John Scalzi talks about the moment he realized he didn’t need a rape scene to dramatize the villain’s evilness.
•Robert Jackson Bennett suggests a simple standard: if you substituted the rape of a small boy for the scene you have in mind, would you still think it was necessary for the plot or to dramatize the villain’s evil? If it feels exploitative or too offensive, maybe the originals scene is too. If you do write about rape, he adds, here are some things to think about.
•Annalee Flower Horne discusses cliches about rape survivors (“Our entire lives revolve around a thing that was done to us, to which the only “proper” response is murderous rage and possibly world domination.”). Jim Hines discusses cliches of rape and its aftermath at Apex. Foz Meadows says there’s a double standard that rape scenes can be important plot points while consensual sex scenes are not.
•Author Solutions is a subsidy press facing class-action lawsuits for the way it operates. But several publishers are happy to let it manage their vanity-press operations.
•Eric Flint, who previously discussed why Hugos don’t track fan popularity, now dissects claims that the oppressive feminist conspiracy taking over specfic is a thing. Anna Kashina discusses possible fixes to the Hugos for the future.
•In my teen years, Steve Englehart was writing amazing comics. Sequential Crush does an interview discussing his work, including his early years writing romance comics.
•A journalist says to get people talking about or linking to your writing it should be easy to read, easy to identify with and unusual enough to be novel. She’s talking about nonfiction but I can see the logic for fiction too. Though I don’t think they’re some kind of magic rule of success for fiction either: there’s a lot more to JK Rowling’s success than how fast someone can read her words.
•It would be nice to have a simple way to compare broadband speeds from different providers, but ISPs don’t make it easy.
•Worried about burning out? Some suggestions. I particularly like the “sex and cash” theory — sometimes it helps to remember that you need paying gigs and fun gigs and the two often aren’t the same.
•Last, but definitely not least, I really like this Tor post by Kate Elliott on writing women as human beings. I particularly like the line “Make conscious choices rather than default choices.”