Some Writing Links (#SFWApro)

Advice on how to ask for an extension if you’re going to miss the deadline.
•Ways writers can use Pinterest.
•When someone refuses to pay for your work, what do you do? I’ll add one more, based on an experience I had: if you have a regular client who stops paying you—especially if you know they’re in financial trouble—don’t keep doing the work. I figured he’d pay up eventually, including all the added work, but he didn’t.
•An editor of The Toast writes about how not to review women’s writing, using a New Yorker piece as an example.
•Ways to bust out of a creative rut.
•Is paying for fake Twitter followers to boost your profile a good idea?
•To contact a tough interview subject, write a letter.
•A good discussion of changing white comics characters’ race in other mediums. And I agree with the writer, there’s no reason Dr. Strange couldn’t be black. I’d be much more upset if the planned film eliminated his backstory as a brilliant dick of a surgeon.
•Good advice about reselling nonfiction to multiple markets by changing the slant slightly. I’ve never been successful with that myself, alas.
•An article in Atlantic argues there’s a constant anti-colonial theme in SF. Unfortunately I think the author pushes the argument too far—arguing the Terminators are a reflection of the colonial peoples rising up against their masters strikes me as ludicrous (they’re much more in the tradition of Computers Are Evil, a long vein in SF). I’m also not convinced that “aliens conquer us” is always a metaphor for colonialism rather than other types of wars of conquest humanity has engaged in for so long.
•No, Shakespeare’s England wasn’t lily-white. This article argues that the English didn’t even see themselves as white people. And here’s more about representations of blacks in European art. And still more about blacks in England.
•Following up on the topic of strong female characters (or realistic female characters or complex female characters), Shannon Thompson asks why we have to phrase it that way instead of just “strong characters.”
•This post complains about creating strong female characters who don’t actually do anything (“Could your Strong Female Character be seamlessly replaced with a floor lamp with some useful information written on it to help a male hero?”). I had that feeling about last season’s The Tomorrow People: They establish the hero’s mother is one of the psis, but then do absolutely nothing with that development (I half-suspect they only thought it up as a twist to get several characters out of a fatal situation.
•This post discusses whether cities are better to live for freelancers than others. For example, even in the Internet age, being able to connect face-to-face with an editor gets better results. I suspect that’s true.
Another aspect is credibility. One writing book some years back said that if you’re in the backwoods of wherever, just by location you look less credible if you’re writing on national affairs, fashion, etc. I’ve always assumed there’s some truth to that too.
•As someone who spent the first 10 years of the century freelancing while I was a full-time reporter, it was interesting to read this discussion of balancing the two. I worried a lot less than some of the interviewees in the article did: I don’t see the slightest problem with writing in the office during lunch hour or using my work computer. Of course, my editor was fine with it as long as I got my writing done—if he’d been pickier, it would have been different (I think being pickier would be unreasonable, but it’s his call). The only time there was an issue was when I did some work for a regional magazine that targeted some of the same advertisers as us. Editor said that was conflict-of-interest, I admitted he had a point.

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