This is the first of a monthly series I’m beginning. The idea is to post five writing related items I’ve found helpful or interesting over the prior four weeks. And hopefully the whole “5 on the 5th” thing is catchy.
I’m hoping to keep this a diverse mix of actual writing (short stories, excerpts, etc), writings tips and advice, or things to actually do.
So, without further ado….
1.) Literary Agent Piers Blofeld’s Live Rejections
In this video, literary agent Piers Blofeld rejects queries and explains his reasoning behind each rejection.
If you’re currently trying to get published or planning to do so later on, you owe it to yourself to check out this video. You can learn a lot from others’ mistakes and by getting inside the mind of an agent.
Remember, the point is not to get pissed off about how arbitrary some of the decision making appears. Agents get dozens to hundreds of queries daily, and they need to have some sort of process for narrowing it down to the few manuscripts that they’ll actually have time to read.
It’s the world we live in. If you want to get published, you need to learn the rules of the game. Check out this video.
2.) Write to Done’s Top 10 Writing Blog Nominations for 2016
I’m making it a personal goal to get Oh The Squalor‘s content up to snuff to try and crack that list in 2017.
3.) Scott Adams’ “The Day You Became a Better Writer”
This is a quick post about the simplicity of good writing. In it, Adams talks about how taking a course in business writing made him a better all around writer due to the focus on simplicity and clarity.
It takes only a few minutes to read this post. Quality over quantity. I don’t think any of these tips are re-inventing the wheel, but it’s helpful to remind yourself of the basics.
4.) Mark Lawrence’s “We Don’t Need Another Hero”
An interesting post by Mark Lawrence, the author of the Broken Empire trilogy, one of my absolute favorite fantasy series. Here he takes a look at his main character from the Broken Empire, Jorg, and how he lines up with traditional ideas of heroes and anti-heroes.
I love worlds where it isn’t all black and white, and this article is all about the shades of gray in between. If you’re writing a complex character, this is a piece well worth checking out.
5.) Ernest Hemingway’s “The Snows of Kilimanjaro”
I was floored when I realized this story was available online for free. I love free stuff. The formatting on the website is terrible, but hey, what can you do?
This is considered one of Hemingway’s finest pieces, and it remains one of my favorites among the great American short stories. Great writers are great readers, so take some time to check out a phenomenal short story.