First of all, Beth Revis, who wrote Across the Universe, etc, is doing a HUGE giveaway of about 50 signed YA books.
Wow! The contest runs all through November, so go check it out and spread the word.
Beth wants us to write about why we love YA, which I’m happy enough to blather on about even without the chance to win 50 books, so: I love YA because it’s not pretentious, because it’s original, because it’s romantic, because it is full of characters I wish I was friends with. I love YA because the plots move instead of stagnate, because some of the best authors out there write YA, because of reasons.
I love YA because it’s so, so good.
Word-based stories are what we deal in here at NBP. While those are usually in the form of books, other types exist and today I want to share an interactive story with ya’ll. It’s First Draft of the Revolution by Emily Short, who is rather famous in IF, interactive fiction, circles for good reason. First Draft is particularly exciting to me because it is an interactive epistolary story. Instead of entering commands like in traditional IF, you “help” the various characters write letters to each other. The particular brilliance of First Draft is that you get a lot of story and character while editing, many things that don’t end up in the final versions you send. It is excellent and honestly made my day. Go play it! It won’t take long!
Filed under links, reviews
Two pairs of Justine Larbalestier posts, one educational: How to Write a Novel/Writing Your First Novel and one that made me go, “Oh holy hell YES Iloveyousomuchmarryme”: Please, Please, Please, Give Your Protag Friends, a Sibling, Parents/Girls Who Hate Girls (make sure to read the comments, especially for the last one).
Muslim girls in YA fiction, in particular a new book called Rebels by Accident by Patricia Dunn.
That’s five whole links, but because four of them are by one person, I asked Mia for a link to help fill out the post:
Dylan Meconis breaks down ten common mistakes by the ill-informed in comics criticism.
Would you describe brushstrokes as “paint patches” or a song bridge as “transition verse?” Would you call a fictional plot an “event structure” or a pas de deux a “two-person dance?” No, you would not, because you’re a professional, and you make it a point to understand the terms that define the medium you are concerned with. Nor would you spend overmuch time in a review defining these terms for readers, since it behooves you to assume that they are already interested in what you are talking about (and are capable of looking up terms they don’t recognize).
I came across these two lists by the Atlanic via bookshelves of doom, and just had to share. I can’t pick just one that I am, not even one from each list, because like Walt Whitman, I contain multitudes.
From the first list, I identify with three types. One: the Cross-Under, obviously. Two: the Delayed Onset Reader #1 and somewhat relatedly, three: The Bookophile. (Though to be clear, I do not love books more than reading, but I do love books as objects aside from their content.)
From the second list, I have shades of being Easily Influenced, though I think it’s more that I’m a hard sell without a recommendation from a blog or person I trust. Going along with that is also a dash of Sharer, but the real winner here is It’s Complicated. “Each book means a new type of reader exists in your soul; you refuse to be defined or categorized.” Yup, that sounds about right.
Via Melissa at The Feminist Texican Reads, Edwidge Dandicat tells stories and talks about Haiti. As Melissa says, it’s long but worth it. My favorite bit, which is from her second story, ”I dreamed of telling you a story. And since this story would be my last, I wanted it to be a perfect story. Not perfect in execution, but perfect only in intent.” The first bit is edited a bit, to shorten it to get at what really spoke to me, so you’ll have to listen to the whole thing to get the real version. But seriously, ugh, I love that so much. Do you ever get stuck on/fall in love with bits of writing? I think the only time I believe in love at first sight(/hearing/reading) is with art.
Via Tanita Davis at Finding Wonderland, two writers read The Giver for the first time as adults. I know Mia also first read it as an adult – how does your experience relate to theirs? A non-spoilery quote (don’t read the piece if you haven’t read the book – just go read the book):
Kate: I couldn’t put it down. I read it in one sitting; I got two pages in and moved my towel under the umbrella and finished it there. It’s so lean, the pacing is so good, and it’s brutal and unrelenting and all those words that sound like movie blurbs. It lacks the romance or the humor or anything that would be that spoonful of sugar, but that’s a testament to how perfect a piece of storytelling it is.
Both Mia and I will be participating in the A More Diverse Universe Blog Tour, hosted by Aarti at BookLust and others. All that you have to do is read a speculative fiction novel written by a person of color. Right now I’m thinking I’ll reread Wild Seed by Octavia Butler, which I’ve been meaning to do for quite a while, but the siren call of authors or books new to me may prove irresistible. Sign-ups are open until September 12th, so I encourage you to go sign up!
Lastly, a pretty thing via Design Milk: