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Feb
2016
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Friday Link Pack: 2/19/16

Welcome to another week of the Friday Link Pack. I have been actively tracking articles in Slack since my last post, so I can have a repository of great information for you all (as well as for me, anytime I want it). I am always looking for ways to become more efficient and track things better since I live a chaotic, unorganized life. I would ask all of you to post comments in the article with your favorite blogs or newsletters pertaining to writing and worldbuilding – I love the sites I follow, but I feel as though I just submit new articles from the same people every time. That is not a bad thing when the articles are strong and pertinent, but I believe that aspiring authors need to absorb everything from everyone and just figure out what works for their individual system.

Writerlings

Simplicity and Elegance in Story Telling by Chuck Wendig

This article is actually a series of tweets by Chuck wherein he discusses the merits of simplicity as a method of driving emotional connections and ironing out the wrinkles in your plotting. There are numerous fantastic insights in this chain, and if you pluck your way through, there is bound to be a few tidbits of awesome for your to chew on. Here are a few of my favorites:

“Simple and elegant is also valuable in plotting — if your plot is overtangled due to unnecessary complexity, that’s how plotholes happen.”

“Further, more layered, complex motivations can be built out of several simple ones. Simple should not be seen equal to stupid.”

My favorite part of the entire discussion is that simple does not equal stupid. I think at times we writers tend to get caught up in figuring out the next great, original thing. The reality Wendig show is that layering basic needs/desires/motivations on the characters and then figuring out how the characters and their motivations interact with the problems they face. By figuring out the interaction between motivations and conflicts, you can tell an original, engaging story with unoriginal bits – and there is nothing wrong with that.

Three Paradoxes of Writing by Roz Morris

This is a short article that addresses a few interesting concepts about being a writer. How do we balance output with quality? How do we improve our craft by reading and examining other writers’ works? How do we learn to trust our instincts in terms of revisions and when do we ignore the feedback of others?

I agree with Roz’s stance that you must find your own pace in writing. We all want to be prolific and have several succesful books and make lots of money, but at what point do we recognize the need to simply produce more words? One of the generic pieces of advice that every writer gives and has been given is, if you want to be a better better writer you have to write more. I would also say that Kevin J Anderson’s Popcorn Theory, which I recapped in my last post, fits this perfectly as well.

Dan Wells’ /r/fantasy AMA Discussion

I am linking this because Dan’s story is amazing and he is a great guy. I love his snarkiness and his insight into the craft of writing and making a career out of it. You will find equal parts humor and serious conversation here, but I think it is worth a read nonetheless. I particullary like how such a serious debate over The Great Gatsby being a great American literature was settled over a game of Candy Land.

Exerting Fierce Power Without Spilling a Drop of Blood by Setsu Uzume

I love Setsu. She is fierce and fearless and crazy insightful in regards to seeing and exposing all things bullshit. She writes dark a lot of the time, and has a warrior-poet mentality – hell, her twitter name is @KatanaPen (yes, that is a prompt for you to go follow her). This article makes me smile, because it reminds all of us – including the warriors – of the importance of asking questions about ourselves, our society, and how we interact with others. Also, Setsu’s new most favoritist line in literature is revealed.

Worldbuilding

How to Deepen Your Worldbuilding by Cecilia Lewis

This is a great article for beginning worldbuilders and how to approach the process through the lens of a writer, not just a creator. There are writing elements which should be included as part of your worldbuilding, such as the five senses. There are also things to avoid, like infodumping, which can bog down pacing and bore your readers.

Worldbuilding a Religion: Part One – Religion Vs Cult by Fantasy Faction

To be honest, this is a fantastical article that covers a lot of the same ideas I have planned for my worldbuilding series, Cildaire – A Fledgling World. Reading this has given me a great plan of action for the next several worldbuilding posts so the read was invaluable for that reason alone. For you worldbuilders, I definitely recommend reading this as well as the rest of the posts in the series. The distinction being made between Cult and Religion is an important one. Not only does it help us understand which came first, but it also helps us understand why that question is so important. If you make the decision that your mythology is based on a cult turned religion, that is quite a bit different than a religion spawning offshoot cults. To me, one of the main differences is between fanatacism turned mainstream versus maintstream spawning fanatics. One usually tends to breed more aggression.

I hope you have a great week of writing and reading about writing. If you have any interesting articles to share, please do so in the comments below. As always, please subscribe to my blog via the widget on the right sidebar and make sure to follow me on Twitter.

I’ll leave you with this…

I knew Tyrone would have the peanut butter, but I am quite surprised by the cleanliness of his shirt…

Please, let me know what you think.

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