Weekly Roundup: 10/1–10/7

Writing Excuses: Hollywood Formula

This week’s episode of Writing Excuses is a gem. Lou Anders, from Pyr joins the regular crew to talk about the Hollywood formula, which centers around three main characters and their relationships. Lou says the formula is a method many screenwriters use to ensure they’re getting the best emotional effect possible from their story’s climax. It’s well worth the listen, I assure you.

Roz Morris: Four tips for writing good prose

Writer Roz Morris gives four great tips on getting your prose right. I especially like her second tip, “Develop an ear.” I’ve edited for writers who have excellent vocabularies and clear ideas, but the sentences they write are like poorly paved roads. Your readers needs to be able to glide through your words, hit the beats you need them to hit, and continue through your story.

Emily Books: An Indi(e) Bookstore

Emily Books is a new indie bookstore that sells a subscription to 12 ebooks a year (the owners hope to sell a larger variety later, but will always keep the subscription model). They embrace ebooks, and they say, “We want there to be a million stores like Emily Books, with dedicated booksellers—not algorithms—deciding which books to recommend. When a monolith is in charge of selecting which books readers get to hear about, everyone loses. We think independent bookselling is good for publishers, authors, and readers!” It’s an interesting idea in the realm of content curation. Not sure Emily Books would be the bookstore for me, but it would be interesting to see more curator-style stores popping up.

Lou Anders: The Tangled Webs We Weave

Lou Anders makes his second appearance in this week’s roundup with his essay “The Tangled Webs We Weave.” The essay will only be available online for a limited time, but it appears in Webslinger: SF and Comic Writers on Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, which is edited by Gerry Conway. Lou aims his essay at how science is becoming less sexy in our culture, and how media both reflects and contributes to that change.

John Scalzi: Writer Beware and “The Write Agenda”

Author and SFWA president John Scalzi discusses a new group called The Write Agenda. This group is determined to discredit resources aspiring authors have used for years to keep tabs on industry scammers. TWA seems to make hefty use of boycott lists and one-star reviews on books written by authors they don’t agree with. Leaving one-star reviews for anything other than the contents of the book is a ridiculous practice regardless. Read Scalzi’s write up and be cautious.