Writing Resources 24 August 2013

Writing Resources 08242013Here 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: Are You a “Real” Writer? Is This Even the Correct Question? Excerpt: “When we begin this dream of writing, there are a number of hurdles we must pass if we hope to become successful. Some of those obstacles are on the outside, yet many are internal battles. If we waste precious energy fretting over the things we have no way to change? That’s valuable creative energy that can be focused on what’s within the domain of our responsibility.

Joanna Penn: On Writing, Self-Publishing And The Business Of Being A ProWriter. Excerpt: “There are some authors who are able to teach others the craft as well as managing to juggle writing their own fantastic books. Today I am excited to be interviewing James Scott Bell, who excels at both.


Elizabeth S. Craig: Outlining a Story. Excerpt: “I’ve been asked a few times lately to write a post about how I outline. This is something I’ve been reticent to do, since I don’t really think of myself as an outliner.  My outline process does seem to work for me, though, and in the hopes it might help someone else, I’ll share it.  But it’s not pretty.  There are no highlighters or index cards around.  And at times, it seems like the ramblings of a crazy person.

Kristen Lamb: What is Writing “Voice” Excerpt: “All agents want one and all writers want to know what the heck it is. If it was easy to define, then we wouldn’t have countless articles, books and classes to demystify “voice.” Today, I will put in my two cents and see if it can help the light bulb go off. Voice is, in its essence, that uniqueness that we as artists bring to the story.

Lori Freeland: 5 Tips for Cheeseless Dialogue. Excerpt: “I’d Like My Dialogue Cheeseless. Please. Like a Lactose Intolerant prefers his pizza minus the gut-churning cheese, I want my dialogue devoid of dairy. Have you ever heard agents or editors say they flip to the first section of dialogue and if it’s cheesy, they don’t bother with the read? Here are five signs of cheesy dialogue.

K.M Weiland: 10 Ways Plot Structure Influences Character Arc. Excerpt: “I’m sometimes asked which is more important: plot or character. This is a misleading question, at its foundation. Not only are plot and character equally important, they’re also interdependent upon one another. The term “structure” has become almost synonymous with “plot.” But the truth is this: structure is as much about planning your main character’s arc as it is crafting a solid beginning, middle, and end.

Jami Gold: Story Tropes: Should We Avoid Them? Excerpt: “Tropes—common themes or story devices—are often derided by people for being cliché or predictable. Many see them as lazy storytelling. I don’t disagree. Tropes can be all of those things. However, tropes can also be shockingly true-to-life.


Kristen Lamb: Six Easy Tips for Self-Editing Your Fiction. Excerpt: “There are a lot of hurdles to writing great fiction, which is why it’s always important to keep reading and writing. We only get better by DOING. Today we’re going to talk about some self-editing tips to help you clean up your book before you hire an editor.

Writer Support

Dean Wesley Smith: Killing the Top Ten Sacred Cows of Publishing: #3…Rewriting. Excerpt: “The Myth, simply put:You Must Rewrite to Make Something Good. That’s one of the great myths of publishing. And one of the worst and most destructive to fiction writers. First off, I want to repeat clearly what I said in the previous two chapters in different ways:No writer is the same. Let me repeat that with a few more words. No writer works or thinks the same way, and there is no right way to work. Just your way.

Josh Irby: Shut Up, I’m Writing! Excerpt: “Recently, I’ve realized these external voices are not the problem. They are not the greatest threat to my writing. There are three voices that will drown out my writing if I don’t control them — and they all live inside my head.

Jeff Goins: Three Reasons You Need to Slow Down. Excerpt: “If you’ve ever been so busy you’ve made yourself sick or snapped at your spouse due to stress, you know what a lack of rest can do to you. You can run yourself ragged and spread yourself so thin that you stay active without really accomplishing anything.


Joel Friedlander: How to Build Engagement With Story, Strategy, and Structure. Excerpt: “When it comes to the problem of finding and engaging people who share our own passions and interests, I find this kind of activity online all the time. It might be someone blogging and advocating for a social position, an author with a subject matter specialty building a community in her niche, or a trainer or consultant tasked with moving a social group of some kind to a new level of effectiveness and committment.


Porter Anderson: When Bad Things (Seem To) Happen on Good Sites. Excerpt: “Ether readers’ private notes to me about recent allegations of reader-on-author bullying at Goodreads have been intelligently restrained—concerned, not accusatory; baffled, not indignant. Communicating in direct message on Twitter and in email with me, readers have asked about this issue in terms of  searching, thoughtful worry.

Susan Spann: What Can I Copyright? Excerpt: “To obtain copyright protection, a creative work must consist of “copyrightable subject matter,” as that term is defined by applicable law. In the United States, that law is…

The Guardian: Children’s space stories are ready to take off again. Excerpt: “Publishers have been wary of this kind of science fiction for years, but it’s set to thrill a new generation.

Victoria Strauss: Publisher Alert: Iconic Publishing / Jonquil Press / Red Lizard Press. Excerpt: “I first became aware of Iconic Publishing last year, when this post appeared on Absolute Write. It’s a tale of breathtaking unprofessionalism on the part of the publisher, Jano Donnachaidh of Marietta, GA.

Dennis Abrams: Morning TV Show “Today” Launches a New Book Club. Excerpt: “Today” show introduced its own new monthly book club for adults, described by The New York Times as “a happy development for a publishing industry frustrated by years of shrinking television time devoted to authors.

Social Media

Anne R. Allen: Social Media Secrets, Part III: What Should an Author Blog About? Excerpt: “When I teach blogging, the most common question I get is: “What should I blog about?” My answer isn’t the same as you’ll hear from most blogging gurus: I say it depends on where you are in your career. 1) If you’re a new author/blogger, your primary goal is to build an audience.

Joel Friedlander: Why Your Blog’s About Page Is Completely Wrong. Excerpt: “There are lots of reasons that blogs fail. Lack of traffic is the most common, but often the people who come to the blog just never engage. And it’s that engagement that should be our guide when we’re creating basic pages on our blog. Nowhere is this more urgent than on your About page.


Jason Boog: Free Transcription Tools for Writers. Excerpt: “What’s the best app for transcribing recorded interviews, speeches, videos or other audio content? Below, I’ve rounded up a few free apps for manually transcribing long interviews.

Cate Russell-Cole: Stopping Writing Distractions: A Life Saving Piece of Cheap Software. Excerpt: “If you are forever stuck on Internet sites that mean you don’t get work done, but you can’t turn off your connection for practical reasons, (she needs Skype to keep in touch with family), then this will save your bacon!

Jason Boog: What Are the Best Android Apps for Writers? Excerpt: “Do you use your Android tablet as a writing tool? One writer posed a common problem in a Reddit post: I’ve been using Polaris Office and dabbling in Google Drive, but I still feel like I haven’t found a program that really gets formatting down or provides the experience I’m looking for.

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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6 Responses to Writing Resources 24 August 2013

  1. Laura Drake says:

    As always, hours of great reading, Gene – and thanks for citing WITS!

  2. Marcia says:

    “Cheeseless dialogue” love that! So much good stuff here, Gene. This is how I spend my exciting Saturday nights – reading interesting blogs. I do learn a lot, though, which is a good thing. See? You’re responsible for making me smarter! 😉

  3. Pingback: Mind Sieve 8/26/13 | Gloria Oliver

  4. angelapeart says:

    My outlining method seems very similar to Elizabeth’s. Tons of ramblings that make a lot of sense to me but never to anyone else 🙂

  5. Cate Russell-Cole says:

    Gene, thank you for the mention and a very special thank you to fellow ROWer Dawn Montgomery for putting me onto that software.

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