Great Stuff for Writers, March 28 & 29, 2013

Guess everyone wore themselves out with all that Great Stuff they wrote earlier in the week. That leaves us today with a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT (as you can see below), a good piece on effective dialogue, and one more piece on movies, and how books become movies.

ANNOUNCEMENT

Great Stuff is changing again. As I get closer to the launch of my debut science fiction novel, The Eternity Plague, I’ve come to realize I need to start writing more about it. Also, I’ve been neglecting my Critique Technique posts, and I need to reactivate them too.

So, starting next Monday, Great Stuff for Writers will switch to a once-a-week format. Every Monday, I’ll do what I’ve been doing since these posts started: pointing you to the best posts I’ve found on the many aspects of writing, from work stuff to fun stuff. The individual summaries will be shorter and more concise, and of course they’ll always include the author’s Twitter handle, if they have one, and the link to the full article.

On Wednesdays, I’ll post something having to do with the book, my writing process, the life sciences or technology (the science in TEP’s SF), etc.

Then on Friday, I’ll continue the Critique Technique series, with further tips on how to better review someone else’s work—and by extension, better edit your own. I’ll also be importing the 40-something previous Critique Technique posts that appeared on the Cochise Writers blog.

I hope you’ll join me as this blog follows its new course. You can easily subscribe using the links over there in the sidebar on the right.

CRAFT

Have you ever read a piece, whether by a new writer or one who’s published many times, in which the characters drone on and on? Where the “dialogue” is really a collection of serial monologues? Yeah, me too. Boring, isn’t it? Kills the pace. So I had high hopes for long-time editor Don McNair’s (@DonMcNair1) guest post on Katie Weiland’s WORDplay blog titled 2 Steps to Streamlining Your Dialogue. While his two steps aren’t the only ones a writer can take, streamlining—cutting out the words that don’t add anything, or add information that isn’t vital—and adding character interaction are both good. Dialogue in fiction has to be better than real-life speech while still sounding natural. That’s not an easy task but these steps will help writers on the path.

BUSINESS

We all want our books made into movies, don’t we? Okay, maybe not all of us, but a lot of us. That’s probably why my Monday post about Chuck Sambuchino’s article on writing a screenplay got so many hits. (Thanks!) So now Rachelle Gardner’s (@RachelleGardner) covering the basics of how you might—let me emphasize that: might—get your book picked up for at least a film option (and what “option” means) in Think You Oughta Be in Pictures? Of course, it’s not as easy to get picked as we would hope, and Rachelle is brutally honest about the realities of the process: for example, sales under 50,000 copies are unlikely to attract Hollywood interest. And keep in mind, too, that everything she writes has to do with a traditionally-published book; there’s not a single word about one that was indie published.

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