Great Stuff on the Writers’ Blogs, May 30, 2012

Boy, spend a day “out of the office,” even for business, and look what piles up in the reader list! OK, then. No whining–two days’ worth of goodies, instead.

  • Every not-yet-published author wants to know What Does a Publishing Contract Cover? Happily for us, Rachelle Gardner (@RachelleGardner) provides the answer, including 25 typical items and, interesting to note, the nearly half of that list (11) she finds herself negotiating on most often. (Note: this is strictly about traditional-publishing contracts, NOT self-publishing ones.)
  • We’ve all faced this situation: someone asks us to do something and we don’t think (or know!) we can’t, and yet we have a hard time saying no. Michael Hyatt (@michaelhyatt) offers a technique for How To Say No When You Feel Pressured to Say Yes.
  • I’m not always a fan of “Top X” lists. “Top 47,386 Ways to…”? Not goin’ there. But DIY MFA (@DIYMFA) has a 12-entry Top 10 Website Picks list that’s worth a look, given the range of topics the sites cover: writing prompts to writing processes to agent blogs to querying. I’m pleased to note that some of the blogs I review here are on that list. Then, in a second (next day) post, Gabriela adds her Top 10 Twitter Feed picks.

That’s all for Monday and Tuesday. What have you found on writers’ blogs that was great?

Great Stuff on the Writers’ Blogs, May 23, 2012

They’re GRRRRR… Oh, wait. Can’t use that: copyright infringement! But anyway, the posts below are.

  • Rachelle Gardner (@RachelleGardner) pulls back the publishing house curtain to answer the question What Does the Editing Process Look Like? Nothing really surprising here but great info for those who haven’t had the privilege yet.
  • After the editing comes the marketing (if not also before, in terms of platform building), and that may include advertising. Jane Friedman (@JaneFriedman) begs, Please Do Not Pay Money for an Online Ad Until You Read This. OK, maybe “begs” isn’t the right word. Warns, perhaps? Anyway, the lists are well worth the visit.
  • Nancy J. Cohen (@nancyjcohen) takes on an unusual topic for The Kill Zone in DOG: First Page Critique. She’s right on target, though: the author gets us engaged with the protagonist right away. Want to find out how? Go take a look.
  • Speaking of engaging, on WordServe Water Cooler, Sharon A. Lavy takes a quote from Sol Stein’s Stein on Writing and turns it into an interesting exercise to help not just Find Your Writing Passion but express it in a powerful and succinct way. Good stuff!
  • Back to the topics of character and engaging, K. M. Weiland (@KMWeiland) dares ( ! ) to critique Cecil B. DeMille’s classic movie, The Ten Commandments, on WORDplay. Why? How? To make this point: Don’t Betray Your Character in Your Climax. “[C]haracter is the heart of your story…no matter how big the events surrounding the protagonist” are.
  • Lori Handeland’s (@nightcreatures) wry list of 10 Writing Myths (the truths follow in parentheses) and the 10 things that make the myths irrelevant, all on the Guide To Literary Agents blog.

That’s it for the great stuff, but I want to take a minute to comment on some really-not-great stuff. A couple of the blogs I follow are written by “big name” people, neither of whom I’m going to identify beyond this: one a science fiction author whose fiction I appreciate and enjoy; the other a novelist and big, or at least loud, voice in the current self- versus traditional publishing kerfuffle. So far, so good.


Time after time, I see the advice to keep blog posts short and on-point. Alas, these two authors seem to have missed that e-mail. Author #2’s latest massive missive clocked in at over 4,800 words. Author #1’s non-fiction latest: almost 3,400.

Sorry, I don’t have the time.

Which is a shame, because I’ll bet I could learn a lot from both of them. But there’s this little thing called respecting your reader’s time.

I hope I’m respecting yours.

Now, what great stuff did you find on the blogosphere today?