Writing Resources 16 November 2013

WR 11162013 ADJHere you will find a selection of the best of the blogsphere from the past week. Starting this week you’ll find a NaNoPrep section about halfway down. Grab your coffee, straighten the glasses or spritz those contacts and above all – enjoy!

Inform & Inspire

Shawn Coyne: Gut Check. “A young writer’s first novel, nontraditional in structure and language, lands on the desk of the editor-in-chief at a big publishing company. He reads a few pages and pushes it off on a newbie editor who’d just been transferred from the advertising department. The neophyte doesn’t know that editors-in-chief don’t pass manuscripts to their underlings unless they are certain passes. With no understanding of what people would want to read beyond his own predilections, a week later the ambitious young man enters the company editorial meeting and passionately advocates to acquire the manuscript.

James Clear: You’re Not Good Enough to Be Disappointed. “Dan John is a weightlifting coach. He is well-known in the fitness world for keeping things simple. As regular readers know, simplicity matches up well with my exercise philosophy. (Dan John also has two first names. And you should always fear a man with two first names.) Anyway, I recently heard Dan John say, “I often tell my new athletes: “Sorry, you just are not good enough to be disappointed.

Colin Falconer: 8 Reasons: Those 8 Successes Did Not Fail. “I remember one morning a few years ago stumbling out onto the deck with my coffee, feeling pretty bad about life. My border collie looked up at me from between her paws with that look that said:… here we go, he’s going to start on about his freaking problems ….Do I really have to listen to all this again? Well I buy your Kibble lady, so yes you do. And so she’d listen, but not for free. Payment consisted of fifteen minutes stroking behind the ear – minimum – and on a bad day a belly rub as well.


Kerry Lonsdale: Hanging Writing Rules Out to Dry. “When I write I go deep in my head. It takes a lot of energy, and time, for me to write well. Even if my schedule permitted, I am mentally incapable of writing every day. While writing for me is a necessity—we’ve all heard the expression: writing is like the air we breathe, we have to do it or we die—it is simultaneously invigorating and exhausting. But still… We are supposed to write every day, right?

Darcy Pattison: Get Your Tone Right. “Humor, irony, satire, pleasantness, excitement, righteous indignation–the audience’s anticipated reaction is what determines the tone with which you write a particular piece. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown has a soothing tone; Captain Underpants by Dave Pilkey has an irreverent, comical tone; Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse has a spare, restrained tone that matches the mood of the Dust Bowl.

Roz Morris: 7 ways to cut a novel without losing anything important. “‘Help, an agent has told me I need to cut 25,000 words from my novel!’ I get a lot of emails like this – from writers understandably wondering where on earth to start. In commercial publishing there are accepted lengths for books, ranging from 70,000 to 100,000 according to genre and audience. These conventions are created as much by the economics of distribution as reader preference, but they are pretty entrenched and can be dealbreakers. And if you’re self-publishing a monster epic in print, you might start to understand how paperback costs escalate as those pages pile up.

Angela Ackerman: The Four Types of Character Flaws. “As writers, we know our characters should have positive and negative attributes because in real life, each individual is a mix of both. Flaws are especially important as in the character’s weaker moments, they dictate their thoughts, actions and behaviors, leading to poor decisions and mistakes. Talk about fueling great conflict and tension!

Writer Support

Kristine Kathryn Rusch: The Business Rusch: Storytelling. “I really hate the term “writer.” It’s not accurate. Yeah, I’m a writer. But honestly, what I really am is a storyteller.  I tell stories, and I use fiction on the page (digital or paper) as my medium.

Jeff Goins: Write Less, Not More: How to Slice and Dice Your Content. “One of my favorite essays on writing is, “Sh*tty First Drafts” by Anne Lamott. I read it in college, and it changed the way I approached the craft. Over a decade later, it still has a profound effect on me.

K.M. Weiland: 6 Tips to Come Up With Great Ideas for Writing. “Idea creation may seem a random and even mystical process, but there are simple and practical ways to increase your chances of how to come up with great ideas for writing. All writers know it’s impossible to have great ideas all time. Sometimes you feel stuck, and it frustrates you, doesn’t it?


Ava Jae: How I Won NaNoWriMo in 9 Days. “So this is my NaNoWriMo word count progress chart, or at least, that’s what it was on Saturday after I hit 50k. So statistics! We like statistics. Here’s how my nine day breakdown went...”

Alexandra Sokoloff: Nanowrimo: The PLAN (Act II)Today I wanted to review what I think it the key to any second act, and really the whole key to story structure: The PLAN. You always hear that “Drama is conflict,” but when you think about it –what the hell does that mean, practically? It’s actually much more true, and specific, to say that drama is the constant clashing of a hero/ine’s PLAN and an antagonist’s, or several antagonists’, PLANS.

Larry Brooks: Three Men and a Manuscript: A Forum on the Storytelling Craft. “The following is a little Q&A (2500 words worth) I recently engaged in with two of the bigger names out there in the “writing guru” space: James Scott Bell, and Randy  Ingermanson. We share a lot similar perspectives and values regarding craft, and any similarity you see here to what I’ve been espousing on this site are… well, not at all coincidental.


Jane Friedman: Book Marketing 101. “It is possible, if not desirable, for an author to launch an effective book-marketing campaign without a publisher’s support or assistance. Mainly, it requires time and energy. It may also require some monetary investment to hire a publicist, PR firm, or marketing consultant to advise and assist you. The good news is that, by the time your second, third, or fourth book comes out, you should have a solid base of readers to work from—a base that was developed from marketing activities associated with previous launches.

Joanna Penn: Book Marketing: Generosity, Social Karma And Co-opetition. “We either want to help them through information or inspiration, or we want to entertain people and perhaps make them think. Considering marketing in the same way can help you, because it focuses on the other person, the customer, not on you. That serves several purposes…

Lindsay Buroker: The Art of the Amazon Sale: Improving Rankings, Selling More Books, and Gaining Exposure. “I’m not a master marketer. I never hand someone a business card unless they ask, I rarely plug my titles on Twitter and Facebook, and if I had to sell my books face-to-face I doubt I’d have moved more than ten copies in the last three years. But with Amazon, if you can figure out how to sell moderately well, the company’s algorithms tend to reward you by promoting your books beyond what you could have done on your own. It’s worth it to tinker around over there and try to make things happen, even with a series where you’ve long since released the last book, and sales have started dwindling.

Elizabeth S. Craig: Thoughts On a 99 Cent Sale. “It’s been a very long time since I’ve sold anything at 99 cents.  I’d read some blog posts that advised against it.  I’d heard readers say that it was tough finding anything good at 99 cents. Then I started reading those same things…but it was now arguing against a $1.99 price point.


John Cantin: Self-Publishing 101: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly!I grew-up in a house that was under constant renovation. My father would remodel one room to look great and then the following month, remodel another. Paint, drywall, wooden ornaments—you name it, he did it. I always wanted to get into woodworking and manufacturing in general but due to my circumstances at the time (no knowledge of machining, traveling across foreign countries, no formal design training), I kept putting it off until one day I decided on a plan that forever changed my life.

Susan Spann: Surviving the Offer – and Letting the Agent Deal. “After your agent sends your work on submission, you’ll spend several weeks – or, more likely, months- learning to “manage your expectations.” “Managing expectations” while on submission means learning to wait patiently AND working on your next book.

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 16 November 2013

  1. Marcia says:

    Hey, Gene! Great lineup again. I loved Ava Jae’s post. I’ve been hitting over 3000 words day lately and am loving it! I’ve committed most of the same writing sins she has and I write in 30-40 minute sessions with a short break. I love the challenge of improving my writing speed. Never thought I’d like NaNo but I’m obsessed with it now. Off to read a couple more posts from your list. Hope school and writing are going well for you!

  2. Pingback: Mind Sieve 11/25/13 | Gloria Oliver

  3. Speeli says:

    Thanks a lot for the interesting list
    sometimes it’s hard to find good content

  4. Jenny Hansen says:

    Totally missing you today, dude. 🙂 Having you and Natalie leave the blogging world dulled the shine a bit for me. Soooo, I’m passing through your neck of the woods around July 22nd… Find me when you have time to chat!

  5. Pingback: The More Cowbell Tour Rocked the U.S. | Jenny Hansen's Blog

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