Author Doris Lessing passed away on Sunday at the age of 94. She was a talented writer and lived a fascinating life. The video below is a brief clip from the BBC News.
I’m officially off the grid for the weekend in an attempt to catch up with approximately 8 million things. But before I vanish, some links to keep you entertained. Have a wonderful weekend, get some writing time in (especially you NaNo folks), and enjoy!
24 Quotes that Will Inspire You to Write More – Take your pick; something’s bound to push your buttons.
Prize-winning Animation Lets You Fly through 17th Century London – Very cool, whether you’re interested in the period or not.
50 Incredibly Tough Books for Extreme Readers – Your definition of tough may vary, but regardless, if you’re looking for some good challenging reads, you could do worse than peruse this list.
Call Me Twitterer: Literary Twitter’s First Tweets – Check out some of the first tweets from these bookish folk.
The Periodic Table of Storytelling – A great chart of TV tropes that provide an excellent overview of the elements of storytelling.
The following is a wonderful TED talk from filmmaker Andrew Stanton of Pixar, who’s responsible for such great movies as TOY STORY and WALL-E. He discusses the components of a great story, and how the staff at Pixar developed their unique and successful storytelling style.
Please note: Stanton kicks of with a joke in which he swears exactly once (out of the nearly twenty minutes of presentation). Fair warning if you’re offended by profanity.
Another very quick week. I always feel like time seems to accelerate when we’re this close to the holidays. It’s like a mad rush to the end of the year. Which means there’s lots to be done, so I’ll keep this short.
I’ve got a great assortment of links for you this week. There should be something of interest to just about everyone. I hope you all have wonderful weekend plans ahead, including a bit of reading and writing time. Enjoy!
YA Historical Fiction: Windows to the Past for Readers of the Future – Really interesting look at YA historical fiction in the current market.
Jeannette Cheney Talks about Killing Your Darlings – Over at Lucienne Diver’s blog; an up close look at what happens when you commit to improving your writing, even if that means taking out the bits you loved.
Only the Literary Elite Can Afford Not to Tweet – A look at how Twitter has become a major marketing force for writers.
Should Literature Be Useful? – The New Yorker looks at the impact of recent studies claiming reading literature improves your brain, and asks if “improvement” is the only reason to do something.
Download Some of the Best of Tor.com 2013 – The publisher’s site offers a free downloadable anthology of some of the best short fiction they’ve posted this year.
Just popping in with a few brief announcements today, of the “hear ye, hear ye,” variety.
First off: If you have purchased an electronic copy of Nalini Singh’s novella Declaration of Courtship, the original file posted to the e-tailers accidentally included the epilogue from Texture of Intimacy. This wasn’t instead of anything — the full text of Declaration was in the file. The publisher is uploading a revised version so going forward the file should be correct. However, because Nalini feels bad that readers briefly thought there was more to the story than there ended up being, she’s going to write an all-new epilogue for Declaration of Courtship. Further information is available on Nalini’s Facebook page.
Next up, though the observant among you may have already noticed this, I’ve added a Wish List page to this site. The link is up above, next to the About Me link. This new page lists a few of the types of books I’m really hoping to find in my submissions box. This is different from my list of genres I represent; it’s a little more specific, going into the sorts of stories I’d really like to read at the moment. I’ll be updating periodically, removing and adding as my interests change or I find some of the projects I’m seeking.
Congratulations to Nalini Singh, who has two new e-novellas available today: Declaration of Courtship and Texture of Intimacy. Both of these Psy/Changeling shorts appeared in the recent collection, WILD INVITATION, and now appear individually in digital format for anyone looking to add them to their e-reader. Enjoy!
A dominant changeling wolf, SnowDancer lieutenant Cooper is not known for his patience. But when it comes to courting the shy, sexy woman he wants in his life and in his bed, he’ll have to use every ounce of control in his body to keep both man and wolf in check…at least until he convinces Grace he only bites a little.
One of the most submissive wolves in the SnowDancer pack, Grace knows nothing can come of her sensual fascination with big, bad, beautiful Cooper. He might possess her over and over in erotic dreams that leave her aching for the rough heat of his touch, but she knows that in reality, he is far too dangerous for her to handle. Then Cooper decides to change all the rules…
SnowDancer healer Lara knows primal ecstasy. She wakes to it every morning, skin-to-skin with the hard male body of the quiet, powerful telepath who is her mate. Lean muscle and rough heat, Walker is the only man she has ever wanted to call her own. But being mated to a man formed in the ice-cold cage of the PsyNet has its challenges.
Born into a race where emotion is a crime, Walker’s will is a creation of cold steel. Scarred by the life he has lived, the terrible choices he was forced to make, he never expected to find happiness. Now, his heart belongs to Lara and he will fight to the death to protect the bond between them…even knowing he might have been too long in the ice of the PsyNet to give her what she needs.
Before Lara and Walker can claim the wild, beautiful promise of their future, they must first face the painful shadows of the past…
Happy Friday and happy first day of NaNoWriMo! If you’re participating, I wish you the best of luck. Remember that this is just a first draft you’re writing this month. Plenty of time to revise later. In fact, please remember this fact come December 1st. While you might be tempted to start submitting your finished project, what you have at the end of NaNoWriMo is merely the framework on which you should build your final draft. Revise, revise, revise.
Even if you’re not working on a NaNo novel, there are great pep-talks available at the website to encourage you with your own project. I’ve included a few in this week’s links. Enjoy and happy writing!
Pep-talk from Rainbow Rowell – Advice from this author of two adult and two young adult novels.
Pep-talk from James Patterson – Words of wisdom from the multi-published author of numerous works of suspense.
Five Series You Probably Missed as a Kid (But Should Read as an Adult) – A great assortment.
Google Channels Pixar to Change Storytelling as We Know It – Maybe a bit of an exaggeration in the headline, but still a fascinating look at some new tech.
How to Enter the Telegraph Harvill Secker Crime Writing Competition – Written an adult mystery? Unpublished and unagented? Check out this contest.
A great big congratulations to Nalini Singh, whose latest installment in her Guild Hunter series, ARCHANGEL’S LEGION, is available today. This is a sexy, tense, exciting read that finds Guild hunter Elena Deveraux and Archangel Raphael pitted against an unknown enemy that has seemingly struck the city like a plague.
Angels are falling from the sky in New York, struck down by a vicious, unknown force.
Vampires are dying impossibly of disease.
Elena and Raphael must discover the source of the wave of death before it engulfs their city and their people, leaving New York a ruin and Raphael’s Tower under siege by enemy archangels.
Yet even as they fight desperately to save the city, an even darker force is stirring, its chill eyes trained on New York… and on Raphael. Rivers of crimson and nightmares given flesh, the world will never be the same…
Check out this edge-of-the-seat novel today!
We’ve been preparing for NaNoWriMo all month, and now the event itself is in sight: Friday you start working on your NaNo novel. If you’ve been following along, you have a protagonist, some goals and obstacles, a list of potential scenes to write, and you’ve done research on a few of the details you’d like to include in your story. So what next?
The truth is you now have more than many authors do when they begin a book, and that’s because your goal is to write fast. 50,000 words in 30 days is an achievable goal, but having a bit of a road map will certainly make it easier for you to just plow ahead and write every day. So now I’m going to offer up a few ideas for how to get ready for NaNoWriMo that have nothing to do with your actual book.
Eliminate unnecessary distractions
Are you the type to waste time on the internet when you should be writing? Check out software such as Freedom that will allow you to block your internet access for a set period of time while you get your words down. Daydream too much because your desk faces the window? Turn it around for the month of November so you’re staring at a wall.
Reschedule unnecessary appointments
Do you have a visit to the dentist or your annual physical on the calendar for November? Move it to December and free up a couple of hours for writing. Let your hair grow a little long and skip the trim, if you’re due to visit the hair dresser or barber. And if you absolutely need to keep an appointment where it is, make sure to bring a small notebook so you can scribble in the waiting room while you’re there.
Stock up on supplies
Prep your kitchen with plenty of fixings for quick meals so you don’t forget to eat when you’re deep into your writing. A pantry stocked with dried pasta and canned tomatoes, jars of peanut butter, dried or canned beans, tuna, plus a freezer full of frozen veggies, chicken or veggie stock pre-made and frozen in ice cube form, and a couple of frozen casseroles, will keep you going on days when you’d rather not take time out to shop. Also, lay in a supply of snacks, both healthy and treats. Think granola bars, trail mix, licorice, nuts, dried fruit, chocolate covered espresso beans… whatever makes you happy. And finally, your favorite caffeinated beverages, such as coffee, tea, hot chocolate, etc.
In the non-edible category, you want whatever writing supplies you prefer. Even if you compose on your computer, it can be handy to switch off to a notebook sometimes, especially if you’re on the go, so pick up some notebooks and a supply of pens. If you like printing pages to reread what you’ve written, make sure you’ve got a ream of paper and ink/toner for your printer.
Plus don’t forget basic household items like tissues, paper towels, toilet paper, shampoo, dish soap, etc. Keep shopping trips to a minimum this way.
Cheerleaders can be helpful when you’re scratching your head, wondering why you ever took on such a huge challenge. If you haven’t already done so, check out the NaNoWriMo site for information about how to locate fellow participants in your area. There will be periodic meet ups on the local level, where writers get together in coffee shops to churn out words and talk about their progress.
There are just a few days remaining before the big event begins, so take this time to prepare mentally and physically. Good luck, and happy writing!