Weekly Writer’s Round-Up; Week of 10/30/11

Here’s my compendium of the best of the web for writers this week:

Barry Eisler on JA Konrath’s blog:“Why are so many authors afraid of a possible publishing monopoly while sanguine about a real one?”

Writer Courtney Milan on Barry Eisler’s use of extreme rhetoric in the above post. (via Twitter.)

From metromode.com, via the Tattered Cover site: How Indie Book Stores Keep Communities Vibrant.

From writer R.S. Guthrie on Mystery Writers Unite blog, re: Social Media Marketing and YOU MUST BE ON TWITTER. (via writer Becky Illson-Skinner on Twitter.)

Romance editor Sue Grimshaw on Writers in the Storm blog: An editor’s checklist. (Good info for other genres as well and I love that she says prologues are not a deathknell.)

Screenwriter Alexandra Sokoloff on writing the second act. (Extremely relevant to me since I’m there on my novel rewrite.)

Jenny Hanson’s blog, marketing “Quick Response,” those weird code things that can only be understood by phones, or something. She swears by it as a marketing tool. I swear I’ll look into it when I have to.

From Sharla Rae on Writers in the Storm blog, How To Find Your Dream Team (Critique Group).

NYT Ben Zimmer on linguists analyzing Twitterspeak.

Writer Charlie Jane Anders on io9: How To Write a Sincere First Draft of Your Science Fiction or Fantasy Epic.

Have a great week.

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10 Responses to Weekly Writer’s Round-Up; Week of 10/30/11

  1. Laura Drake says:

    Chris, thanks for sharing – I have to go check out that second act post – I’m in the same place you are.

    Thanks for throwing the spotlight on WITS!


    • Chris Devlin says:

      Hey Laura, welcome!

      Yeah, the second act is something. Mine is a big ol’ mess right now, but I’m plowing through it. Check out the second part of Sokoloff’s post about Act 2 as well. They’re both very helpful, if a little scary.

      I’m always happy to direct people to WITS. You’ve got a great blog there, full of useful and timely info. Thank YOU!


  2. I love that she says prologues are not a deathknell.
    One of the judges in Colorado Gold said that if my entry’s Chapter One had been
    “as good as your prologue, you would have been the contest winner.”
    Remember, the industry’s supposed prejudices against prologues don’t apply to your
    self-published e-books. A 3,000-word prologue for a paranormal? No problem! 😈

    Thank you for linking to Barry Eisler’s post. πŸ˜€ I would imagine Amazon’s new paper imprints (such as 47North) will have a much lower royalty than 70% for physical books, but this brings another question. If 47North picks a popular self-published e-book already sold in the Kindle Store, would their rights be for the paper copies only, or would the author have to transfer the rights to the e-book version? πŸ˜•


    • Chris Devlin says:

      That’s a good question. I imagine a lot of sticky details will have to be worked out as the industry goes through all these changes.

      As for prologues–I’m not sure I would stick around for a 3000 word prologue, in any format. But I really like what she said about the prologue not mattering as long as it’s action and not backstory. Those are the kind I like, and the kind I write, I hope. πŸ˜‰


  3. Jenny Hansen says:


    I am feeling the major blog love all the way over at More Cowbell! I am positive that you will love QR codes the next time you print up business cards and want people to go to your blog on their phones before they toss it away. Or the next time you publish an e-Book and want to link them to your Facebook page. It’s a useful little sucker.

    Seriously, thanks for the link, and I’m with Laura on the heartfelt “Wow, he LIKES me!” from the Writers In The Storm camp.

    I missed all the hubbub being stirred up by Barry Eisler this week. I’ve got to go check that out, and the Act 2 post too. And…and… (this is a really great mash-up)…


    • Chris Devlin says:

      Hi, Jenny! Great to see you here. I’ve been following More Cowbell (which should win a Top 10 Greatest Blog Names of All Time award) for a while now and I really enjoy your posts. The one about how your husband’s ears smell and of course, The Undie Chronicles, are particular favorites. http://jennyhansenauthor.wordpress.com/2011/10/31/the-undie-chronicles-the-final-episode/

      Thanks for the further clarification of QR Codes–clearly, it’s something to look into, even for technoboobs like me. A lot of people seem interested, so good for you for demystifying the new tech for us.

      Barry Eisler wrote another good post about the Indie vs. Legacy brouhaha, though unfortunately this time he chose some extreme language to describe writers who still work for traditional publishers; ‘house slaves’ was one of the questionable terms he used. The controversy overshadowed his salient points, as tends to happen a lot these days when the Hatfields (Indies) and the McCoys (Legacies) go at it. So, yeah, go check it out. Never a dull moment…

      Thanks again for your kind words. See you around the b’sphere.


  4. j.a. kazimer says:

    Great round up. Loved the twitter lesson and QR code talk.


    • Chris Devlin says:

      Thanks, Julie, glad you liked it. I’m fascinated by the idea that Twitter and other fast-moving social networks are contributing a new branch to the language. And also fascinated that there are people who shun all talk that the communication on something like Twitter has any value at all from a linguistic perspective. I wonder what Samuel Johnson would say?

      Good to see you.


  5. Fae Rowen says:

    Thanks, Chris, for including Writers in the Storm in your Weekly Writer’s Round-up–twice! And thanks also for the link to YOU MUST BE ON TWITTER. Oh, have I been fighting that one. Good reasons in this. I may give in to what I view as “the time sump” yet!
    Fae Rowen


    • Chris Devlin says:

      Hi Fae, welcome! You guys on WITS make it easy to link to you: Really good blog. And yeah, I’m right there with you about Twitter. I hung around the edges and studied blog posts about it (including WITS’s) for a long time and then finally took the plunge into the Twitstream about a month ago. I’m actually finding it kind of fun, unexpectedly, even though I’m still screwing up the hashtags and there is much I don’t understand. But I’m just looking at it like I do all new media–I gravitate toward what I enjoy and skim past the rest. I keep reminding myself; this is all voluntary. Might as well have fun.

      I’m chrisdevlin7 on the big Twit if you get there. Thanks again!


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