Friday Finds: Fresh Starts Edition

Happy Friday, writers! It’s hard to believe another week has come and gone, much less that August is nearly over.

With September on the horizon, my thoughts always turn to fresh starts and the thrill of learning new things. Here are a few #FridayFinds to get your writerly wheels turning and to open you up to some opportunities this fall.

“Why We Should Stop Searching for the Next Gone Girl,” Book Riot.

In a recent guest post on Book Riot, doctoral student Emily Martin argues that the Gone Girl phenom needs to be over.

If you’ll recall, Gone Girl was a runaway bestseller in the summer of 2012, leading to a film headlined by Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike. Gillian Flynn had written two other novels—Sharp Objects was even lauded by Stephen King—but Gone Girl made the publishing world sit up and took notice: 

Readers didn't need female protagonists to have their lives together to be interesting. In fact, they were far more interesting – and edgy – if they didn’t.

While Gillian Flynn introduced this trope in a way that I’d argue was thoughtful, many other authors, in hopping on the bandwagon, have not. Instead, their work serves to exploit mental illness, especially in women, to snare the reader's attention.

What do you think about this phenomenon? Love it, hate it? Read more here, then let me know in the comments section.

Stephen King’s Top 20 Rules for Writers

Speaking of Stephen King, I would highly encourage you to check out the master of horror's memoir, On Writing.

You can get started even as you put the ebook in your cart on Amazon: blogger Eric Alper has culled a list of the Top 20 lessons from Stephen King’s memoir for you.

Many of these lessons feel like a challenge! King suggests that writers avoid television – which he calls “the glass teat” – as much as possible. (Interesting advice, coming from someone whose novels have time and again become celebrated films and TV miniseries.)

Though my first reaction is to leap to the defense of my Netflix habit, a still, small voice in the back of my mind knows he's right. 

Here’s my favorite rule, quoted directly from King:

“Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink.”

Read more here.

Weekend Writing Playlist: Kishi Bashi

Kishi Bashi is my new musical obsession. A friend tipped me off to the vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, and songwriter, based out of Athens, Georgia, after she heard a rerun of his Tiny Desk concert.

Kishi Bashi's music feels like a cross between an 8-bit videogame soundtrack and that moment in an indie romcom where the protagonist is biking through the Brooklyn twilight, fists pumping in the air, feet pedaling beneath him.  

In other words, really upbeat and energetic stuff. I hope you’ll give him a listen; I plan to listen to Sonderlust in SoundCloud (see embedded playlist below) all weekend long.

Every Friday, Friday Finds brings you a round-up of helpful writing, editing, and publishing tips right here... or in your inbox, if you subscribe to my newsletter!