Episode 48 - We Quit!
Works in Progress
[00:00:52] Mike has the outline of his next blog post ready, but not much for "real" writing.
John wrote one small blog post this week despite having opened his editor almost every day and producing nothing.
Eric is working on Prince of Pigeon Hill and writing several blog posts.
Eric continues slogging away on War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
What's happening online
Amazon Kindle Giveaways
[00:08:00] The Benefits of an Amazon Giveaway for Kindle Contests hosted by Amazon which until now have only been available for print books and other physical products can now also be done with digital goods. Amazon Giveaways bring more than a 40-percent increase in traffic during the week of the contest. You can require contestants to follow your author page on Amazon
The TV-Novel Complex
[00:10:18] The TV Novel Complex outlines the marriage between television and novels - how each medium has affected the other over time. From the serialization of Charles Dickens' work to the creation of TV miniseries, the two mediums have always shared some similarities in their storytelling methods, and today the similarities are only becoming more obvious.
Aaron Sorkin writes the best Dialogue
[00:12:08] Let's Address a Common Misunderstanding About Author Websites discusses the purpose of an author website. An author's website is a marketing tool, not a publishing tool.
[00:14:02] Where Does Swearing Get Its Power. How do words become offensive?
On Critique I Promise I Will Tell You
[00:15:09] On Critique I Promise I Will Tell You is about an author's reaction to being critiqued. She discusses the three types of readers:
- Those who know less about the story than you do.
- Those who know more about the story than you do.
- Those who know just as much as you do about your story.
The third group can offer the best feedback.
Tech Focus - Free Image Sites
[00:16:34] Featured images for your blog or your fiction can help make your content more memorable and feel less like a "wall of text". Some sites
- Unsplash has great high-resolution photos with a completely open creative commons license. You can use and remix these photos as you like.
- Flickr is another site with creative commons images.
When using these photos, you need to be very aware of the licensing. Some photos are free to use, but you must keep an attribution. Some restrict commercial use and others restrict your ability to alter the image (including cropping).
Using photos without an open license and without permission can be very costly should the copyright holder discover you've used it illegally.
When possible, it is always wise to contact the photographer/copyright owner to make sure the use of their photo is ok regardless the licensing. Flickr, for example, sets a default license that may not be what the owner wants, and the owner can also change the license later.
Mike often takes a screenshot of the license with the photo as a precaution in case someone comes after him later saying the license was not free.
- Awesome Creatives list has a number of sites with resources:
"This is a curated list of creative resources best suited for use on web and print. To qualify as "Awesome", each resource must be: 1. be actively maintained and updated, 2. be searchable and easy to navigate, and 3. be cost-free, copyright-free, without sacrificing quality."
Where can you use these? Blog posts are good, but because these photos are free, there is a good chance someone else is using them too.
Craft Talk - Quitting
[00:27:50] Quitting. When, Why and How.
Why would we quit writing something? If the story isn't taking you where you wanted it to go, that's a valid reason to quit writing it.
Put it on the "burn pile", but never delete the files. You always have the opportunity to go back to it and look at it again. No matter how bad a story is, it can be fixed.
When should you work on an "A" story, and have a backup "B" story in order to have something to go to when you're stuck on the "A".
"There's always a side story that's being worked on, whether it's a full-formed story or just a partial idea or just a couple lines of dialogue."
What's the balance between quitting because something is truly terrible, versus you're just stuck in the muddled middle? If you're not in love with the story anymore, it's okay to put it aside for a while.
Make sure you're walking into something and not just running away from hard work.
Writing that Pays
[00:38:21] We don't have any writing that pays this episode, but we do have two contests.
May is Short Story Month - a story a day
Future Escape Contest - $2000 first-place prize. Science Fiction short stories with a theme of "Cities of Empowerment".