Links for writers

Caro Clarke discusses handling internal conflicts in fiction. It’s good advice for character-centric stories, not necessarily for some of Orson Scott Card’s other story issues (stories about plot, puzzle or setting).
•Writer’s Digest offers advice on writing query letters.
The Writer gives suggestions for writing historical fiction. But I do think the author’s warning to Avoid First Person Because It Sucks is more her personal taste than any innate rule of good writing (Orson Scott Card dislikes first-person too, and I disagree with him, too). Some more on research here.
•Courtesy of Among the Goblins, i found this post about building your “platform” (Lord, but I hate that word). It seems like good advice, but as someone who’s never been able to play the “Keep a specific reader in mind that you want to attract” game (I’ve seen that advice a lot over the years), I’m not sure it’d be much use to me.
This article on improving first drafts is even less use to me; if I could do things like know the ending before I start, I wouldn’t have such awkward first drafts. But for people who plan better than me, it seems like useful stuff.
•Kristine Kathryn Rusch on the finance and business side of writing, publishing and self-publishing. Kind of downbeat, but very sensible nonetheless.
•Various genre spats and disputes discussed here.
•Writer Hugh Howey on “breaking” your story concept. I’m not sure this is really anything different from the idea something has to go wrong in a story (and I’ve read great stories where nothing does go wrong), but it’s still a good way to look at it. Though Howey’s definitely not a fantasy writer or he’d know that “a world in which magic existed” isn’t a concept, it’s a setting.
•Why our books don’t get published. The writer’s statement about not following trends is one I’ve heard for years: What’s out at Barnes & Noble now is what was written two years ago and accepted one year ago and may have nothing to do with what the same publisher’s looking for now.
•Cristian Mihai suggests you can either live or write, in the sense that writing requires standing back, not acting and not intervening. I disagree with his conclusion, but he’s not unique in that view (it goes back at least to Christopher Isherwood’s “I am a camera” theory) so see what you make of it.

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