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.
Inform & Inspire
Kristen Lamb: When Will I Get My Breakthrough? Making It Past “The Dip” Excerpt: “If you stick with writing long enough, you will make it to The Dip (thank you, Seth Godin). The Dip is that span of suck right before the big breakthrough. The Dip is a killer and it seems to go on and on and on, but The Dip serves a number of important purposes.”
Carrie Mumford: When Are You a Writer? Excerpt: “This morning I found myself thinking about titles in the book industry. When are you a writer? When are you an author? Are you a writer when you decide you are? Are you an author once you self-publish or once someone decides to publish your work for you?”
Ali Luke: The How and Why of Working With Your Inner Critic. Excerpt: “Writing is for everyone – but so many writers and almost-writers struggle against a little nagging voice that says it isn’t for you. That voice is the Inner Critic. Your Inner Critic can be a hugely destructive force, sapping your confidence, encouraging you to skip writing sessions, and even making you think about giving up on writing altogether. You don’t have to defeat your Inner Critic, or silence it altogether, though. Your Inner Critic is critical, in all three senses of the word…”
Chuck Wendig: Ten Stupid Writer Tricks (That Might Actually Work). Excerpt: “We’re all full of weird little penmonkey tricks. Hell, I got a whole cabinet of ‘em. So, here’s ten. Peruse. Add your own should you see fit. The Tiniest Outline Of Them All: The last 50-100 words you write at the end of your day…”
Alexandra Sokoloff: Setpiece scenes: the unlimited production budget. Excerpt: “A setpiece doesn’t have to cost millions or tens of millions of dollars, either, although as authors, we have the incredible advantage of an unlimited production budget. Did you authors all get that? We have an UNLIMITED PRODUCTION BUDGET. Whatever settings, crowds, mechanical devices, alien attacks or natural disasters we choose to depict, our only budget constraint is in our imaginations. The most powerful directors in Hollywood would KILL for a fraction of our power.”
Jami Gold: Ask Jami: Can This Story Be Saved? Excerpt: “I do a lot of beta reading for friends, and sometimes they come to me with a question along the lines of: “I’ve really struggled with x aspect of this story, and I’m wondering if I should just abandon it. Can you take a look and see if this story can be saved?” Here’s a hint about the answer I give them: I think a story can almost always be fixed. In fact, I’ve yet to see a story that couldn’t be saved with the right amount of work.”
Janice Hardy: Bob and Weave: How to Mix Character Actions and Internal Thought. Excerpt: “Could you do a post on how to weave description of character actions with what’s going on in their head?… Considering how much of a novel is action mixed with internal thought, this is a biggie. Tip the balance too far in either direction the writing can come across too slow (too much in a character’s head) or too flat (all description, no character).”
Amanda Patterson: Short Cuts – How to write a short story. Great tips for improving and diagnosing short stories. Quick read.
Chuck Wendig: 25 Things You Should Know About Young Adult Fiction. Chuck lied, there are 28 Things in this post–go read them and then write them on office wall in Sharpie. *smile*
John Castle: Scrivener & the “Save The Cat!” storycrafting method: Setups & Payoffs. Excerpt: “I was recently asked by one of my readers how Scrivener, the writer’s writing app, can handle story setups and payoffs when a writer uses the “Save The Cat!” structuring methodology. Short answer: Absolutely any way you want. Longer answer: Because Scrivener is almost infinitely customizable, you can use any structuring model you want to with it — or none at all, if that’s your style.”
Jordan McCollum: MS Word Templates & Styles. Excerpt: “Microsoft Word is often maligned. Sure, it has its limitations, but it also has some really cool capabilities that mean I’ll probably always use Word in some way as I’m writing or editing. Although it might not have been designed with fiction writing in mind, there are easy ways to make Word a lot more friendly to writers—starting with the template you use.”
Ava Jae: How to Create a Word Progress Chart in Excel. Ava presents a simple step-by-step process (with screenshots) to create a useful and powerful way to track your progress. Great post!
K.M. Weiland: How I Self-Edit My Novels: 15 Steps From First Draft to Publication. Excerpt: “When I ran a poll a few months back, asking what subjects Wordplayers would like me to write about, one of your frequent requests was for more info on how I edit my novels. Today, I’d like to share my top-to-bottom editing process: from first draft to publication.”
Carrie Mumford: How Much Does Editing Cost? Excerpt: “Ever wonder how much editing costs? The cost of editing is by far the question authors ask me about most often. I feel a little like I’m giving away a trade secret by talking about this, but in reality, the average cost of editing can be found on many sites, and it’s almost impossible to predict because (as you’ll soon see) there are so many variables to consider. If you are interested in how editing costing works, read on!”
Jocelyn K. Glei: 10 Online Tools for Better Attention & Focus. Excerpt: “With a tidal wave of information coming at us daily, focus is rapidly becoming the scarcest commodity of the 21st century. With this in mind, I’ve rounded up a handful of the best apps for fighting back against the constant distractions of our digital lives.”
Joanna Penn: Are You Meeting Your Writing Goals? Try These Productivity Tips For Writers. Excerpt: “Balancing writing with ‘real life’ and business tasks as well as family and other commitments can become a strain. But we need to step back now and then, assess the situation and reset our behaviors in order to achieve our goals.”
Alexandra Sokoloff: E-Publishing: Where Do I Start? Excerpt: “The question I get most often about e publishing is – “Where do I START?” Selling a book in the e publishing world has just as many steps and pitfalls as going the traditional route. Even though in the early days of e pub a few people got lucky by just throwing a book up on KDP simply because there was so little competition out there, that was a whole maybe two years ago, and those days are over. The competition is fierce.”
Lindsay Buroker: Self-Publishing Basics: Focus on One Book Series or Start Multiple Series? Excerpt: “A lot of successful authors, self-published and otherwise, have a core series that accounts for the majority of their income. So if you’re starting out, you should definitely focus on putting out a series… right? Well, maybe. I thought I’d take a look at some of the pros and cons of focusing all your efforts into publishing multiple books in a series.” Also, be sure to check out Lindsay’s post: Monetizing Serialized Fiction
D.D. Scott: What to Include in Your Ebook Besides The Story. Excerpt: “Not only have I revamped my Ebook Pricing Strategies, I’ve also revamped what goes into my Ebooks besides the story. Why? Because a great story has the potential to build your readership…BUT…you’ve got to provide your readers with the tools to stay connected in your communities after they finish the book!”
David Gaughran: 15 Ways Amazon Can Improve Kindle Direct Publishing. Excerpt: “At the London Book Fair in April, I had the opportunity to meet representatives from Amazon and present a list of feature requests and complaints. I spent quite a bit of time going through the list and felt that everything got a fair hearing. Amazon said that a lot of this stuff is in the pipeline in one form or another and the rest of the issues and feature requests would be passed along to the relevant department.”
Marcy Kennedy: 6 Reasons Google+ Beats Facebook for Author Platform Building. Excerpt: “If Facebook and Twitter had a secret love child, it would be Google+. And because of its similarities to both sites, many writers don’t see its unique potential. So I’m here today to peel back the Google+ wizard’s curtain and give you six reasons Google+ is just as valuable—if not more valuable—for writers than Facebook.”
Kristen Lamb: 6 Reasons Writers See No Value In Facebook. Excerpt: “On yesterday’s post a few of you had questions regarding Facebook. Thus, I deferred to our WANA International Facebook expert, Lisa Hall-Wilson to address your concerns. Take it away, Lisa! *** Facebook is my happy place. I spend a lot of time there and manage pages for nonprofits and curate content on a few other pages including the MyWANA page. Yesterday, there were a few comments here about Facebook, so Kristen asked me step in. Time to go all Crazy Canuck.”
Dan Blank: Tweeting is NOT a Marketing Strategy. Excerpt: “Preparing for success is not about getting “followers” on social media. It is about crafting meaningful work and connecting it with the right readers.”
Lindsay Buroker: How Do You Build a Fan Base, Anyway? Excerpt: “It’s a foregone conclusion that it’s a good thing for an author to have an established fan base, but I’ll share some numbers from my last release for those who like concrete examples.” You might also want to check out Lindsay’s post: How Do You Establish a Fan Base *Before* You Launch Your Book?
Susan Spann: Who Can an Author Trust? Trusts in the Author Estate Plan. Excerpt: “Last month’s guest post here at Writers in the Storm took a look at wills in author estate plans. Today, we’ll look at the other common estate planning device: the trust. A trust is a legal entity (a “fictitious person”) created by a trust agreement. Its purpose is to…“