The Scoop, September 13, 2016

Character design
My nights this week have been focused beneath the weak little spot of light that I do my research under while sitting on the couch. Everything else around me is dark. There’s an as assemblage of debris surround me too: piles of notes, notebooks, post-its, a stack of Dungeons and Dragons manuals, and my laptop is heating my thighs. There’s a pencil sticking into my left buttcheek that I can’t be bothered to unstick. My hair is fluffed and coming out of its ponytail. I’m sporting wicked circles under my eyes. I don’t have the time to cook anything, so I’ve had a sandwich and a beer for dinner, and I’m cranky.

I’m working out the backstories, behavioural tags, motivations, and goals for a cast of eight fictitious entities. I recognize that I shouldn’t be bitching. My universe could be bigger: I could be writing high fantasy or hard sci-fi, where my character design list might number upwards of thirty or forty. I can’t imagine what it might be like trying to keep thirty characters and all their subplots in order. I’m not that ambitious.

Continue reading on the Kira Butler blog >>

How loving to write may stop you from getting published
Do you love to write? It may sound like an obvious question, but it isn’t — ask authors and half will reply with a speech on their dedication to the craft, while the other half will begin “Welllll…” There’s nothing wrong with either answer; imagining and plotting a story is a completely different skill to writing it in a way that captivates a reader, and writers often feel more comfortable with one aspect of storytelling than another. Nailing down the words for a story can be a grind, which makes loving to write a gift — the only problem is that it’s one which comes with its own problems.

Like any writing advice site, we’ve published articles on how to combat procrastination and get writing — finishing your story is always the goal — but we also like to go further, so in this article I’ll be addressing the issues that face authors who love to write. Believe it or not, they’re every bit as numerous, and as problematic, as those that face their counterparts.

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​The Legal Side of Writing for Anthologies
By Susan Spann

Anthologies offer writers an excellent platform for shorter works and create opportunities for reader cross-pollination. When managed and published properly, anthologies have many benefits and relatively few drawbacks for authors. However, authors do need to ensure — before submitting or signing a contract — that the anthology publisher is offering industry-standard contract terms and proper legal protection for the contributing authors and their works.

Today, we’ll review a few of the legal traps and pitfalls authors should beware (and avoid) when contributing work to an anthology:

Continue reading on WriterUnboxed >>

6 Ways to Vet Freelance Editors
By author and freelance editor Maya Rock.

Hiring a freelance editor is a significant investment, so you’ll want to do your due diligence before making your pick. To help with your decision, here are six ways to vet freelance editors.

1. Work experience
Freelance editors often don’t have traditional résumés posted on their websites, but they usually include a professional bio that says where they’ve worked in the past. Check to see if your potential freelance editor has worked at a publisher or literary agency. These are places where they’ll have been in close contact with the book editing process and have garnered the professional expertise that can help take your manuscript to the next level.

Additionally, consider whether the places your potential editor worked exposed him or her to books like yours. For example, if you’re writing a children’s book, you probably don’t want an editor who worked for a military history press, and vice versa.

You should also determine what kind of editing your potential editor did. He or she could have worked at a publishing house, but as a copyeditor, whereas you may be seeking developmental editing.

Continue reading on the Jane Friedman blog >>

Yes, social media DO work for writers — here’s how
Social media are an inextricable part of author life these days — and for some, the value seems dubious. Writers might flog themselves to blog, tweet until they turn blue, but months in, the magic hasn’t happened. Where are the book deals, the viral quantities of fame? Is it worth all the trouble?

I am here to tell you it is. But you may be looking at the wrong things, or have mistaken expectations. Social media have been an absolute transforming force for me, and if the channels were closed tomorrow I’d be howling for their return. So I thought I’d quantify the ways I’ve found it so worthwhile.

Continue reading on the Nail Your Novel blog >>

Originally published on Knockin Books​ — Blog

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