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. I’m not huge on description in general and that is an area where I definitely have to work harder as I write. It does not come easily to me, nor does setting, in general. Author Nathan Bransford talks about how dialogue is important, but not to the detriment of grounding a reader to the surroundings of that dialogue. He says, “Many writers feel like they’re being boring when they take some time to set the scene, but it’s so crucial for the reader to be able to physically place themselves within a scene and have enough context to picture what is happening. “ It’s a good piece of advice for me to heed in my current manuscript.
Do we need an excuse to write? No, of course not, but sometimes it helps when we feel there’s a true purpose for it. A couple of inspirational posts crossed my path in the past couple of weeks that nicely illustrated how writing can sometimes do more than simply provide an outlet or process emotions. Chris Adler talks about how starting to write saved her emotionally, then turned into purpose and Orly Konig Lopez shares how writing helps her express how she feels even if she isn’t experiencing the same thing as her characters. Both eloquently talk about that deep-seated emotional purpose.
What kinds of books fill your shelves? Or your book bag from the library? Are they all the same kind of book, or do you genre-hop? Agent Wendy Lawton talks about genre-loyalty, which can contribute, to authors finding their readers and also how it can put you in peril if you break with your normal genre for a book. For my part, I read a lot of different things and I admire authors who can write different things and be successful. The first two authors that come to mind that have shown this success: Neil Gaiman and Rainbow Rowell. Who are authors that you know of that do this? Have there been times when an author has jumped genres when you didn’t expect it and it disappointed you?
Movie adaptations – love ‘em? Hate ‘em? Have you ever – gasp – felt a movie adaptation of a book was better than the book itself? Kimberly Sullivan talks of one such time where she has thought this. Do you have examples to add?
Amazon has a new feature they’re trying out: drop down menus within reviews. The motivation is to help readers get more specific about their thoughts on a book without worrying about how to articulate it. Check out more on this and what those drop downs consist of in Henry Baum’s post. What do you think? Helpful? Would you be more likely to review with these options? Would these added features influence you more about a reader’s review?
A couple of weeks ago, a link or two came through that talked of a new app called “CleanReader”. This past week came the fallout. The CleanReader app was designed to provide a profanity (and some other words) filter for ebooks. In other words, they didn’t technically change the words, but offered levels (clean, cleaner, and squeaky clean) that would then put an overlay text box of a “clean” word to cover the other (dirty?) word. Do you remember my post about Christian fiction doing really poor editing of books that clearly used profanity in them? (Most memorable editing: “Words, words, words!) I think that is more irritating than what CleanReader does, which is not any physical editing and instead leaves it in the hands of users/readers. On the other hand what has many authors upset is that this editing (no matter the method) is done without author consent. The Christian publishers are surely editing authorial works with author knowledge and consent. The profanity meter is probably even written into contracts. Is CleanReader breaking any copyright or artistic license laws with their app? I’m pretty sure not, but the author protest is understandable. To me, though it is not breaking any laws, it’s still encouraging censorship, and even though censorship still exists everywhere, I’d rather we not cycle back to how bad it has been in the past. Here are a few links to get you up to speed on the whole CleanReader thing (which involves the app developers currently pulling it off the market for the time being, which is a really interesting – and probably economically smart – move):
(Both of these posts also lead you to interesting email exchanges between a couple of authors and the CleanReader app developers)
Request of the Week:
Y’all, you guys… I am S-T-U-C-K with how to make changes on my current manuscript. So I figure it can’t hurt to ask you all to send “YOU CAN DO IT” vibes my way, hmm?
Song of the Week:
It was my sister’s birthday yesterday and she’s been deep into some wood working projects recently and my husband wins for finding this perfect song to post on her FB page for her birthday. I figure to continue celebrating my wonderful sister and making me smile at this adaptation cover of a George Strait song, I’d share it with all of you: