Thursday, 29 October 2009

To encourage and to inspire

I'm a thief! I've just nabbed most of the post below from my site I had created for my novel Curse of the Djinn. I suppose it's okay if I plagiarise myself!?

This (and that) post is about sites some of you may not be familiar with which encourage, inspire, deal with hard facts, scare and give valuable information to potential authors, existing writers and scribblers and also give some pause to existing published authors. I have a massive RSS feed of blogs and websites which I enjoy reading and thought I'd share that with some of you.

I list some of my favourites below:

The Deadline Dames - nine urban fantasy authors talk about their books, writing, lifestyle, book promos and giveaways. An invaluable source written by established authors for readers and newbie authors alike. You can’t go wrong reading their posts or even subscribing to their RSS feed. Even if urban fantasy / paranormal romance is not your thing, their advice is solid and skitters across all genres and it also covers YA.

Bookends Literary Agency - BookEnds, LLC, is a literary agency focusing on fiction and nonfiction books for adult audiences. Primary agents include Jessica Faust, Jacky Sach, and Kim Lionetti. I have a LOT to thank Bookends for because Jessica (the main blogger) is never scared to tackle the bull by the horns and actually tell it like it is. A fascinating blog by a topnotch US Literary agency.

BBC Writer’s Room- identifies and champions new writing talent and diversity across BBC Drama, Entertainment and Children’s programmes. I’m not sure if I’m the only person who enjoys reading scripts. I would love to turn my hand to writing scripts one day in the far future BUT at the moment, I love reading what screenwriters have done when creating good tv shows that keep us riveted to the screen. This site offers interviews, views and links to scripts which you can download and dissect. Never turn away a chance to read a good screenplay or script – there is much to learn about characterisation and plotting.

Editorial Anonymous - is the blog for an anonymous children’s editor in the US. A strong, different, often hilarious blog about the industry and what she comes up against on a daily basis.

Editorial Ass - Moonrat is one of the best in the industry – funny, concise, scathing, intelligent and actually influential enough to appear on numerous other blogs and websites.

Bibliophile Stalker - Charles Tan is a new to me editorial assistant and from the looks of it, his blog is a valuable resource for anyone interested in writing, upcoming books etc. He has duly been added to my RSS feed.

Jennifer Jackson (her livejournal blog) and Jennifer Jackson her official agent’s blog – she works for the Donald Maass Agency…and has been for a long time. Need I say more?

How Publishing Really Works - Jane Smith owner and contributor to the blog tells it like it is. The name says it all.

Janet Reid - US agent extraordinaire and full of badassness. That made me laugh. A very concise blog and one to dip into for established and newbies alike.

Locus Online - Not an agent or a publisher, but one of the best mags in the sci fi and fantasy industry – worth subscribing to via RSS.

Nathan Bransford - Nathan works for the renowned international agency Curtis Brown. His blog is a must read as he handles FAQ from his readers and is one of the most prolific and nicest agents I’ve come across. Always worth a read and a re-read.

Rachelle Gardner – US Agent blogging answers to questions you always wanted to ask but you were too afraid to!

Redlines and Deadlines- A group of editors working for the Elora’s Cave Publishing company. Contributing Editors: Kelli Collins, Meghan Conrad, Raelene Gorlinsky, Sue-Ellen Gower, Donna Hoard, Briana St. James, Helen Woodall. They focus on genre fiction: erotic romance, erotica, mainstream romance, women’s fiction, mystery/suspense, horror, scifi, fantasy/paranormal. And again, the advice is very good and makes for interesting reading.

Writer Beware Blogs! - Writer Beware, a publishing industry watchdog group sponsored by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, shines a light into the dark corners of the shadow-world of literary scams, schemes, and pitfalls.

One of my all-time favourites is Magical Words and like Deadline Dames it's run by four very enthusiastic authors who do their best to demystify the writing and publishing process for those interested in the craft. An excellent blog - and that's not just because I am a slavish fan to Faith Hunter either!

I've not even scraped the surface of what other resources are out there for writers both in the UK and in the States and elsewhere. Please, feel free to post more links in the comments (she begs) and then I can set up a blogroll here for others to plunder.

Monday, 26 October 2009

What's IndyWriMo?

A group of friends were thinking that the National Novel Writing Month - otherwise known as nanowrimo - is an excellent idea. I personally have taken part three years running and have "won" once. But although it's an excellent idea, we realised that writing 50k a month is pretty rough going, especially if you have a Real Life and other responsibilities.

So we've come up with our own version and we're calling it IndyWriMo - Independent Writing Month. What's fun about IndyWriMo is:

1. Our total is 30,000 words a month. Broken down that is 1,000 words a day. Not all that much, to be honest.

2. IndyWriMo can become a challenge during the course of the year and doesn't JUST have to be during the month of November.

3. IndyWriMo is not affiliated with anyone or anything and there are no costs and no fees and can be done in conjunction with NaNoWriMo or entirely on its own.

4. IndyWriMo can be a fun and easy way to challenge some writerly mates and of course, it's a good way to get your word count up without sacrificing quality by forcing yourself to write too much.

And although I would love to take the credit for this, our friend Kaz Mahoney thought up this idea of reduced wordage and launched it as KazNoWriMo but due to unexpectedly falling ill with a truly horrendous cold, has given up the idea (for now) so instead of stealing her name in vain, we thought up the name IndyWriMo instead.

The rules are stupidly simple:

**Join to write 30,000 words (at least) this month.
**Check in twice weekly with a word count to inspire others and yourself.
**Challenge friends to join, start that novel and maybe even finish that novel you have at the bottom of your drawer!

Please leave comments below if you are interested in joining and we invite you post your totals twice a week under the correct blog post! We will kick off on November 3rd.