Bits and pieces of things that caught my eye not only for my own interest, but enough to want to share with you, too…
I enjoyed this question and answer on the Shark’s blog (aka agent Janet Reid, aka Sharko) about whether or not your story is unique. I’ve gone on many agent blogs, writer blogs, and query-critique forums and have seen writers claim that their story is a one-of-a-kind. This is nearly impossible to be true. What the Shark does in this post is help remind writers that while it is possible that our angle on a story might be unique, our book as a whole is not truly unique. And that’s okay, because the way we are approaching our plot or characters or theme is what is important. The other important piece, however, is recognizing that if we have to SAY it is unique in our query or elevator pitch, that is going to be a turnoff. SHOW it instead. That’s the whole idea behind that pitch or book jacket.
I got a kick out of this article in the NY Times that talks about the influence of Dungeons & Dragons on storytelling. My oldest son really enjoys D&D (actually, he prefers Pathfinder, but whatev) and is usually the dungeon master (or whatever that role is called in Pathfinder), which means he leads the adventure for the rest of the players. Some of it is planned ahead of time, some of it is on the fly, and some is based upon player reaction. I can totally see how this sparks creativity and reader-centric storytelling. Read more about how Junot Diaz is a part of this crowd.
What kind of reaction do you get when you respond to someone’s question about what you do for a living? What if one of those things you do (or hope to do) is being a writer? We usually expect a measurable aspect to get an idea at someone’s success, right? The Authoress shares the difficulties that arise when you are on the path to being published, but don’t really have anything to show for it, yet.
Thinking you’d like to be a beta reader for a writer one day? M-E Girard gives some great advice on this important job. For me I think there is great importance on a writer being clear about expectations about feedback – but following through holds a great weight, too. Girard’s post is an excellent guide on being a beta reader vs. a critique reader.
Video/Song of the Week:
What kind of writerly-readerly-teacherly blog would this be if I didn’t share Weird Al’s new and improved version of a previously awful song? Thank you, Weird Al, for this: