Tag Archives: colum mccann

Friday Links for Writers: 07.12.13

Sailboats off Greenwich. c Elissa Field (request permission for use)

Sailboats off Greenwich. c Elissa Field (request permission for use)

I’ll keep this intro short and sweet as nothing tells you more about my week than the fact my boys and I are eager to get out and enjoy the day, after a work-week dense with revision.

Before we head out to enjoy the summer, I’ll share some of the better writing links I’ve come across this week. Two are inspiration for any creative pursuit. Three address my continued focus on editing.

As always, feel free to let me know which links resonated with you and what you’d like more of, or share your own links in the comments.

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How To Be Prolific: Guidelines for Getting It Done from Joss Whedon

It’s just an article, not a magic wand… But this Fast Company piece has been passed around amongst creative types this week, as Joss Whedon shares his best advice for what it takes to get it all done. (If you read my post yesterday, you know this is my current obsession.) Interestingly, he advises to do what I’m about to do with my kids: put fun first.

The Stealth Cliché

A literary agent tweeted in a chat today that 50% of manuscripts submitted to her open with one pattern of cliché, and a different pattern of cliché begins the other 50%. Clearly an exaggeration (or else she receives zero viable submissions) — but it raises a common issue: often writers are not aware they are writing cliché as the wording rings true and inventive in their mind. In this sense, I love this collection of “stealth clichés” gathered by author Rebecca Makkai on Ploughshares’ blog.

Writing Lessons at Ploughshares

This installment of the Writing Lessons feature on the Ploughshares blog touches on 2 things dear to my interests this week (editing and the Aspen Summer Words Writing Retreat) as Graham Oliver shares his experience in a workshop with David Lipsky. Another reason for including this link: for all my friends and readers who are or recently have been an MFA candidate or attended a workshop, check out the submission guidelines for Writing Lessons, here.

7 Reasons Agents Stop Reading Your First Chapter

We get it, you’re editing. Sheesh. Here’s a third editing resource: this article by Chuck Sambuchino was among the shortlist of links I included on my post yesterday to target novel weaknesses: Novel Revision – 6 Things to Edit Now.

Revision checklist-*

Are you busy with revision, too?

Want more?  Click here for my full series underway: Novel Revision Strategies.


New Agents Don’t Have Cooties

This post by an Ottawa literary agent (on her blog, I Believe in Story) is an interesting discussion of the ins and outs of querying a “new” literary agent, including how to review background in lieu of experience.

The 9/11 Decade: Colum McCann

Each week I try to end with a multimedia piece that served as inspiration for the week. No secret: I have a shameless literary crush on Colum McCann. Perhaps that leaves me biased, but I found this New York Times video inspiring and thought provoking.

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Summer Reading 2013 c Elissa Field

Summer Reading 2013 c Elissa Field

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Filed under Friday Links, Revision

Friday Links for Writers 02.15.13

roses from my boys. c E Field

roses from my boys. c E Field

If you read my January Challenge Week 4: And Then Plans Changed post on Sunday, you know this has been a busy Valentine’s week for me.

I finished out my prior writing courses and got settled in to my new teaching position, leaving me rather drained and ready for the weekend.

Still, much of what I worked on included some great reading about the writing profession, partly inspired by #book2 tweets from the publishing industry’s un-conference last Sunday. (Search that hashtag on Twitter for conversations.)

Here are a handful of the best links of the week. As always, let me know what you found inspiring in these or what topics you’d like to see more of.

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How Do I Improve My Memory? Forget More!

On the heels of ads for memory enhancing games like Luminosity, this TED Talk gives opposing, research-supported advice about the value of forgetting.

Best Blogs for Writers to Read in 2013

55 blogs with consistently effective advice, curated by poet Robert Lee Brewer.

5 Digital Products You Can Launch with Your Writing Skills

This list by Linda Formichelli, on her top-10 blog The Renegade Writer, is a quick resource for one of my back-burner projects. While I focus on my fiction, and while I earn my professional salt as a freelance writer or teacher at varying times, I have been exploring new venues that allow myself — or anyone — to put my expertise directly into the hands of interested readers. Check out Linda’s list, spelling out 5 such venues.

Which Publishing Option is Right For You?

For friends who have been weighing the varying paths, between traditional publishing, self-publishing or a hybrid, here is Terri Guiliana Long’s self-quiz on Her Circle to help you get a sense which options best fit your personality.

Interview with Colum McCann

A great rambling interview with National Book Award (and many othes) recipient Colum McCann, including some stirring commentary on his inspiration for Let the Great World Spin.

Sir Ken Robinson | TED Talk

Want insight into my week? Writing lessons, working with kids, changing classes, rethinking learning approaches… This excerpt from Sir Ken Robinson’s famed 2006 TED Talk is at the heart of it. Ken is inspiring and funny, whether you’re an educator or not.

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Shared by the Library of Congress, this poster is from a Chicago promotion 1936-1941. No known copyright restrictions..

Reading list survey for the March Challenge: Click here if you’d like to share  the kinds of books on your 2013 Reading List. I’d love to hear your current must-read titles!

What did you find in these links that is useful to you? Let me know if you want more on a particular subject, or share your own best finds.

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If you like this blog, be sure to subscribe using WordPress’s +follow option, or via email or RSS feed. I love to connect with like-minded readers and writers!


Filed under Friday Links