Writer’s Digest – May/June 2010 issue

First of all, the MFA Confidential contest, as the deadline is very close (July 1st): if you enrolled in a writing-focused graduate program for the 2010-2011 school year (Lua? Miss Rosemary? Anybody?), you could be the next student blogger for Writer’s Digest (the best of the bunch of writers mags I picked up, btw). Visit writersdigest.com/mfacontest for guidelines NOW and good luck!

To the issue of the mag itself – interesting article on “romancing the publishing industry” (for those romance writers interested who can’t get a hold of the mag, feel free to ask me more), another on mystery writing by Elizabeth Sims with interestings for writing description

I learned from bestselling author Betty MacDonald (The Egg and I, among other golden oldies) to compare people to nonhuman entities, and nonhuman entities with people. She wrote things like, “as evening fell, the mountain settled her skirts over the forest”. That’s a great technique, a terrific cliché-buster.

or give characters motivations

How to do it. Making your characters take drastic risks is good, but this works only if their motivations are rock-solid. In fact, the biggest  favor a doog agent or editor or writing roup will do for you is challenge your character motiations. Internal motivation can work, but external motivation is better.

For example, it’s conceivable a cop or a P.I. could risk his life to find the truth because he loves the truth – but if the truth involves finding out why his partner was murdered in cold blood, as Sam Spade felt driven to do in Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon, now you’ve got something.

– which is valid for all writing.

Another article explores the dos and don’ts of blending genres, which is what I sort of do. One more is about understanding gender differences in talk/walk/whatever – I never gave it much thought, but we should consider if the audience is male, female or mixed, and adjust the writing accordingly…

Then there’s the list of 101 best websiters for writers, of which I already have some, either in the blogroll or in my bookmarks: Preditors&Editors, Writers Unboxed, Wikipedia, United States Copyright Office, Authonomy, Association of Authors’ Representatives, Nathan Bransford, Query Shark, Rachelle Gardner, Agent Query, SFWQ and Drew’s Script-o-rama – that’s 12, which means I have 90 more to check now… shouldn’t I be writing instead? 😦

Small press spotlight: Wild Child publishing looks for books 70000words or less, more historical fiction across all genres. If you have something that fits, check them out (also check guidelines!)!.

Happy writing1

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