Friday Links: Writers on Process and Intention

Happy Friday, all! I’m having another one of those long, busy weeks leading into an equally busy weekend, so I’m just going to wish you all some great reading and writing time over the next couple of days and leave you with some links I hope provide excellent inspiration. Among them are a few profiles of talented writers, sharing process and experiences. Every writer has their own approach, interests, background, etc. It’s part of what makes this such a fascinating career; no one can really give you a road map to success. You need to find your own path, based on your own interests and goals.

So without further ado, here are this week’s links. Enjoy and happy writing!

Who’s Afraid of Claire Messud? – A fascinating interview with the writer, delving into her background and the types of characters that interest her.

Why We Read and Why We Write – Thoughts on what we gain from the reading and writing processes.

Marlon James Needs Noise to Write (and Other Revelations) – A nice long conversation with the author (close to 50 minutes long, so plan accordingly) about writing as work and the importance of curiosity.

The Book Lover’s Guide to Publishing Part 3: Printing & Production Process – The next installment in the series being posted at the Penguin Books blog.

PBS to Unveil America’s Favorite Books in New TV Series – Public broadcasting will be bringing out a new eight-part documentary on reading in America.

Let’s Get Graphic: 100 Favorite Comics and Graphic Novels – A fabulous list of some of the best works available in comics form, from graphic novels to online comics, as chosen by NPR fans.

Working for the Queen of Spies: Kate Quinn and Stephanie Dray Discuss “The Alice Network” – Kate Quinn talks about the writing of her new work of historical fiction and the real-life espionage group that served as her foundation.

Friday Links: Summer Reads to Inspire Your Writing

Happy Friday, everyone! I hope you’ve all had a great week and that you have some time set aside this weekend for reading and writerly things. With all the end-of-school and graduation talk the last few weeks, plus the chatter of summer vacation plans, it’s easy to slack off on your writing goals. But remember, by the end of this month we’ll be halfway through 2017, so if you had some grand aspirations for the year — things you wanted to accomplish or milestones to hit — be sure to schedule a little work time along with the fun.

That said, I do have some great reading recs in this week’s Friday Links, along with everything else, so I hope you find something inspiring and/or informative that will keep your own creativity pumping along. Enjoy, and happy writing!

Our Story – There’s a brand new app on the way to help you find diverse books to read. It launches online on June 15th, with mobile apps on the way as well.

Jennifer Weiner: From Small-Town Beat Reporter to Big-City Columnist – A peek at the author’s journalistic background and how she got her start.

These Are the Essential Comics to Read after You’ve Watched Wonder Woman – A great roundup of both classics and newer runs to help you get your Wonder Woman fix.

New York Today: A City Library on the Subway – Learn how to access free ebooks from the New York Public Library for the next six weeks on a special New York subway car (and also in the stations).

100 Must-Read Novels Set in London – You may not be able to zip off to London to show your support for the city in the wake of the latest terrorist attack, but you can always grab one of these great titles to visit in spirit.

Amita Trasi and Cecilia Galante on Writing Young Characters – Two authors share their thoughts on the importance of writing from a younger perspective.

Friday Links: Forward Motion for Writers

There’s a rumor spring is right around the corner. I, for one, am hoping just to get a bit of time in a puddle of sunshine this weekend. Of course, with spring comes other thoughts. Like spring cleaning. At this moment I’m staring at some really ridiculous piles of books that have no home in my apartment. No shelf space, no table space, no nightstand space; they’re all just stacked up on the floor of my office, with more stacks in the bedroom and the living room. I’m also staring at my goal chart for the year, and thinking that needs a little consideration and revising to get me back on track. Fortunately that’s something I can think about while I’m sorting through my book collection and doing a bit of pruning. Anything to get out of my desk chair and away from the computer screen. It’s time for a bit of movement and a break.

How about you? Anything you’re considering sprucing up this weekend? Something need a fresh coat of paint? Writing goals need a review? Do you have to get some projects off your desk and into someone’s submissions pile? Maybe you just want to head out and refill the well, have fun and generate new ideas. But move. Do something. Get your blood flowing, your brain pumping. All motion is forward motion when it comes to writing. Even a rejection leads you closer to yes.

In the meantime, I’ve some links for you to kick off the weekend. Maybe one of them will spark a great new plan. Enjoy, and hapy writing!

How I Learned to Stop Worrying about the Market and Just Write – One writer’s winding journey through the publishing industry.

12 of the Biggest Bookstores in the World – Something to keep in mind next time you plan a vacation.

‘The Poky Little Puppy’ and His Fellow Little Golden Books Are Turning 75 – A charming look at this delightful children’s collection that has served as an excellent reading foundation for many a generation.

The Oxford American Writers Fellowship: Applications Close March 30 – For anyone looking for an entree into the industry.

Ta-Nehisi Coates on Creating Black Superheroes – The writer discusses his run writing Marvel’s Black Panther comic.

So You Want to Read Alternate History: Here’s Where to Start – Nice list of alternate history titles to get you going or round out your TBR list.

What Happens Next (Or Doesn’t) – Author Marisa Silver discusses plot versus the idea of character-driven narrative.

Neil Gaiman in Conversation with Junot Díaz

Last November, Neil Gaiman sat down and had a long chat with author Junot Díaz, one of his final appearances before he takes 2016 off to be just a writer and a father to his new baby with wife Amanda Palmer. This interview kicks off with a great rundown of the history of Sandman, which is well worth watching whether you’re familiar with the comics series or not. If you prefer to just get right to Neil, you can jump to about the 6:30 mark, where the video moves to the interview venue. This is a longish interview — nearly an hour and a half — so be sure to carve out a bit of time to watch.

Friday Links: What Will You Read in the New Year?

Happy Friday! It’s a week until Christmas and day 18 of the writing challenge, and I think that calls for lots of Friday Links. For those of you planning ahead to the new year, I’ve got some reader challenges for 2016 in the mix, plus plenty of other goodies.

If you’re participating in the challenge, remember to post some writing time to your calendar this weekend and set up your alerts to help you keep those all-important writing dates with yourself (or your writing buddies). Wishing you a wonderful weekend of productivity and holiday enjoyment!

Neil Gaiman on Returning to ‘Sandman’ – A lovely interview over at NPR.

I Read 50 Books by Women of Color This Year – One reader’s recounting of her self-imposed reading challenge, with some great book recommendations.

Take 2016’s Ultimate Reading Challenge – Courtesy of PopSugar.

Making Creativity a Habit – Artist and author Danny Gregory talks about showing up every day to make your art.

The Best British Novels of All Time – A list compiled by foreign critics. Do you agree with their choices?

In Translation – Author Jhumpa Lahiri talks about writing in a foreign language.

The 2016 Book Riot Read Harder Challenge – Back for its second year.

14 Brilliant Australian Books that Won Prizes in 2015 – Some books to check out if you’re looking to read more globally.

Friday Links

Happy Friday! Are you ready for the weekend? I certainly am. This week has been… trying, in many respects. Not bad, just the sort of week that keeps you scrambling to keep up.

Unsurprisingly, a host of additional things have popped up on my radar for the weekend, which also happens to be the weekend of the 24 in 48 Readathon, so I suspect I’m going to be burning the midnight oil no matter what I do. But there are worse things than staying up late to read, and I certainly have a sizable stack of books  lined up for my reading hours.

Meanwhile, I have links! This week went very quickly and there were fewer things jumping out at me than usual, but I hope you find the assortment enjoyable anyway. Wishing you some excellent reading and writing time, and a wonderful weekend overall.

Kelly Sue DeConnick Is the Future of Women in Comics – Whether or not you’re a comics reader, this is a fabulous profile of a kick-ass woman and inspirational to anyone who has an interest in working creatively. I highly recommend.

Paper Chasing – On book collecting vs. book reading. Interesting, no matter what format you use when accumulating reading material.

Most Anticipated: The Great Second-Half 2015 Book PreviewThe Millions posts a bi-annual list of the most anticipated books for the coming half year (by their reckoning). Even if it doesn’t cover your own most anticipated titles, it’s a great resource for checking out what’s coming down the pike.

The Writers Who Invented Languages – A look at authors such as J.R.R. Tolkien and George R.R. Martin who have created original languages for their characters.

Writing Excuses: Why Can’t I Just Jump to the Ending? – A really important lesson on writing the middle of the book. Part of the Writing Excuses year-long podcast workshop on writing your book from start to finish, but it works perfectly as a stand-alone look at what can be the most problematic part of a story.

Friday Links

TGIF! We’re having a rainy end to the week here in SoCal, for which I’m truly grateful. Not that I think it made much of a dent in the drought conditions, but there was a genuine downpour for a change last night and every bit helps. It’s also put me in the mind for a reading weekend, which is excellent, since I have a pile of manuscripts looking at me.

But first, links! I’ve got some meaty reading material for you this week, which also seems appropriate given my mindset, but also some great writing opportunities for you to check out. I hope you’re inspired to spend some quality time with a good book and to give a solid chunk of your weekend to your current writing project or maybe start something new. Enjoy, and happy writing!

Oxford’s Influential Inklings – An interesting look at the impact of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and their cohorts.

James Patterson Teaches Writing – An at-your-own-pace online writing class with the prolific thriller writer. Not just for aspiring thriller/mystery writers.

Publication Opportunities for Writers: June and July, 2015 – A round up of places to submit your work.

Lynda Barry: ‘What Is an Image? That Question Has Directed My Entire Life’ – On drawing and storytelling.

The Real World vs. the MFA – An interesting look at the various paths to developing one’s craft from a writer who has combined a number of routes.

Friday Links

Enjoying some slightly cooler temperatures here, finally, and I’m hoping they hold up through the weekend so I can continue my productive streak of the last couple of days. I’ve got tons of reading and a bit of writing on my schedule. How about you?

Whatever you have planned, I’ve got some fun links for you to check out to kick off the weekend (or kill a little time before you quit for the day). I hope they inspire you to carve out a little reading and/or writing time of your own. Enjoy!

Ursula K. LeGuin Talks to Michael Cunningham about Genres, Gender, and Broadening Fiction – Wonderful interview, plus a link to a terrific e-book deal.

Pacing Doesn’t Just Mean Wearing a Groove in the Floor – John Scalzi talks about the “different thing” he did in his latest book, and why he chose to do it. (Hint: It has to do with pacing.)

Short Story: A Process of Revision – Antonya Nelson talks about her short story writing process and how she used it in teaching her latest workshop.

Lessons from Behind the Counter at a Comic Book Store – On feminism and marketing and comics.

Science Fiction and Fantasy 101: Thinking Academically about Genre – A great tie-in to my post from yesterday, with some recommendations for a “course” in SFF reading.

 

Friday Links

TGIF! And I mean that most sincerely. This has been the sort of week where you take two steps forward and 14 back, with schedules turned on end and all sorts of unexpected things flying out of the woodwork, some good, some of the duck-or-run variety. My consolation is that the weekend is here (nearly) and I plan to spend a good portion of it sleeping, and also in an air conditioned movie theater with Captain America and his cohorts. (Have you seen Captain America: The Winter Soldier yet? No? What are you waiting for? Go!)

Okay, now that we’ve gotten the agent-as-geek portion of the post out of the way… I bring you links! A fair few are colored by my love of National Poetry Month, but there’s some other stuff going on as well. I hope you find them entertaining and interesting, and maybe a bit inspirational, depending on what floats your boat. Wishing you all a great weekend, filled with words and sunshine. Enjoy!

Kima Jones, On Black Bodies and Being a Black Woman Who Writes – A great piece from NPR with this talented emerging poet.

Revisiting YA Verse Novels: A 2014 Guide to the Format – For those of you who love, or are curious about, YA novels in verse. Good list.

Amazon.com to Acquire ComiXology – Yeah. Not sure how I feel about this.

Vladimir Nabokov on Writing, Reading, and the Three Qualities a Great Storyteller Must Have – On inventing story.

A Censored History of Ladies in YA Fiction – On writing under the anonymity of initials and more.

Friday Links

Normally I’m all about Friday. Yay, weekend! Even though I work at least part of most weekends, there’s a certain mindset they bring with them that just makes things feel a bit more cheerful. Except this weekend I have a hot date with my tax return, so… not so much. However, that doesn’t mean I’m not wishing all of you a wonderful weekend, and naturally I have a list of links to help you ease the way. At the very least, I hope they make you think or perhaps take a fresh look at how you approach your writing. Enjoy!

Speak Plainly: Are we Losing the War Against Jargon? – An interesting look at trends in conversational style.

10 Signs of Underdeveloped Characters in Your Novel – Some good tips.

10 Surprising Ways to Transform Your Creative Thinking – Thoughts on how to best get your brain churning.

Buried Badasses: The Forgotten Heroines of pre-Code Comics – A peek at some “Golden-Age” comics, and at the kick-ass women who graced their pages.

The Night I Slept Outside Shakespeare & Company – One writer’s encounter with the famed Parisian bookstore.