April Fool

Out of respect for International ‘Do Not Internet For 36 Hours’ day we will not be trying to fool you with any silly news post of our own, though it did occur to me that we should announce we’re only going to cater to Ad Copy writers from now on.

However, here is an important news article highlighting a shift in direction from Momentum Books.

Momentum’s publisher Joel Naoum said, “While we’ve had an extremely valuable experience working in digital, we’ve had to make the decision to go to a print-based model. We’ll still be publishing the same kinds of projects, but we’ll be delivering them via an exciting new system.”

Read it here: http://momentumbooks.com.au/blog/momentum-ditches-digital/

Monday Markets – Ruthless Peoples Magazine

Ruthless Peoples Magazine publishes two stories a month, paying $100.

RPM subscribes to no genre. Capture something of the human condition in a story of ghosts or femme fatales or dusty electricians or the breath of a reluctant lover, if you like–or in the brass dials of a spy satellite, the wink of an elephant’s greasy nostril, a collapsing circus tent.

With that said, the preference is for character over caricature, drama over hysteria, plot over passivity, fresh observation over cliche. Juvenile or pretentious work is revolting, so bring a sense of a character reaching for the maximum understanding of what lies in front of them, and acting on it. Choice-making ruthlessness needs to be at the heart of every RPM story [my emphasis]. The ruthlessness does not have to be brash or brutal–it could be as simple and hurtful as closing a door, or saying goodbye.

They’re only after 1,000 word stories, so worth a shot.

Submit here: http://ruthlesspeoples.com/2014/03/submit-to-ruthless-peoples/

Analysing a Writer’s Process (via @balespen)

It’s always great to get a look into how other writers manage this bizarre creative dance/job.

Lucas Bale analyses his own writing processes from First Draft/Research through to Covers and Marketing:

As I’ve said, I plan pretty assiduously. I am currently working on the outline for the second book in the Beyond the Wall series. However, because the themes are central to the whole series, as well as individual books, and there is quite a bit of world-building going on, I find it easier to have a solid outline which I can depart from if I like or change when I want.

It’s a great read if, like me, you suck at organising your writing or hope to get some insight into another writer’s approach.

Check the whole article out here (including some great photos): http://www.lucasbale.com/blog/2014/3/26/lucas-bale-analysing-a-writers-process

 

Your book sucks: are authors being bullied with one-star Amazon reviews? (via @hayleycampbelly, HT: @text_publishing)

Hayley Campbell over on the NewStatesman ponders the notion that writers are slaves to star ratings:

Go find a book you love. Click the one-star reviews – there will always be some. Cancel your plans for this evening.

But one-star Amazon reviews are more than a space for performance art or green-ink rantings. Some authors believe that they amount to “bullying”.

 

I’m luckily not famous enough to be exposed to the world of being rated publicly. As most of my work is short fiction I’m luckily not on websites, either, so I don’t really have much experience of feeling bullied. And the reverse is true, too: well-known authors forgetting the ‘Do Not Engage’ rule and setting their social media followers on hapless critics:

[Anne Rice] took umbrage with a small potatoes blogger (who not only didn’t like her book but cut it up for some arts crafts project), posted a link to the offending review on her Facebook and invited comments. Essentially she just set her fanbase on someone who didn’t like her book, and opened the blogger up to a world of shit-slinging from the more slavish of the group (others called Rice out on it).

Read Hayley’s piece here, it’s an interesting consideration: http://www.newstatesman.com/voices/2014/03/your-book-sucks-are-authors-being-bullied-one-star-amazon-reviews

Writing From The Middle (via @jamesscottbell, HT: @thecreativepenn )

James Scott Bell talks about his new Nobel Peace prize winning strategy for writing a novel:

I’ve written maybe fifty novels (not all of them published!) and I’ve written them in all different ways. I’ve “pantsed’ my way to completed book (no outline or planning) and I’ve outlined others. I’ve done it in between, too. So I know full well the strengths and weaknesses of every approach.

I’ve also been amused by some of the vehement arguments by proponents of a particular method.

What is this mad strategy that will resolve all conflict between supporters of different writing methods (eg. pantsers and plotters)?

You actually start from the middle.

What?

That’s what I said—the dead center of your novel. Because it is here, in what I call “the mirror moment,” that you discover, truly, what your novel is really all about.

As someone who constantly struggles with making nice narrative arcs, this kind of alternative look at a writing strategy always interests me, so read about it here: http://writershelpingwriters.net/2014/03/james-scott-bell-write-middle-method/

Monday Markets – Bastion Science Fiction Magazine

Bastion is publishing its inaugural issue on April 1, and is accepting submissions for its May issue. They’re looking for:

Great science fiction. How you choose to meet this requirement is up to you. Consider that science fiction is merely a backdrop from which outstanding stories are written. Horror, detective, thrillers, etc., are all acceptable as long as there’s some element of science fiction present (no romance or erotica). No serials, fan fiction, or anything unoriginal, please. Your story should stand on its own.

They’re after pieces from 1,000 to 5,000 words, and pay a token $20 and 1c per word after 2,000.

Guidelines here: http://www.bastionmag.com/submissions/

On Killing (via @mykecole, HT: @saladinahmed)

Myke Cole writes a great and heartfelt article about combat and killing, and how most fantasy novels, though steeped in violence, don’t convey the experience and the consequences:

One doesn’t have to be a vet­eran brawler to write a great fight scene.

But I do feel like the end result of fighting, namely, killing, isn’t often treated in a way that res­onates with me. I can count on one hand the number of writers who get it right. Joe Aber­crombie springs to mind as one of them, a tiny band of authors, and I do not count myself among them, who evoke the con­se­quences of killing in a way that feels authentic.

[...T]here is one thing in par­tic­ular that I think fan­tasy writers miss, and I want to dial in on that here.

Killing is a chain.

It’s good, so read it all here: http://mykecole.com/blog/2014/03/on-killing