The Mess in the Middle

“This always happens in the same place,…in the middle of the book. ‘What was it you wanted me to do?’ seems to be the question my characters ask, and when I tell them, they become skeptical. Since I trust characters over plot every time, I tend to listen when a character tells me ‘I wouldn’t do that kind of thing.’ And the middle of the book is always where they seem to doubt their motivation. There’s a name for this. It’s called the mess in the middle.” — Brunonia Barry, putting a name to the thing we’ve all experienced.

Charge for Your Work

“When you put a price on something, you create value. Art that is offered freely without charge is often disregarded. In other words, if you, as the artist, don’t think it is worth anything, why should I? This is why I don’t think giving your work away for free is good for you or for recipient. If you believe in your work, charge for it.” — Michael Hyatt (hat tip to Shawn Blanc)

Reader: write thyself!

“It’s impossible to recognize a tipping point until it’s behind you, but I suspect that we may be able to look back and see something shift right around now…We are no longer monogamous readers, loyal to a single source; rather, we read voraciously, looking for patterns, teasing out the things that matter to us, making connections, and then (often) writing about them ourselves.” — Mandy Brown

Steal from the ugly stepchildren

“As literature gets smart enough to operate in a spirit of aesthetic openness and generosity, and borrows more broadly from art, philosophy, video games, microbudgeted films from Sweden and Singapore, minimalist installations, conceptual thises and thats, may its practitioners also be smart enough to look in the seldom opened cabinets out in the garage, where the ugly stepchildren stashed the treasures hoping someone would find them.” — Kyle Minor on finding appropriable lessons from “non-literary” writers