Episode 42 - Trumprotica
In this episode we talk about book warning labels, the good and bad of online writing communities, and how to add humor to your writing.
Works in Progress
[00:00:37] Mike has been working on his short stories. He hasn't finished the first one, and the third prompt is out now. He is writing the first one and planning the second one in the meantime. He has a super-secret website but he isn't divulging the URL of it for now.
John is back working on Drone Syndicate. He hasn't figured out the second act yet, but some revisions to the first act that make for a better story will allow him to flow into the second much better.
Eric continues to work on FreeFall. He officially hired a book doctor to get some advice on Prince of Pigeon Hill. He will have a one hour consultation on ways to improve the novel for sale.
What’s happening online
Between the Words
[00:02:25] Chicago artist Nicholas Rougeux has an art project called Between the Words where he creates posters based on the text of classic novels. He removes all the words, leaving only the punctuation which he arranges into a spiral.
Amazon Warning Labels
Making an Author
[00:03:33] On Netflix, the series Making a Murderer has been all the rage. The prosecutor in the case Ken Kratz is now writing a book "because the one voice forgotten to this point is Teresa Halbach", the victim in the case.
[00:04:26] Comedian Elijah Daniel wrote a Donald Trump Erotica Novel called Trump Temptations.
Bill Gates' Books
[00:06:37] Bill Gates reads about 50 books a year, and in this article Bill Gates on Books and Blogging he is interviewed on the books he chooses to read and why he blogs his reviews of them.
[00:09:21] John is still reading Devil’s Vortex (Deathlands).
Mike is reading Deep Work by Cal Newport. Eric is also reading Deep Work.
Eric started Silk Road by Colin Falconer.
Tech Focus - Online Communities
[00:12:42] We've talked about online communities before in passing, as resources to use as a writer. We wanted to revisit some of the sites again as well as mention a few we haven't talked about before.
Scribophile is an online community for critiquing your writing. After reviewing the works of others and earning karma, you can post your own work for feedback from others on the site. The people there are very warm and welcoming. Critiques are usually very good.
We have a Typehammer Group on Scribophile.
Another critique site is Critters. Critters started in 1995 as a critique site for science-fiction and fantasy writers, although it has grown into other genres since then. Critiques are handled through an email list and your story goes into the queue until it reaches the top of the list and is emailed to the group.
Critters is 20 years old, one of the oldest workshop sites on the web. It does not look like there's a way to see the critiques written by other people like you could on Scribophile.
KBoards is a forum for writers with a specific focus on Kindle authors and owners. The Writer's Cafe, one of the forums, is particularly focused on writing and author issues. It's a very active site and a lot of content flows through.
We talk about the /r/writing and other subreddits on Reddit all the time. One caution with Reddit are the unlimited possibilities for distraction and procrastination, as well as the inability to unsee things. There is no filter.
/r/writing has 156,000+ members and is focused on the tips and techniques writers face in creating their work.
When it's time for a critique, /r/DestructiveReaders will take a no-holds-barred look at your masterpiece and point out the problems with it, whether you like it or not. Scribophile is a friendly place for critiques. /r/DestructiveReaders is not.
/r/WritingHub, while not recently updated, has an extensive list of subrredits applicable to writing. In particular, the index on the right side of the page is a quick topical list to make subreddits easy to find.
There are a lot of Facebook Groups for writers as well.
Google+ has a lot of groups as well.
How Many Groups?
Now that we've mentioned all these groups, how many is too many? There is a limit to the number of groups to which you participate. What is that number? There isn't a finite answer, but John proposed "2". It comes down to procrastination. Are you spending all your time participating in these groups when you should be writing? If so, that's too many groups.
"Going to Reddit should be after your daily word counts are done, not before."
Craft Talk - Writing Comedy and Humor
Comedy can be difficult to write. In the last episode we talked about building suspense, and that comedy is one of the ways to release the tension. So how can we do some funny stuff.
"While I think I'm funny, my wife has assured me, multiple times, that I am not.
Using comedic timing
The "K" Rule, and slightly less popular "G" rule
The Rule of Three
The Comparison Technique
Edit, Edit, and Edit. Then Edit.
Writing that Pays
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