How to Distinguish Yourself Amongst Agents and Editors’ – Jane Friedman
Jane Friedman’s post isn’t specifically about the craft of writing, but it shares a simple and valuable tip for engaging with publishers and agents successfully. Friedman writes about the importance of reading widely in your genre. Understanding current trends in your genre and shared terminology will enable you to speak agents’ and publishers’ language.
‘Reading and knowing about other authors or trends in your community gives you awareness of how your work fits into the landscape. It also helps you avoid using the same, possibly boring tropes the agent/editor has seen before.’
‘Against Self-criticism ’ – Maria Popova
Although the language and ideas in this post on Brain Pickings are cerebral and complex, it’s worth reading. Especially if you tend to criticize your own writing to shreds. Maria Popova shares some of the psychoanalytic writer Adam Phillips’ views on the problems of self-criticism.
Excessive self-criticism, states Popova, often reduces complex experiences to single interpretations. For example, we say ‘I’m a bad writer’, rather than being open to alternative ways of framing our situation, such as ‘I am a writer committed to improving my craft’.
‘How to Take Charge of your Novel’s Symbolism’ – Christine Frazier
Christine Frazier’s Better Novel Project often takes apart bestsellers to show the gears that make them work. In this post on symbolism, Frazier compares details from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series and Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games. Frazier shows how symbols mark both authors’ protagonists as chosen. It’s a succinct and insightful post on how you can use symbolism in your fiction to deepen the themes and ideas of your novel.