► Ever wonder, as you're revising, if you've overused a particular word? WordCounter can help. (hat tip 10,000 Words).
►One of my favorite concepts surrounding the personal essay is where the *I* on the page intersects with the writer, and where it departs. Over at The Chronicle of Higher Education, Carl H. Klauss, author of The Made-Up Self: Impersonation in the Personal Essay (University of Iowa Press), has this to say.
►I'll let the title of this New York magazine article, which could double as a warning to hopeful young novelists, speak for itself: "James Frey's Fiction Factory." [Someone call the Crappy Contract police.]
►On the other hand, some first novels are getting big bucks deals in Hollywood. One of the books in The Wrap's round-up is none other than one produced by Frey's venture, but guess who gets most of the money AND can't even put it on his resume? See above, under Someone Call the Crappy Contract Police.
►Have you seen the new online magazine Talking Writing?
► Over at Publishing Perspectives, book editor turned agent Betsy Lerner has lots to say about the relationship between authors and their own book publicity efforts. Here's a bit, but do read the whole piece:
"The writer who can marshal her forces and promote her book wherever and to whoever might actually get the word out is a secret weapon…Whether you should tweet is a little beside the point. The task at hand is to decipher what is most powerful in your work and connect it to every person, institution or media outlet who will listen. It’s not the form, it’s the content…Lately, when selling books, I’ve had editors ask, does the writer tweet, blog, or have a Facebook presence. It isn’t about jumping on every available piece of internetworking.
Nor do you have to put on some pasties and swing yourself around a pole. It’s about finding the nerve your book strikes and going after it."
►The Wellesley Centers for Women have an interesting Women=Books blog.
►Women writers who are mothers are talking about a post titled "My 10 New Ground Rules for Writing in Public About the Kids" over at SheWrites. I'm not in total agreement with the author's rules. In the piece, Hope Edelman has perhaps the wisest advice: that the "rules" for each individual mother-writer usually change over time.
► The New York Times will now publish an ebook bestseller list.
► Finally, it's good for a writer, every once in a while, to step outside the comfort zone. I'm talking here about topics, not genre, though that's another great craft expander. Last week, I wrote an entire piece about something I rarely mention in an essay – sex. It felt kind of good.
Have a great weekend.