reason -- personal or practical, things can feel "too convenient" or false. You want those moments to feel inevitable, where your readers can almost see it coming, as they weave all the pieces together, and they think, oh no!, at the same time that they think, of course they would all end up in this place just as the bomb goes off, it couldn't be any other way.
Because that's the moment that really connects with the reader. That's where the emotional connection to the story comes in. When they can look back at everything each character has done, and know that this is exactly the way it has to be, because they understand why each character has done what they've done so far, and why they're there at that moment. Without that it's just another thing moving the plot along.