Without further ado, let’s get to today’s links:
1. Author Maureen Johnson gives this advice for all writers who are afraid of sucking. Embarrassing admission: I’ve watched this video so many times I practically have it memorized. You should all watch it too.
2. Aspiring Author Casey McCormick has created a fabulous tool for kidlit authors looking for literary agents. Ms. McCormick’s Agent Spotlight series on her blog picks one agent per week and collects all available information about that agent into one post. Everything from basic stuff like what the agent is looking for (and his/her submission guidelines) to that agent’s pet peeves, average response time, and links to interviews. If you’re looking for an agent who represents picture books or MG/YA, this is an awesome place to start your search. Check it out!
3. The newly-created LadiesWhoCritique.com (deceptively named, as gentlemen are also welcome) is a website that seeks to match aspiring authors with critique partners and beta readers. The groups and forums allow you to find authors with similar interests and critique styles. Should you find yourself needing feedback on your work, I would recommend taking a look.
4. I got my first print publication credit by writing an essay about learning to be funny. If you too are not naturally gifted in the comedic arts and would like some instruction in literary slapstick, check out this fabulous article from Writer’s Digest about how to inject humor into your writing using pickles and cucumbers. Among other things.
5. An interesting blog post on how to justify your villains. Mark Kennedy, a storyboard artist who worked on Disney’s Tangled, discusses the reasoning behind how a villain fits into the story’s frame and the ways in which s/he can be made both believably human and appropriately dislikable. Even if you’re not a writer, it’s fun to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into how this movie was made. Check it out!
6. Writer/blogger Atsiko has written a number of very thoughtful and useful posts about magic in fiction and how to design a magic system that is both interesting and practical. If you’re a fantasy writer, I think his stuff is a must read.
7. And finally, because Vikings are freaking awesome, I bring you two videos. Fans of history, parodies, and Depeche Mode should rejoice:
WooooooOOOOoooot! That is all.