Great Stuff on the Writers’ Blogs, August 6, 2012

A couple of themes in today’s posts–most of them, anyway–stepping into the abyss, and words. And they can be related. (Well, of course, they can! Don’t words push us writers into the unknown every day?) So, let’s see…where shall we start? Where…shall…we…start?

Into the abyss!

  • Michael Hyatt (@MichaelHyatt) explains Why Frequent Trips Outside Your Comfort Zone Are So Important. Like, that’s where the growth happens, where the solutions are, and where fulfillment resides. Good reasons, but how do we take that first step, and how do we ensure we gain from doing so? Hyatt offers 7 tips. While his post applies to life in general, it sure applies to writing. Take a look.
  • Jane Friedman (@JaneFriedman) has a brief post in which she uses excerpts from Carol Shields’ book A Year of Writing Dangerously and a quote from Ann Lamott to answer the questions, What Does Your Mother Think of Your Writing? Does It Matter? The point of both pieces is to live “dangerously” and not worry needlessly about others, including those close to you, might–might–think of your work.
  • Jael McHenry (@jaelmchenry) continues her “Flip the Script” series on Writer Unboxed by discussing why, while you can Start Anywhere, you should understand why authors, agents, and editors so strongly advise against prologues or starting with waking up, dream sequences, weather, etc.
  • Robert Lee Brewer (@robertleebrewer) welcomes poet Khara House (@ourlostjungle) to his My Name Is Not Bob blog, where she writes about The Importance of Word Play and how she uses it in her poetry classes to take her students way beyond their comfort zones–and what they gain from the experience. Let the words play. See what happens.
  • That lets us finish the second theme–words–with Rachelle Gardner’s (@RachelleGardner) encore list of Confusing Words. As she acknowledges, this is hardly a complete list, but her definitions and examples make the post valuable.
  • Stepping out of the “themes,” Lisa Cron’s (@lisacron) 7 Ways to Use Brain Science to Hook Readers and Reel Them In on Write to Done might sound intimidating, but especially for new writers, this information is vital, and far easier to understand than it might sound. “Curiosity is the trigger.” “Surprise us.” How hard is that? Of course, there’s much more. I’ll be recommending this piece to the new writers in my writers’ group.
  • Finally, Clare Langley-Hawthorne wonders about whether the balance between quality and quantity is being lost in the apparent push for Prequels, Sequels, and Novellas–the E-book Deluge on The Kill Zone. I can’t help thinking of the saying, “If you want something badly, that’s how you’ll get it.” Low-quality work, produced fast, can lead to near-term sales but long-term no-sales.