Today's my day to post at YA Outside the Lines. The topic: "reading hungrily." A sample: "I read the way people eat: for nourishment, for pleasure, for life."
In other news, my former agent and current friend Nathan Bransford is launching his guide, How to Write a Novel.
I have not yet had the chance to read it, though I've already
downloaded it, but I would recommend looking at it for a few reasons.
One is that the tone of Nathan's blog,
where he has written about writing and publishing for years, is
engaging and often amusing, which suggests that this book will be the
same. But the main reason is that, as a former client, I had several
chances to experience a Bransford novel critique. I always came away
from it feeling that my book had been thoroughly and justly analyzed;
that I had a lot of work to; and that I could do it. It's not easy to
give a novelist a list of umpteen things she needs to do to fix her pet
project, yet make her feel energized and confident about tackling those
umpteen things, but somehow he managed it. And I saw how my writing
improved, so I know he has the insight and instincts ... which he then
demonstrated further by publishing three novels of his own, the Jacob
I also want to point out a post that appeared recently on Cynthia Leitich Smith's Cynsations blog: Sarah Aronson on unlikable characters.
Sarah Aronson said so many things I have been thinking for a while, but
she said them better than I ever could. Here are a couple of excerpts
to illustrate why I recommend reading the whole thing:
"I want to
read stories that offer me something much less safe and perhaps, a
little more real or edgy with lots of moral ambiguity."
of us are preoccupied with our images and what others say about our
work. We ... have access to what our readers think of our creative
decisions. Here is the big problem: if we let it infect us too much, it
will hurt our work."