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How Not to Advise in Absolutes: An Example

Last week James L. Rubart, on Novel Rocket, wrote an article that set me--and several other readers--off.

Headline? "You Can Only Write In One Genre. Period. End of Story."

Regardless of whatever you agree with this basic statement or not, I hope you see what I think is wrong with how the statement is worded. The rest of the post provides the perfect excuse on how not to be persuasive.

Dogtown Weekly: Ghosted Out

Weekly Round-up: 2/22/13

YAtopia: Amazing Advice from Some Amazing Authors:
First of all, here's a round-up of a lot of short yet useful writing advice from a variety of authors, including Heather Brewer. Pick and choose.


Livehacked: Learning to Spell At Fifty:
This is inspiring. It's the tale of a writer who struggled through school, and gotten into some shabby situations throughout the years, but eventually found his passion in writing.

YAvengers: Writing For Trends:
This is a new YA group blog (like YA Confidential, YA Indie, and YA Highway--see a pattern?). It comes with a twist: the blog authors assume the identity of a character from The Avengers movie. I can't see what they do with this concept.

Yet again, trends. What a polarizing topic. For me, I don't have a strong opinion. It's more about how they use them than the presence of them, most of the time.


The Write Practice: Do You Have a Purpose? The Absurd in Literature:
I'm including this because absurdist literature seems like an interesting type of fiction that you might want to at least dip into. Bring on the artistically pointless!

Pub Crawl: In Defense of Love Interests:
I would say this is an example of trends gone wrong, when people start shoving related yet different conventions into the same prominent box.

Love triangles and webs can be done in a chockload amount of ways, many unlike some of what is usually seen. For example, in The Sims 2 (yes, I switched games from last week; sue me), my teen Sim has dated at least five different Sims. I'm not sure if he will continue doing this in university, but he'll eventually settle done, for the sake of me being able to raise a Sim child.

But still, love triangles can be done in different ways. But know what I haven't seen yet? A true polygamous relationship between three teens. I want to see a book explore how it works, and the conflicts that sprout from it.

Feel free to steal that idea.

terribleminds: How to Push Past the Bullshit and Write That Goddamn Novel: A Very Simple No Fucker Writing Plan to get Shit Done:
I considered censoring this title, but it would've lessened the impact of the headline.

Finally, a challenge for you. I'll be following the spirit of it.

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One more note: I was going to include another article that I severely disagreed with, but I had so much to say about it, and the topic served as a great vehicle to teach a few lessons, it'll be the center of Monday's post.

Let's say that by this point, I'm ready to receive some criticism from other blog writers.


Dogtown Weekly: Simming Out

Weekly Round-up: 2/15/13

A Newbie's Guide to Publishing: How To Sell Ebooks:

Considering this is the guy who have sold one million ebooks, you should read through what he has to say.

While a lot of it is the typical yet never-get-old kind of advice, one of the points emphasized is how powerful word-of-mouth is. Recommendations have been proven to be one of the major reasons why people buy books. Remember this.

AndiLit: The Lie We Perpetuate about Writing, Drugs, and Mental Illness:

In most cases, drugs can take the toll to the human mind. In the few cases that it might've helped, they might result in a more miserable life.

Although in the TV Tropes' thread where I keep my writing article links before I bring them up here, troper JHM (an often insightful reader and fellow writer) brought up a good point: many writers who took drugs, were depressed, or drink chronically, like Hemingway, fell into such habits because of their experiences. The drugs and mental illnesses were often a way of diluting the inspiration that  made such storytellers fantastic writers.

But I'm curious about what studies are out there on the relationship between drugs and art.

The Writer's Voice: New Adult Books: Do They Have to be Graphic?:

The answer to this is really obvious: no. Of course not. Only erotica or other genres where sex is a central element is sex required, and considering that New Adult is a demographic, the point is moot.

This article is also a reflection of New Adult's melding image. It's new. People are still forming their perceptions of the trends and conventions of NA, like Young Adult fiction, and it will take a few years until people find what make stories sell.

Whatever this osmosis is good or bad is for a heated discussion

(JHM's opinion is that this is a branding problem, and that writers should worry about their image after they write, instead of before. However, I can't comment on whatever he's right or wrong.)

Nathan Bransford: Can Bookish Be a Game Changer?:

Bookish is yet another bookworm-centered social media network that is trending. I'm bringing this up here because this site's fate is still up in the air. Whatever it rises to Goodread's level or it just flounders, we will see.

Jeff Goins: The Secret of Success: Stop Trying to Be Famous:

This is one of many, many articles on the entire "fame vs. success" debate.

I'm sort of torn by this debate.

I don't want to be a total celebrity flocked by paparazzi and gossip magazines. I also don't want to die poor, alone, and a total drunk. It doesn't really help much to be like van Gogh and not be able to stay around to enjoy being an acclaimed influence. I want to know my legacy in my lifetime, and possibly let that legacy be historic.

Which celebrities of today will be remembered a century from now? Who knows? Let's just wait to see what's down the road.

Writer's Update

Yeah, progress has still stalled, but only because I'm working on other stuff. For the most part, homework is cleared, violin and piano practice is doing better, and I think I'm doing well on my tests. Oh, and I'm going to slay the research paper for Social Studies.

This weekend, which is four days, I'll continue working on going to bed and rising early, and start being productive in the early morning. 

Now the question is...how will The Sims 3 factor into this? 

I created the co-protagonists of Manifestation Files in-game and had them interact. I spent plenty of time messing with them, trying to translate how I imagine them in my mind onto the screen.

While Sim Finn is decent, Sim Bryan doesn't seem quite there. I find that The Sim 3's Create-a-Sim mode isn't quite flexible than its precessor. Also, I have no idea what his nose is like. Maybe I'll have to browse some half-Filipinos, find the model that's closest to what I imagine Bryan to be like, and use him.

Meanwhile though, I'm just having a little fun with the actual game play while wondering why there are so many vampire in-game.

YOUR TURN: Do you have a favorite video game? What is it?

4 Grammar Lessons That Need to be Hammered In

I think we've done the whole "its vs. it's" lesson to death, yet there're other errors done too often.

I'm not a Grammar Nazi (although I'm a...I'll get to it later), but I think learning about grammar is worth it. If we're publishing traditional, it saves our editors some headaches, and if we're going self pub, it'll make our pages more high quality.

So let's dig into the grab bag and implant a few rules to apply to our writing--although you don't have to, if you don't feel like learning grammar today, even if it's to your best interest.

Let's go from most covered to least cover, okay?

Dogtown Weekly: Submitted...To the School Newspaper

Weekly Round-up: 2/8/13

Kristen Lamb: How Eminem Makes Me a Better Writer:

I haven't listened to a lot of his music, but Eminem is a very...interesting artist. I only listened to a few songs from him, but let me just plug a related article from Copyblogger.

Adventures in YA & Children's Literature: Stop Trying to Fit Yourself into the Publishing Box by Brittany Geragotelis:

Wattpad. It has been called the YouTube of writing.

I intended to go to a Twitter chat (I think #indiechat) about Wattpad, with an actual staff member answering questions, but I forgot about it until there were ten minutes left. I should read over the transcript.

I already have an account. The question is whatever I should use it. Unfortunately, my writing has been...sterile, but I won't be addressing this today.

TalkToYoUniverse: 1000 Posts at TalkToYoUniverse!:

Talk To You Universe is a blog that again and again appear on the round-ups, due to its useful worldbuilding information. So here's Juliette's own collection of links over the year. I bet at least one of you readers will get lost in a tangent.

Writer's Updates: Hey, It's Something

Thursday morning, in between the period when I arrived at school and 1st period, I typed up three poems and emailed them to one of my friends--who is a staff member of the yearly art newsletter, an off-shoot of the school newspaper.

The odds of at least one poem being published is extremely high, but hey, it's something. After laying it off, I took the time to use some of the leftovers from the poetry unit for something useful.

Learning how to submit is a useful skill. Be sure to take the baby steps.

Next baby step...write something again.

I'm Adjusting My Blog Schedule

I'm going to test out blogging only every other Monday and every Friday and see how that affects my blog. Maybe the extra time will let me create higher quality articles.

Sorry for there being no blog post today. Homework is more important right now.

Dogtown Weekly: 5:40 AM

One month has passed! The other eleven will be better.

It's scary how fast they're going to go.

Guest Post: The Write Practice

It went up yesterday! I finished the first version of this back in November during my failed guest posting blitz, but it didn't went up then since I wrote it for The Write Practice and all slots were filled at the time. Until now.

I'm surprised that Joe Bunting let me do two guest posts, but since I already gained another follower, I can't complain.

(On a side note, I applied for the Story Cartel/The Write Practice program. One of the application questions was my biggest fear as a writer. I had trouble submitting that without being indirect, and even then, I hesitated at pressing "Send". At least that's a sign that it the answer was genuine.

You'll have to wait to read about my writing fear.)

Now for the weekly round-up.