Hi everyone! I've decided to add another feature to my blog. I've been noticing a common element on a lot of my colleagues' blogs: the projects page (or "books" or "writing" or something else). Whatever they call it, lots of other authors have a page just to showcase their current projects and ideas. I've decided I'm going to do the same; it might provide some good feedback. You'll notice the page is already posted, but there's nothing on it yet. There are a few little doodads I want to include and I have to figure out how to incorporate them. I'll get something up soon though.
Now, on to more useful things! I really liked Nathan Bransford's post about sharing ideas. It's really short and mostly for the sake of generating discussion, but it got me thinking about my own writing process. I actually realized something about myself that I hadn't ever noticed before: I think bouncing ideas off a colleague is really good. (I have a good friend who helps me flesh out and develop ideas by asking me all sorts of questions and trying to punch wholes in my explanations; it's rather like defending my dissertation once or twice a month!) However, I've developed a rule for myself over the past few years: only discuss my ideas with someone who understands the genre I'm writing in. I've discovered that others tend to give me one of two reactions: the stony-faced, lifeless stare or the crooked eyebrow and scathing denunciation. Either way, I die a little every time I get those reactions (which is why I hope my family will understand if I never talk to them about my writing).
I also think you should all visit Kate Coursay's blog. Her recent post on first pages was really fun. In fact, I liked her first page so much I had to go to her projects page and read a little more about her book. First pages really are one of the most important parts of your book. For example, the way my wife picks a book is to select five or six from her endless list based on their blurbs and reviews. Then, once she's selected her short list, she reads the first few pages to see if each interests her and if she can stomach the author's writing style. So those first couple of pages are pretty darn important!
On a side note: from what little I've seen, Kate looks like an up and coming star. Her first book is currently being edited by Scholastic Press and it sounds really good! Definitely keep your eye on her!