Here are some of my most interesting blog and news reads of the week.
I like this short, summary editing/revising post by agent Jenny Bent on “Beginnings, Endings, and the stuff in between”. She suggests that writers need to write the first 50 pages, but then, more often than not, they should be dropped (usually due to too much backstory). Also, for the most part, readers really do like a satisfying ending so it’s okay to give them one.
Janice Hardy talks of “Adding Conflict to Your Scenes”. Her tips are not new, but I like how she clarifies them and reminds us that adding conflict does not mean artificial problems, but draws upon our characters’ strengths and weaknesses.
Rachelle Gardner is someone I bring up in these Summations quite frequently, and for good reason. She’s an experienced and successful agent, and many other agents and authors direct others to her posts, too. This past week she had a useful post about the difference between foreshadowing and telegraphing in our stories. Foreshadowing is what we are aiming for; if the effort falls short, we are likely telegraphing and giving too much away or being too obvious about a plot or thematic thread.
I don’t know if this is strictly a reading topic, but it fits well enough here… Alex Williams of the New York Times thinks we are adopting too many Briticisms in our lexicon, feeling that those who are clever enough to use such rubbish really should just bugger off as they are only sounding ridiculously pretentious. Naturally, I’m for using expressions from any language if appropriate. I wonder if he would think my Brit mates sounded lazy and overly “common” if they were to use too many “Americanisms”?
Author John Scalzi was quoted in the above article and took it a little too personally by responding, but you can find his point well taken on his blog, followed by a fair sum of comments that are just plain bril.
Song of the Week:
This album and song I’m pulling from it is really quite old, but was a recent discovery by my husband yesterday, so I looked into it. Rhythms del Mundo is a music mixing group that in their “Cuba” album, salsifies popular music with artist permission. The album proceeds are for environmental work. The Buena Vista Social Club did the orchestrations. The one my husband recently heard on the radio is Coldplay’s “Clocks”. I’m not a huge fan of Coldplay, but I can get behind this version. More info about the album: Rhythms del Mundo – Cuba