Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Luck and links

Writers talk a lot about the role luck plays in our writing and publishing lives, but I wanted to explore how we use luck within the stories we tell. I blogged about this topic at YA Outside the Lines, where I'll be blogging once a month. An excerpt: "Generally, we don’t want characters to solve their problems by winning the lottery, or to have their downfalls through random accident. We want them to rise and fall by their own efforts—by what they learn, or fail to learn."

And here are two bonus links for the day:

Author2Author had a feature on cliches used in query letters. I know I recently posted about how we shouldn't get too uptight about cliches, but this is worth reading, if only for the take-home lesson that specificity is a great thing. For example, "Jonah has to get the medicine back to his village before the virus kills everyone," instead of, "Jonah must act urgently to save the day."

Michelle Davidson Argyle listed 6 things she wishes she'd known earlier about being a writer. Worth pinning on a wall. A sample: "I don't like NaNo (National Novel Writing Month) much, but it did save me the one time I did it. It saved me from working on the same book forever and ever and ever."


  1. Ah, it's true that characters that get ahead by lucky breaks are not as interesting as those that struggle. Thanks for the links!

  2. Oh, such a good point about luck in stories. We shouldn't expect the same in our own lives that stuff just happens out of nowhere. Although sometimes it would be nice... :)

    Thanks for sharing my link!

    1. Yeah, the random event that comes out of nowhere can seem like a deus ex machina.

      My pleasure!