Writing Resources 04 May 2013

Here you will find a selection of the best of the blogsphere from the past week. Grab your coffee, straighten the glasses or spritz those contacts and above all – enjoy.


Jami Gold

Why Is Storytelling Ability So Important?

Three Tips for Better Storytelling.

Excerpt: “What makes some poorly written books fall flat on their face while others succeed despite their flaws? One common answer is “storytelling ability.” But what is storytelling? The concept can seem vague and immeasurable—rather like “voice.” A recent experience with two poorly written books gave me insight into how a deeply flawed story can still hold our interest and be enjoyable.”

Inform & Inspire

Laura Drake: How to Step Outside Your Comfort Zone – Without Freaking Out. Excerpt: “Have you ever done that? Been cruising along in the comfort zone, and all of a sudden, you get beamed down an idea that’s so ‘out there’ you think the Universe sent it to the wrong mailbox? But still,  it intrigues me. Besides, the damned thing isn’t going back in the box, so I have to find a way to deal with it.”

Summer Anne Burton: 40 Inspiring Workspaces Of The Famously Creative. Excerpt: “From tiny writing desks to giant painting studios, the only thing all of these creative studios have in common is that they inspired their successful inhabitants to create greatness.”

Jeff Goins: How to Stop Getting Paralyzed and Start Making Better Decisions. Excerpt: “Thirty years from now, you will not remember what cereal you chose at the grocery store. You won’t recall whether you saw this movie or that one. What will matter is that you acted, that you made a contribution. That you decided to do something.”


Kristen Lamb

Ways to Create Multi-Dimensional Characters–Tip #1

Creating Multi-Dimensional Characters #2—Everybody Lies

Excerpt: “To give characters depth, we have to be people-watchers. Study people. Know thyself. I strongly recommend reading books on psychology as part of research. For instance, I read a lot of FBI books on profiling. As writers, characters need some amount of consistency without being predictable. If there is some deviation from the profile, there must be a good reason WHY, other than we need a character to act a certain way to move our story forward.”

Janice Hardy: Should You Maintain the Same POV Distance Throughout the Novel? Excerpt: “Is it acceptable for different characters through whom a story is told to have different degrees of closeness in their POV, according to their importance to the story? Yes, as long as you establish that fairly quickly and be consistent. For example, you might have one POV is first person and another in limited third (Skin Hunger does this), or mix first and omniscient third (the I.Q. series does this), or even change styles per book (The Old Man’s War series does this). However, be wary of what and how many you mix.”

Janice Hardy: Handling Scene Transitions With Multiple POVs. Excerpt: “Transitions can be tricky at the best of times, but this has to be one of the tougher ones to handle. With third person, simply switching POVs per scene can feel like a POV shift or head hopping if the characters are all in the same scene. Here are some guidelines: “

Roz Morris: Write great dialogue scenes in 7 steps. Excerpt: “Of all the scenes we write, dialogue is the most complex and rich. Most writers I know take several passes to get it right. On average, I find there are seven clear steps to nailing a dialogue scene.”

Marcy Kennedy: How to Format Internal Dialogue. Excerpt: As you might have noticed from the comments last time, when it comes to internal dialogue, the most common question is “how do I format it?” It’s easier than you think. The answer depends on what point of view you’re writing in.

K.M. Weiland: How to use Foreshadowing. Excerpt: “Foreshadowing is a necessary part of any well-executed story. And yet, despite all its prevalence and importance, it’s actually a concept that many authors have a hard time getting their minds around. If we sift foreshadowing down to its simplest form, we could say that it prepares readers for what will happen later in the story.”

Delilah S. Dawson: 10 Steps to Writing a Novella. Excerpt: “When I sold my first book to Pocket in 2011, it sold in a three-book series. Shortly after that, they requested three e-novellas. I’d never written a novella before, but I jumped at the chance. Here’s what I learned about telling an exciting story in 40,000 words or less.”

David Khara: Writing a Historical Thriller: A Journey. Excerpt: “Before starting my work on the Consortium Thriller series, I thought I had fairly good knowledge of World War II. I really did. It turned out I was wrong. Three books later, here are some key things I have learned about writing historical thrillers.”

Writer Support

Marcy Kennedy: The Secret Recipe for Writing a Perfect Pitch. Excerpt: “Writing a book is easy…at least when compared to what we need to do after we finish. We had 50,000 to 100,000 words to write our novel, and now we have to condense that down into a couple of paragraphs for an agent pitch, query letter, Amazon description, or back cover copy. It feels unfair. Mean really. After all, if we’d wanted to write something short, we would have written a short story. But it’s not as scary as you might think if you break it down into a formula.”

Marcie Flinchum Atkins: Time Management Tips for Every Writer. Excerpt: “Jugglers make juggling look effortless. They wow onlookers with their agility, showmanship, and daring. Time management is a lot like juggling, especially when you’re a writer! Every morning that I wake up before daylight to write, I wonder if I can keep all of the “balls” in the air. How many can I juggle before I drop everything?”

Susan Spann: Choosing the Right Literary Executor. Excerpt: “Although your general executor (or, in the case of a trust, trustee) can also handle intellectual property and copyrights as well as standard probate issues, many authors – especially those with significant numbers of works in print – may want to consider appointing literary executor to handle the intellectual property portion of the author’s estate.”

Industry Awareness

Victoria Strauss: Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Author Solutions Inc.. Excerpt: “In March, I wrote about New York law firm Giskan Solotaroff Anderson & Stewart LLP, which had opened an investigation of Author Solutions Inc. (ASI). Well, now the other shoe has dropped. On April 26, Giskan Solotaroff filed a class action complaint on behalf of three plaintiffs against Author Solutions Inc. and Penguin Group USA “


Joel Friedlander: Author Blogging 101: Introduction to SEO, Part 1. Excerpt: “A lot of the writing you’ll find online about optimization practices can be very confusing, so this article will focus on the basics in two parts. The first will describe what SEO means and why it’s so important; Part 2 will cover the tools you can use to improve your own sites’ optimization and some handy ways you can put these tools to use.”

Social Media

Martina Boone: Four Questions to Define Your Social Media Presence. Excerpt: “Not so long ago, agents and even some publishers insisted that authors (including aspiring authors) needed a social media presence. But that is slowly changing as it dawns on everyone in the publishing industry that an online presence is the means to an end rather than the end itself. Social networking comes down to GIVE: four simple questions you have to ask yourself.”

Joanna Penn: The Ultimate Guide To Goodreads For Authors. Excerpt: “If you want your books to be found, I think you need to make sure your books are on Goodreads and discoverable. After all, readers will add them for you if you don’t take control yourself. But there are also lots more opportunities on Goodreads and today, Mayor A. Lan, the Savvy Indie explains what else you can find on the site.”

Kristen Lamb: I LOST THREE Followers—Twitter & Tips to Keep from Going CRAZY. Excerpt: “Twitter is a highly effective social media tool for writers when used properly (which is code for DON’T SPAM US ABOUT YOUR BOOK). There seems to be a lot of concern about numbers of followers, but I want to give some advice: Ignore the Numbers. There is only one reason we need to care about Twitter numbers.”

Kendall Lynn: Using Pinterest for Pinspiration. Excerpt: “Pinterest is a way to organize all those beautiful pictures you see every day, from the delicious torte you’d love to make (but never will) to the beach you’d love to visit (and hopefully will). And for us creative types, it’s a visual playground of inspiration. In one weekend, I created boards for different aspects of my protagonist’s world.”


Joe Turkot: Amazon KDP Select for eBook Promotion, Yea or Nay? Excerpt: “The main reason that all but one of my ebooks are in the KDP select program is the free book promotion tool. Sure, there are two other benefits to going exclusive with Amazon: %70 royalties in Brazil, Japan, and India (not important to me because I sell no books there), and entrance into the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL), which helps authors find readers in the growing number of Amazon Prime members.”

Dan Blank:5 Reasons RELATIONSHIPS Are The Core of Your Author Platform. Excerpt: “The problem here is that these are THINGS; these are tactics. And while each may indeed be instruments to your success as a writer, they are not the point. The point is your writing, and how it connects with readers.”

Deborah Gafford: Author Newsletters: Everything You Need to Know and Then Some. Excerpt: “Fasten your seat belts. Come along with me as I head down the newsletter highway! To start, do a Google search for “newsletter hosts”. You’ll find a huge assortment of sites and apps for templates, writing, sending and hosting newsletters. Before you become overwhelmed, narrow down the choices by adding the word “free” to your search.”

Joanna Penn: Lessons Learned From Bestselling Indie Authors On Writing And Book Marketing. Excerpt: “There are a lot of ‘How To’ books out there on self-publishing and marketing but I liked this book as it is more of a companion book of interviews with some of the top selling indie authors on writing and marketing. Here are some quotes I found interesting and that resonated with me.”

Dana Lynn Smith: 8-Step Plan for Landing Book Promotion Endorsements. Excerpt: Endorsements are recommendations from authors, experts or celebrities, in other words people whose opinion can influence sales of your book. These are the quotes you typically see printed on the covers and inside of books and they are sometimes referred to as “blurbs.” 


Amit Agarwal: An Impressive Web-based App for Photos Editing. Excerpt: “I chanced upon another interesting web-based image editor that’s fast, the UI is beautiful with several useful features. It’s called Picozu. While Picnik and PicMonkey are purely photo editing apps meaning you can use them to edit your existing images, Picozu lets you both edit and create new images from scratch. Picozu is written in pure HTML5 and CSS3 and requires no Flash or other plugins.”

Resource Heaven

K.M Weiland: 10 of My Favorite Writing-Craft Sites. Excerpt: I’d like to share with you ten of the sites that inspire, educate, and help me refine my process—plus, they’re run by a bunch of super awesome folks!

Jane Friedman: Best Business Advice for Writers: April 2013. Here is an incredible listing from Jane, always good for finding the absolute best advice out there.

Have a great day *smile*

About Gene Lempp

Gene Lempp is a writer blending elements of alternate history, the paranormal, fantasy, science fiction and horror for dark and delicious fun. He unearths stories by digging into history, archeology, myth and fable in his Designing from Bones blog series. “Only the moment is eternal and in a moment, everything will change,” sums the heart of his philosophy. You can find Gene at his Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, WANATribe, Google+, Pinterest and StumbleUpon.
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5 Responses to Writing Resources 04 May 2013

  1. LauraDrake says:

    Gene, many great ones this week – and having WITS featured is priceless!
    Thanks so much for all you do…

  2. Wow thanks so much for including me in this great line up! Off to tweet and make sure I get this post of all amazing links into my Saturday round-up!!!!!

  3. Lynn Kelley says:

    Gene, This is an amazing list of links! Thanks for putting this together.

  4. Pingback: Mind Sieve 5/13/13 | Gloria Oliver

  5. Pingback: Link Feast For Writers, vol. 47 – Motivation Special | Reetta Raitanen's Blog

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