Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Morning Pages: 06-20-12

David Farland's Daily Kick in the Pants - 10 Reasons Why I Reject Your Story: "1) The story is unintelligible. Very often I’ll get submissions that just don’t make sense. Often, these seem to be non-English speakers who are way off in both the meaning of words, their context, or in their syntax, but more often it’s just clumsiness. I’ve seen college presidents who couldn’t write. But this lack of care is on a gradient scale, from “I can’t figure out what this is about” to “I don’t want to bother trying to figure this out” to “there are minor problems in this story.” For example, yesterday a promising story called a dungeon the “tombs.” Was it a mistake, or a metaphor? I don’t think it was a metaphor. The author had made too many other errors where the “almost correct” word was used."

Inside Higher Ed - When University Presses Fail: "American literature is slowly going out of business. The publisher of The Collected Works of Langston Hughes and The Complete Sermons of Ralph Waldo Emerson is closing up shop. Starting this July, the University of Missouri Press will begin to phase out operations. The press, which was founded in 1958 by a University of Missouri English professor, William Peden, has published approximately 2,000 titles over the course of its history." (Souce: The Passive Voice)

Writer's Digest - Why "Show, Don't Tell" Is a Lie: "It doesn’t follow from this that a writer should never say a character is handsome or happy. It doesn’t follow that all a writer should do is show. To my mind, the phrase 'Show, don’t tell' is a wink and a nod, an implicit compact between a lazy teacher and a lazy student when the writer needs to dig deeper to figure out what isn’t working in his story."

Copyblogger - How to Write Emails that Sell: "Even though I’m always pitching and selling my products, I get few (if any) spam complaints. Hate mail about my daily email frequency is non-existent. And it’s a cold day in Hades when I teach anything found in my paid products. Customers have never been happier, and my list has never been more satisfied. So what’s this big email secret? And, how can you use it? It’s called 'infotainment.'"

The Atlantic - The Incredible Resiliency of Books: "For all these existential matters in play, the mood at the recent annual gathering of the industry known as Book Expo was strikingly upbeat. The floor of New York's Javits Center (a venue that does not get any more appealing as it ages) was full for all three days of the fair. There were scores of educational sessions devoted to every aspect of the digital transformation. Many of them attracted packed rooms of authors, booksellers, and publishing staffers intent on making sense of subjects that were once the domain of engineers, such as DRM (digital rights management), the as yet unsettled policy for controlling the reproduction of e-books once they are downloaded, to limit piracy. Given that the role of chain stores once loomed so large and no longer does, predicting the future of publishing in the age of Amazon's dominance is little more than a considered guess. "

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