Friday, September 4, 2009

scrapple in the apple

This is the first September since INTERN was four that she is not going back to school, and it feels weird.

To compensate, INTERN went to the library last night and checked out a stack of incomprehensible books on physics and philosophy, and plans to read them in the back of the van while on tour with her harsh noise band this weekend, and possibly to read them onstage too, because in terms of the band INTERN is the harsh-noise equivalent of a tambourine-banger or triangle-dinger, and could probably get away with it.

Also, INTERN has been slowly compiling a reading list of her favorite writing-advice books and resources, by genre. Here goes nothing:

Chick Lit: Will Write for Shoes: How to Write a Chick Lit Novel by Cathy Yardley is an intelligent look at the history of the chick lit genre, how to write it, and how to pitch it. If you're prejudiced against books with pink covers, this one will set you straight: all killer, no filler, and no punches pulled.

Literary Journals: If you're trying to publish stories in literary journals, and wondering what goes through the minds of "little magazine" editors, read this blog by the editors of The New Quarterly. Their "how we choose stories" series lays it out straight...or as straight as possible, given the sometimes maddening nature of short-story submission guidelines.

Fiction-General: Every would-be novelist who's just finished a first draft should pour herself a shot of whiskey, lock the knife drawer, and read 78 reasons why your book may never be published and 14 reasons why it just might by Pat Walsh. INTERN loves the declarative chapter titles ("You Sacrifice Clarity for 'Art'") and the way this book manages to be funny and kind of friendly even as it delivers truth bombs left and right.

Romance/Erotica: The editors at Ellora's Cave Publishing Inc. keep a great blog called Redlines and Deadlines with great adivce posts like this one. (tip on writing sex scenes: "Keep an eye on where hands and arms are, making sure that you don't end up giving your hero three (or more!) hands"). From the sounds of this blog, it seems like romance is the genre most prone to hilarious continuity errors...

INTERN has to go now, because everyone in the office is going out for pre-weekend beverages at a dim pub with leather booths (such pubs are easier on the eyes).


  1. If you haven't already, check out The Writer's Book of Hope by Ralph Keyes. It's the sweet breath of life to those of us struggling under a mounting pile of rejections.

  2. Hey, thanks so much for the link! I'm a big fan of your blog, so it was totally exciting when this popped up in my RSS reader. *fangirls*

  3. Thanks for the link, INTERN! And Anonymous, yesterday's post was on the Tao of Form Rejections...

  4. Oh, I hear you about it being weird. I should be taking classes right now.

  5. For writing romance, I'd suggest Writing a Romance Novel for Dummies, by Leslie Wainger (Executive Editor, Harlequin). It's not as dumb, or as easy, as it sounds.

  6. I purchased the Cathy Yardley book after I finished my novel... I was planning to just read the sample synopsis while in the bookstore, but ended up buying it because it had so many other things to offer.

    Mmmm, scrapple. Did I mention my dad's family is from Philly?

  7. The INTERN wrote: "From the sounds of this blog, it seems like romance is the genre most prone to hilarious continuity errors..."

    LOL - It's the same as writing sword-fighting or other one-on-one combat-type scene.

    We just watched a French (pre-revolutionary) film the other night where black powder, single ball revolvers were going of multiple times in the same shot. We never saw one person load, let alone re-load their weapon.

    It was pure magic. Really!