Links: No More NaNo!

So. Finally it’s over. Yay. Heartfelt congratulations to all the winners, heartfelt commiserations to all the rest, and praise be to God that there are nearly 11 months before we all (probably) go through it over again!

There are, of course, a few blog posts about NaNoWriMo this week–mostly from winners, it has to be said. Savannah J Foley posted a nice piece on Let The Words Flow about coming to terms with NaNo amateurism; Jen Brubacher celebrated with a contest based on the writing prompts she’s been posting throughout November; Anna Staniszewski wrote about the need to be accountable to someone other than yourself in order to keep the momentum going; Jennifer Blanchard wrote, in a guest post on, about her conversion from pantser to plotter (sorry, Matt) during the NaNo month. Lynn Viehl and Kyeli Smith–a guest writer on Men With Pens–both wrote about their experience of failure.

A number of the sites that come up on my radar highlighted this… er… deluded teddy bear? Not that this belongs with the NaNo links, really. I hope.

So that’s that then. What else has gone on this week?

Our winter patio

Oh yeah, there has been weather. For us Brits, at least. We’ve never seen snow over here before… at least, I was 3 years old the last time we had snow this deep and so don’t remember it. My mother started reminiscing about how winter used to be in the 1940s after the first few days. Short version: Much like this.

A couple of of ‘our’ people posted their stories about the current white-out–Charlie Stross from Edinburgh, which is as far North as trains were able to reach last time I checked. Lynne Patrick was snowed-in in Derbyshire and very grateful for her laptop. I was snowed-in too; after the first foot of snowfall there was no public transport in or out of Sheffield, the main routes were blocked by abandoned cars, the minor roads were simply impassable and the local buses stopped completely for the best part of two days. At least Lynne still has a milkman! And internet access, but let’s not go there.

Other tidbits that caught my eye this week included NASA’s discovery of an entirely new life-form; the death of comic actor Leslie Nielsen, of Airplane and Police Squad fame; and, naturally enough, the annual Literary Review Bad Sex Award ceremony. This year’s winner was Rowan Somerville’s novel The Shape of Her (extract here), and not–as confidently predicted–Tony Blair’s A Journey. Rowan later wrote an interesting piece for the Guardian about how it feels to achieve this dubious literary honour.

Natalie Whipple made waves online with her very honest post about being on submission… for a very, very long time. She followed up a few days later with a related post about lessons learned from the experience.

Nathan Bransford (wasn’t he supposed to be quitting?) ran his annual e-book poll, and reported that for the first time in its four year history the e-book was ahead. That doesn’t mean more e-books than print books are being sold; it just means that more people are receptive to e-books than of yore. Including Kathryn Lilley’s 82-year-old mother. On The Divining Wand, guest writer Jenny Gardiner explained why she was happy to publish her most recent novel as an e-book. Still, new technology always has its teething troubles; Lynn Viehl has been keeping her eye on this one, and reported yet another e-reader scam this week.

On the fiction writing front, Janice Hardy posted two useful pieces on The Other Side of the Story: one about emotional clarity, and one about the ‘red flag’ words that mean you’re telling rather than showing. Victoria Mixon came up with an interesting piece entitled The 6 Degrees of Show vs Tell, Rated by Quality. On Write It Sideways, Suzannah Windsor Freeman gave us some more red flags, this time warning against those too-perfect characters. Gail Carson Levine posted a two-pronged article in which she discussed the impact of poetry on writing prose, and whether/when comedy is appropriate in fiction.

And finally: You really don’t want to write fiction without running it by any readers.

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