Bits and pieces of things that caught my eye not only for my own interest, but enough to want to share with you, too…
Dialogue is one of my favorite things to write, but I also know that it can be one of the most challenging. There needs to be a balance between natural speech and putting in too much of what people in real life say (such as repetition, ums, ahs, etc.) Don Blair offers a couple of easy, basic tips for streamlining dialogue.
I really enjoyed this post by literary agent Jennifer Laughran about the idea of “rock star” agents and the question it raises about when people toss about the words, “dream agent”. What makes someone your dream agent? Is it just the ones who are popular on social media or someone who will actually work with you to support your career and successfully sell your books? I follow a lot of fun agents on Twitter, but I also know that many of them would not be a good fit for me and vice versa. Sometimes it disappoints me that an agent I enjoy socially and professionally online is not one that I would ever partner up with, but I also know that I cannot base my future decisions on that aspect.
When new books first enter the market, they often come out first in hardcover, then later paperback. (Some, of course, are marketed immediately in paperback format.) This article from The Millions talks about why this process still occurs even while we are becoming a larger e-reading population. It’s all about the marketing and sales, of course, and the re-release of the paperback of a novel is still working for this.
Inspired by this article from The Atlantic Wire (A New Way for Gay Characters in YA), author Bill Konigsberg offers a reflection on the evolution of LGBTQ themes, plotlines, and characters in YA literature. The changing landscape is quite encouraging.
Another author who is changing the landscape of YA themes and hopefully young adult culture is Laurie Halse Anderson who is active with RAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network) is also featured in The Atlantic Wire. From the article and Anderson:
Well before Steubenville, “I was shocked when I realized how ignorant boys are about this,” she told me. “It became clear in 2002, after five years of pretty heavy school visits, and people putting the book into the curriculum. In every single demographic—country, city, suburban, various economic classes, ethnic backgrounds—I’d go into a class and talk about the book. And usually by the end, a junior boy would say, ‘I love the book, but I really didn’t get why she was so upset.’ I heard that so many times. The first couple dozen times I sort of freaked, and then I got down from my judgmental podium and started to ask questions. It became clear that teen boys don’t understand what rape is.”
Check out the full article, “The Author Who’s Teaching Boys How to Talk About Rape”
Facebook showed me this fun cartoon graphic about “vintage” social networking, by John Atkinson. You should check out his other cartoons, too; there’s some entertaining stuff.
Song of the Week
How about some Phillip Phillips? I did not watch him in Idol, but as I searched for the video below, I saw that he could definitely hold his own on all the covers, but this video is the sound I love best from him. I hope his music in the future stays down home and honest – or at the very least, honest.
This is one of my new faves from his album, The World from the Side of the Moon, “I Can’t Go Wrong”. I really wanted to post a live concert version, but one had too many shrieks too close to the person recording and the other had vomit-inducing shaking camera syndrome. The closed AOL session is still good, though.