You Asked for It
As promised, I went through the comments of the two posts where we asked what you’d like to see as future topics. I’ve done my best to collate the suggestions and put them into a quasi-order. What I didn’t include were the calls for changes to the website or requests (and suggestions on how to do it) to take past posts and turn them into books. With regard to the former, tweaks to the site will be made — sometime. You have to remember, we’re a bunch of writers and that means — shiny! Where the book is concerned, that’s probably not going to happen. There are simply too many factors that would have to be dealt with, factors that take time and would take us away from writing. I know I speak for all of us that we wouldn’t want to just pluck posts from the blog, throw them into a book and publish them without taking time to research them and update the information they contain. Then, even if we had someone do the editing, we would still have to look at the posts before and after and, well, that takes time away from writing. That’s not to say moving forward a book might not happen with new material but we also aren’t promising that either.
Anyway, here’s the list of topics I culled from the comments. If I missed anything, or if you’ve thought of something else you’d like us to cover, list it in the comments below. I’ll collect the information over the weekend, add it to the list we already have. Once I have, the bloggers here will pick and choose what they want to cover individually and in groups.
This is, by the way, the last time we will be soliciting topics on a scale like this for at least six months. We really do appreciate your input. It helps us figure out what you want to see.
Here goes. (Some of these are lifted straight from the comments of the previous posts):
- How To ready a manuscript for uploading, including font usage & sizes, formatting, setting up picture and illustrations, converting from Word or Wordperfect or TXT into a suitable carrier for Kindle, etc.
- Exercises. For example, what are the industry standard layouts one finds in the average paperback?
- Blurb workshops
- Powerful blurbs, with an emphasis on what makes a blurb -work- the best. When I don’t like a book from the blurb, -why- didn’t I like it? Function before form!
- Writing prompts
- managing/planning a series (is it better to write out the entire series, in essence building up a backlog, and then publish each volume individually on a regular schedule? or perhaps release them in pairs or other multiples? or to forego the entire idea of a backlog and publish the whole series en masse? or to dial that back a bit publish each story as it gets finished, whenever that happens to be?)
- Character descriptions
- introducing characters, either main or supporting,
- Villains (how to craft a good one without being over the top cliche)
- Opening scenes,
- closing scenes
- describing environments.
- Show, don’t tell
- Show don’t tell vs infodumps
- How does a new writer, unpublished, and not really sure if what she’s written is “any good” enter into an established writers’ community, get feedback, start to feel real?
- “How to keep your short stories short” about editing for length and narrative focus…
- Cover clinics
- “how to handle critiques
- Finding crit groups
- How to prepare a COMIC BOOK for publication.
- What are your experiences interfacing with Overdrive’s “for publishers” interface? What works? What doesn’t?
Don’t forget. If there’s a topic you would like us to consider covering and it’s not listed above, leave it in the comments below.