Friday, May 21, 2010

19 Best Articles This Week for Writers 5/21/2010

There are so many generous writers, authors, agents, and editors out there in the blogosphere willing to share their experiences and expertise, it can be hard to keep up with all the information. Check below for our recommendations of great posts put up or brought to our attention this week. We hope you'll find them as helpful as we did. And be sure to return every Friday for the current installment....

What Does It Take to Sell A First Novel Survey
10 Tricks for Getting Inspired to Write
The Magic Notebook
Author Janet Fox on Getting an Agent
Don't Pin Everything on One Book
Three Surprisingly Simple Keys to Success
30 Famous Authors Who Were Repeatedly Rejected
15 Writers on the Toughest Part of Getting Published
Pay No Attention to Shiny Objects
What to Do If You Get Behind on Your Wordcount
17 Authors on the Path to Publication
The Write Time to Write

Craft of Writing:
Random Complications Generator for Your Characters
Seven ways to show character growth
Jody Hedlund on Avoiding Plastic Characters
Making or Breaking Your Characters with Dialogue
My Dialogue Sucks
Un-clone Your Characters with Distinctive Dialogue
How Writers Can Use Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs
Ten Tips on How to Improve Your Writing
20 Questions to Ask Floundering Characters
Character Archetypes: The Hero
Creating Characters that Make Readers Cry
Kick-Butt Action
Show Some Character: Three Steps to a Breakout Story
Writing in Both 3D and 2D
C. Patrick Schulze on Imagery
Five Steps to Building a Believable Character Arc

Editing Your Novel:
Evil Editor's Alphabetizer Tool Link
Typos no big deal? Think again.
Why Cry over Spilt Milk?
Better with Beta Readers
It's All in How You Say It
Why You Must Be Your Own Evil Drill Sergeant
Spring Cleaning Your Mansuscript Part 2 - Staging
6 Fixes for Fiction Writing Weaknesses
What Writers Need
The Art of Revising the Novel
How to Revise When You Don't Know What's Wrong
What Tells You You've Written a Winner (#KidLitChat Transcript)

Tahereh Mafi for winning lunch with Miss Snark & Johanna Volpe & all the other fabulous people who donated and bid in the Do The Write Thing for Nashville fundraiser!
Julie Musil for her article "You Don't Say!" being published on Imagination Cafe!
Robin Mellom on the sale of her debut novel Ditched!
Jan Lewis for advancing in Cynthea Liu's Red Light, Green Light Free-tique
The five gift-basket winners in our Underappreciated YA Novel Survey

To Market:
Ten Things An Agent Thinks When Reading Queries
How to Write a Non-Boring Synopsis
The Five Reasons Your Manuscript Keeps Getting Rejected
Why Your Manuscript Can't Be Okay
Value of the Verbal Pitch
Getting into a Closed House
The Key to Getting Published is the Cover Letter
What If Your Agent Doesn't Like Your Next Book?
Who's Moving Where -- Editorial Staff Changes
Trends in Children's Publishing
10 Agent Tips for Writing a Great Query Letter

Rachel Gardner on the Verbal Pitch
Tips on Pitching at Conferences from Boyd Morrison
Nathan Bransford on Writing a One Sentence Pitch

Twitter & Blogging:
How To Tweet/Blog Like a YA Author
InkyGirl Breaks Down Tweet Chat (older post, but still relevant!)
10 Literati All-Stars You Should Follow on Twitter
Jane Friedman: Should You Use Facebook?

Contests & Critique Opportunities:
Nathan Bransford's 1st Page Critiques on Mondays
The Contest that Imploded Your Brains
Red Light, Green Light Free-tiques
Once Upon a Time in Writer Land Contest
Query Tracker Agent-Judged Contest

Just for Smiles
Breaking Dawn: The Wedding Night
I'm Hot for Your Stereotype: Kristin White on Originality and Taboo (great read!)
A Game and A Fish, Two Actually
The Highs and Lows of Getting Published (hysterical!)
Psychic Storytellers Contest

Dont' forget to vote for the best Underappreciated YA Novels in our survey!

Other Weekly Round-Ups
Don't forget to check Nathan Bransford's blog later this morning for his weekly recap of publishing news and information. Jane Friedman of Writer's Digest also does a wonderful list of best tweets of the previous week, and Alice Pope does a Wednesday Tweet Roundup for the SCBWI Children's Market Blog. Northern Colorado Writers do This Week in the Writing World every Friday, and Jennifer Roland does a Writing Roundup on Fridays.

Did we miss anything? Please leave a comment!

Happy reading and joyous writing,

Martina & Marissa

P.S. Thanks to the following supertweeples for some of the links and information:

Jan Lewis, @InkyElbows, @GrammarGirl, @ElizabethCraig, @JaySubject, @JaneFriedman, @BubbleCow, @CPatrickSchulze, @HUnderdown


  1. Oh my, you always come up with the most amazing list. Must bookmark this one. Don't have time to check them all out now, although I've visited a few. I'll save some for a rainy day.


  2. More great links to follow. You girls are keeping me busy! ;D

  3. What a great list! There is some really helpful, timely, funny, wise information here. Thanks so much for saving me hours of surfing.

  4. S.A. Larsen, JayceeKaycee, and Jenny, we're happy to hear these bookmarks will keep you informed and busy! Have a wonderful weekend!

    Martina & Marissa

  5. Great list. Not sure how you keep up with it all but thanks.

  6. You guys are amazing! Wow. Thanks for mentioning the publication, and thanks for your always amazing posts. I know what links I'll be reading on Saturday!

  7. Natalie, we don't know how we keep up, either! Every week, there's so much wonderful information out there. While we comb through it, we figure we might as well share! Thanks for your comment :)

    Julie, we're ecstatic for you and it's our pleasure to spread the word!

  8. As usual, awesome links. I'm off to spend some happy time checking them out now. :)

  9. OMGosh I'm going to spend the weekend glued to the Internet and it's all your fault! Thanx. Nice round up.

  10. Lindsay, glad we could bring you happiness! There's plenty to go around.

    T. Anne, sorry to keep your butt in the chair, so to speak :)

    Thanks for all the kind comments everyone. Have an enjoyable weekend!

  11. Wow! That's a lot of links. THanks for all the great info!

  12. My husband says THANK YOU GIRLS - You keep me off the street corners now....oh, I DIDN'T mean that the way it sounds - it's a Brit expression which means "keep someone out of mischief"....well - I'm SO busy these days and you two always give me lots to browse at the weekend....and every day of the week....

    I'm going to chase you every day now to get your ms ready for the competition submission deadline - saw your comment over there the other day! Left a little comment to you.

    Have a relaxing weekend!

  13. Amazing list! Thanks for including the Northern Colorado Writers, Writing Bug blog in your list.

  14. Lisa and Lauren, we're happy to compile it all for you!

    Ann Marie, tell your husband we love keeping you busy :) Stay after Martina. She rocks it and lightning is going to strike soon for her!

    Kerrie, we love putting out the feelers for what's happening. You're totally welcome on the mention. Martina finds the best stuff!

  15. Ann Marie and Marissa, can you see how red my face is right now? You are both crazy and I love you. I swear to God if I ever get the first 250 of this manuscript right, I will have a seizure from sheer happiness. Once I get going, it's fine. It's that darn 250! I feel a blog post coming on about dealing with difficult beginnings. Hmmh. Going to have to start researching. This will definitely be a learning, eye-opening experience.

    Thanks, everyone, for being so kind! It's so nice to see comments on posts. It makes me want to go out and do more for you all!


  16. Okay, Ann Marie and Marissa, just had to share this because it cracked me up. Since I tweaked the first page and added the new prologue, I went back to my 16-year-old beta readers for an opinion on which was the strongest opening, the prologue or the 1st chapter. Even split. Do I give my daughter the tie-breaker? Or do I wait for the friends of friends to chime in? :D

  17. This cracks me up. Already got two opinions from friends of friends, and the prologue is winning by a neck. I'll stop reporting on this now, but I think this will be making me laugh for a while.


  18. You know I get dizzy when I see all those amazing links. There will never be enough time in the day!

  19. This is a great set of resources!

    Thanks for pointing your readers to my weekly writing roundups. I hope to see you (and them) there each week.


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