I told you I loved libraries. So here you go:
(h/t to my friend and fellow writer Keanan Brand)
Some great Writer Beware articles from 2015, gathered by my friend Mirtika.
I’m a bit late in posting this resource, but better late than later. 🙂
This is a roundup of the best of Writer Beware articles from 2015. Writers, stay informed of the cons, abuses, and pitfalls out there.
It wasn’t a choice, the Fandom Life. It grabbed my hand, yelling “Allons-y!” It made me love Zs carved into wood, and swords and capes, beamed me up, introduced me to telepathic dragons and dragonriders, took me to a galaxy far, far away, made me want to fight the Shadows, taught me “Never give up, never surrender,” and that you can’t take the sky from me. It let me know that not all those who wander are lost, and that it might be best to try to be an innocent bystander if the Little Admiral saunters your way. It flew me into the stars, and there I stay.
“Good enough” shouldn’t be good enough. For writing, or for anything we do in our lives. And I’ll end there and not turn it into a lecture or sermon!
It’s true many novels by Christians are poorly written. That’s also true of many other kinds of novels. In fact it’s true of most novels of every kind, but it’s not a particular indictment of mediocre writers or the readers who enable them. Most people don’t really care about excellence in architecture, sculpture, painting, or dance . . . or government, commerce, marriage, or anything else in life that ought to matter.
What interests me, is why. In our discussion about the “Worst Books” list, some of my author friends speculated that so many people dislike those novels because they were forced to read them in school and disliked them then. But these books truly are works of genius—most of them are, anyway—so why didn’t we love them in the first place?
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I’ve been mulling over these thoughts, so I decided I’d repost this blog, with the hope that I have accomplished this in my stories.
I just read something Marc Martel (of the band Downhere) wrote about his songwriting: “…if the song doesn’t connect with people emotionally first, then there’s not much point to it.”
This isn’t true just of songwriters. I’ve known writers hung up on the mechanics – and don’t get me wrong, that’s important. Writing is a craft that must be honed. But you can have a manuscript that is technically perfect: proper grammar, punctuation, fantastic hook, showing not telling, great plot arc, wickedly tight writing – everything today’s publisher is looking for, and still have something that is void.
I’ve seen this many times in slush piles and in crit groups. Yes, get all those things I listed above correct, but that’s not enough. You must get your readers to connect with your characters, care about them. You want your readers to connect, be emotionally involved.
This last year…
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I had the privilege of meeting Leonard Nimoy back in the ’70s in Detroit. He was very gracious and kind to us rabid fans. During the question and answer session, someone from the other side of the platform asked him to spell antidisestablishmentarianism. He basically just said, “Oh come on!”
I began jumping up and down and called out, “I can!”
He gave me that look with his raised eyebrow and asked, “Really?”
I nodded, and he came over and put the mike down close. And I spelled it. He stared at me for a long second with a bit of an “oh wow” look, then straightened and asked the person on the other side, “Is that right?”
The guy answered yes, and Mr. Nimoy then grinned at me and asked, “So do you have a question?”
I said that I did and asked if he remembered the Vulcan “kiss.” (Both persons touch their index and middle fingers together.)
He leaned over and held out his index and middle fingers out so that we could “kiss.”
Not much, I know, but for a teen-aged girl who adored all things Trek, it was an unforgettable moment!
I’m so glad you lived long and prospered, Mr. Nimoy. May you rest in peace!