Stuff worth reading

“In Defense of the Struggle” by Meg Fee

The thing about struggle, is that it inversely affects entitlement. It engenders gratitude and increases value. It gives shape and provides context. And yet we live in this culture that espouses ease and convenience above all else.

“Idea Debt” by Jessica Abel

Idea Debt is when you spend too much time picturing what a project is going to be like, too much time thinking about how awesome it will be to have this thing done and in the world, too much time imagining how cool you will look, how in demand you’ll be, how much money you’ll make. And way too little time actually making the thing.

“Ten Warnings About the Small Children You May One Day Have” by Chuck Wendig

I appear before you now: a specter haunted by the realities of life with a tiny human. Some of you are thinking of having children. Some of you are already on your way to having them, or have children who are not just small, but very tiny, and those tiny immobilized larvae will one day soon grow up. You’re not ready. I wasn’t ready.

But I am here to prepare you.

“What Makes Fiction Literary: Scenes Versus Postcards” by Donald Maass

One thing we’re talking about is the difference between scenes and what I call postcards. What are the building blocks of a novel? The term “scenes” is most often used, but that is imprecise. Scenes, summary and postcards are three different ways to shape the discrete blocks of narration that build a novel. These blocks are arranged either in strict chronological order, or in some other pattern, which taken together tell a story.


  1. “Binders of lore” made me laugh. People all over the world don’t raise a glass “To the Professor!” on Tolkien’s birthday because he spent a lifetime creating Middle-Earth and all its languages and maps and so on — we do it because he wrote Lord of the Rings (and some other things, but LoTR is the star that the others orbit around).

  2. Kristan,
    This came at a good time for me. I went over to Jessica’s page and used her tips to map out the specific steps I need to take on a project I’m working on. I’d been stuck and unsure of why since I know where the story is going. Between that and the literary postcards that Don put up at WU, I am fired up for tomorrow!

    1. Glad to hear you got some tools and inspiration out of this! That’s what I love most about sharing these links. :)

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