Great Stuff on the Writers’ Blogs, June 14, 2012

Happy Bastille Day (in France) and Flag Day (in the US). And since the Bastille and the American flag are symbols for something larger, that gives me my entry into today’s posts:

  • We’ll begin with Katherine Grace Bond’s (@KatherineGBond) guest post on DIY MFA, Find Your Talisman. The talisman she’s referring to is some object that serves as a metaphor or symbol for the theme of your current work. Now, I’m not exactly a fan of carrying said talisman around (most guys–this one in particular–don’t carry purses, after all), but the idea of having some particular thing around which to build a story’s theme is interesting.
  • Subtext, that expression of meaning that isn’t directly expressed in the text, is another way to convey theme. Ollin Morales (@OllinMorales) offers 5 Techniques for Adding Subtext to your Story in a guest post on The Bookshelf Muse. While some of his suggestions aren’t new (give you character a secret), I thought this one–make your characters talk in gibberish and see if the subtext is still evident–was very clever. It forces you to look at how the characters are acting as a way of communicating with each other.
  • Yet another way of communicating the story behind the story is by Using Setting as a Character. MaryLu Tyndall’s (@MaryLuTyndall) guest post on Rachelle Gardner’s (@RachelleGardner) blog suggests six ways to do this, although a note of caution is appropriate here, too: beware of falling into cliche if you do this. Just as with any other technique, you don’t want to beat your readers over the head with setting-as-character.
  • Finally, John Preston (@familymoneyblog) lists Six People Who Can Ease the Blogger’s Burden on @ProBlogger. I mention this post because you can substitute “Writer’s” for “Bloggers” and the post still works. Like bloggers, writers can benefit from having both people “ahead” of them in the business (Preston’s coaches, collaborators, and heroes) and “behind” them (disciples, confidants, and fans) to pull or push them along.

That’s today’s “greatness,” at least from this end. What do you think? Did you find something special out in your slice of the blogosphere?

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