This week I found some wonderful advice about common gestures in writing, and a thoughtful essay on diverse diversity — because it’d be good if authors and publishers acknowledged that not all Indian or Asian or women are all the same. New Zealand banned a YA book because it had sex in it, but not 50 Shades of Grey. Yup. David Mitchell is writing a new story… on Twitter, and can publishers really succeed if they only publish female writers?
Don’t overuse common gestures in your writing: Think about this: how many times have you winked at someone? Or giggled. Or nodding — how many times do you actually nod in a conversation? Or, my favourite call someone “baby” — there was one an author who used in every line in one page. And when I pointed it out to her, it took her the longest time to see it. Don’t overdo these things — yes, you’re going to repeat actions to an extent in a book, but be careful they’re not overdone.
“We need diverse diversity”: The author, Matthew Salesses, make a good point — we need more diverse diversity. Not every Asian kid, or in my case, Indian immigrant will have the same story. But publishing companies still want Asian writers that write the same as other Asian writers, or Indian writers. Are there any Indian writers out there?
So New Zealand now bans books with sex. But not 50 Shades of Grey: Yup. Into the River is a YA coming of age novel with sex in it. It’s not mentioned in the blurb or anything, oh no. But it’s still banned because a Christian Group complained. I would LOVE to hear their reasoning for why they’re not getting these books banned.
David Mitchell is writing a new Twitter story: started 7 September. Ok, so Slade House (his upcoming novel) originated from a Twitter story, which was based in the world of The Bone Clocks, and he’s now composing the Twitter feed of one of the characters from the last section of Slade House: @i_Bombadil — go read. When did twitter stories get so popular? I know Teju Cole was the first I’d heard of them. Has anyone else read any Twitter stories?
Two independent publishers are only going to publish women in translation: exactly what it says on the tin: Calisi Press and Les Fugitives are both determined only to publish female authors translated into English. Franca Simpson, who is behind Calisi Press says — and I love this: beautifully written stories, by women and mostly about women, but not just for women. If only more publishers thought this way?
Do you think publishing women only is a recipe for success? Or that Twitter is the new literary frontier? Has banning books ever worked? EVER? And, is diversity taking off as much as it should? Should we be talking about diverse diversity if diversity itself isn’t mattering as much as it should?