Thursday, February 21, 2013

Reading, Writing, and Publishing Links: 2/20/13

Oh, hey, you guys! I got distracted--here are yesterday's links. Sorry for the delay!

Your random song of the week: I've come across this as an auto-play background song on a couple of different blogs, and though I hate auto-play media, I really like the song.

Half Moon Run, "Full Circle."

1. "Where your time is." Fantasy author Patricia Wrede points out that a writing career takes time, and often comes at the sacrifice of other appealing things (TV, money, a social life...)

 2. "The Dreaded Synopsis." Sean Cummings of Oasis for YA says the secret is to write it from your outline, not your manuscript.

3. "What to Do When Our Families Don't Support Our Writing." I'm lucky enough to have a very supportive family (thanks, Mom! I love you!) However, if you have trouble getting your loved ones to support your need for writing time, Jody Hedlund has some suggestions. I especially like the one about considering the first couple of years of unpaid writing a sort of professional education--that's how I've been thinking of it. : )

4. "Bad advice from best-selling authors." By Janet Koboel Grant of Books & Such. It's an interesting read. However, at the risk of sounding snotty, I'd like to see a post extolling the value of literary agents that was not written by a literary agent. Nothing personal against Ms. Grant--it's just that a lot of agents have written posts about how much writers need them, and it comes across as... less than objective.

5. "Too much talent." Patricia Wrede on how talent can actually be a disadvantage on how you don't have the diligence to go with it. This is the same thing that happens to bright high-schoolers who are used to coasting once they get to college and are expected to work. (Not that I speak from experience...)

6. "MFA Programs and You."  This... actually sounds amazingly good. I wonder if they'd take my almost-finished novel as an application? Thanks, SFWA!

7. "An Introduction to Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction, Part 1: Definitions." Another SFWA post, this one by Malinda Lo. I think this is actually a few weeks old, but I don't remember posting it before; if I did, I'm sorry. (WOODS, if you're curious, is definitely on the edgier side of YA. : ))


  1. I agree with you that an agent discussing how indispensable her field is might be a touch biased. It's not like all agents give good advice or have infallible instincts--I remember one agent column in Writer's Digest in the late seventies/early eighties proclaiming (as EVERYONE proclaimed at the time) that the vampire novel was over, don't bother writing one, you're never going to sell it.
    Doubly so when she's critiquing writing advice (and not even explaining why she thinks it's wrong). Bradbury's makes a lot of sense, I think--assuming a basic level of talent, the more stuff you write, the more you are going to strike gold.

    1. Yeah. And I don't mean any disrespect to agents as a group--there are some really brilliant, helpful agents out there. However, I've read several posts that made the point that a BAD agent can be worse than no agent at all, so... everything's relative, I guess.