This week in books 5/5/17

by | May 6, 2017 | This Week in Books | 1 comment

Hawaii is a nice place. Follow me on Instagram! @nathanbransford

First up, I have some wonderful news for my e-mail subscribers: A new look is here! At last! And better yet: it’s mobile friendly!! I know. We fancy.

Please let me know if you have any thoughts on the new design. Oh – and if you’re not an e-mail subscriber, well, why not? Subscribe here!

Meanwhile, here are the best writing and books links I saw from the past week:

The Netflix adaptation of Jay Asher’s The Thirteen Reasons Why has attracting quite a bit of controversy due to its graphic depiction of rape and suicide. Slate has a very thorough article breaking down the complaints some school counselors have about the way the show treats suicide especially.

Author friends are a good thing! A very good thing indeed. Here are some tips on making more of them.

Do you really need that prologue? Are you sure? If you’re a mystery writer especially you should read this post.

What is it like to write a Star Wars novel? Audible takes a look at some of the lucky few.

And David Gaughran has an awesome post on how to use a tool that lets you compare your book’s connections to other books on Amazon.

About the Forums! I’m always on the lookout for good content to “promote” to the main blog, so if you post some great stuff in the Forums, rest assured I’ll see it and may post it to the blog (with your permission/attribution of course). So post some good stuff there!

This week in the Forums…

What should these forums be?
Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog
Nominate Your First Page for a Critique on the Blog

Comment! of! the! week! goes to Sarah, who had some awesome suggestions for writerinbloom, whose page I critiqued on Tuesday:

I also write MG … and know how difficult it is to nail the voice! I have one comment: the perspective seemed adult to me. The narrator is ageless and the first human character we meet is an adult. Often, the first pages of a novel set up the protagonist’s goal or thwarted desire, but the first need we run into belongs to an adult.  

It would seem more MG to me if we had the protagonist(s) noticing something wrong with the teacher, for instance. (Except that I am positive that the writer has a much better way of addressing the issue!)

And finally, in the comments section John Shea and I were having a discussion about whether you can count on a reader having read cover copy or a blurb about the book, or whether they may be going in cold. I took a Twitter poll, and the results were pretty interesting:

Have a great weekend!

I’m available for manuscript edits, query critiques, and consultations! And if you like this post, check out my guide to writing a novel.

1 Comment


    Okay! I admit it. My Russian hackers rigged your poll. MMMWWWAAAHHHAAAHHHAAA!!!


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Hi, I’m Nathan. I’m the author of How to Write a Novel and the Jacob Wonderbar series, which was published by Penguin. I used to be a literary agent at Curtis Brown Ltd. and I’m dedicated to helping authors chase their dreams. Let me help you with your book!

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