Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday Roundup

Whip! Crack! Here's a herd of writing and publishing blog posts I found most interesting this week, corralled all nice and neat for ya'll.

Author Natalie Whipple had a great post this week on building characters.

From Favorite PASTimes, a list of December's new releases in Christian fiction.

Michael Hyatt's post on the SI Reader, coming in 2010, is interesting. Be sure to watch the video demonstration from Sports Illustrated. Pretty cool. For a magazine. I'm not sure if I'd like to read a novel with a bunch of extraneous bells and whistles. Depends on what those bells and whistles were. As some have commented on his post, it's still the words, the story, that must transport.

After you watch the video, I'd be curious to know what sort of features you'd like to see in a novel, given a similar format. Sound tracks for scenes? Images of characters? For historicals: an extended author's note about her research? Author interview videos? On location videos at the modern setting? Living history videos of reenactments? Personally I don't need any of it, but I admit when I've loved a novel I've greedily devoured every word of the acknowledgments, author's notes, and whatever else the publisher has given me beyond the actual story, because good stories leave us wanting more. Perhaps this multimedia experience is one way to do that. It might be the thing that makes me invest in something other than a print copy of a book. But I'm still far from sold on the idea.

And at Novel Journey, author Randy Ingermanson writes about his new craft book, Writing Fiction for Dummies. This looks good.

Rounding up these blogs posts was a breeze compared to this feat:

Makes me laugh every time. Have a good weekend everyone!


  1. Great round up, Lori. Yee ha! That cat video is hilarious!

    Now, about that SI reader. I'm such a visual person I think I could get into that. I love reading paper books, but this is getting interesting. I can imagine enhancing a novel to the max. There could even be a little video introducing the author to the readers. I think it would almost be like a mini website in some ways. Maybe they'll even add a email the author capability. I think I would like to add pictures, scenery, etc. But that could all be done on my website which I plan to do. This is all providing I get published some day, you know!!

    OK, for example, let's take Laura's book, The Frontiersman's Daughter. What about some scenery of the Kentucky mountains set to music before the the words even appear. Perhaps, annotated with interesting historical tidbits.
    I see this could get very expensive, but it would be so much more than a book, it would create a novel experience. When I read that Certain Spark by Cathy Marie Hake I had to stop reading and run to the internet to find out what a chatelaine was. When I read Heart of Glass by Diane Noble I went online to listen to Dulcimer music. What if this kind of information was available on a book reader? I think it could get very interesting.

    As for Randy I.'s book - sounds great. He's an excellent teacher.

  2. Carla,

    "This is all providing I get published some day, you know!! "

    I see you're a compulsive planner, like me!

    "A mini website." Yes. That's exactly how I was picturing it. You've got some fun ideas. It's making me think of the special features that come on most DVDs now--of which I'm a huge fan. The more of those the better, especially on my favorite films. Getting "just" the film now is a bit of a letdown, after I've shelled out the money for the DVD.

    This is the first piece of technology (in the realm of e-readers) that has interested me at all. Laura's TFD would be wonderful done in this format. I know I'm partial to historicals, but I think they would lend themselves to this with especial appeal.

    There's a book releasing next year, Here Burns My Candle, by Liz Higgs, that I'm looking forward to. It's set in Scotland, 1745, against the Jacobite Rising. I can SO imagine a book like that done in this format, with all the atmosphere and scenery and music and history incorporated as special features. And an interview with Liz of course, with snapshots from her travels.

    A reader can dream. :)

  3. Yes, I am a compulsive planner. I am also a compulsive procrastinator!

    Liz Higgs new book sounds marvelous! I can't believe that I haven't read any of her novels yet.

  4. Carla, I think you would LOVE her Scottish books, starting with Thorn In My Heart. And talking about gorgeous covers! Hers are beautiful. I've also read a contemporary of hers called Bookends, which was good.