I’ve taken to watching disaster movies on Saturday nights because there’s something satisfying about watching Mother Nature wipe out humanity when we’ve been so bad. This is a result of watching too many political debates and town halls and being active on social media. But I’m also reminded of one of my favorite bookish quotes, courtesy of Franz Kafka: “I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound or stab us. If the book we’re reading doesn’t wake us up with a blow to the head, what are we reading for? … we need books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. That is my belief.”
Bring the axes.
- Publisher Lee & Low’s first ever diversity in publishing survey in January 2016 revealed what most industry watchers know: the industry is overwhelmingly white, straight, and female. Molly McCardle spoke to 50 authors, editors, and other denizens of the publishing world about what it’s like to work in such a homogenous industry and its affect on the marketplace in “You Will Be Tokenized”: Speaking Out About the State of Diversity in Publishing.
- Adam Fleming Petty argues that there is also a lack of diversity when it comes to discussions of class in, Dirty Life and Times: The Past, Present and Future of Working-Class Literature.
- You’ll sell in a week! You’ll sell in a month! You’ll be filthy rich! Nope, nope, and nope. Unless you’re a unicorn. Then, maybe. But for most writers, it’s a big fat nope. Kim Graff is here to dissuade you of holding too fast to the 5 Myths About Having An Agent.
- Is your protagonist adrift in your manuscript like a boat on the sea of your other characters’ actions and can’t seem to make their own decisions? If so, your protagonist may lack agency. Chuck Wendig explains.
- No time to write? No problem! Here are 21 Creative writing prompts that you can do in 10 minutes. A favorite: It’s 1849, and you’re headed West along the Oregon Trail. Describe the safety features of your state-of-the-art covered wagon.