Great Stuff from the Writers’ Blogs, August 1, 2012

A bit on craft, today, a bit on business, and a bit of silliness in service of a serious–OK, make that a real–business.

  • Let’s start with Kim Weiland (@KMWeiland) reminding us on her WORDplay blog, “Don’t Forget the Dialogue.” You mean, like we could? Well, yes, like we could, or get it out of balance (whatever that means) with our narrative. As Kim says, “…dialogue [is] sort of like salt. It perks up the readerly taste buds…” And who doesn’t want tasty fiction?
  • Donald Maass (@DonMaass) continues his Good Seed series on Writer Unboxed with a piece on surprise–in the premise of the story, in the opening, in the characters. Don’t hold back the surprises, he says. Spring ’em on the reader right at the beginning. Why? Surprises make us curious, make us want to read on. And that’s what we writers want our readers to do, now don’t we? ‘Course it is!
  • In the transition from craft to business, we have a guest post by Peter DeHaan (@Peter_DeHaan) on Rachelle Gardner’s (@RachelleGardner) blog that wants to know, Are You a Rookie or a Professional?  The answer depends on whether, in querying or pitching, you make rookie mistakes like not spell-checking your work, pitching to agents who don’t represent your kind of work, or are a pill to work with, or whether you produce quality work, meet your deadlines, and generally act…wait for it…like a professional. It seems like this shouldn’t be hard, but I’m continually amazed at how many articles there are on the topic, which means there are a lot of people who just don’t get it. Geez.
  • Nathan Bransford (@NathanBransford) writes about how We’re Moving from a World of Gatekeepers to a World of Influencers and what that means for us in terms of getting our writing read widely. Because inflencers range from your friends to Oprah, the range of how much power each one has varies widely, and that’s going to mean–already means–having to think and act differently about how we market our work and to whom. Oh, the times, they are a’changin’.
  • Yesterday, Michael Hyatt (@MichaelHyatt) provided a list of resources he uses to support his blogging. One of the resources he mentioned was Google’s Feedburner service. Today, Jane Friedman (@JaneFriedman) tells Why I Stopped Using Feedburner to Serve My Blog Subscribers. Jane has quite a few reasons, including the fact that Google has stopped supporting the service (that is, it is no longer updating the software, among other things) and that she’d found another (not free) service called FeedBlitz that better met her needs. This is a fairly technical article but if you have a newsletter or a blog, you may need to know this.
  • And finally, some silliness in support of a business. Kristine Kathryn Rusch (@kriswrites) and her husband Dean Wesley Smith (@DeanWesleySmith) have long been writers of science fiction and many other genres. They’ve also been editors. Kris edited The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction for many years. They swore they were done with that, but now Kris announces The Return to Editing, in the form of a new anthology series called Fiction River, which they’ve crowd-source funded as a Kickstarter project. (I won’t explain Kickstarter here. If you want more info, click on that link back there.) Anyway, the silliness is the video they’ve put together on their Kickstarter project page. If you’re in need of a giggle, have a look. The video’s only 3-1/2 minutes long.

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