Thursday, April 29, 2010

Blog posts for writers - April 29

Jump into the action by Jordan McCollum

Fair Dinkim, you don't understand at Justified Lunacy - language difficulties

It Bears Repeating from Pimp My Novel - busting the myths

Hot Commodity from Pub Rants - This one made my day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What, Me Market? (Adventures of a First-Time Author) at There Are No Rules

HED: How’s Your Pitch? by JC Hutchins at Writer Unboxed

Author-Agent Agreements from BookEnds, LLC

I just got back from a fabulous editor lunch. at Getting Past the Gatekeeper - an editor reads all agented submissions

Trends and some Career Advice at Chip's Blog

DMP Spring Slush Invitational! from Gabrielle Edits - Dragon Moon Press opening for submissions!


One month left to enter the Pyr and Dragons Adventure Contest! at Pyr-o-mania

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Blog posts for writers - April 28

Backstory: the story begins by Jordan McCollum

Where to start - Part 2 of Jordan's backstory series

A few thoughts on natural settings in SF and Fantasy by Robin Hobb at Borders Sci-Fi via Bibliophile Stalker

World Building is not just a Genre Issue at TalkToYoUniverse

What Does a Character Want? at Mystery Writing is Murder

If You Write About an Issue, Do It Justice at

We've Got Style by L.J. Sellers at The Blood-Red Pencil - style tips and guidelines

Re-Write Wednesday: Don't Tell Me Why at The Other Side of the Story - how to "Show" motivation

Ingredients of a Great Crit Partner and a Matchmaking Session at * Fiction Groupie *

Conference Etiquette Revisited by Mary Lindsey at QueryTracker

It's a Lifestyle at Rants & Ramblings - Are you a writer?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Blog posts for writers - April 27

Swaggering Fingers at Book Dreaming

The Need to Capture Your Attention at Justified Lunacy - good beginnings

Changing Roles at Mystery Writing is Murder - building character and plot

Query Rejections from BookEnds, LLC - thoughts from an agent

On passing manuscripts to other agents from Getting Past the GateKeeper

Ask Daphne! About resubmitting a revision at kt literary

What About Market Research? at Rants & Ramblings

First Novel Survey Results by Jim Hines via TalkToYoUniverse

Terms to Know: Right of First Refusal at Pimp My Novel

Tip Tuesday #34 at Literary Rambles - need help with this in Word 2003? Let me know in comments

Do Authors Choose their Covers? by Therese Walsh at Writer Unboxed - have you seen the Blameless cover video? It's amazing how they create a book cover.

I ♥ you alot via Janet Reid, Literary Agent - This is hilarious. - an agent's pet peeve


Guest post and Contest! via Written in Blood

Caption Contest!!! at Drivels of a Speculative Fiction Writer

Monday, April 26, 2010

Blog posts for writers - April 26

We have to begin somewhere at Justified Lunacy - how not to start a story

Dialogue that Matters at TalkToYoUniverse

The Writer's Bane: Describing a Character's Physical Appearance at the Bookshelf Muse

Setting up the Tension at The Other Side of the Story

Medical Mondays: Head-banging and Amnesia from The word is my oyster

Mental Health Monday at Diamond–Yup, Like the Stone - medicating a dangerous patient

The controlled schizophrenia of writers from Plot to Punctuation

A Situation Is Not a Plot from - about your pitch

WRITING NOWADAYS: WHAT AN AGENT DOES by Steven Harper Piziks at Book View Cafe

What is reasonable in a book contract? at Chip's Blog

Editing: what will I look like when you’re done with me? from Behler Blog

An ISBN That Could Hurt at Pub Rants - plus an agent's thoughts on posting your work online

Why Start a Website or Blog If You Have Nothing to Promote? at There Are No Rules - Pros and Cons

do unpublished manuscripts need book trailers? at The Intern



Saturday, April 24, 2010

Blog posts for writers - April 24


And relax from Adventures In Writing

A Writer’s Life: Permission to Take a Break at Book View Cafe


Win a Scottish Festival via Scotland for the Senses

Since I have so few links, I thought I'd offer a thought on writing. Tonight I reread one of Agatha Christie's mysteries, At Bertram's Hotel, published in 1965.

This novel broke many "rules." It started out with three and a half pages of description of the hotel. I was nine pages in before it got to the main character, Miss Marple. It jumped to minor viewpoint characters frequently. It meandered and left me wondering who exactly was the main character.

It was brilliant.

Even reading as a writer, I often forgot to note her stylistic choices. I loved the description of the hotel - which was really a description of the people in the hotel. I rarely minded the viewpoint jumps - all the the characters were interesting, and added to the story, even the daft old man who couldn't remember which day it was. Ms. Christie built up the clues, layer by layer, slowly and gently as falling leaves, and as inexorably as winter.

I still managed to pick the wrong villain. How embarrassing.

What made this book work so brilliantly? Her voice. Her choice of words.

Even in omniscient POV, but particularly in distant third, I could feel her love for her characters and their foibles. I could feel the old man's dismay at forgetting where he was, and his joy in remember where he was going. I enjoyed the wandering paths of the novel, even when I couldn't see how they related to the whole.

She made me feel the heart of her story. I believe that is why her books are still in print today.

Have you read anything recently that you thought should not have worked, but did?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Blog posts for writers - April 23

Body Language 101: Eye Contact by Jana Hutcheson at All I'm Saying...

Awesome characters—literally by Jordan McCollum

Let the Past Haunt You from The Other Side of the Story - using foreshadowing

Making Connections at brian's blog: writer talk - connecting with your readers

Time and sentences from edittorrent - don't confuse your readers

Setting Up a Blog--and a Thanks from Mystery Writing is Murder

Transition Time at TalkToYoUniverse - tips on working on several projects

A Synopsis Is a Synopsis Is a Synopsis at the Sharp Angle - great tips

Stop Being Afraid of Posting Your Work Online * by Jane Friedman at Writer Unboxed


Critique Group Contest: Romance Critter Needed! at * Fiction Groupie *

Publishing Pulse: 4/23/2010 at QueryTracker - includes contest details

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Blog posts for writers - April 22

Hear the call. Write it down and set it free. at Adventures In Writing

I Can't Believe it's the Ending at Justified Lunacy - how to do it right

Setting the Mood by Elizabeth Spann Craig at Mystery Writing is Murder

7 Things I've Learned So Far, by Traci Borum from Guide to Literary Agents

Lone Star State of Mind from Gabrielle Edits

Treat Each Query as Your First from BookEnds, LLC

The 4 Questions from The Rejecter - about querying

The crowded genre: sending stuff to an editor is never a wasted effort from Behler Blog

Correspondence hint: there's honesty, and then there's TMI. from Getting Past the Gatekeeper

Guest Blogger: Becky Levine at Rants & Ramblings - Choosing a Critique Group That's Right For YOU(Free books! See end of post. )

Who Cares if You Blog? by scott g.f.bailey at The Literary Lab

What NOT to do at a Bookstore Signing at Writer Unboxed

Best Resources for Successful Writers of the Future at There Are No Rules


IN WHICH I HIJACK MY OWN BLOG at Help! I Need a Publisher! - Nicola Morgan's novel Wasted will be released May 3rd.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Blog posts for writers - April 21

Body Language 101: Facial Expressions at All I'm Saying...

Tugging at Mystery Writing is Murder - two facets of a character’s personality

The joys of a perfectly boring character from Plot to Punctuation

Dialogue is Not Necessarily How We Talk by Heidi Thomas at The Blood-Red Pencil

Re-Write Wednesday: Hey, Who Said That? by Janice Hardy at The Other Side of the Story - more on dialogue

Yes, Things Were Different Then by Madeleine E. Robins at Book View Cafe - historical novels

Pantsers Beware! by Roni Griffin at * Fiction Groupie *

Swear Words in YA Fiction at

Helpful Tips from a Harvard Writer's Conference by Livia Blackburne at *A Brain Scientist's Take on Writing*

You really want me to smack you around, don't you from Janet Reid, Literary Agent - on query subject lines

Ask Daphne! About Format at kt literary - formating requested pages

Why Are Great Projects Rejected? at Books & Such - includes a list of famous rejected works

POD websites – gotcha! at Behler Blog - what to watch out for to avoid scam publishers / vanity press

Have You Been Yet? by Elana Johnson at QueryTracker - writing conferences


Coyote Con via Paperback Writer - Free! But limited "seating," so sign up soon.

- I signed up for this one. How about you?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Blog posts for writers - April 20

Perceptual Bias at arizela's blog

Can Life be Tied up in a Knott? from Justified Lunacy - about unsatisfying endings

Ask Daphne! About Older Characters at KT Literary - adult POV in YA?

Similes and Metaphorrors at Behler Blog - use with care

Write the Ripples at Writer's Corner - creating plot

A vs The – The Articles at Written in Blood

Trilogies. Or, Potential Ones. from the Rejecter - good info in the comments, too

One-Sentence Pitching from Elana Johnson

10 Questions to Ask an Agent Before You Sign at Guide to Literary Agents

The Middle Way: The Indie Publisher at Pimp My Novel

Kindle, iPhone, iPad: Exploring the Impact for Writers and Authorship at There Are No Rules
- (But what happens to the writers who just want to write? Let me know what you think in comments!)


Heidi Ayarbe—Compromised Contest Opens! via Why A?

OMG! prizes via Adventures In Writing

Glimmer Train Monthly News via There Are No Rules
- This competition is held twice a year and is open to all writers for stories about family.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Blog posts for writers - April 19

Nice boys poop at Adventures In Writing

Companions at TalkToYoUniverse

Impending Shapes by Shannon O'Donnell at Book Dreaming - Writing books is like a having a relationship

Ask Daphne! About Story Beginnings at KT Literary

Mental Health Monday at Diamond–Yup, Like the Stone - about PTSD

Medical Mondays: Phantom Pain at The word is my oyster

Guest Post: Angela Ackerman from The Bookshelf Muse at Writer Musings - Naked Dialogue: When (and When Not to) Go Tagless

100%, 100% by Rachel Aaron at the Magic District - Give your story it all

The Best Advice from Chip MacGregor - ten lessons on writing

How writers build courage at The Book Deal

Writing Nowadays–A Time to Squee by Steven Harper Piziks at Book View Cafe - more on the process of being published

Why Don't Publishers Market & Promote the Books They Publish? at There Are No Rules

Is Writing Fun? at Rants & Ramblings

My Bones are Made of Book Spines at The Alchemy of Writing

I am Critiquing Queries and Pitches! from Guide to Literary Agents - for a webinar


Upcoming Agent-Judged Contest! via Elana Johnson - Not today. ;-)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Blog posts for writers - April 17

How to dress your story with style by M. Deane at Jordan McCollum - learning styles and description

Crichton's Cure for Writer's Block from Book Dreaming

Getting Past “Stuck” by Alan Orloff at Mystery Writing is Murder

Crisis Point by Anna Elliott at Writer Unboxed

Do You Know What's Coming? from The Other Side of the Story - about rushing a scene

Ask An Editor: Verb Tense via edittorrent - great tips on how tenses work in fiction

“Yeah, I’m the agent, but you do it.” – The Great Passoff from Behler Blog - is this the agent you want?

Do you write fantasy? Have a look, and consider following. This gentleman has started a cash award for the best Sword and Sorcery story published this year. He'd like some input, and would love to have followers.
How Should The Sorcerers Guild Work? - I've always wanted to be a member of a Sorcerer's Guild.


Love Scottish history? Then you will love this giveaway. from Scotland for the Senses - I love this blog!

Agent-Judged Contest Announced! at Shooting Stars - start preparing your entry! See the comments - it's 25 words or less.


My dictionary of colour in history, Elephant's Breath and London Smoke, is now available on Kindle!

More news from my publisher, Five Rivers: Apple, Kindle, Smashwords and The Docket

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Blog posts for writers - April 15

Taking center stage from Chandara Writes - choosing your POV

How-To Book Review: Between the Lines from All I'm Saying... - about a writing book

Plot flares, or, what have you got in that bag, and why is it meowing? from Author! Author! -Anne Mini's Blog - Very long, but very interesting.

Heroines Who Don’t Kick Ass by S.C. Butler at Science Fiction and Fantasy Novelists

What potholes can teach you about plot holes by Jason Black at Plot to Punctuation

Getting ideas is a skill from TalkToYoUniverse

Author Platforms: Author Website by Helen Ginger at The Blood-Red Pencil

Author Tip #2: Word count matters. from Linn Prentis Literary

To E or Not to E from The Writing Spectacle - about eBooks


These Are Days - With Bonus Giveaway at Forgotten Bookmarks - only if you love OLD books

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Blog posts for writers - April 14

I promise I'll do better. from Adventures In Writing - about using feedback

Disloyalty: A Writer's Virtue from Book Dreaming - about that first draft

Critique Connection at - need a critique partner? Check here.

Selecting character senses by Jordan McCollum

Re-Write Wednesday: Tab A Into Slot B from The Other Side of the Story

Making Do at Mystery Writing is Murder - a great tip

Promotion between trade and vanity – how much and how different at Behler Blog

Query Critique: Carey On at Rants & Ramblings - what worked and what didn't - and why

Exploring: Web Resources for Crime Writers by Patricia Stoltey at The Blood-Red Pencil

Guest Blog Post: How Libraries Choose Books to Purchase by Abigail Goben at Writer Beware

You might be a writer if. . . by Lisa Shearin at the Magic District


Neat Writer Stuff at Paperback Writer

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Blog posts for writers - April 13

Where is your Character Going? from Justified Lunacy

How do I start this? from Adventures In Writing - the opening line

Change of Scenery at Arizela's Blog

Where am I? - Setting versus Grounding at TalkToYoUniverse

Process2-first drafts at brian's blog: writer talk

Books are Like Ogres from The Other Side of the Story - tips for writing and revising

Psychology in Fiction Q&A: After A Violent Relationship by Carolyn Kaufman at QueryTracker

Getting Reviews from BookEnds, LLC - If you have a book coming out soon ...

A helpful class for $5 from Holly Lisle - How to revise your novel in seven days
- 57 pages of why, what and how, with very practical advice
- - Why: When an editor calls and says "I have an opening if you can revise your novel in 7 days"
- - What you can (and can't) fix in 7 days.
- - How to do it.
--- If you join from this link, I get paid something {can't be much on $5 :-) }
- Holly has written over 32 novels in several genres, plus many writing books.

Spring Cleaning for Writers at Mystery Writing is Murder

Shelf wars: What authors need to know about bookstore visibility from the Book Deal

The Seven Wonderfuls from Janet Reid, Literary Agent

Monday, April 12, 2010

Blog posts for writers - April 12

Are You Writing Backwards? The Importance of Understanding Motivation/Reaction Units from All I'm Saying...

So, your protagonist is a first-rate jerk at Plot to Punctuation

Dealing with sensory overload by Jordan McCollum

How Long Do I Have To Submit After a Request? from

Mental Health Monday at Diamond–Yup, Like the Stone - writing about depression

Medical Mondays: Achondro-what? from The word is my oyster

Fallow Mind Time from TalkToYoUniverse - we all need some occasionally

The Tax Man Cometh at Rants & Ramblings

Sub Ops Ten at Paperback Writer - Ten Things About Submission Opportunities

Now I Am The Voice by Elana Johnson


Who wants lunch with Janet Reid AND Suzie Townsend? via Adventures In Writing

Happy Library Appreciation Day! :) at Market My Words - with prizes

An Armchair Treasure Hunt in the Tavernier Stones by Stephen Parrish

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Blog posts for writers - April 11

And the lead goes to... at Chandara Writes - about your MC

On Doing What We Can from Mystery Writing is Murder

AWP Note + Best Tweets Rests This Week from There Are No Rules - mostly about Association of Writers & Writing Programs

Footnotes: 5 Articles About Creating Characters from Guide to Literary Agents - I thought the fifth one was particularly interesting.

Daydream or Die! at Wordplay - this one hit home!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Blog posts for writers - April 10

A rose by any other name by Jordan McCollum

POV Advantages and Pitfalls* from * Fiction Groupie *

Dialogue and Point of View Tricks from Garth Nix's Sabriel from Livia Blackburne

Story Elements and Story Design from Elaine English Literary

Pizza Structure by Lady Glamis at the Literary Lab

The Secret to Memorable Characters—by C. Patrick Schulze at Mystery Writing is Murder

Love Interest a Must in YA? from Literary Rambles - I'd love to hear your thoughts!!!

Figuring Out What You Know - a Guest Blog by Eva Marie Everson at Chip's Blog

Bulking Up at The Other Side of the Story - about adding words to your novel

Expectations at Writer's Corner

Lay it on me! Or is it lie? at The word is my oyster

Insomnia at edittorrent - what one editor looks for in a query when scanning the slush pile

Marketing, Schmarketing at Books & Such - an easy way to do a little marketing of yourself

Nurmal Resources PUBLISH ME! Contest by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware


Complete . . . Almost at Paperback Writer

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Blog posts for writers - April 8

Marketing Yourself: You Get a Do-Over at Bob Baker's Full-Time Author Blog

Nonfiction News at Books & Such - thoughts for nonfiction writers

“Improving” publishing from Behler Blog

Don't Go Down That Road at Pimp My Novel - self-publishing

When to Say When: Querying New (& Old) Projects at Elaine English Literary

Guest Blogger: Richard Mabry at Rants & Ramblings - Is There Life After “The Call?”

Ask the Editor: And then? from The Blood-Red Pencil - when to use it

Adding flavor to your writing by Jordan McCollum - about the sense of taste

Give them Flaws from Justified Lunacy

Muse Medicine: Magical Healing Systems at Arizela's Blog



Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Blog posts for writers - April 7

Let's talk about social networking for a minute from Written in Blood - promoting your book online

Things To Think About re: Blogging by Elana Johnson - sensible advice (and funny, too!)

Virtual Event: Ahead of Our Time? from 5rivers News, Views and Points of Interest - a virtual book-signing experiment

Guest Post: Divine Secrets of Brick-and-Mortar Bookstores at The Intern

Exciting News! How a Book's Title and Cover Are Chosen by Carolyn Kaufman at Archetype Writing Blog

TPO: TPO from Pimp My Novel - why books start out in hardback, and why that might change

The Not So Bad, Not So Great Agent from Literary Rambles

Agent-Requested Revisions: An Interview with Literary Agent Joan Paquette by Mary Lindsey at QueryTracker - what you can expect

Where's my $1M advance? The pitfall of Optimism Bias from The word is my oyster

A touching story by Jordan McCollum - writing the sense of touch

How to break the rules of emotional response from Plot to Punctuation

The Elements of Awe, Part II by Donald Maass at Writer Unboxed

Sleep - tidbits for characters and writers from TalkToYoUniverse

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Blog posts for writers - April 6

Grants for Writers–As Diverse As You Are By C. Hope Clark at SFWA, via Bibliophile Stalker

The State of Publishing 2010-Style from Books & Such

How to Write a Book Series from Guide to Literary Agents

Should I write to a market? at TalkToYoUniverse

On Turning 39—One Time Only at Mystery Writing is Murder - about age and writing

Girls Are Made Of Sugar And Spice... from The Alchemy of Writing - about gender divisions among writers

The No-Thanks That Helps from Paperback Writer - about helpful feedback

Shift from Wantabe to Writer at Plot Whisperer for Writers and Readers

Sound is golden by Jordan McCollum

Lawrence Wrote Confusedly and Hotly at the Literary Lab


LOVE: The Verb at Life

Monday, April 5, 2010

Blog posts for writers - April 5

Critiques. How? What? Erm? at Adventures In Writing

Cowgirl Up: The Courage to Share Your Work by Heidi Thomas at The Blood-Red Pencil

Rx for Rejection-Induced Depression from All I'm Saying...

Mental Health Monday at Diamond–Yup, Like the Stone

Is “Branding” a Four-Letter Word? at Books & Such

Writing a Series from Rants & Ramblings

Building the Framework for Your Authorial Success by Suzette Saxton at QueryTracker

How to Layer Points of View from

Seeing is believing by Jordan McCollum - writing the senses

Standing on magic legs at Plot to Punctuation - the fifth stage of grief


Applecross Beach at Scotland In The Gloaming

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Blog posts for writers - April 1, 2010

Roaring Seashells from Book Dreaming - Effective writers write using all of their senses.

THE END Is Just THE BEGINNING from Diamond–Yup, Like the Stone

A Book by Any Other Name... at Writer's Corner - about titles

On Pen Names from edittorrent

Beyond Amazon--Tracking Your Novel's Sales—by Amy Dawson Robertson at Mystery Writing is Murder - very cool tools!

Plot Your Writing Schedule at Plot Whisperer for Writers and Readers

Just to Say Thank You from Rants & Ramblings - Encouragement Week continues.


A foray into YA and contest entries now accepted! at Pyr-o-mania

What's Your April Fool? CONTEST at The Bookshelf Muse

What's the Most Helpful Writing Advice You've Read This Year? at There Are No Rules