Great Stuff from the Writers’ Blogs, July 12, 2012

We’re going to visit some different places today–blogs, of course, but also a non-blog web site and entries from an e-newsletter.

We’ll start with several pieces put out thanks to the ThrillerFest convention, currently under way in New York City or the topic of thrillers in general, but all of these pieces are good for non-thriller writers, too:

  • Meg Gardiner (@MegGardiner1) joins The Kill Zone crew with advice on Getting Out of the Protection Racket. Say what? What she’s referring to is protecting your characters, especially your faves. No matter what your genre, every major character needs to be in serious danger, maybe not of getting physically mugged in a back alley and left for dead, but maybe emotionally or psychologically.
  • Mega-best-selling thriller writer Catherine Coulter (@catherincoulter) offers 9 Simple Ways to Be a Better Writer on the Writer’s Digest newsletter. They’re all simple, you’ve heard them all before, but when an author who’s had 62–yes, SIXTY-TWO–New York Times best sellers says them, maybe we should oughta listen.
  • Daniel Palmer (@danielpalmer) adds Thriller Writing Made Easy: 4 Steps to Starting a Thriller in the same newsletter but these steps apply to all kinds of fiction writing. They’re not unique to thrillers, by any means. I particularly like his first one: “Choose your rhino.” Want to know why? Click on the link.

OK, off to stuff not tied to thrillers.

  • Beth K. Vogt (@BethVogt) guest posts on Rachelle Gardner’s (@RachelleGardner) blog that Publishing is Not a Three-Legged Race. What she means is that we shouldn’t engage in comparing ourselves to other writers, especially when they’ve had recent success. That process of comparison ties us up and limits our ability to move forward toward our own success at our own pace, even sets us up for a fall, but one that only we, and not the person we’ve “tied” ourselves to, will suffer.
  • And finally, we’ll make a visit to Jeffrey Brown’s (@JeffreyBrown) Art Beat (@NewHourArtBeat) blog on the PBS NewsHour’s web site for his conversation with artist Lou Beach (@420characters) about his new book 420 Characters. No, Beach wasn’t trying to pull a Tolstoy and put 420 characters into the book. Instead, he’s created a book of flash-fiction stories, each of which started out as a Facebook post, which are, as you probably know, limited to 420 total characters (letters, spaces, and punctuation marks). Each story has to have a beginning, a middle, and an end–all in less than 100 words. Now that’s a challenge. Beach reads a few of the stories during the interview and more are available on the book’s web site.
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