Spent the weekend at the TusCon science fiction, fantasy, and horror convention. Had a great time and learned a lot, too. Many thanks and kudos to the Baja Arizona Science Fiction Association (BASFA) for putting on their 39th con!
The downside of convention-going, of course, is catching up, which I’m now doing…with these results:
Clare Langley-Hawthorne has an interesting piece on The Kill Zone about Unreliable Narrators. Inspired by the first-person narrator of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, Clare discusses the key things that make an unreliable narrator someone we still want to spend time with. If you’ve ever considered writing (or tried to write) such a character, stop on by to check out Clare’s insights.
We all know the dictum that writing is rewriting. And rewriting means deleting—drowning your darlings, killing your kittens, all that. But deleting material doesn’t have to mean that it’s gone for good and forever. The mechanics and rationale for that are the subject of KM Weiland’s (@KMWeiland) Why Writers Should Never Hit Delete on her WORDplay blog. Her technique—moving to-be-removed material to a separate file—is one approach; there are others. In any case, it’s material you can get back if needed. And sometimes you need to.
Back at The Kill Zone, James Scott Bell (@jamesscottbell) discusses The Perils of Internet Information, especially how easy it is for something supposedly true can be spread around as if it were. Jim’s article centers around various famous quotes, but of course the message is much broader.
Nina Badzin (@NinaBadzin) has a terrific post on Writer Unboxed about How to Tweet so People Will Listen. What I particularly liked about this post was, rather than being a list of don’ts, it suggests good ideas and explains why they’re good (okay, plus some bad ideas and why they’re bad, but just a few).
Nathan Bransford’s (@NathanBransford) guest poster Jon Gibbs (@jongibbs) takes care of the negative side with his 10 Marketing Techniques That Annoy Potential Readers. Not all of these are done on social media (and, to be honest, I saw some of them used at TusCon) and some of them are just flat astonishing but yes, people really do them. (This is one of three posts that came to my attention via Joel Friedlander’s weekly summary on The Book Designer.)
Robert Lee Brewer (@robertleebrewer) offers several great tips for how to Develop a Slogan to Help Your Author Platform on his My Name Is Not Bob blog. The key points are that a good slogan builds an identity and communicates value while distinguishing you from your competition. Big companies and political campaigns have known this forever but writers can benefit from it too.
That said, however, Dan Blank (@DanBlank) has an exceptional piece on We Grow Media titled What We Leave Behind—The Real Meaning of Your Platform as a Writer. The title is almost longer than the post but this one part is so good I have to quote it here: “The effect you have on others is the platform. The meaning and purpose behind your work is the platform. The information you share that reshapes someone’s understanding is the platform. The story that inspires and opens new doors – that is the platform.” Wow. Kinda puts things into a different (and better) perspective, doesn’t it? (This piece also came via Joel Friedlander.)
Finally, and again via Joel Friedlander, a very cool set of Tools for Testing Your Ebooks from the PressBooks Blog. The authors list 7 (and provide links to 6) tools that let you look at your ebook in EPUB and PDF formats as they will appear on various ereaders so you can be sure they’re okay before you actually publish. Man, can this ever save heartache!
That’s what I found. What have you found out there on the blogosphere that’s worth sharing? Post your suggestions in the Comments.