Thursday, July 17, 2014

Of Note (July 14th, 2014)

Weird Tales

Everything listed here are articles I find of value. There is plenty information to look at and these are just a few I happen across. I highly recommend that if you like any information down below, you should follow and subscribe to their websites or writers. For more of these posts, click on the tag Of Note.

Media bias and Amazon

With this Hachette and Amazon display, I find it puzzling how many people immediately jump over to Hachette's side. I'm biased, but for very good reasons. Remember when Hachette along with other companies tried some not-so legal actions against Amazon, to the point of involving the DOJ? I would say that should make anyone wary of whatever scheme they're trying to pull here. Not to mention, I don't like the sympathy card by telling me J.K. Rowling's new book can't be pre-ordered. It just doesn't work on me.

But this isn't my soap box (It is, but this isn't the place to type of several hundred words), this is to focus on our natural fear of a big corporation. Namely, one who has been a relative boy scout when it comes to consumer rights and all they offer to self-publishing authors. Just because they're big doesn't mean we should have a knee-jerk reaction to them.  

Do Writer's Need a Union?

The answer, yes. We writers do need someone looking out so that our royalty rates and contracts are as beneficial as possible, and that they stay that way. We live in a world where Random House has the Hydra contract. This is a contract no one should sign, and hopefully, no one did. I would be 100% behind a Writer's Union, whether fiction, non-fiction, literary, or genre. 

How To Tremendously Improve Your Writing Style

You can't get anymore basic than this article. If you're having troubles with your writing, go through this list slowly to find out the reason. I have to do the same thing. Watch out for adverbs, be in an active tense, etc... Even if everything is going swell, give yourself a refresher.

Swords are Overrated

I dig that this article brings out the love/hate relationship in me. Swords are cool. End of story. The blade permeates our stories and lore, and they're totally rad. Spears are nice, so are axes, but there seems to be a different aura when it comes to swords. Am I fanboy? Absolutely. Do I try my best to not give every character macho phallic imagery? Well, I try.

The 7 Tools of Dialogue

Dialogue is my favorite part of a scene. Characters come alive with the way they speak to each other, how they talk, what they share, and what they hold back. I have a hard time visualizing and creating a scene without dialogue; it's integral to my process. Here are some ways to get int he right state of mind if dialogue is giving you some trouble.

Agent-Assisted Self-Publishing and the Amazon White Glove Program

This is the first I've heard of the White Glove Program. I came across this when visiting one of my Google Plus writing communities and someone mentioned it. It's an interesting development that an official program is in place for authors and their agents, when previously, there was no real need; it was all a solo affair. The article mentions the pros and cons of the White Glove, but I find it more thought-provoking that this is in place. It can mean a difference for several agents out there who have the know-how their authors lack, and a large market place to test the books they believe in, but can't convince a publisher to pick up on good terms. I would watch carefully what Amazon is doing for traditional-esque publishing in the next few months.

Should I Self-Publish?

Here is a realistic view on an author's choice between traditional and self-publishing. It's possible that a year of query letters sent out will yield nothing, but that doesn't mean the death of a manuscript. It doesn't have to be the end. Self-publishing is a way to let the story fly out and find its readers. Will it be tough? Absolutely, but you're someone who just wrote a book; nothing should stand in your way.

Publishing is Not a Religious War

I like Chuck Wendig. He has a rather colorful vocabulary I can get behind. I don't always agree with him, but I enjoy what he's saying in this article (Although the specific spark that led him to this post, not so much). It's great to be passionate about what's near and dear to you. That's what draws people in, that energy to stand with something so strongly. It's not great to have horse blinders on and refuse to take them off. Perhaps go outside for a walk, take a deep breathe, and find a little perspective.

All of these links I compiled through my Google Plus and Twitter accounts. If you liked these, and want to stay up-to-date with what is happening, subscribe to whichever is convenient to you, Google Plus or Twitter.