Writing Roundup, Oct. 16

Here is a handy table of contents that will help you quickly reach the topic of your choice. Let me know if you like it this way.

The Business of Writing

Book Trade Can Avoid Music Labels Digital Mistakes
Publishers are scared. They fear the advent of digital books. I mean, we saw the music biz get eviscerated by MP3s and file sharing. But, in this Reuters report from the Frankfurt Book Fair, Georgina Prodham explores the ways in which the book indistry is actually better positioned than the music industry was to move into the electronic publishing model.

See Jane Run
People have been waiting to hear what business venture Jane Friedman was up to. And the Frankfurt Book air was where we first found out about Open Road Integrated Media. It will focus mainly on backlist re-releases but offer some opportunities for new writers.

Agents Are Mysterious People
Agent Michelle Wolfson discusses her process. She focuses a good portion of her interview to the concept of exclusivity when she requests a full manuscript from a potential client.

The Power of Perseverance
Kristin Bair O’Keefe shares the story of selling her first novel. It took her 16 years and some solid networking, but she did it.

Craft

Three Qualities a Writer Needs
Author Lilith Saintcrow paints a portrait of a writer, listing the three most important personality quirks we writers need to achieve some level of success in the biz.

Daily Writing Prompts
Writer Camy Tang shares a new resource for writing prompts to help you build that daily writing habit and to improve your skill through practice.

In Which Maria Gets Up on Her Soapbox
Writer Maria Geraci questions why people read books they know will offend them–why not put it down if the language or sexual content is too much for you? She prefers to read books about real people, she says, and real people swear, screw, and do other things some people may find offensive. Such is life. Maria’s post reminds us that we can’t worry what other people will think as we write. We need to tell the stories as they come to us, without censoring ourselves. Edits can come later if your agent or editor convinces you that you need to tone certain things down. But your story won’t be any good if you second-guess everything you write, living in fear that someone will be offended.

Fiction

Writing a Character History
Writer L.J. Sellers explores back story as it relates to characters in a series. How do you keep track of each character’s history? How do you parcel out the revelations so that everything remains fresh, makes sense, and avoids sticky issues if editor’s request big changes?

How Do You Show Feelings?
Heidi Thomas gives a nice lesson in showing versus telling, complete with specific examples.

Freelancing

Why You’re Not Cheap
Lori Widmer reminds us of the importance of setting firm prices for our writing. Don’t bargain basement yourself out of a living wage. I mean, if you’re worth the right brand of shampoo, you’re worth a decent rate.

Why Bloggers and Citizen Journalists Deserve a Shield Law
There has been some legislation coming through Congress to provide federal shield protection for journalists. However, like the FTC regulations, it appears to discriminate against independent practitioners, bloggers, and unpaid writers. Clothilde Le Coz argues why we all deserve equal protection under the law.

How Do You Handle Vacations?
Jennifer Mattern discusses her struggles with taking vacations. If you don’t have work coming in, you have time but not money. If your work is steady, you have money but no time. Vacations are essential for keeping your motivation and productivity up; how do you manage your workflow so that you can take them?

Platform

Five Tips on an Easy-to-Use Social Media Marketing Tool: Commenting
When you visit a blog, do you add to the discussion? If so, do you include your URL? I do, when there is a box for it. I find a good response rate, with new visitors clicking through to my blogs. Malle Vallik provides some tips of posting good comments on th right blogs so that you get the exposure you need.


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