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Dogtown Weekly: Bring On The Commentary!

Hey guys, the weekly round-ups are returning...in a new form!

I'm not sure if I'll stick to this form for long, since I'm going to hybrid it with last year's format, but I'm trying out more of the Post of the Week layout that I attempted a few months ago--except I do it to more than one blog article.

I hope you enjoy the commentary.

Top 10 Blogs for Writers 2012 – The Winners:

To my knowledge, this is the most authority-backed list in the entire writing craft niche, besides possibly the Writer's Digest list.

Only four winners are from last year: Jeff Goins, Writer; The Write PracticeThe Creative Penn; and Romance University. The first two are among my favorites (with The Write Practice being my nominee), and the latter two are also decent blogs that aren't surprising.

I had fun archive binging Jeff Goins' blog and The Write Practice. Either one of them might make next year's list if Jeff Goins and Joe Bunting keep writing at the level they're at...and beyond.

I'm unfamiliar with three of the blogs: Positive WriterMake a Living Writing, and The Writers [Inner] Journey. They're now on my RSS feed. Expect at least one or two articles from these sources to pop up in the round-ups in the next month.

The Renegade Writer is a more freelance-based blog, with a style similar to Write to Done. Its quality got it onto the top ten.

Now, I can't really say a lot about Live Write Thrive. I haven't read enough articles from it, so I have no idea of its general leanings and such, so for me, it's a surprise. Maybe I should keep a better eye on it.

But for me, the most surprising choice for me is Moody Writing. To be honest, I think I dropped it from my RSS feed at one point. I think it's because at one point, its style and content began feeling recycled. This happened to a favorite blog of mine, which I think got a few nominations but didn't make the final cut. However, I have read a few great articles, so I can't say the blogger doesn't deserve the honors. Maybe I'm wrong.

Now, it's time for me to start dreaming for next round. If I write awesome enough articles, maybe I'll be in the running.



YA Highway: Awareness Of Language:

I'll just talk about the second-to-last paragraph.

When a character uses causal or playful insults that can be interpreted as offensive, the author enters a zone where it's unclear whatever they're accepting or condemning such language.


For example, having characters throwing around homophobic phrases like "that's so gay", and even stronger.
I think context is key. If an antagonistic character is using such language, the author can easily get away with that, because the source of such dialogue is negative. On the other hand, if a more sympathetic character uses such language in a causal context, it gets iffier. Should the author try to comment on it through another character, and risk being all cheesy about it?


Yet, if the receiver of the insult or another character on the scene is visibly hurt, it becomes a subtle condemnation again.


Yet, this is all hypothetical. Can someone bring a concrete example onto the stage?




AndiLit: The Danger of the Incestuous Writing Community:

Let me just say that some of the blogs with devoutly Christian writers are interesting. Jeff Goin's blog, Novel Rocket, The Writer's Alley, and then AndiLit. They all bring a fresh perspective to the table, religiously influenced or not.

Andi's story in this post illustrates why it's important to be open minded. As a writer, you're going to be meeting a lot of different people, and writing a diversity of characters. No matter how deviant someone is (as long as they're not harming other people), it's important to acknowledge that people can have a variety of ways of living. You got to accept it.


Some of what is describe in the main post and in the comment shows why Christianity as a religion sometimes get a bad rap. Some people use it to be close minded, and this leads to a lot of pain.
So remember: don't box yourself into a group.




terribleminds: A Short Rant On The "You Can't Teach Writing" Meme:

I have little to say about this, since Chuck Wendig pretty much covered all the bases in his profanity-laden post. You can teach writing. Natural talent is useless without some craft.

But let me just point out one paragraph that you should take away, if you decide not to read this: writing teachers aren't the only source of lessons. You can learn from editors, fellow writers, beta readers, and a whole bunch of other people. You can also learn from books and real life.


That's the nature of writing. It's influenced by everything near you. Craft helps you refine all of that into effective art.


Writer's Update: Manifestation Files

I'm also resuming work on Manifestation Files. That is all.

Have a nice weekend!