On commentary writerly
Further afield, The Creative Penn and Jay Kristoff both target steampunk in all its dubious glory but undoubtable fun, with Penn featuring Phoenix Rising, which sits on my to-read shelf, and Jay offering an ongoing history and commentary of the movement.
Terribleminds offers irreverently good ways to make your characters interesting — pain is the primary method — and Patrick O’Duffy (who shares my love of Batman, bless) also puts characters through their paces. Make’em work, make’em hurt could be a motto.
It’s great fun going through these blogs — am I hurting my characters enough has been at the forefront of my mind — because anything that makes you reassess your work has got be to be beneficial. A fresh approach, a new understanding of process, a way to break out of the comfort zone: all helpful and, indeed, necessary for the writer looking to develop. But at the end of the day, all the reading (blogs AND raw material — you know, actual books ‘n’ stuff) in the world ain’t gonna amount to more than interesting conversation at the bar if you ain’t writing.