Saturday Summation – 09 May 2015

Bits and pieces of things that caught my eye not only for my own interest, but enough to want to share with you, too…

Writing Stuff:

Whether you are a writer who is white or not, this week Morgan Jerkins on Book Riot offers suggestions for writing characters of color. For my part, I think these posts continue to be extremely helpful, even if all tips from various people do not always match. It is the key to writing authentic characters as best we can, no matter our background.

When I consider how my current manuscript stretched me within the writing craft, I appreciate agent Carly Watters’ post about taking risks with our fiction. Sure, we can write variations on all kinds of themes and do fabulous work with it. It is when we take those risks, however, that end up helping us grow and also attract readers. It gets us closer to the coveted “unique”.

Agent Donald Maas is a guru on guidance for upping the emotional ante in writing. In this week’s Writer Unboxed post, he talks about the necessity of change for a character throughout a story. Check out his formula for effecting this change and highlighting it.

A friend of mine has often told me that she really enjoys my secondary characters in my writing – sometimes too much, haha. Balance is, of course, important. We don’t want our secondary characters to be paper dolls or to exist only spotlight our protagonists. We should be able to see that they have lives of their own. That being said, they do need to have purpose in order to care more about our protagonists. Author KM Weiland talks more about how minor characters are the secret to unforgettable protagonists.

Publishing Stuff:

Books & Such recently posted a partial summary of results regarding author satisfaction with publishers. The survey was conducted by authors Harry Bingham and Jane Friedman. Overall, it is clear that authors are usually more satisfied with their agents than they are with their publishers – which is both good and bad, because shouldn’t there be high satisfaction with our publishers? The results don’t indicate huge dissatisfaction, but some of the communication and marketing pieces are missing. It’s easy to find a lot of posts out there of disgruntled authors re: traditional publishing – both from those who never traditionally published and those who did, but then left. What I appreciate about this survey is that it seems to more accurately reflect the average, traditionally published author who may or may not also have a hand in self-publishing. Is traditionally publishing a perfect business? Nope, but like any other business, there are ups and downs. I do hope, however, that somewhere down the road publishers might consider the value of getting feedback from their authors.

Recommended Reads:

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (Adult)

The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson (YA)

Currently Reading:

The Story of Owen: Dragonslayer of Trondheim by E.K. Johnston (YA)

Song of the Week:

My youngest son had his end of year music concert this week and this was one of the songs – and who doesn’t like having the Do-Re-Mi earworm? Here is the tail end of it from The Sound of Music

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