Blogs I’m Reading

Why you should read every hardcover with the book jacket OFF on E.M. Bowman’s blog via YA Highway. Yes! I love that frisson of discovery when you take the cover off and find something unexpected. (And YA Highway has much better blog titles than I do.)

How to Create a Compelling Character, Step 3: Choose A Metaphor Family by Cockeyed Caravan. Yes, this! Something I’ve been trying to articulate to my critique partners but haven’t quite managed. Speaking about the language a character uses as part of character development:

Which brings me to my favorite new technique: giving every character their own metaphor family. This can be a “go to” source for every swear word they mutter, every compliment they give out, every daydream they indulge in, etc. Sometimes their metaphor family is based on their job, but it can also be based on their cultural background or their psychology…

And Jennifer Crusie, somewhere, wrote about how a character’s language can shift over the course of a novel, revealing their new allegiances or beliefs as they adopt the language of the people they begin to identify with. (A bit like visiting the South and picking up the accent, but of course it means more because it’s fictional — it’s a character marker)

SFNovelists Sampler – A Year’s Worth of Reading! on Science Fiction and Fantasy Novelists. A compiliation of “25 first chapters from 25 of  SFNovelists’ members” for free. Like Marie Brennan, whom I haven’t read or Martha Wells, whom I adore.

Also Best Science Fiction Redux on Book View Cafe Blog, which has an alternate list to NPR’s very white male list with many books I haven’t read.

Don’t Write What You Know by Bret Anthony Johnston on the Atlantic. (via Terri Windling’s blog)

Instead of thinking of my experiences as structures I wanted to erect in fiction, I started conceiving of them as the scaffolding that would be torn down once the work was complete. I took small details from my life to evoke a place and the people who inhabit it, but those details served to illuminate my imagination. Before, I’d forced my fiction to conform to the contours of my life; now I sought out any and every point where a plot could be rerouted away from what I’d known.


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