Dogtown Weekly: Is NA Overflowing with Romance?

Welcome to the Weekly, guys!

Before we start with the usual weekly round-up, I'll just like to say that if you're using Google Reader, you should probably find another way to follow your feeds.

With this blog, you can either:

  1. Switch to another RSS reader. Right now, I'm using Feedly, and it's working out for me. I used it to gather the below links and share them through Buffer, a usual social scheduling tool.
  2. Subscribe via email! Hey, you might like it better. Also, as I already informed my email list, I'm improving the experience there.

Now, back to your scheduled round-up, right after the jump.

BONUS: Buried within the article links is a link to a free bestselling book! Consider it my bonus for you taking the time to read.

Weekly Round-up: 3/22/13

One reminder: In the process of compiling the weekly round-up, I sometimes drop certain links if I they don't look as good in retrospect. You can find them in this thread or on my Twitter feed.

Do Authors Dream of Electric Books?: Re-illustrating books for the Kindle by Elizabeth Kay:

Here's something light to start off the round-up. It's one process of creating a book cover and tailoring pictures for the ebook format.

Creative Writing with the Crimson League: Creative Writing Tips: More DON’Ts for Writing a Novel:

I usually don't link posts like these, since tip collections usually are a little shallow and absolute, but these tips are simple yet useful points. Also, they're "don't" tips. Personally, what stands out the most is "don't be afraid to try something orthodox".

The Kill Zone: The Perils of Pure Pantsing:

Here's a cautionary tale from an author. Even if you prefer winging it, it's good to have something in mind while writing, or you might write yourself into a fix. And not of the useful kind.

Anne R. Allen: So You Want to Use Song Lyrics in Your Novel? 5 Steps to Getting Rights to Lyrics:

Song lyrics have one of the most painful copyright rules behind them. One line can cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars, just because songs usually don't have a lot of text behind them. That's ignoring the fact that lyrics are just one part of the experience.

Never mind that. Just have this handy resource in mind if you want to inject some musical text into your fiction without being slammed with a lawsuit.

Blood-Red Pencil: Tricking the Block:

This is one tip that might help you get pass a mental barrier right before a writing session: "freewrite and start every sentence with "I want to write about..."

The Other Side of the Story: Be Your Own Book Doctor:

Here's a round-up by itself, for the revision phase.

The Character Therapist: A New Question to Ask Your Characters:

When I first tweeted this article, I made a mistake out of rashness and accidentally tweeted the question Ms. Campbell says you shouldn't have in mid with your characters: "What is wrong with you?"

Rather, the right question is: "What has happened to you?"

A lesson for the day: Backstory is important for writing characters.

Kristen Lamb: When the Hero is His Own Worst Enemy–What We Can Learn from FLIGHT:

The big lesson of this post is that having the protagonist be his/her own enemies isn't enough, and that other aspects should be included. For example, a physical representation of those problems, the Big Boss Troublemaker. The BBT is similar to the Big Bad, but not quite.

Writer Unboxed: Flog a Pro: The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown:

Many bloggers offer to critique the first page of unpublished manuscripts, but you rarely see the same methods used for a bestseller.

The results are quite interesting. The first page suffers from prose issues, along with an unclear point-of-view. Yet, this is the book that rocked the bestselling list a decade ago. Maybe this is proof that a great premise can overshadow shabby mechanics. Like Twilight.

By the way, The Da Vinci Code is free on Amazon! I suggest that you grab it as an ebook while it still is, if you haven't already read it, like me.

Catherine, Caffeinated: It Could Happen To You! (It Almost Definitely Will NOT, Though…)

On the TV Tropes' Writer's Block forum, I sometimes see writers worrying about certain problems too much. While they often don't worry about the publishing aspect of it, some writers do.

Here's somethings you don't need to worry about while self-publishing, although you still need to avoid scams.

Christina Reads YA: Why New Adult Novels Are Not Satisfying Me:

I haven't read any NA books yet, but this doesn't look like a good sign.

From the NA covers I see around the web, they're mostly half-dressed couples kissing. Is romance drowning out non-romance contemporary, mystery, and speculative fiction? I don't know.

Well, I'll give the demographic time. It's still blooming and finding its legs, and I think in a year or two, there will be more variety as publishers find that there is a reliable audience, and experimentation is more appealing.

Fantasy Faction: The Fantasy Language Problem: Part One:

This is the beginning of what probably will be a mini-series. 

Language is an important element of setting, but especially in speculative fiction on other worlds. Keep in mind the anachronisms, or you might shatter suspension of disbelief.

Write to Done: Writer’s Block: Overcome It By Following The Map:

Yes, it's another "writer's block buster". Except I saw it in my Tumblr dashboard multiple times. It's a simple diagram that you can print out and put by your computer. Just don't make a habit of printing a lot of diagrams and similar stuff, or you'll make a clutter out of your work area.

Copyblogger: How to Write Interesting Content for a “Boring” Topic:

You can write a lot about coffee mugs. You just need to look in the right areas. For example, see what questions about the topic people are asking at Quora, Yahoo Answers, and other sites. Read the article for other techniques for a fantastic approach to a mundane topic.

That's It For This Week!

YOUR TURN: What article do you like the best?