Wednesday links: Young writers, off-stage scenes, and fake bad reviews

I love regularly reading tips and advice articles in certain subjects — particularly writing and publishing. I don’t always need the information right then, but I know that it’ll eventually come in handy. Or at least, I hope it will.

I know there are a lot of other people out there who feel the same way I do, but sometimes it can be difficult to find every useful advice article that’s out there. So I thought I’d bring you a few.

Here are the tips and advice articles that jumped out at me the most over the past week.

1. Advice for young writers, from Nathan Bransford: While Bransford is aiming this advice at young writers specifically, much of it would be beneficial to older writers, as well. In particular, it’s good advice for anybody who has begun to explore writing. Excerpt: “I often receive e-mails from young writers in high school and even younger, and I’m always so impressed with them and even a little bit jealous. I had no idea I wanted to be a writer when I was in high school and I rue all those years I could have spent honing my craft.”

2. Off-Stage Scenes Rarely Work — Unless You’re Scarlett, from Fiction Notes: When you’re writing a novel, you should be choosing your main character based on what happens to them. If you’re finding that most of your exciting scenes are happening outside of your main character’s point of view, then you may have to change tactics. Excerpt: “Think about Scarlett O’Hara and the other southern women sitting at home waiting; in an attempt to avenge his wife, Frank and the Ku Klux Klan raid the shanty town whereupon Frank is shot dead. But the raid takes place off-stage.”

3. On Trolls and Fake Bad Reviews, from Writer Beware: Every writer gets their share of bad reviews — it’s part of putting your work out to the public. But no writer should have to deal with an onslaught of fake bad reviews that have been written purely to drive down a book’s rating. Excerpt: “I’m not talking about soliciting your friends to write glowing testimonials for your books, or buying five-star reviews in batches from paid review services. I’m talking about people who post bad reviews for revenge, punishment, or intimidation.”

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