Friday, January 26, 2007

Follow-up Friday

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.


SolShine7 said...

Brandilyn, speaking of pictures, I saw one of you today in my Writer's Digest magazine (Dec. 2006). It was for an ad about the Christian Writers Guild. Erynn Mangum was talking about how you were a good mentor and all. She said you "believed" in her. I was wondering if you two still keep in contact and who else are you believing in these days? And how might one get you to believe in them too? ;)

I'm looking forward to the interview with Sue Brower. Thanks for getting us involved in the process.

mike duran said...

Hi Brandilyn! I enjoyed your interview with Mike Snyder and, after seeing the picture of you and your Mom, am guessing he has a similar pair of kaleidoscopic spandex. I mean, how else can a guy think up a clairvoyant alcoholic dog without such apparel in his possession? ;)

Suzan Robertson said...

Hey Brandilyn, I love the photo. I had an outfit just like it in blue.

William G. said...

I'd forgotten just how bright fashion was in '87.

Kristy Dykes said...

Does a trademark cost anything? (I could research it but figured I ask you since you're doing that right now.)

Can't see the pic. Wah wah. It didn't come through for me. I'll check back later to see if it shows up.

Kristy Dykes said...

Goody, the pic just appeared! Love those leggings! Amazing that they're back in style. Well, black ones anyway, worn with skirts.

Is Getting Into Character still available? doesn't have any, or I loaned my copy to a church lady-aspiring-novelist and thought I'd buy another copy for myself.

eileen said...

Two of my favorite "flower" people! Love the pic. Thanks for all you do....and thanks Gayle for keeping BC in line. What would she do without you??

Valerie Fentress said...

I read with pen in hand as well. It's amazing how read can make your writting fall into place.
Fun pic, I'm sure we all have a few of those floating around.

Ane Mulligan said...

You and mom look great! And I learned POV from Francine Rivers in And the Shofar Blew. She had abotu 7 or so POV characters, and her shifts were so clear, I finally understood it.

JediQB said...

Random question here - seemed to fit a follow up Friday:

With all the posts from Scenes and Beans, did you come across anything that changed the way you approached one of the supporting characters in the Kanner Lake series?

~ Brandilyn Collins said...

Jediqb, absolutely. The Scenes and Beans bloggers have named my supporting characters' spouses, given them children, decided their backgrounds, etc. It's been quite fun to write the next book in the series and know I need to go back to S&B to remind myself what somebody's spouse's name is. :]

Kristy, I don't remember what the trademark cost. I was fortunate to find an attorney (actually my wonderful assistant found him) who gave me a great deal. Even so, perhaps each trademark will end up costing $800-$1000.

Also, Kristy, I checked It has copies of Getting Into Character. I also happen to be sitting on a lot of copies, so if you want one directly from me, you can email me.

Wilbur Hucks said...

Jediqb (what the heck kinda name is that anyway?), don't believe a thing this here lady tells ya. I'm my own man. Always have been, always will be. Ain't nobody tellin' me what my spouse's name is or how many kids I got. Like I could forget.

Susanne said...

Look at them flowery legs! :v) Boy that does take me back! You and your mom look great together!

JediQB said...

BTW, the JediQB character was me. Now that blogger has the option to log in under Google or Blogger accounts, I'm stuck with an old screen name that was created in a fit of uncreativity.

Stoopid blogger...

Jason, AKA Pastor Hank

Wayne Scott said...

The pic of you and your mom raises a question I've long wanted to ask. Your attic houses a secret portrait of yourself that keeps aging, doesn't it?