Wednesday links: Round characters, em dashes, and ferrets vs. writers

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. Why Bad Things Happen to Round Characters, from Shannon A. Thompson: If you look back on the novels you’ve read recently, you’ll probably notice that many of the characters have experienced both good and bad situations in their lifetimes. There are a lot of reasons that an author will write their characters this way, including everything from reality to relatability. Excerpt: “Bad things will happen to characters. Their past will be messed up, their present will be tense, and their future will probably take a tumble every now and then.”

2. Dashes–the Kardashians of punctuation, from Poynter: Okay, I’ll admit it, I have a tendency to use em dashes. Probably more than I should, to be honest. This article is a good reminder of when you should use them, and when you shouldn’t. Excerpt: “I followed Don’s lead for a while and found that in most cases I was better off with something other than the dash. Then one day I sat staring at a sentence in frustration until my eyes went out of focus and my nose started to bleed. Suddenly it hit me: I needed a dash!”

3. What Ferrets Taught Me About Being a Writer, from Pub(lishing) Crawl: As it turns out, writers and ferrets have a lot of things in common. Or they should, according to the author of this post. Excerpt: “Now, before you think I’ve finally lost my mind, hear me out. Ferrets have some great qualities we can all learn lessons from.”

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