Some top-notch stuff, some interesting stuff, and some maybe-it’ll-work-for-you stuff today on craft, marketing, and social media. We’ll start with craft:
- Right at the top is Gabriela Pereira’s (@DIYMFA) Lessons on Character from ThrillerFest, featuring key points from a presentation by super-agent Donald Maass (@DonMaass). If you’ve read any of Maass’s Breakout books (The Breakout Novelist, Writing the Breakout Novel, etc.) you’ve seen his discussions of how characters are the story, and the roles of characters’ internal and external struggles. If not, Gabriela’s piece is a terrific summary of those points.
- Somewhat related, Michael Swanwick discusses why writing “rules” aren’t really rules in Elmore Leonard’s Eleventh Law. That “law” (spoiler alert!), which Swanwick says is implied in Leonard’s first ten, is “don’t follow rules if you can transcend them.” Of course, if you’re a new writer, there can be a big difference between believing that you can transcend a rule and proving you can, but the only way to find out is to try.
- Carleen Brice’s (@carleenbrice) Q&A With Novelist J. D. Mason on Writer Unboxed touches all the required bases of writer interviews: editing, pace, character development, revising, and dealing with writer’s block. Perhaps you’ll find Mason’s views and insights informative. (Mason Facebook fan page.)
- Finally in “craft,” Jane Friedman (@JaneFriedman) offers 5 Remarkable Writing Prompt & Exercise Books. I’m not a fan of prompts and exercises, but if you are, check out this post.
Let’s move on to marketing and social media, now.
- In the context of Pearson Publishing’s purchase of Author Solutions, Inc. (ASI), last week, Rachelle Gardner (@RachelleGardner) asks and answers the question, How Does Your Publisher Make Money? Now, since Rachelle works in the “legacy” publishing world, it’s no surprise she’s not so hot about ASI’s business model, but others who work on the self-pub side have been critical of ASI, too, so what Rachelle’s really saying is “understand the business.”
- Jan Dunlap offers some interesting ideas for Creative Venue Planning on WordServe Water Cooler. “Venue” meaning places you can tell people about your book and maybe sell some copies.
- Finally, Angela Ackerman (@angelaackerman) of The Bookshelf Muse guest posts on The Eagle’s Aerial Perspective on What to Do…If You Believe Social Media Isn’t for You. Her tips are about how to dip your toe in some corner of the pool before you go on to developing that strategy for how you’re going to use some part of social media effectively.