It’s a clear evening and cold. I’m walking at the edge of my small town, away from what little light pollution the area produces this late at night. Far above me are the stars. I can recognize some major constellations—Orion and the Big Dipper are pretty obvious—but they don’t look like they did when I lived near or in cities. They don’t look like a few stars in an obvious shape; they are part of a tapestry of hundreds and hundreds of twinkling pinpricks.
I want to write right now, and I totally don’t feel like it.
I’ve been like this all morning—I’ve been up for about five-and-a-half hours so far—and it shows no sign of going away. I feel antsy, like I need to do something, but I don’t know what. Should I go to a café to write? Sometimes that works—but I don’t want to drive down there and spend money and sit down only to feel like I do now, like I am incapable of actually writing. Should I take a walk instead? Or will that only make me feel worse, for putting off what I wish to do?
This post first appeared in Deborah's blog.
So, as those who’ve been following my blog know, I’ve been engaging with a lot of Japanese media lately, and especially anime and light novels (with a bit of manga thrown in). As in, I’ve read over 100 Japanese novels in the past six months. This is relevant because in the particular subgenre I read, I’ve noticed a trend. It goes like this:
The first question I ask a writer I’m working with is “Who are your writing inspirations?" The second is "Whose book(s) are you reading now?”
I get inspiration from many different authors and always have a stack of at least three books I’m currently reading. I have inspirations for style, content, character development, action scenes, suspense building . . . and I try to read from pretty much every genre and topic out there. I’m a writer, so I need to immerse myself in writing. And I expect this from other writers.
Hello, Sarah Awa here again. You may know me as the bubbly social media lady, writer of werewolf novels, and purveyor of puns. My right brain LOVES those parts of my job! But my co-equal left brain needs its share of exercise too, which is why I also enjoy proofreading—getting to analyze and work with details. The concrete as well as the abstract.
I hate white noise. No, honestly, I do. White noise machines to me might as well be grumbling obscenities to themselves. I mean, why would you choose to listen to that?
(Because we’re all different, etc., etc., not my point.)
I read Michael Crichton’s Timeline back when I was in eighth or ninth grade. At the time, I was really into the quantum physics theory of parallel universes—to the extent that I plowed through some articles that were really beyond my comprehension. And by “plowed through,” I mean read slowly and repeatedly until I could force myself to understand them.
A while back, I had the pleasure of editing a book that briefly discussed the interaction between the macronutrients (fats, proteins, and carbohydrates). The thing that really stuck with me about this interaction is that the body digests best when it is not digesting only one of these at a time. You don’t want to just eat (for example) protein—you want to pair it with fats or carbohydrates.
Jeannie here. This post first appeared in my literary consultant blog, but I've changed it up a bit. I feel like this topic is pretty evergreen around New Year's.
I always got a slew of new clients at the beginning of the year. And it seems like Thinklings Books has gotten quite a few queries from authors too. Whether I am here at Thinklings or working on my own, it's far too many to work with; and besides, I know better by now than to expect most of them to follow through. Back when I was just consulting by myself, I told some of my personal clients to try my query boot-camp classes in February. Usually there were three major groups: self-important narcissists, impatient eager beavers, and dropouts. I mostly want to talk about the last group.
We’ve had a lot of great book submissions lately, but several that we thought showed promise all let us down in one specific area: They lacked the ability to switch between scene and summary. In the case of our most recent slew of submissions, this was accomplished by extensive blocks of dialogue.
Other times, we get submissions where there isn’t any dialogue for pages, maybe even chapters.
Books need both. If you don’t have dialogue, then it’s all summary and nothing more than a 300-page book report on a book that has not yet been written. If it’s all dialogue, then it’s a poorly written script for a movie.