This Week in Favs…..

Playing on the Zune (mp3): Canned Heat by Jamiroquai – Yes – my boogie is for realz :0)

10) “The Hailstorm Approach: Prep for Nanowrimo in Seven Days (or Less)” by Daniel Swensen on SurlyMuse AND “The NaNoWriMo Checklist” by Leif G.S. Notae on Wrimos FTW! and “NaNo Prep: Planning Your Novel” on The Other Side of the Story with Janice Hardy. I know what you’re thinkin’: “Holy cow! That’s a lot of NaNoWriMo links!” Well, guess what? This isn’t even the tip of the iceberg when it comes to NaNoWriMo links. The blogosphere has been inundated with posts, articles and discussions about NaNo (yes, I’m shortening it since I’m tired of typing the whole thing out). These are the links from this week that I found most helpful. Oh, wait! One more: go check out Alexandra Sokoloff’s blog. She’s doing a series of posts on NaNo that are also super-duper helpful. Counting today, we have 4 days left to prep before we all start banging away on our keyboards with the goal of 50,000 words in 30 days hanging over us. 

9) “Ten Tips on Writing Characters with Accents” by Rose Lerner on Reader, I created him. Talk about a truly helpful post! I’m 100% Southern, so I am fully aware of my accent and how it may sound to others. With writing being an extension of ourselves (in most cases), I tend to include at least one or two southern-accented individuals in my writing. After this article, I now feel like I can project it a little better in my writing. These are extremely helpful tips and I encourage anyone who’s thinking (or has already) of writing a character with an accent – be it British, French, Southern, or Northern – to read this article and think on each tip as they put those characters together.

8) “On Underestimating Your Readers” by Ava Jae on Writability. This is HUGE! Thanks to Ava, I now realize just how focused on my characters’ eyes I tend to be with my writing. And she’s right – we don’t have to give the reader every single little detail about a character. Dark hair could mean either ash, black, dark brown, etc. The same is said about the eyes – bright eyes could mean any color the reader can think of; they’re just bright when set against the character’s skin tone. Ava, thank you so much for writing this post. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.

7) “11 Ways to a Healthy Brain and Healthy Writing” by Mark Landen. I know, I know…the holidays are coming up and not many of us are thinking about health. I personally know that I’ve been thinking about green been casserole, turkey, ham and sweet potato pie. But if you read this article, you’ll realize by keeping your body healthy, you’re keeping your brain healthy, and in turn, you’re writing will flourish. The only issue I have with this particular post was the tip about circadian rhythm <—not something I’ve been able to accomplish since I can sometimes sleep 12 hours on the weekends (wow, I really just admitted that!). With NaNoWriMo coming up, these tips are incredibly important for all of us (including those that will not be participating this year). 6) “Creating Fear in the Minds of Readers” and “Making it Pay Off” by Lisa Gail Green on Paranormal Point of View. I thoroughly enjoy Lisa’s tips and pointers on topics such as this. Fear is what will hook a reader, and the follow-up is what will have them raving and ready for more. Read, print and insert these into your writing tips notebook – they will be more than helpful when you’re plotting and/or pantsing your way through your next MS.

5) “Soup and Layers” by Becca Puglisi on The Bookshelf Muse. Now I’m hungry again…darn it! Anywho, back to this wonderful nugget of the week. I think the best pleasure you can get out of a finished MS is the moment you look back and notice the layers upon layers of subplots, theme, character arcs, symbolism, etc. Becca did a wonderful job with this post and if we’re paying attention, our revision process should be a lot easier now that we have a handy little guide on what we should look for when fleshing everything out of our first draft.

4) “Drafting vs. Outlining” by Cynthia Robertson. Yes, it’s the age-old question with a new twist: Plotter or Pantser? But I enjoyed Cynthia’s take on the subject: “What some people call outlines are what other people call first drafts….What we choose to call it is just semantics. The method we choose is just preference.” Well, I think that pretty much says it all, doesn’t it? Even though I’m a pantser, I can totally look back at my last first draft and truly see it as really only being an outline. Especially after considering how much revision, re-writing and editing went into it in order to arrive at the fourth draft that I now have. This is a great, information read if you enjoy reading others’ opinions on the topic.

3) “Spice It Up!” by Stina Lendenblatt on QueryTracker.net. Isn’t the picture of the baby chef adorable? I’m not even going to pretend that I know how to pronounce the types of rhetorical devices that Stina has listed in this post, but I can say – without a doubt – is that this is a post that has definitely been saved so I can revisit it several times over the next several years. If you’re either not familiar with rhetorical devices, or have been looking to expand your knowledge on them a bit, this truly is a great article to do that with….I just hope that you have better luck than me when it comes to pronouncing them. ;0)

2) “25 Reasons You Won’t Finish That Story” by Chuck Wendig on Terribleminds. **Profanity Warning – Just sayin’** I do believe that Chuck has pretty much hit the nail on head and listed just about every single reason why some of us don’t manage to finish what we start – which is why this is an incredibly insightful, thought-provoking, entertaining read. Click over there, read it then print it out and think of ways that you are going to combat these reasons and finish your story…on time, I might add. 

1) “The Difference Between Your ‘Current Platform’ and ‘Future Platform’” by Chuck Sambuchino on Writer Unboxed. I wanted to add this link for two particular reasons: 1) there are some of us who are bit familiar with platforms, but tend to think that they are really more for the non-fiction writers, and 2) those of us who know that fiction readers need/could use a platform as well may not fully understand the elements of said platform, much less how to look at it for the future. With that being said, I came out of this article feeling a lil’ scared, but also a lil’ more educated.

And……here’s out bit of fun for the week!
This is a funny video that takes a look at how Harry Potter should’ve ended. Though I personally think it ended in the most perfect fashion possible, I still find this video hilarious (especially the one-second clip of Neville).
Enjoy!
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Happy Reading & Writing!!

Melinda

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