From Fiction University: Enabling third party cookies on your browser could help if you have trouble leaving a comment.

Monday, July 23

The Wisdom of Past Words (Or What's New at Fiction University)

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

After ten years of running this site, I've written a lot of articles about writing. There are over 2,500 now, and I've written about 1,800 of them (guest posts take up another 700 or so). With the average post around 1,200 words (many closer to 2,000 words or more), that's 2,160,000 words. That's a lot of information about the craft of writing and the business of publishing.

It's also easy to see why it’s challenging to find new topics to write about.

One of the nice things about a site about writing, is that nearly every single article is still helpful, even if it's ten years old. Good writing is good writing, and the tips I gave about, oh, say adverbs, back in 2011 are just as relevant today.

One of the tougher things about this site, is that it has so much information on it, it can be hard to find it all. I've done my best to make it easier, but it's still a lot of words to look through. Not everyone dips into the archives.

This is one reason why I started Refresher Fridays—to update older posts and bring the favorites back to light.

This past weekend, I was sitting down to write Monday's post on The Power of Word Choice in Fiction, and I'd felt like I'd written it before. I had new examples (inspired by my recent YA manuscript), but the gist of the article was the same. So I thought…

"Why rewrite this when I have a perfectly good article about word choice from 2011?"

And thus the idea for a new column came to me, and I decided to kill two fictitious birds with one stone.

When I first started this site in 2008, I didn't really know what to write about or where it was going. Over the years it grew into Fiction University, with a clear goal and style for the articles. The earlier posts don't always reflect that, even though they have good and useful information. For example, maybe they're shorter and not as fleshed out as my current ones, or they don't have the examples that folks love and find so helpful. They're good articles, but they could use some polish to bring out their shine.

Starting today with the article that inspired this idea, I'm going to give those old articles new life. I'll be updating them as needed, adding new examples, new links, and all the benefits the current articles have. I'll write new articles as well, of course, so there will be a mix throughout the summer, possibly to the end of the year.

Unless you've been reading the site since the beginning (and if so, THANKS!), these "old" posts will be new to you. I'll be pulling articles from 2011 and older, so while technically they're recycled, most readers will not have seen them. New readers will discover the older information, and long-term readers will get some extra refreshers on topics they haven’t seen in a long time.

I hope everyone enjoys these peeks into the past.

If you're looking for more to improve your craft, check out one of my books on writing: 

In-depth studies in my Skill Builders series include Understanding Conflict (And What It Really Means), and Understanding Show Don't Tell (And Really Getting It). My Foundations of Fiction series includes Plotting Your Novel: Ideas and Structure, a self-guided workshop for plotting a novel, and the companion Plotting Your Novel Workbook, and my Revising Your Novel: First Draft to Finished Draft series, with step-by-step guides to revising a novel. 



Janice Hardy is the award-winning author of the teen fantasy trilogy The Healing Wars, including The Shifter, Blue Fire, and Darkfall from Balzer+Bray/Harper Collins. The Shifter, was chosen for the 2014 list of "Ten Books All Young Georgians Should Read" from the Georgia Center for the Book. It was also shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize (2011), and The Truman Award (2011). 

She also writes the Grace Harper urban fantasy series for adults under the name, J.T. Hardy.

She's the founder of Fiction University and has written multiple books on writing, including Understanding Show, Don't Tell (And Really Getting It), Plotting Your Novel: Ideas and Structure, and the Revising Your Novel: First Draft to Finished Draft series.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Indie Bound

20 comments:

  1. Excellent! I've gotten so much good information from this website, as well as your fabulous books. Looking forward to the "new" posts!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think this is a great idea! I'm one of those readers who searches through your archives regularly. Lots of treasure there!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much :) I'm looking into a few things to do to utilize them better, so hopefully that will happen before the end of the year. Just need to find the time!

      Delete
  3. Great idea. Thanks for all you do for writers.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I've been reading your post for over four years now. I think this is a fabulous idea, Janice. I do go through your archives when I need a question answered but often I don't have to go back very far. I love your blog and look forward to the "new" old posts.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Bring them on! Even re-reading current ones, there are always new things to discover...for better or worse :) I, too, dig into your archives, and use many of your articles as launching pads for our local writing group. Hope you continue FU for years to come!
    Marcia

    ReplyDelete
  6. I've not been reading your blog since its inception so I'll definitely enjoy your "vintage" posts. But even re-reading something from a few years ago gives me fresh incite and sparks new ideas. The craft-of-writing books on my shelf are well-thumbed for a reason. Your blog is one of my favourites and one of the first to be read on any given day. Keep up the great work!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I like that well-thumbed book comparison :)

      Delete
  7. Your site is one of the best organised on the web :) Even though I've been reading since 2011 I know there's lots of great articles I've missed along the way. I'm looking forward to these recycled (upcycled?) articles too.
    Thank you for continuing to find ways to help us become better writers :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much. Wow, 2011? You're a familiar "face" around here but I had no idea you've been here almost from the beginning. How cool!

      Delete
    2. I lurked a lot in the beginning.

      Delete
  8. I may have missed 'Bob vs the Zombies' end game too. Who made it out alive? Did anyone?! It's my favorite serialized story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL no ending yet, though there is a full synopsis in my Plotting Your Novel book. I used it as an example. One day I need to write Bob's story.

      Delete
    2. How could I have missed that?! Time to reread 'Plotting' :)

      Delete
    3. Well, there is an awful lot to absorb in that book:) And you were probably thinking about your own story (as you should).

      Delete