Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sunday Links: October 9, 2011 Edition

We're now down to just over three weeks until NaNoWriMo starts. The NaNo site is supposed to be re-launching with an updated version tomorrow (October 10th). So once that is live, it should be worth popping over to check out the changes if you're participating this year.

I'd be interested to know what sort of prep work any of my readers who are planning to do NaNo are doing. I know that some people do absolutely no prep at all and other people have detailed outlines, character descriptions, etc. in advance. 

Now for this week's links!
"Nanowrimo Prep: What's Your Premise?" (Alexandra Sokoloff) - The first link this week relates to this same topic of prepping to write a novel. Sokoloff talks about the importance of being able to distill the premise of your novel down to a single sentence. This both helps you communicate the experience of your novel to both potential readers and agents, editors, etc. but also can help you clarify the core of your novel conceptually.

"Real Life Diagnostics: Opening with Journal Entries: Do They Hook?" (The Other Side of the Story with Janice Hardy) - I've mentioned before that I enjoy stories that are written partially or entirely in the form of diary entries, letters, etc. Here, a sample piece from a story which opens with such an entry is examined and the general use of them and potential pitfalls is discussed.

"Ray Bradbury & Stephen King: The Long & Short of It" (Ryne Douglas Pearson) - Ryne talks about how wildly novels can vary in length -- Fahrenheit 451 is about 45,000 words long, The Stand is nearly half a million words long -- and asks if there is a "proper" length for a novel. "Every story has its natural length." This is actually something I've been thinking about a lot recently, myself, and I found his thoughts on the topic very helpful.

"Should You Serialize a Novel on Kindle?" (Jane Friedman) - I liked this detailed analysis of the experience that the author had with taking a novel of hers and selling it via Kindle in four segments. She goes into lots of detail about how this differed from publishing a novel as a whole and it was very interesting to see what she had to say about this. I think that with the rise of eReaders and eBooks we may see more and more experiments like this one in the future.

"3 Tips for Riding the Rejection/Acceptance Roller-Coaster" (Suzannah Windsor Freeman at Writer Unboxed) - Suzannah talks about ways to deal with the high points (acceptances) and low points (rejections) of writerly life. I think that most beginning (and even quite a few non-beginning) writers struggle with this somewhat when their early works are going out to market. The tips that she provides here should help writers keep their emotions from swaying to and fro too much.

"Why I Do NaNoWriMo" (Nancy Kelley at Austen Aspirations) - After starting with a NaNoWriMo-themed link, now I'll end with one too. This is more of a personal story, but I think it will resonate well with many other writers."[...] all of a sudden I had a deadline. The theoretical future was now." I know that when I first committed to doing NaNoWriMo this year, that's exactly how I felt about it.

Additionally, here's a recap of the posts from this week on my blog:

"Eight Time Management Tips for Writers" - Monday, I presented a set of tips that can help writers manage their time effectively. I also got some fantastic feedback in the comments section with some more good tips there, so make sure to check those out as well!

"Suggestions, Please?" - Once I've gotten past the hubbub of NaNoWriMo, I intend to add a new feature or two to this blog. I posted a poll so I could get a sense of what readers of this blog would find most interesting. The poll is still open today and tomorrow (Monday) so if you want to give your opinion, I'd love to hear it!

"#FridayReads: October 7th, Edition" - The #fridayreads hashtag on Twitter encourages people to talk about what they're currently reading. In my second biweekly #fridayreads post I wrote about books I'm currently reading as well as two that I've finished reading recently.

It's been unseasonably warm here in Ohio this weekend and I'm off now to enjoy it. Thanks to all of my readers and I hope that you're having a great day, too!


  1. Great links! I knew of some, but not all, so I'll have to link back to this on my next Saturday Synergy at the WriMos FTW site, dedicated to NaNoWriMo useful links and resources. You can come and say hi anytime! :)

  2. I might actually come up with some characters and a general idea of what I want to do. But I have yet to find a plotting method that works for me.

  3. Thanks, Lyn! I'll stop by and check that out!

    Scribblingpencil, good luck with it! If you want to be writing buddies on the NaNo site, I'm mhaynes.

  4. I've decided I want to do NaNoWriMo. Newbie to it and not sure what the best route will be the best for me. I appreciate the links. It will help me to know some of this stuff as the time draws near.
    Pants it or prep? That is my current question.

  5. I missed NaNoMo last year, but I've got a plan for this year. I have worked out the outline and already have a little content; my next novel will be based on my father-in-law's experience in the Soviet Red Army.

    I also had fun with the July version, under a different name, with a YA paranormal fantasy. Just for fun!

  6. @Angela, I'm a newbie to it too! I'm planning to read this series and see what ideas I like from it: I'm going to have to prep. I've tried semi-pantsing the other novel I'm working on and it's been... a learning experience. :)

    @ScottTheWriter, the basis for your upcoming novel sounds very interesting and congrats on your work in the July Camp NaNo! Good luck with your new one.