Saturday Summation – 19 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’ve read various posts about how to stifle the inner editor… the one that tries to slow you down as you get the first draft words to the page. I don’t think my inner editor is TOO terrible, but I also haven’t had any deadlines to show me how much I should probably let it go. Anyway, my point is that most “how to kill the inner editor” posts offer all kinds of word sprint types of ideas, but author Laura Drake has a unique suggestion: dictation. She talks about the value of solid software to support this, so that is a possible obstacle, but I really like how someone who edits as she writes even more than I do showed that this could be a viable option.

You know how movie trailers and their parodies capitalize on the “IN A WORLD” phrasing in that ominous voice? inaworldConsider bunches of query letters coming your way as an agent that has lots of these kinds of phrases. Lindsay Ribar had some fun and put together a poem of them. Funny stuff.

Sometime around the end of July and the beginning of August, I did something I desperately needed to do. I let myself off the hook at trying to bleed out words for my new book. Within a minute of doing that, I felt better. Relieved. Author Daniel José Older talks about the potential corner we put ourselves into by trying to follow the “write every day” credo. Sure, if we are offering excuses all the time to all those who ask, it’s possible we are putting off something for different reasons. However, it’s good to be reminded that sometimes, life really does get in the way, and that’s okay. Push through when it’s hard, but don’t push through when you really just can’t.

One of my favorite things to write? Dialogue. If I were to give advice off the top of my head for how to write effective dialogue, I might say 1) Write as we imagine our conversations go vs how they really go (ie: drop the small talk fillers), 2) Limit tags to only those necessary to avoid confusion of who’s speaking, and 3) use movement to indicate mood instead of adjectives or adverbs. While the example given in this post by Mary Carroll Moore isn’t the best (I need more tags), her point about studying thriller/suspense/intrigue novels is a good direction to go. A thriller needs to keep moving at all times and dialogue can’t be the thing that slows it down. Maybe other stories don’t need rapid-fire conversations, but the model makes for a more authentic feel even if it doesn’t precisely replicate real dialogue.

How are you on secondary characters in a story? Like ‘em? Don’t care? I’ve been told that I have a knack for secondary characters, which I appreciate. At times, though, I might give them too much depth – they shouldn’t overshadow the protagonist or main characters. On the other hand, they shouldn’t just be there as props for them either. I enjoyed this post from Dave King on how to obtain an effective balance with our secondary characters.

Recommended Reads

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (YA) (My Goodreads review)

Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho (A) (My Goodreads review)

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin (A)

The Mime Order (Book 2 after The Bone Season) by Samantha Shannon (YA/NA) (My Goodreads review)

Currently Reading:

Ash by Malinda Lo (YA)

Video of the Week:

I am not a fan at all of book trailers. They just seem… well, if I’m perfectly honest.. ridiculous. Or strange. Or contrived. I dunno – it’s not like when fans put together videos to songs or whatever, because fan stuff isn’t meant to be a teaser or promo to get someone to buy the book/TV series/movie/whatever.

BUT… this book trailer? I love it, making it my video of the week. Furiously Happy – Jenny Lawson

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