A touch of some loving plus about a dozen kick drums…
Heads-up on early bird AWP tickets, thoughts on character development, and history's first byline.
Eight great things that caught my attention this week:
We’re not going to talk about the election (you’re welcome), but if the season has you all fired up you can check out the booklist Antidote for Despair: 22 titles for election season 2022, put together by Bishop & Wilde, a brand new bookstore in Portland.
Ear Candy: Rhythm Kitchen by Rare Americans. Favorite line: “a touch of some loving plus about a dozen kick drums…” Say it out loud and you get a little taste of the delicious cadence that has me playing this one on repeat.
If you’re planning to attend AWP in Seattle next year (and you should, I’ll be there with my AVIM co-founder Paulette Perhach and we’ll be hosting A Very Important Karaoke Party), you only have 10 more days to get the early bird ticket price. Don’t wait.
Nerd Word of the Week: Chthonic ~ concerning, belonging to, or inhabiting the underworld. I learned this one listening to the Greeking Out podcast with my boy. It’s one of our favorites.
I’m reading a lot of books right now. Among others, I’ve got The Dawn of Everything for when I’m feeling brainy, The Wander Society for when I’m feeling wistful, Craft in the Real World for when I’m feeling diligent, Ship of Destiny for when I need a little escape, Trust on audio (for when I’m walking the dogs) and Adjustment Day to get me through the election season. Having all these narrators in my head reminds me to remind you of just how important it is to make your characters distinct.
And while we’re on the topic, a big part of character development is figuring out what your character want. They need to want something and (pro tip) wanting something is not the same as trying to avoid something. People have desires, whether they acknowledge them or not.
Pop quiz: Do you know who was the first named author in history? Aristotle, maybe? Euripides? Nope. It was a woman named Enheduanna, a priestess from the Akkadian Empire who set her poetry and her name in stone about three thousand years ago. What was she writing about? Sexual harassment. Figures.
Next Thursday I’m teaching an online, 1-hour mini master class on how to write a synopsis for your novel or memoir. Even if you’re not ready to query agents, writing a synopsis can be a great way to find holes or pointless repetition in your plot. If you are gearing up to pitch agents, you won’t want to miss this one. Sign up here.
Happy writing, my friends,
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