Saturday Summation – 05 September 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:

I don’t know if this article is more interesting as a writer or a reader, but I love the literary conversation it starts. What is the difference between the protagonist and the main character? In most fiction, the protagonist and the main character are one and the same, but I know, for example, after my husband and I saw Mad Max: Fury Road in the theater, we talked about this. I felt that Max was the protagonist, as he is the one who basically drives the story forward, but the story’s really about Furiosa, who is the main character. My most recent novel, I think, runs a little into this issue and K.M. Weiland addresses how understanding this can help shape your story.

I put myself on a self-imposed writing hiatus for much of this summer, and coming back from that kind of thing, especially when still only just starting a new project is HARD. Chris Adler says “when I write every day, I build momentum.” This is me all over – if I can just get myself going on the “write every day” part again…

I know that anytime I talk about writer’s block, it is simply fear of something getting in the way. Believe it or not, I sometimes felt that fear of success acting as the obstacle. (Interestingly, that same fear of failure interlaces with that, too- HA.) Jamie Raintree’s post attracted me first for her story about the kindergarten girl and her first day of school (it’s upsetting), then later with her words about being programmed to deny the deservedness of success, but really, the whole time I thought, this is the female programming. If you have similar thinking, I hope you will take her words to heart to help move beyond this idea that success means you are now described with negative connotations. You worked for it? You deserve it. Period. Remember that being proud doesn’t mean you’re being obnoxious.

When I asked people to read my first novel, hoping for some widespread feedback, I asked many people. It was difficult – but not just in the obvious way of being nervous for opinions be they good or bad. Instead, I didn’t realize how difficult it would be getting no feedback of import from some people. It ended up being okay, because with the second one, I narrowed in on who were my strongest beta readers… and also figured out who I was willing to share my writing with, knowing that I might not get much out of them. Sometimes that is still hard, but better yet is going into the situation with eyes open and being okay with that (it’s also useful knowing how to say “no” and being assertive about saying “please do not share this manuscript with anyone else”). Julianna Baggott starts out her post with this line she tells herself: “I will never let someone’s personal reactions to my work change our relationship.” Her subsequent tips and rules are helpful, for both sides of the manuscript.

Reading Stuff:

I remember asking Twitterland awhile back about whether or not people read the acknowledgements of a novel – or any book, really. I think most said “no” or “only if I just can’t bear to stop reading the book because it was THAT good”. 🙂 I totally get this. I used to only scan them before I started writing seriously, but after I got serious about wanting to publish, I read them more carefully for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes I see names I recognize, and that’s pretty fun. Author Lynette Noni, however, reveals another reason – sometimes they’re downright entertaining. Tell me, do you read the acknowledgements?

Looking for some good starting points for reading fiction with LGBTQIA+ protagonists? The comment section in this post from Writer Unboxed is a fabulous start.

Song of the Week:

No special reason for this one except I feel like it’s soothing and hopeful. Feels like we might need it right now for a variety of reasons.

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One Response to Saturday Summation – 05 September 2015

  1. Yes, sadly, the fear is female programming, and as you pointed out, it starts early and applies across the board. It’s not just about writing but about being female. Another interesting article on the topic was about how women apologize more, especially when asking for things, or use the word “just” in their request: “I was just wondering if you had a chance to get those numbers I asked you for last week.” The tone and word choice implies that we are being a bother when trying to get our jobs done, and are sorry to have to trouble others in order to move forward/be successful/be productive. It’s infuriating! Yes, we deserve it, we worked for it (success) and we need to be proud of ourselves. Thank you for the post and for sharing the link to Jamie’s post as well! (And mine! Now get writing!) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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