Thursday, February 26, 2009

Wiscon Programming Link

Cause they told me too...

The Programming Committee proudly invites you to sign up to be part of
WisCon 33's programming. We've gotten some fantastic programming
ideas. Now's your chance to sign-up! Help us spread the good news.
Put a link on your blog. E-mail your friends. We need panelists. We
need moderators. You can also sign up for readings and to host a
party. Just go to: http://wiscon.info/programming.php

Let me just say, I'm counting the days till WisCon.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Interesting Link

I ran across Query Shark while web surfing the other night and stayed up way past my bed time reading blog posts. If you send an agent query to the blog, the Shark may choose to post and critique your letter, and believe me, you'd be lucky if she did. While there are a few glittering jewels, most need some work and their failings are learning opportunities for all of us.

The Shark's advice works for every stage of writing. First, voice is everything. Then, know who your character is, why she is interesting, and how that drives the story.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Tough Choices

I recently read a published YA novel that didn't really grab me. It wasn't that the stakes weren't high enough-- it was a situation in which the whole world hung in the balance. If the protag failed, the apocalypse was at hand. And yet I wasn't on the edge of my seat. So I've been thinking about why, and I've come up with a few thoughts. For one thing, the "whole world" being at risk doesn't mean much to me as a reader. It's simply too much to imagine. I am more moved by the idea that my little brother or my father or even my dog is at risk, because that I can picture and relate to emotionally. They say that poetry is in the specific details, and I think that danger is in the details, too.
But maybe more important than that, I never had any real doubt that the protag in this book would do the right thing. Her task was laid out before her and she was going to accomplish it, or possibly die trying. Although our heroine was faced with a tough situation, she never really had to make tough choices. I am starting to feel that tough choices-- ones which require our hero to sacrifice or risk something precious-- are much more compelling than simple tough situations, and while I work on my wip I am trying to ask myself "Okay, when is she tempted?" because in a truly tough choice there's always the temptation to take the easy way out and those moments of temptation always grab me in a novel because they say so much about the character and what makes her tick. Just my random two cents for today :)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

On Coraline...

In re: Coraline 3D


Go see it.  Now. Before it's not in 3D anymore.

It really is quite lovely.

That being said, don't sit in the third row of the theater to see it.  At least halfway back is crucial.  Trust me.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Quote for the Day

"I can't just write a polemic. I have to be a storyteller and to be a storyteller I have to go to the dark place."
--Joss Whedon (on NPR, talking about his new series, Dollhouse)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Encouragement

Yes, you can pen that novel!
Yes, you can revise the second draft of your novel!
Yes, you can send that short story out to that magazine!

Yes, you can! Repeat this to yourself. Repeat it again until you believe it.

Yes, you can.....