Ah, Valentine’s week. This isn’t quite a valentine, but is sent with heartfelt wishes to all my writing friends who have been sharing and supporting one another’s goals over the past weeks.
As so many friends are slowed down with winter storms or (in my case) distracted with pre-spring priorities that take time away from writing, at the same time, at least a dozen of my writing friends have been trading goals to keep each other accountable and supported.
Part of my month’s goals have led to some great reading online and, as always, this week’s Friday Links for Writers shares the best. Let me know in the comments if any links were particularly helpful, and feel free to share your own links as well. Best wishes for all your work, this week!
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If you’ve been a repeat visitor here, you may know I am partial to advice from certain authors, and this article by Ann Hood at Tin House epitomizes this. Ann quoted much of her advice on writing beginnings (including kinds of beginnings that work vs. those that rarely do) at a workshop I attended with her 2 years ago, saying she had amassed her lists while writing this article for Tin House.
Something about this piece by Martha Alderson on character backstory flipped a switch in my understanding of the newer backstory I’d written for my main character. Alderson writes both about the deep pain, and also the likely hidden nature of backstory wounds. She says, “Because a backstory is usually filled with fear, loathing, and pain, it is often buried. Thus, the backstory reveal toward the end of the middle of the story is often painful and difficult for the character to discern and integrate. Often, before a sense of freedom and a tranquil heart prevails, first comes forgiveness.” (Thanks to Roz Morris for having shared this link on Twitter.)
This roundup from GalleyCat opens, “Whether you are a self-published author, an editor that works in traditional publishing or a journalist on the go, everyone can benefit from a little copy editing.” The first is my new resource: an iOS app for viewing and editing Word docs.
Too often I share links on fiction and neglect all my poetry-writing friends, so this one is for you, poets. I thought this piece by Alan Michael Parker, in vol 49 of Puerto del Sol, was an interesting take on how poetry collections are put together.
I’m glad to share this installment in the “7 Things I Learned” column at Writers Digest, as shared by F.T. Bradley. True to her word in the interview, I “met” Fleur in an online writing community before her debut middle grade novel, Double Vision, was released. The advice shared in her “7 Things” is great — and my students have all given fabulous reviews to her series. In seconding her advice: I have to say I appreciate and admire that Fleur is quick to respond to tweets and contacts from readers. If you have a book rolling out, don’t overlook the power of that connection.
This essay by Melissa Flashman (excerpted from the book MFA v. NYC: The Two Cultures of American Fiction, featured at n + 1) is an interesting take on how her interest in popularity led her on an unplanned path to becoming a literary agent.
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- Writing in Process: Using Alternative Voice to Understand Internal Conflict
- Motivation to Write: Setting New Goals to Move Beyond a Success
- Friday Links for Writers 01.17.14 (find all Friday Links in Links & Where to Find Me)
- My Reading List: Winter 2014
Popular Reads this Week:
- Novel Revision Strategies: A Day’s Work in Pictures
- Novel Writing – Grace Paley: How Internal & External Conflict Build Story