LOTS of stuff on craft, the last couple of days, plus some keepers on The Writing Life. Off we go…
Robert Bruce (@robertbruce76) of 101 Books uncovered a 1955 interview Ralph Ellison did with The Paris Review on Writing for an Audience. While the specific question and answer Bruce quotes are couched in terms of race, Ellison makes the case against writing for an audience, especially a general one, when he says, “If … any … writer, is going to do what is expected of him, he’s lost the battle before he takes the field. I suspect that all the agony that goes into writing is borne precisely because the writer longs for acceptance—but it must be acceptance on his own terms.”
Speaking of audiences, Joe Moore’s (@JoeMoore_writer) excellent plea for Making an emotional connection on The Kill Zone is a strong reminder that all of our characters—hero, villain, walk-on, or someone in-between—has to be a person who readers can connect with if we want our stories to be read and appreciated.
Freelance editor Jodie Renner’s (@JodieRennerEd) examples of and exercises in producing Uncluttered Prose on The Bookshelf Muse are both fun and revealing. Give ‘em a try.
KM Weiland (@KMWeiland) discusses (gasp!) When Not to Show the Action. Would you believe, there are times when action would actually slow down a story. That’s when you want to do a quick summary and get everyone on to the next important conflict.
Finally, Jane Friedman (@JaneFriedman) points us to Josh Swiller’s short and fun Twelve Tips on Writing on Glimmer Train Stories’s web site. There isn’t anything new here, really, but his take on these basics is original. And it provides a good transition into some pieces on…
THE WRITING LIFE
Platform, platform, platform. Oy! How many times do we have to hear about platform? It’s gonna take so much stinkin’ time to do. I need time to WRITE! Dena Dyer (@motherinferior2) hears you. In part 3 of her “15-Minute Writer” series, she offers lots of hints to busy people about Building Your Platform a little bit, and just a few minutes, at a time.
Speaking of social media, Angela Ackerman (@AngelaAckerman and @WriterThesaurus) reveals, among other things, how she finally “got” Twitter in Twitter, Writing Resources & Clichés.
Next up is an 18-minute Michael Hyatt (@MichaelHyatt) video interview with John Maxwell. While Maxwell is a leadership coach, he’s also a prolific author and this interview includes some great information that’s applicable to writing. His thoughts on which weaknesses we should and should not work on is particularly insightful.
And finally, via Nathan Bransford’s blog, is Navigating the World of Literary Agents, a long August post on a site called The Millions by Michael Bourne on the life of a literary agent, the odds writers face of getting the positive attention of one, and what it takes to beat those odds.