Malinda Lo on avoiding the exotic in her book Huntress, while basing the culture firmly outside the too-often-default medieval Europe. Great food for thought for writers who are attempting this. Made me think about the exotic-ization I’ve read in some books recently, as well as those that have managed to avoid it. Plus I missed about half of the cultural references myself while reading Huntress, so it was fun to see what was in there.
KT Literary translates her responses to authors when she declines their partials. Really nice insight for anyone who has scratched their head on a rejection and thought, “But what exactly does that mean?” and “What is she saying I should fix?”
The best explanation of the difference between mileposts and goals for writers that I’ve seen, plus a splash of humor about not letting the whole thing drive you crazy, by Tobias Buckell: Writers and Pellets. I hadn’t heard of or read his blog before, but I’ll be checking it out.
Agent Mary Kole looks at first lines. I’m posting this here because I’ve been thinking about this comment since I read it at the end of August: “Some of my favorite first lines are the ones that plant the kernel of a question in a reader’s head.” It inspired me to fool around writing first lines and looking at ones I’ve written in the past to see which ones have a question in them.