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Thursday, May 20, 2010

More May links, w/ update.

Updated link: Per Moonie, Preditors & Editors has a new link. It was in her excellent post about agents yesterday -- and how they do not charge you until you yourself get paid on a contract. That's the mark of a legit agent every time. Anyone else is a scammer.

Which maybe you already knew, but in case not, I thought I'd say it again. That's "a percentage of your earnings" as Moonie says. Not a reading fee, or anything else of that nature.

Also... here's a heap, or rather a series, from Charlie Stross -- the common misconceptions about publishing. Which I got from the discussion Scalzi's having about why "punishing" publishers doesn't work; this is still about Amazonfail, of course, and Kindles.

Jeremy brings up his thoughts on author research...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

More May links.

Moonie does a roundup. Including the ten most harmful novels for a writer. I can foresee much argument from this... I am suddenly grateful that I didn't comment there about Lester del Rey.

Do you read mysteries? Want to help a suffering librarian? Will Manley has vowed to read about 100 and see if he can conquer his hatred and find one he likes.

I wish I'd known sooner. I would have suggested Margery Allingham's Campion. But he's got Josephine Tey and Rex Stout in there, which may treat him well; they're both favorites of mine.

A new imprint, but not sf/f. If you want sf/f, try the parent company, NightShade. Here's the news release.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

'We're All in This Together'

A while back, I was thinking about Diana Wynne Jones, one of my favorite fantasy writers... and this is my most favorite story shape that she uses. I got to read another and it made me very happy.

Archer's Goon is a great example, and the one I think of first. YA can start, of course, with the alienated kid, all alone, trying to get by. And that can work. Sometimes it's just the setup. Sometimes the story morphs as the kid [or kids] find that they aren't really alone.

I'm not averse to the plucky hero[ine] flying solo. Far from it.

But "we" is community. It is friends and family and allies -- sometimes all of those, sometimes not. This is not the same as a single comrade/ally story [which was Andre Norton's particular favorite], although Diana does those too. Not a sidekick but another companion in misfortune.

I could list the other "we" books, but why spoil them for you?

Do realize that sometimes Diana's work will stealthily become a "we" story. If you look carefully at the cover flap, it may warn you. :>

Archer's Goon says straight up that the family is oppressed. It is one of my very favorites. I read it every other year, I think.

I didn't grow up reading DWJ. I wanted to. I found a story called "The Sage of Theare" and it took me many years, probably fifteen or so, to discover that British authors often ended up in the kids' part of libraries... although by then I owned Power of Three and Charmed Life. I have probably read nearly every book she's written.

(If you HAVE read Archer's Goon, Howl's Moving Castle, and Witch Week, here's a fascinating thesis discussion. Except that Cat is named Eric.)

Monday, May 10, 2010

May links

William talks more about learning to write...

Jeremy has the tip about adding someone to processing fiction subs -- Liz Gorinsky! :D And if you wanted the submission guidelines for fiction, that's the place to go. Patrick's been understandably swamped.

Also, Jeremy tortures a werewolf... sort of. ;]

John Meaney explains important factors about reputable agents -- do listen up. When you research agents, use Writer Beware / Editors & Preditors and the Absolute Write watercooler [links on my sidebar]. And really, truly research 'em. It's part of your job as a writer... unless you'd prefer to be taken for a ride by a scam artist. I hope you don't!

To leave you with a smile, try John's definition of writing, which I like.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Status report: May

Where have I vanished to?

Well, after Penguicon I fell straight into the next book gig... and my latest obsession. Ahem. Yes, I am now addicted to Ellery Queen mysteries. You are lucky indeed to miss any details of the latest one I've read -- by email or in person.

Yesterday I tried to divert myself with Ellery Queen's Challenge to the Reader. It's an anthology. And the challenge? Ah, well, you are to guess the sleuth's real name.

Although I haven't read many of the Golden Age authors included therein, EQ did not "conceal" some detectives' names well enough. =sigh= Annoying. Agatha Christie's Tommy and Tuppence clued me in on at least one sleuth. :>

Thus far, I think I like Dr. Thorndyke. He is much nicer than Holmes, I must say. Also, Arsène Lupin is delightful -- definitely my kind of rogue.

So now you know. Hide while you still can! You have been warned....

(I really must snag the other three incarnations of Ellery, EQ Version Three novels get a little... depressing.)