Friday, June 11, 2010

24 Best Articles This Week for Writers 6/11

What an amazing week in the blogosphere! Here are some of the best posts we've seen out there, along with a few older posts or articles we loved.

The Craft of Writing:
  • Picture Book Checklist [Cornell DeVille] Laura Backes provides us a simple list of picture book considerations.
  • Paragraph Starts in the Synopsis [edittorrent] Alicia encourages us to rethink smooth transitions between pargraphs in a synopsis.
  • How to Write Good Dialogue--It's Not Simply About What People Say [Nail Your Novel via @LynSouth] Roz Morris provides three questions to ask yourself when setting up dialogue. She also points out that any "revelation worth its salt will disappoint, or cheer, or explain irrational behaviour or clear up a mystery. And the reaction will be complicated by the history between the speakers."
  • A Recipe for Writing the Breakout Novel [Ingrid's Notes] Ingrid Sundberg recaps her notes from a conference speech by Sarah Davies of Greenhouse Literary explaining the six ingredients for a breakout novel that will make agents sit up and take notice. Also includes Greenhouse submission tips!
  • Maximize Your Novel's Inciting Incident [Wordplay] K.M. Weiland provides great tips and a great quote from James Scott Bell: "The key question to ask yourself is this: Can my lead walk away from the plot right now and go on as he has before? If the answer is yes, you haven’t gone through the first doorway yet."
  • Write-a-Scene Writing Prompt: Character Motivation [Vivian Lee Mahoney] Inspired by tips from her critique partner, author P.J. Hoover, Vivian suggests you write out what your character needs, desires/motivations and weaknesses then make sure these three things drive every decision and conflict in the scene. 
  • Character Description Dumps [Mystery Writing is Murder] Elizabeth Craig explains how to use a mixture of direct and indirect characterization to avoid info dump.
  • What Makes a Scene Memorable? [Word Love via @Writeitsideways] Randy Susan Meyers discusses why scenes stay with readers. 
  • You Just Don't Understand Me! [Plot to Punctuation] Is what you understand about your characters obvious enough to your readers?
  • POV = Viewpoint [edittorrent] Alicia Rasley provides in-depth discussion about the perspective of your characters.
  • The Power of the First Sentence [Write to Done via @elizabethscraig] Brenda Hineman talks about what makes a first sentence work.
  • Writing a Series [Just Jemi] Author L. Diane Wolfe explains her journey with writing a series.
  • Oh My Gosh! My Scene is RUINED! [The Secret Archives of the Alliterati] Stephanie Thornton discusses how you can ruin a scene in your story.
  • Showing Not Telling [Florida Writers' Conference Blog via @ElizabethCraig] We've all heard it. Here's a way to figure out whether or not you should follow the advice.
  • The Importance of the First Line [Scribe Sisters] The power of the hook, with examples.
  • Age-Specific Examples of Domestic Violence Exposure [The Character Therapist] Third in a great series, this article will help you build character or story authenticity.
  • Editing: Things to Look For [Dark Angel] Sherry gives us straight-forward tips on editing our own manuscripts.
  • Old Writing [Punctuality Rules via @ElizabethCraig] Writer Deb Boyken describes some things she noticed when pulling an old manuscript out of the proverbial bottom drawer. Want a kick? Check out some of your early work.
  • 6 Keys to Revising Your Fiction [Guide to Literary Agents] Kristina McBride, author of The Tension of Opposites, offers tips on revision.
To Market:
  • Notes from the Underground [Literary Lab] Enter by August 15, 2010 and win a spot in the 2nd Annual Genre Wars Contest. Awesome opportunity to experiment and stretch yourself!
  • Linger and Matched ARC Giveaway [Roots in Myth] Fabulous author PJ Hoover holds a contest to win Linger and Matched!
  • Get Matched [Gayle Forman] The author of If I Stay, gives away her ARC of Matched. The best part? Just comment. No gimmicks.
  • Writer's Contest [Cogitate Studios] Just what it sounds like. This is not just about your book, it's about YOU. Fill out a survey and these editors/agents will pick the writers they most want to work with.
  • 800/20,000 [The Bookshelf Muse] Angela Ackerman reaches a milestone and gives away excellent prizes!
Trends, Conferences, and Issues: 
Twitter & Blogging:
Just For Smiles:  
Other Weekly Round-Ups:
Do Something: A Friend in Need
  • Editor Alyssa Smith lost all of her possessions in a house fire this week. Please consider donating what you can to help a friend in need.

Did we miss anything? Anyone? Please leave a comment!

Happy reading and joyous writing,

Martina & Marissa


  1. I don't but mags and newspapers any GALS are saving me a FORTUNE!!! If you continue like this I shall have to invite you over to Greece and give you the ROYALTY TREATMENT...NOT to be missed...


    Have a great weekend.

  2. This is such a great list of links. THanks so much for sharing them.

  3. WOW! Love all these links! THanks for the research.

  4. I'll definitely have to come back to check this out.

    Thanks for all the work you put into these Friday links. I do something similar (you're on mine again today), and it takes hours just to do 8-10 (not sure why it takes so long since I already have the posts listed). I can't imagine how long it takes for you to do these long lists.

    Have a great weekend!

  5. You gals amaze me. Seriously. This is a massive smorgasbord of info. I'll have to come back to hit a few. Thank you for all your efforts.

  6. Ann Marie -- don't make offers like that or we're going to have to take you up on them. And you KNOW you are welcome!

    Cassandra, Terry -- our pleasure!

    Stina, just added your link. Great articles.

    And in general, this honestly doesn't take us long. Marissa and I both read a lot of articles during the week both through our blog roll and through Twitter. When we see something that offers actionable advice in a new way, we pop it into the draft of this list.

    Our biggest challenge compiling these links? I am constantly opening the draft to find that Marissa has already put in the article I was about to enter, and visa versa. Great minds, right?

    Thanks for reading, everyone!

  7. Thanks so much for linking me! I'm so glad you did because I love your blog!!

  8. Woah! I thought our links posts were pretty nifty, but you put us to shame! Amazing list -- I think I'll be busy reading for quite some time. Thanks for all of the hard work!

  9. Ello, congrats again on signing with Joe Monti!!! That is fantastic news! We're doing a happy dance for you.

    Duolit -- just added your list to the round-up.

  10. WOw! Awesome links! Thanks! And thank you for including our blog (sisters in scribe)!

  11. HOLY OMG, LADIES. you PERPETUALLY astound and amaze me.



  12. My eyes! Standing hand claps for both of you.

  13. Thanks for all the links, especially the contest alerts.

  14. Thanks for the shout out and all these tremendous links! Enjoy your weekend!

  15. Omigosh, what an amazing list of links! You guys are incredible!!

  16. I'm cursing you and loving you, all at the same time. Cursing you because I spent most of my day reading your links, and loving you because I spent most of my day learning from your links! Such great stuff.

    And thanks for mentioning the RT!

  17. Thanks so much for all the lovely comments! We appreciate the support, everyone.

    Martina & Marissa

  18. Oooh, you linked me! Thank you! :-D

  19. Like everyone else--whoaaa! I need a whole extra day just to go through these links! But I'm not complaining :-) Thanks so much for the help you pass along to all of us...

  20. Loved this one: Maximize Your Novel's Inciting Incident

    It really made me think hard about one of my projects because the II doesn't happen immediately.

    Thanks for another great list!

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse


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