Just thought I’d gather up 10 disparate myths I’ve heard all around here and there regarding various aspects of publishing and address them in a video. Have you heard these myths? Heard some of your own? Were surprised to hear what parts of them are false and which are based on truth?
Here’s a video about something uncomfortable: when authors from majority backgrounds create an excuse to write about their group as an oppressed minority.
It’s almost never a good idea to write a story with a premise like “what if men were oppressed?” or “what if black people enslaved white people?” Not only because people who write these stories tend to have an agenda and feel they’re being made irrelevant by greater equality in the world, but also because they tend not to truly understand those marginalization narratives well enough to write them convincingly. This video outlines some examples of story ideas that have done this and some thoughts on why it’s rarely advisable to do this.
My latest video offers perspectives on why it’s so important to collect your own observations directly when you’re researching for a book. Your take on the world is what makes your story something only you can write, so that research should be personal too!
I’ve seen too many people make excuses for why their stories aren’t “diverse,” so I made a video about why this is important and why authors should think really hard about why their stories lack diversity if they do.
Sometimes, when you’re a writer struggling to break into publishing, well-meaning people will say persistence is key: “Just keep trying!” And while persistence IS important . . . it’s not the whole story. You may need to reevaluate WHAT you’re trying. Here are five tips for people who have kept trying and it isn’t working.
Let’s say you’re working on a book and it’s just not coming together, and now you have to start over. Or let’s say you got feedback from someone you trust and you’re realizing your book has a fatal flaw or could be much better if you made a fundamental change to it. Is this scary? YES! Are there some pointers I can give you to reassure you while getting through it? You bet!
Here’s a video talking through why you might be starting an existing story over again with a new draft and some thoughts on how to approach it.
I’ve heard a lot of grumbling about “voice” lately and how impossible it is to find a good character voice if you just can’t get a handle on the person, so I came up with a list of ten exercises to help you figure out who your character is, how they think, how they talk, and how they feel.