Friday, January 13, 2012

This Week in Favs....

10)  “The Line Forms Where?  Knowing Where to Start Your Novel” by Janice Hardy on The Other Side of the Story with Janice Hardy.  Openings are difficult.  Every author has struggled with figuring out where their story should start.  Here’s an awesome post that will assist you in drawing that line so you can discover exactly where your story should start – with a scene that will grab your reader’s attention and suck them into your story. 

9)  How to Make Good Writing Great” by James Killick.  Yes, yes, yes, another post on how to take your writing from first base to home.  But let’s be honest, you can never have enough awesome tips that’ll help you along in your writing journey – and these tips from James are no exception with a list that takes us back to the bare bones of the craft – the basics – and how they can be used in the right way to create a home run in our writing.  This is a great, must-read for all writers this week. 

 8)  “Remember, Trends Started 3 Years Ago” by Scott Eagan.  Take a peek inside the journey from writer to published author with this eye-opening post from literary agent, Scott Eagan.  We all know the amount of time it can take to go from finished manuscript to a book on the shelf, but in this post, Scott’s laid out a timeline of exactly how long this can take – which is a wonderful reminder that most of the trends of today actually began a few years ago. 

7)  “How Writing Groups Can Work for You” by Susan Bearman on Write It Sideways.  It’s easy to become comfortable with being by yourself – just you and your writing – but every writer should be a part of the writing community.  Whether with online groups or local critique groups, being a part of one can be invaluable…at least that’s what I’m learning from this week’s post. *smile* Susan’s made a list of ‘should do’s’ when it comes to joining a writing group that writers should bookmark and refer to when you’re ready to start crawling out of your shell – er, venturing out into the writing world. 

6)  “Getting the Most From a Critique” by Lisa Hall-Wilson on Girls with Pens.  Here’s another must-read post from the week all about how to approach critiquing in order to get the most of out of it.  From setting goals to choosing critiquers, Lisa has written quite an informative post on how to ensure you’re getting enough feedback to improve upon your weaknesses and to move forward and make your story the best it can possibly be.

5)  “5 Narrative Mistakes You Can Fix Now” by Elise Rome on Roni Loren’s blog, Fiction Groupie.  Yay! Someone has mentioned one of my pet peeves: not taking advantage of contractions!  Well, that’s the first narrative mistake that Elise has listed in this post, but it’s the one that I wanted to jump up and down for.  When I first started writing, subconsciously, I did not use contractions during those first drafts.  But now, I definitely realize that there are needed because these days, nobody speaks perfect English…and it does become rather annoying when you’re reading back through your MS.  All of her other tips – avoid repetition, for one – are absolute musts that have to be corrected before you even consider submitting your story to an agent or editor. 

4)  Two Things Every Novel Needs” by James Scott Bell on The Kill Zone.  I’ve been waiting for another writing book to come out from James, so needless to say, I’ve already purchased my copy of Conflict and Suspense, but for those of you who haven’t gotten yours just yet, here’s a little sneak peek into the latest writing book from one of my favorite writing-craft authors.  Check this post out, leave a comment then go buy yourself a copy to make sure every story you write from now on has both of these must-have elements.

3)  “Walls on the Path to Publication: a Necessity or a Nuisance?” by Jody Hedlund and “When to Take the Next Step” by Lisa Gail Green on Paranormal Point of View.  It’s a two-for-one deal! *smile* Both of these posts basically address the same question:  How do you know when it’s time to query/submit/publish?  Lisa’s posts addresses the ‘how do I know my book’s done enough to start submitting’ while Jody’s post addresses the ‘how do I know I’m ready for publication’ question.  Both sides of the spectrum, be it querying/submitting to gain an agent or publisher, or deciding whether you’re ready to self-publish are addressed between these two thought-provoking posts and the best part is that there’s enough tips between the two to where you really can’t go wrong in whatever direction you choose.  Both should definitely be bookmarked and saved for that moment in time when you think: “Am I ready?”

2)  “Five Productivity Tips” by Ann Aguirre on Writer Unboxed.  LOVE these tips from Ann Aguirre on how to be productive during your writing time!  Every writer struggles with distractions such as Twitter, Facebook (the internet in general), writer’s block, etc.  And Ann’s listed the best tips possible for how to avoid those distractions altogether so you can get the most of your time when you’re writing.  She also reminds us to not feel guilty when we have to lock ourselves away and get some writing done.  This is great read for all writers who need a bit of a push in the ‘write’ direction.

1)  “25 Things Writers Should Know About Finding their Voice” by Chuck Wendig on Terrible Minds.  Here’s another awesome list from Chuck Wendig, but this week I couldn’t be happier to share another one of his ’25 Things’ as it relates to finding your voice, which we can all agree is the #1 thing an agent/editor/reader is drawn to when they’re reading your story.  Thanks again, Chuck, for another great listing!

Honorable Mentions to Also Check Out:

Happy Friday the 13th, everyone!!  

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