Great Stuff on the Writers’ Blogs, October 16 and 17, 2012

A surprisingly light mid-week, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing terrific out there. For example…

CRAFT STUFF

Sophie Masson (@SophieMasson1) continues her series of articles on characters on Writer Unboxed, focusing this time on Sidekicks and Henchmen. The roles might seem similar, but they’re not. Check out the post for the details.

As KM Weiland (@KMWeiland) points out, we’re always being told to “raise the stakes” in our stories. And yet…is it possible to go too far, even in fiction? The answer’s “yes,” so you need to know Why Your Stakes Shouldn’t Be Too High.

Nicola Morgan (@nicolamorgan) guest posts on Writer Beware with a positive and very helpful piece on one of the hardest things we ever have to write: the query letter. In Write the Letter That Sells Your Book, Morgan shows you how to start a two or three word epithet (that’s a description, not an obscenity!) about your main character, expand it to 25 words, then expand it again into a paragraph that makes that agent or editor think I’ve GOT to read this book! (And don’t forget to include wolves. ;)) This one’s a keeper.

MARKETS AND WEB STUFF

Emily Wenstrom (@EmilyWenstrom) introduces 5 Literary Journals Born of the Digital Age in a guest post on Jane Friedman’s blog. These are definitely babies of the Facebook/Twitter era: one wants stories no longer than 420 characters, poems no longer than 140, another prefers a length of 433 words. If this kind of flash is for you, check out this post.

Laura Pepper Wu (@laurapepwu) also guests on Jane’s blog with this important information: Is Your Author Website Doing Its Job? 6 Things to Check. Practical and actionable advice, whether you’ve got a web site already or, like me, know you need to build one. This one’s another keeper.

INTERESTING STUFF

Today’s last piece is just interesting. There are as many as 31 million dyslexics in the United States alone, people for whom reading is very difficult. Joel Friedlander (@jfbookman) introduces us today to A Typeface Just for Dyslexics on The Book Designer. The free, open-source typeface, called OpenDyslexic makes the bottom of each character thicker, which designer Abelardo Gonzalez says will keep letters from appearing to roll over or turn into others, one of the symptoms of dyslexia. Now, if someone could just invent something that would make my fingers type all the letters of the word in teh rihgt odrer, that would be GRATE!

ANNOUNCEMENT

There will be no Great Stuff on Friday. Wait, let me make that more clear: I won’t be posting anything on Friday. I’ll be stuck in meetings all day. “See” you on the internet on Monday.

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