Here are some of my most interesting blog and news reads of the week:
Crossover Reading-Writing Stuff:
Last month, the NYTimes posted an article about the idea that the e-reader era poses a new challenge for publishers and authors – the idea that one book a year from an author is not enough. Author Jody Hedlund expanded upon the options that the Times had mentioned in its article. Compromises between this perceived reader expectation and actual publisher expectation include prequel novellas or “bridge” stories between connected books in s series. These smaller fiction pieces could then be sold for e-readers for $0.99 and keep readers engaged, as well as work as a marketing technique to pique reader interest for upcoming releases. As a reader, is this something you would buy into if offered more? As a writer, does this feel too demanding (or maybe fun, if you are me with, you know, absolutely no experience with these expectations)?
I got a kick out of this article that made it to the Wall Street Journal’s online arts and education section: “The Weird World of FanFiction”. I was impressed with the pretty straight-faced style of the article, in spite of the fact that several paragraphs focus on the reality that there’s a lot of very weird fanfiction out there. I speak as one who admittedly writes some fanfiction, too (I’ve talked about my diversionary writing tactics before – none of which would be considered highly literary at all) and my favorite quote of the article is from Randi Flanagan who says, “It’s just fun.” Amen. That’s all it is and all it needs to be.
Pixar story artist Emma Coats’ tweets about storytelling floated along 2-3 blogs (or more) this last week. At this point in time, she has shared 22 storytelling tips. You can find them on her tumblr blog here. One of my favorites might be #3: “Trying for theme is important, but you won’t see what the story is actually about til you’re at the end of it. Now rewrite.” Nice combination of writing to discover and writing to tell a story.
Author MaryLu Tyndall guest blogged on literary agent Rachelle Gardner’s blog about using the (or a) setting in your novel as a character. She has some great ideas on the different ways to do this – including how it can be a great antagonist as well as a supporting character.
The Feel-Good Video of the Week:
Yeah, it’s Coca-Cola ad, but it’s really good one. Security cameras can catch some great stuff: