Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Writing Podcasts

There are many podcasts available online that deal with writing topics. I have listened to several and have a few to recommend. All can be found on Itunes. All are free.

One of the best podcasts on writing has to be I Should Be Writing.

Mur Lafferty has been doing this podcast for a number of years now. She started as a non-published (novel wise) author but not too long ago she had one of her books published. Mur also has podcasted a few novels as well. The podcast includes lots of writing advice and interviews with other authors. She is also coming out with a pdf version of the podcast.

Everyone I've talked to about the podcast has enjoyed it. Mur is fun, and great to listen to. I look forward to every time I see she has posted another podcast.

Adventures in SciFi Publishing.

This is for those interested in reading and/or writing scifi. The two hosts are very lively, and interesting to listen to. Also, this one has several interviews with authors and a few other people in the industry. Entertaining and informative.

Writing Excuses

Has a number of authors but three or four of them are the main ones that host the podcast. All of them are interesting and have good tips on writing. A few of them studied at BYU, which I find interesting since I live in Utah. But don't worry, the writing is all open to many topics, including violence. Plus, this is a very short podcast, so it won't take long to listen to each one.

For erotica writer's there is a podcast called "Packing Heat".

The creator is not quite as outgoing or crazy as some of the other ones I've mentioned but she has some good advice sometimes. I like to listen to her because she also writes gay male stories, though her focus is on the straight female audience. Aside from talking about erotica, there are topics of computer tools and writing advice.

There are many other writing podcasts, some of which are by writers and others are interviews with writers. Check them out if you get the chance.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Writing Know-It-Alls

In thinking of a topic for this post. There are many things I could write about but considering a few people that I've dealt with online I decided to post on people who give advice. This might seem a little weird since this blog could be seen as writing advice but what I am talking about is the people who have a bad attitude when giving advice.

Example: The topic was publishing word counts. Someone was talking about how many words they had so far and the amount they wanted to add. Another person chimed in with how they wanted 50,000 words as their novel. I added the information I'd heard from "I Should Be Writing" on the desired word count range for first time authors. Someone else came in and started spouting off what they called advice. That would have been fine if they hadn't acted like their word was the only right one and refused to listen to the conversation of anyone else.

That really got me thinking. I like getting writing advice and if someone asks a question that I've come upon in my research then I help them out if I can. I'm not published and don't claim to be an expert but I do have years of research behind me. I don't appreciate people who act like they know it all. The truth is, they are not always right. What they need to consider is their tone of delivery. Even though this is all done over the internet there is a big difference between being helpful and being snobby.

I hope I am helpful and will do my best to remain that way.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Interview - Ransom Noble

Welcome to my first interview. Hopefully it will be the first of many.

The Author - Ransom Noble
The Book - The Art of Science

Now on to the interview.

Dawn: I don't have too many questions so this shouldn't take too long

Ransom Noble: :-)

Dawn: The first question is a general one about writing.

Ransom Noble: ok

Dawn: Have you always wanted to write a book?

Ransom Noble: Yes. I always thought I'd be an author if I could. I love to write.

Dawn: Nice. How long have you been writing?

Ransom Noble: I started making up stories before I could write. I remember getting picked to be in a collection in 5th grade. I don't remember what it was. In high school I wrote poetry, then in college I switched back to stories.

Dawn: What inspired you to write The Art of Science?

Ransom Noble: It started with a class through the Institute of Children's Literature. I worked hard with my mentor to figure out something sale-able and also that I had enough interest to keep writing to the end. This was the result.

Dawn: How long did it take you from starting to reach a submittable draft?

Ransom Noble: I'm not exactly sure. I had the rough draft completed in about 9 months. Then I put it away for 5 years and didn't look at it again. When Vivian talked about her contest with 4RV Publishing, I took it out and sent it to a friend to look over to help me make it ready. That took another month or so, but it was with really fresh eyes.

Dawn: Okay, back to general. Do you find that you focus more on character or plot when writing?

Ransom Noble: I'm not sure that I focus more on one or the other. Probably plot.

Dawn: Was there anything about the publication process that surprised you?

Ransom Noble: I think there were just a lot of things I didn't know. Getting to the contract seems like the first step now, where before I thought that was most of it. Now there's promotion!

Dawn: One last question. What advice would you give to someone who wants to be a writer?

Ransom Noble: It isn't about wanting to be a writer. Anyone can be a writer- writers write. There isn't a bad reason to do it - for publication or just fun, but if you don't write, you can't call yourself a writer.

Ransom Noble: Just my opinion, of course. If you want to be published, keep trying.

Ransom Noble also has a great blog: http://ransomnoble.wordpress.com/

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Good Rejection

I am still setting up the interview with Ransom. But I received an email and wanted to give the update on that.

I received a great rejection letter on my first sci-fi story. The reason that it is a good rejection is the letter did two things. First it mentioned that I was free to send it to other places, which doesn't seem all that great but to me I'm reading it as the piece has merit even though the first place won't be publishing it. The second good thing is that they wrote that I could send other writing to them. That's a very good and exciting thing. Yay for a good rejection.

Types of rejections:
No Response - this is where no answer is given back. It is the worst form of rejection because you never know if they even really read you piece or if they did they didn't have the desire to even reject it.
Form Rejection - this is another not very good one. There is a pre-formatted document with a few fill in the blanks. This type has no personal input of any sort.
Not For Us But Send More - This is the type of rejection that I received. The letter says that the one piece isn't for them but to send more work their way.
Ways To Improve and Send Back - This is the other good type of rejection. It says that they liked the story but there are some pointers to make it better. Once the story has been edited the author can resubmit it to the place and there is a larger chance of getting accepted.