The Daily Port of Call: June 26, 2014

Photo by Alexander Lvov/

Photo by Alexander Lvov/

In today’s Daily Port of Call, you’ll find when you should probably cut a paragraph, five tips for creating a character your audience will care about, and the undercover soundtrack.

Here are two cases in which you might consider cutting a paragraph before fighting to make it work. And see this piece about the cutting pain of editing a character out of a novel.

Check out these five tips for creating a character your audience will really care about.

Discover the undercover soundtrack: “When I’m working on a novel, I drown in possibilities. Music helps me sort them out, holds them still so I can examine what the characters might feel and do. And so each novel I write has an undercover soundtrack.”

Find out what a good writer needs most.

Moving beyond your inner no: “It wasn’t writing amazing poems that let me reject my own sense that I couldn’t write poetry. It was just writing poems. And writing poems. And writing poems.”

And because we love summer reading lists, here’s another from The Millions: “Summers too are for reading, for harvesting shelves to fill long days and sweaty nights, in a hammock, a bed, a backseat, a fuselage, crossing rivers, oceans, continents. Countless pages bridge summer’s sprawl, fill its seemingly infinite unfurling, the illusion of which diminishes only as summer somehow has the gall to move on.”