Writing links

A couple of years back I linked to Ursula LeGuin discussing Google’s plans to digitize everything that wasn’t in print, whether or not it was still under copyright. Since then, a publishers’ group has settled with Google (terms undisclosed) and a university project, Hathitrust, creating a database of works based on Google scans has won in court (no copyright infringement). At the link, there’s concern that since the judge was unimpressed by problems with the university system (digitizing books that were still in print and under copyright, for instance), this bodes poorly for stopping Google doing the same. Some discussion of “orphan work” issues (orphan works being those under copyright where the rights-holder can’t be found or identified) here.
•Bricks-and-mortar stores are where lots of buyers go to research the market (before moving online to buy). Online book promotion isn’t as effective. In related matters, here’s an argument that cracking down on piracy hurts authors by also cracking down on their ability to promote themselves online (both links courtesy of Kate Traylor
•Regarding bricks and mortar, I recently linked to a story concluding Barnes & Noble is going to die and take hard-copy books with it. Consumerist is more optimistic. It’s a particularly good point about used-book stores—lord knows, when I was in my twenties, almost all my book-buying came that way (and I’d never have spent money on a Kindle). And here, Mari Ness argues that if K-Mart can keep going, so can Barnes & Noble.
Oh, you can find my own thoroughly uninformed speculation about the e-book future here, and on predictions of e-books dating back to the 1990s here (readers will be dirt cheap, ebooks will cost pennies, and no discussion of having to deal with multiple formats).
•Blogger John Seavey writes about something I’ve blogged about before, SF that assumes culture stops dead in the present. While Star Trek is particularly bad about this, it’s hardly unique: Marvel’s Ghost Rider 2099, for instance, has computer intelligences appearing in the form of 20th century TV characters, which makes as much sense as an AI that only talks to me in quotes from Charles Dickens.
•Bottleworder wonders if taking more responsibility for our selling and marketing will make us more susceptible to market pressure.
•Some thoughts on how to shut out distractions. I whole-heartedly recommend four and six; three doesn’t work for me because I never know when TYG might need to call me for something.
•Here we have a possible way to start the morning. It’s close to my MO, though I usually do more personal stuff before starting writing (yoga or other stretching, watching some TV, etc.). As she notes, you should adjust this to your schedule—given my oft-discussed problems writing in the evenings (in brief, if it’s choice between snuggling with TYG and working, working usually loses), I start writing earlier than she does. More thoughts on scheduling here.
•A Writer’s Digest article on raising the stakes for your characters.
•Mighty God King critiques an online strip dealing with nerds, nerd culture and relationships and why he thinks it goes off-beam (this is not a writing link, but I’m guessing at least some nerds are reading this). There’s much interesting discussion in comments before getting into a “I’m not making up a straw man, you’re making up a straw man!” debate.
I completely agree with MGK that not knowing the difference between Star Wars and Star Trek isn’t even remotely a test for non-nerdness; these days, most people know. Overall, though, I think the strip is just a variation of a time-honored rom-com cliche: The perfect man almost always loses to the seemingly inadequate rival. Of course, as with bad boys, using a cliche doesn’t mean it works (I don’t follow the strip so it’s hard to assess).


Filed under Writing

4 responses to “Writing links

  1. I wouldn’t mind an AI that talked like a character from Dickens…

  2. Pingback: Links for readers and writers | Fraser Sherman's Blog

  3. Pingback: More writing links | Fraser Sherman's Blog

  4. Pingback: Three good things, one bad one: Reprise (#SFWApro) | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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