Of Jonathon Franzen, Loneliness, and The Still Point of Attention …

It requires skill to craft tantalizing titles, bylines, etc. that coaxes readers, even those who receive your blogs as I do those written by The Mommy Psychologist
to actually stop what we are doing and take in the blogger’s words.

That what we read leaves us thinking, and pondering the subject of their website and blogs, which for The Mommy Psychologist is the whole gambit of parenting in the 21st century, evidences grasp of an art.

Readers can be grateful when the very topic of a blogger’s discussion plunges


Of Memoir, Climax, and “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother”…

Writing teacher and mentor, Clive Matson, always said that if a writer found her or himself wanting and/or needing to explain her or his story that the reader might gain the author’s intended message, the author needed to revise their story further.

Completing a manuscript requires more than simply writing the story, editing and revising it for clarity regarding grammar and typos, or even for development of plot.

Within each story or novel lives the narrative of that story, and how it came into being.

The author’s understanding and exploration of this process informs


Of “Mausam,” Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and Creating for the Ages…

I recently saw the movie, Mausam, written and directed by Pankaj Kapur, and starring the beautiful Sonam Kapoor opposite the wonderful and delightfully handsome, Shahid Kapoor.

Like most Bollywood movies of its genre, historical dramatic romance, the movie move along taking its time to tell what I experienced as a beautiful love story.

Critics on both sides of the ocean suggest that the pacing could be increased by eliminating various scenes that do not contribute to the overall plot of the story.

I disagree.

The director could have deleted certain scenes and decreased the run time and perhaps maintained the high level of enjoyment I experienced.

But why fix what is not broken?

As an American moviegoer that has grown tired of movies aiming to tell a story with what often appears an ultimate goal of relaying the narrative, in movie format, in the shortest amount of time possible,


Of Supply, Demand, and The Woeful Truth About Publishing and Authors…

Author and publisher, Zetta Brown’s recent blog, “Authors! Can’t find your book in a bookstore? You may be luckier than you think!”, got me to thinking–no pun intended–about the old law of economics, that of supply and demand.

With bookstores and sellers tightly adhering to what seems to me, an outdated mode of purchasing books from publishers, and authors who choose to self-publish–that of retaining, if not demanding, the opportunity to return unsold books they have received from us–I wonder what would happen if publishers and authors began to print less books.

A blog post, “A Woeful Truth About Publishing,” at Champagne Books explains this paradoxical phenomenon in detail.

In short what I’m really saying is, “How would economic market respond if publishers did not make books so readily accessible?”


Of Apprenticeships, Marketing and Patience…

[Writer’s Digest]–“What’s the most important change happening in the publishing industry right now that’s impacting the future of the author-agent relationship?”

[Agent–Paige Wheeler of Folio Literary Management]: “The change in the delivery mechanism is huge. Barriers of entry to publishing are down, and authors are able to make (their work) available to anyone with an Internet connection. It’s still a small percentage of the business, but it’s growing. ..the two biggest obstacles to success seem to be spectacular editorial content and the market capability to reach a vast audience. At Folio, we’ve been exploring opportunities (for) providing outside services (marketing, speakers services, licensing, apps) to really serve (authors’) needs.”

–Evolution of the Literary Agent, Writer’s Digest, October 2010

Agent, Paige Wheeler’s response to the question presented by the interviewer from Writer’s Digest gives a succinct summary of the new world of publishing that is available to writers and authors in connecting with readers.

Her comments also tell what we must do to be successful as career authors.


Of Agents, Publishing and Writers…

I recently read an article in the October 2010 Issue of Writer’s Digest Magazine.

While it bears the title, Evolution of the Literary Agent, one could easily substitute the word Publishing, for Literary Agent and the title would remain consistent with the content, if not more in line with and indicative of the topic(s) discussed and information given.

The four literary agents interviewed in the article, and their responses and comments leave much for any author, whether seasoned and financially successful or just starting out, to consider and ponder.


Of Pacing, Tension and the All-Important Artistry of Holding the Reader’s Attention…a

Author, Ken Follett, writes, “There is a rule which says that the story should turn about every four to six pages. A story turn is anything that changes the basic dramatic situation. It can change it in a little way or change it in a big way. …You can’t go longer than about six pages without a story turn, otherwise the reader will get bored. … Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, follows the same rule. In Dickens it’s the same; something happens about every four to six pages.”

The author of at least 20 novels, many of which are thrillers that have achieved international success, this list includes Follett’s well-received historical works, The Pillars of the Earth and World Without End, the latter of which made the New York Times Best Seller List.

Adapted for film, The Pillars of the Earth debuted July 23, 2010 on Starz as a mini-series.

When it comes to pacing, Follett’s admonishments are well taken. But what is he really talking about?

Pacing. Read the rest of this entry…


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