Great Stuff on the Writers’ Blogs, November 13 and 14, 2012

We’ve got it all today—pieces on craft, business, the writer’s life, and social media—so let’s make like bunnies and hop to it.

CRAFT

We’ll start with Ann Aguirre’s (@MsAnnAguirre) Writer Unboxed piece on Changing Your Process. Think there’s one and only one way for you to write? What if that way’s not working? What if you need to increase your production? What if you just want to finish something for once? Ann offers not only encouragement that you can change if you want to, but resources and ideas for learning how to do better by doing differently. Not a Chicken Soup piece but practical advice.

Speaking of practical advice, Gabriela Pereira (@DIYMFA) provides plenty in How to Write a Killer Logline. What’s that? You don’t know what a logline is? Check out your nearest TV program guide. The logline is the one sentence description of a movie or TV show. Capturing the essence of a novel in one sentence—just one—isn’t easy but it’s a craft you can learn. Not only does Gabriela provide tips, she walks you through the development of a real one and explains how it improved draft by draft. This is a good candidate for your keeper file.

We’ll step back to Writer Unboxed for a minute for Keith Cronin’s (@KeithCronin) More Technology for Writers post, in which he reviews eight different software packages for writers, from one’s you’ve surely heard of, like Scrivener, to ones you likely haven’t, like Writemonkey. Some of these programs are free, some are fairly expensive; some are for PCs, others for pad/tablet computers or even smartphones. But don’t delay: these reviews will be obsolete by the end of the year! J

BUSINESS

Wow, here’s a tough one: would you ever turn down a publishing contract you’d been offered? Kfir Luzzatto (@KfirLuzzatto) has and explains why you should in Mustering the Courage to Turn Down a Publishing Contract on Writer Beware® Blogs. Better than that, though, he offers 10 things you should do (like check the proposed publication date) or not do (tell everyone you’ve gotten the contract before you’ve even reviewed it), or ways of thinking, especially if you do turn the contract down, to help you get through the process. Even better yet, after the end of Kfir’s post, Victoria Strauss adds a list of helpful resources on how to review contracts (including from Intellectual Property lawyers), where to go for information on publishing houses, etc. I have a feeling I’m going to be adding a lot of bookmarks as a result of this post. All by itself, the resource list is a keeper.

After your book is published, of course you want to plus up your sales. Jane Friedman (@JaneFriedman) hosts a guest post by Rob Eagar (@robeagar), founder of WildFire Marketing, on how to Sell More Fiction by Activating the Power of Book Clubs. Rob discusses three ways to get started: provide “spicy” discussion questions, turn the book into an event, and offer a virtual discussion with the author. At least one of these ought to fit into your comfort zone. Well worth checking out.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Nathan Bransford (@NathanBransford) provides a useful discussion of Facebook Pages vs. Profiles for Authors today. The distinction is important and profiles and pages both have their pluses and minuses.

THE WRITER’S LIFE

Finally, Nancy J. Cohen (@nancyjcohen) describes her experiences at conferences/conventions for three different (sets of) genres: romance, mysteries, and science fiction/fantasy/horror. No surprise, there are Cultural Differences between each, which I can partially vouch for having just attended an sf/f/h convention myself. The point, of course, isn’t that one isn’t “better” than the others, but that each has its own focus and approach—in fact, even within a particular genre, different conferences do things differently and have their own vibes. Nancy’s commenters add their own takes on cons they’ve been to. If you’ve never been to one, this is a good way to get an idea of what you could experience.

That’s all for today. Got something to share? Add it in the comments.

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