Table of Contents: Galactic Girl Power and 50 Shades of Learning

More coffee and inspiration needed.

More coffee and inspiration needed.

This is the debut of a new Writer’s Bone series that collects stories from around the Internet that will inspire you to keep writing and reading.

By Daniel Ford

Galactic Girl Power

Thor is set to become a woman, the new Captain America will be black, and Nicole Perlman made history by becoming the first woman to write a Marvel movie (this summer’s soon-to-be blockbuster “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

Think you’ve got problems trying to make it as a writer? Try being a female screenwriter interested in science fiction. Perlman recently spoke to Time about the hurdles she had to leap over to be taken seriously and how women can write “guy movies” just as well (if not better) than the fellas.

50 Shades of Learning

Texts I received from Stephanie Schaefer last week:

Sixty-year-old women on train are watching “50 Shades of Grey” trailer and making noises…#awkward
This movie looks like a piece of shit. I mean even worse than I thought.

All of this is surprising considering the source material won a Pulitzer and is being taught in classrooms around the U.S.

Wait, that’s not right…

However repugnant it may seem, trashy novels do have a place in the culture. At least people are reading and buying books.

If nothing else, writers aiming for the National Book Award can learn a few things from the God-awfulness of books like 50 Shades of Grey.

My favorite piece of advice from Roy Peter Clark’s recent Poynter post? This:

“The key to writing good sex (good anything) is original language.” 

Self-Publishing for the Win

If NPR says that some self-published authors are raking in the dough, then it must be true.

A controversial report states that “self-published writers earn more money overall from e-books than authors who have been signed by the big five publishing houses.”

While that study might be flawed, we’ve interviewed several self-published authors who are making a living from their work (I’m looking at you Jacqueline Druga). But as multiple guests have pointed out, you need a plan off attack and the discipline to execute it. There are more channels out there for aspiring authors than ever before, but do your homework before deciding on which path is right for you.

Chase quality writing and powerful storytelling, not dollars.

These Are Some Good Writers, Eh

Mary Ann Gwinn, book editor for The Seattle Times, rounds up several Canadian authors you should be reading. I’m intrigued by her Alistair MacLeod recommendations. Perhaps it’s my French-Canadian blood talking, but I can’t resist a story about fishermen. Or dysfunctional families.

I also picked up Alice Munro’s Dear Life recently and have been waiting for the right to crack its spine. Maybe after I read the 567,897 books in my queue…

Book Hoarders

I didn’t click on this Los Angeles Times article because I have a problem or anything…

According to Hector Tobar, there’s a word for people who buy books and don’t read them. It sounds pretty badass! If it weren’t for crippling loneliness and obsessive-compulsive behavior, I would totally sign up to be one of these people.

Unfortunately, I actually read most of the books I buy. Okay, 50 percent of them. Fine, 25 percent.

For posts from The Boneyard, check out our full archive.