Saturday Summation – 19 March 2016

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:

There are many authors out there who choose self-publishing because that is truly the route they want to go. They like the control, the far higher percentage of the profits, the freedom to write whatever they want on whatever schedule they want. But there are many who are simply impatient (or worse, disgruntled). It is to those authors that this post from author Beth White is written. She writes of an almost great YA novel she’s reading, primarily for it’s voice and says, “I would love to have caught this writer before the book was published and encouraged either waiting to catch the attention of a traditional publisher whose editorial staff might have fixed some of those problems, or hiring a reputable freelance editor before self-publishing. This could have been one spectacular novel.” The author, she says, was almost there. If traditional publishing is what you want, believe me, I know how hard it is to wait for it. I recommend this post to help you if you are teetering on the edge.

Speaking of trying to traditionally publish, I totally dug this entertaining post from someone who was (is?) in the querying trenches. It’s a great parody of agency submission guidelines that sometimes feel entirely spot on.

Agent Carly Watters has been running a series of “things I wish I knew” from those who are currently “in the know”. This one features publishing law expert Susan Spann (a great resource in general for publishing laws and contracts) who helps with understanding some basics of publishing contracts. Especially useful if you are entering into one with the help of an agent.

Author Samantha Wilde says “your novel will not make you happy”. Her point is that when it comes to publishing, there is always that next, fleeting moment. That even when we become published, there is much more to worry about. In the end, it’s the writing that makes us happy. She’s not at all wrong, but in truth, I imagine there’s a lot of happiness to be gotten from knowing others are reading our words, too.

I mentioned last week about the issues with JK Rowling and her writing on North American Magic. By highlighting what some in the Indigenous community felt about it, one of the things I failed to mention was the idea that Rowling (and many other authors) writes of Native American practices as though they are not part of a living and breathing culture, as though the beliefs no longer exist. For me, this is a key point to remember. Claire Fallon offers more to help us (non-Indigenous, that is) better understand all of the repercussions in her article in the Huffington Post.

To continue in the vein of appropriation, I have been struggling a lot with A) writing characters who are “other” than me and getting it right and B) the fact that my current protagonist is Latina (while I am not). Are the messages white authors getting that we should not write “other” for our protagonists? I do not believe there will ever be a universal consensus on this, but for now, author Mitali Perkins is easing my worries (until next week when I’ll start worrying all over again).

How to avoid a “saggy middle” is the topic of a lot of craft posts I’ve read. This is one of many, but I got a kick out of it because I’ve pretty much used every suggestion Mary Carroll Moore suggests.


Reading Stuff:

What do you think about writing in books? No, not reading notes, but actual notes to the person you are giving the book to? An inscription? I know my husband and I used to be big on this, but then things changed… suddenly we were worried that the recipient wouldn’t want the book or already had it. It’s kind of a lost art, isn’t it?


Video of the Week:

I love having Kid President for my videos of the week, and he’s got a new one out. I may fundamentally love that he is growing up and growing up so well, but hearing that maturing voice of his makes me feel a little bit nostalgic for those younger days. They can’t stay young forever, but at least they can stay awesome.




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