No-one yelled at me and told me to write something more interesting the last time I ran through my list of the worthwhile blog posts I’d read over the course of the month, so consarn it, I’m gonna do it again.
‘Consarn’ is a good word. I think I might name a D&D character that one day.
- Cam Rogers has a short-but-smart breakdown of seven things he’s learned about writing for kids. I can’t say that I want to do any children’s or YA work myself, but it’s still good to consider what the differences in style and focus are.
Russell Bailey has another instalment in his Cavaliers of Mars sword-and-sorcery worldbuilding exercise, this time about the people of Mars. This is gaming directed, in the main, but I find it a really interesting exploration of tone and how it can be efficiently conveyed in an expository format. Plus, come on, Martians with swords.
- Foz Meadows gives us a really fascinating essay on book piracy, whether it really hurts writers, the possible benefits of it and the potential benefits of the try-before-you-buy mentality. While mostly ambivalent about piracy / filesharing / whatever, I’m not quite as upbeat about the implications as Foz, but she argues a good case, and I like the way she tries to look at the issue from both a writer’s and a reader’s POV.
- Kate Beaton has a comic about Kraven the Hunter. It’s ace.
- Louise Cusack talks about the value of critiquing other people’s work and how it can give you insights into your own. She’s right on that; editing and dissecting the work of a friend gives me immense clarity on my own work and how to make it better. Louise also touches on how to do a memorable book launch, which mostly made me jealous, since a book launch for an ebook is mostly a matter of uploading files while sitting in your underwear and eating Nutella straight from the jar.
Ben McKenzie, the Man in the Lab Coat, writes about Ada Lovelace Day and interviews three women that work in the computer science and video games industry. It’s a good read, and a reminder that female gamers and comp-techs really do exist and shouldn’t be treated as mythical vagina mutants.
- Jay Kristoff has been writing about suck – both how important it is, and then how to avoid it. Which may seem like something of a mixed message, but it’s a great one-two punch about the need to overcome fear of failure in your writing, and then how to correct failures after the fact through judicious editing. Courage, then ruthless efficiency. And suck. Which is apparently a noun now.
- Michael Pryor discusses the ‘powerless hero’ and the need to give a protagonist the power and willingness to act. I don’t know that I agree with that, because I really enjoy stories about protagonists that have only one of those things and the difficult position it puts them in, but Michael argues his case well and it’s good food for thought. I also very much liked his post about learning stage magic and what it taught him about writing. Because, in the end, everything can teach us something about writing.
- Gamer emeritus Rob Schwalb, my former Green Ronin homeboy, talks about the myth of the new gamer and whether the introductory RPG sets on the market really fulfil a genuine need.
Alan Baxter talks about NaNoWriMo and why he doesn’t get involved. I share some of his issues with the project/event, although I’m not as against it as he is, and in fact I might just write about it myself this weekend. But he makes some good points that are worth considering. And, as a slightly-after-Blogtober bonus, a great post about how he got two good friends to savage the crap out of his work and how it made the writing better.
- And Chuck Wendig wrote approximately eleventy billion blog posts, started a collaborative word-building project, published two new ebooks, called out some author ebook writers for being fuckwits and probably fathered another kid for his ever-growing army of loyal minions. If I didn’t respect him so much I’d have him killed. I still might. Anyway, too many fucking great posts to link to. Just stick his damn blog in your Google Reader feed already.
On a semi-related note, the new Google Reader design is a canoe filled with arse.