Wednesday, November 28, 2007

New Links Added to the Blog

I spent much of this afternoon in limbo while waiting for the mechanic to come to the house to fix my son's dead Bug. Unable to muster the concentration to work on the novel itself, I instead added a bunch of links to the blog. These have all proven valuable to me both in improving my writing and understanding how to go about getting published once the finished manuscript is in hand.

Books on Writing:

The Elements of Style, by Strunk & White. This book should be a cornerstone in every writer's foundation.

On Writing, by Stephen King. Entertaining, semi-autobiographical, he touches on a lot writing topics.

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, by Browne & King. Although designed for editing your work once the manuscript is complete, I've found it to be very useful in trying to avoid doing things in the first draft that would just have to be edited out later.

I had already started working on my book when I decided that some how-to research was in order, these three books are what seem best to me. I read each of them, then highlighted them, then did an extract on each that I titled "Writing Reminders" to which I occasionally refer when I feel the need to get re-grounded in the basics.

I may some day discuss some of my excerpts from these three books. A simple example from Elements of Style: "Use the active voice". As an axiom it is as simple as can be, but I need to be reminded on occasion.

Writer's Resources:

Writer's Net, Critique Circle and Backspace all offer a slew of information for writers, each with particular strengths. I'll leave it to the reader to click on and explore them.

Valuable Links on Getting Published:

The first four links, Pub Rants, The Rejector, Nathan Bransford and Miss Snark are all blogs of actual living, breathing, rejecting (and accepting) literary agents. They provide invaluable advice and information for an aspiring novelist trying to figure out how to give himself the best chance of actually being published. Although now dark, Miss Snark's blog is the most entertaining and you can spend a lot of fun and educational time in her archives.

The fifth link, Agent Query, is the best place I've found so far for when its time to actually begin querying agents to seek representation.

Am I putting the cart before the horse by spending a lot of time looking at literary agent blogs? Yes, somewhat. On the other hand, I want to be prepared, I'm interested in learning how it all works before the manuscript is fully polished, and although I'm kind of like a kid standing on the outside with his nose pressed up against the glass, its still fun to watch what's going on inside.

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