Episode 23 - Strategic Quill Locations
In this episode we talk about taking online criticism with a grain of salt, lessons on “freewriting” lessons from Mitch Hedburg, recap #pitmad, and if you should you create a book trailer video for your work.
Works in Progress
[00:00:35] Mike didn't have a lot of time to do any writing, but has been going through his backlog of ideas to see what's there and what to work on. He's also planning for Zero Ward and NaNoWriMo.
Eric is working on the rewrite for Don't Wake Up. As he's rewriting, some of the conflict he had created has been changed by earlier rewriting the backstory of the characters.
He also posted chapter 2 of Faith, Love and Rust to Google+ #saturdayScenes
John wrote one scene his hobo story.
What's happening online
[00:02:28] Pitmad is a Twitter pitch party where authors can sumbit their pitches to be read by agents and publishers.
The latest #pitmad was a huge success with a large number of submissions to agents and editors watching the feed.
Eric was encouraged that he only saw one other crime noir story and he hopes it gets published to show there's a market for that type of fiction.
For the next #pitmad in December, founder Brenda Drake instituted a few new #pitmad rules to help the agents and publishers from being overwhelmed by the amount of pitches that come through during the day.
Subliminal Motivational Posters
[00:03:41] Zisson makes subliminal motivational posters. Eric loves the idea and wants something to help him avoid procrastination.
Photography site Petapixel had an article on not taking online critiques so seriously. One person posted a photograph and received quite a bit of criticism on the photo.
[The] photograph is actually “Hyeres, France, 1932”, a famous photograph by the French photographer and “father of modern photojournalism”, Henri Cartier-Bresson. Made in 1932, the photo sold at auction in 2008 for a whopping $265,000.
The Myth of Lazy Authors
[00:05:54] In The Myth of Lazy Authors by Hugh Howey was an interesting read on the work a traditionally published author and a self-published author. Hugh's argument is that creating is the hardest part, and that publishing via either medium is easy by comparison.
The hardest part of getting a book published is the actual writing. All it takes to see this is the number of people who dream of publishing a book but never manage to hammer out a rough draft. I spent 20 years trying to write my first novel before I finally pulled it off.
Having published along both routes, I can attest that the amount of work either way is roughly equal. Learning to query agents took me longer than learning how to self-publish.
Self-publishing is the difference between owning and renting. If it seems like self-published authors work harder than other authors, this is merely a function of the reward mechanisms of ownership
There is no such thing as a lazy author. To have finished the work, all authors have taken the most grueling of steps.
[00:07:34] Eric is still reading The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.
Eric also mentioned Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart and Ms. Stewart is coming to a local bookstore in the area, so Eric would like to read it.
[00:08:29] John read Sand by Hugh Howey
[00:09:18] Mike is reading Content, Inc. by Joe Pulizzi
He also started a new fiction novel called Pale Queen Rising by A. R. Kahler.
Tech Focus: Book Trailers
[00:11:34] Wild Sound Festival Review turns a book's logline into a video. This is not quite the same as a book trailer.
Book trailers are like a mini movie describing a novel. An example is the book trailer for Steve Pressfield's Killing Rommel is a good example of trailer describing a book.
Eric posted a question out to his Saturday Scenes group to get their advice on book trailers. The feedback he got was:
- Don't make one
- Less than a minute
- Make sure its of high quality
- Just don't
Making a book trailer is like making a movie. You need to find people who know how to do this; someone with cinematography experience who can make your book trailer look great. Just like your book's cover, quality is paramount.
Robot Clown Mob is another good trailer, although it is too long.
Brainpickings.org has examples of 7 brilliant book trailers.
Trailers can be useful if you already know about an author and want to learn more about their new work.
Craft Talk: Free writing
[00:20:54] Nick Jack Pappas wrote an article on Medium titled What all writers can learn from Mitch Hedberg. Mitch was a comedian who sadly passed away in 2005. His comedy consisted of witty one-liners and he was always writing new material to stay ahead of his fans.
Mitch wrote a lot, always carrying a notebook with him and often did "free writing", where he put down whatever he thought of without stopping.
Three lessons Nick took from Mitch:
Buy a nice pen and bring it everywhere
“I bought a seven-dollar pen because I always lose pens and I got sick of not caring.”
Not having a pen means your thoughts will get lost. While today we have the luxury of digital devices, they are still one misstep from a distraction. Writing with pen on paper keeps you from losing those thoughts.
Don’t make excuses. Get creative.
[Mitch] wrote on everything, wherever he was. When an idea came to him, he wrote it on napkins or coasters. He wrote it on the back of donut receipts.
Don’t write what you think is popular. Write what you know.
I’m sick of following my dreams. I’m just going to ask them where they’re goin’, and hook up with them later.
It’s hundreds of odd thoughts that will generate one good joke. Your writing could be a hundred drab pages and one beautiful chapter.
Being yourself doesn’t mean you can’t write outlandish science fiction or stories about dragons. What it does mean is that, somewhere in that crazy world, you have to write your own stories.
a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence, phrase, or larger discourse is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to reframe or reinterpret the first part
I used to do drugs. I still do, but I used to, too.
Writing that Pays
[00:27:30] 10 Magazines that pay $500 or more