Yay, almost to the weekend! Today, a little of this and that.
1. Wasn’t that a cool interview with ye ol’ Michael Snyder? What’s not to like about that guy? I wanted to emphasize one thing he said. You want to learn how to write? Ya gotta read.
I’ve said many times that my own journey to publication was spent 50% writing and 50% reading. I see too many new authors who skimp on the reading side. Reading teaches us so much. What works, what doesn’t. How various authors use POV. The use of pacing, tone, voice. Symbolism, foreshadow, icons. Story structure.
I used to read with pen in hand, marking up the books. I learned POV not from any teacher—I didn’t have the Internet and blogs and author loops when I was learning. I learned POV from reading masterful authors.
Read in your chosen genre—lots. Read literary novels, read commercial novels. Read classics and contemporaries. Study the variations. Just, whatever you do—don’t forget to read!
2. On a housekeeping note, my wonderful assistant has been cleaning up F&F’s links this week. She’s done them all now, except for the NES (Never-Ending-Saga) posts—officially labeled “How I Got Here.” Since that series about my journey to publication ran over 60 posts (hey—took me a long time to reach a half-decent level of this craft), fixing that one will take her awhile.
All of the links under “Story” and “Craft” posts now go to the individual post rather than its monthly archive. If it’s a multiple-day series, the link takes you to Part 1, which will include at the bottom the link to Part 2, and etc. No more scrolling through monthly archives, looking for the posts you want. There are quite a bit of teaching archives on this blog now, and this system will make the series much easier to plow through. Or, of course, if you want a few laughs at my expense, you could always read the “World’s Worst Dental Patient” or some other story.
3. I’ve forwarded Sue Brower your questions for her interview. “Wow,” she wrote back, “those are some hard questions!” Yup, you all didn’t hold back. Good for you. I told Sue to take all the time she needs to answer fully. Then bowed at her feet and offered mucho chocolate for her willingness.
4. Awhile back I promised to do a post that segued from the one on my Crimson Eve rewrite—on voice. Haven’t forgotten. Perhaps I’ll tackle that next week. Also I will continue to refer to your topic suggestions from over Christmas.
5. GREAT news. After almost three years, my trademark for "Don't forget to b r e a t h e ..." has finally been registered. Man, you want to conduct business at a turtle's pace, choose the U.S. government. Two years into the process, the government informed us we had to start all over due to a technicality. I'm just glad I didn't have to do any of the work myself. My wonderful assistant, Gayle DeSalles, was the liaison with the attorney.
My "Seatbelt Suspense" trademark is still in the works. A couple days ago, after almost two years' of bureaucracy, the government informed us we have to start the process all over due to a technicality.
6. Last but hardly least--one of my favorite photos of Mom and me (since I haven’t used a doggone picture all week). This was taken in her front yard twenty years ago. I was 30; she was 70.
If you’re wondering, I bought my outfit first. Mom saw it—and just had to have one. Sunglasses and all.