This Week in Favs…..

Playing on the MP3:  First Class from the X-Men: First Class Original Soundtrack <— If you’re looking for an awesome writing soundtrack, here you go!

This week we have a bit of an extra dose of ‘Favs’ – the writing blogosphere has been absolutely incredible over these last two weeks, so I could not resist sharing as many favorite posts as possible!  Here they are in no particular order (along with additional links at the bottom):

15)  “Laying Clues and Adding Twists to Our Story”, guest post by Elizabeth S. Craig on Paranormal Point of ViewWeaving clues has to be one of the hardest tasks that I’ve come across when it comes to my own personal writing experience, and that may mostly be because nobody seems to do it better than mystery writers and, of course, JK Rowling.  Elizabeth has really laid out some of the best tips I’ve read in regards to leaving clues for the reader: distraction.  She’s even laid out a bit of a ‘how to’ for her fellow writers so we can learn how to incorporate this technique ourselves.  This particular article is one for the ‘writing tips’ book!

14)  “Are You Playing to Your Strengths” by Jenny Hansen on Writers in the Storm blog.  I couldn’t tell you how excited I was to read yet another post on playing to your strengths and understanding that not everything you write is going to be publishing gold.  Jenny has written a well-post on those topics here and I really enjoyed how she used a corporate-world example in the beginning before moving toward how that relates to our writing – which is one of the best ways to convey a message such as this to everyone. 

13)  “7 Keys to Writing Without Stress” by Jurgen Wolff on Time to WriteI’m sorry, but anytime you tell me how I can write without stress, I’m 100% IN!  The crazy thing is that most of these tips are things that we already know, we just fail to realize it when we’re in the middle of writing a difficult scene, or editing and/or re-writing part of a MS.  One of my favorite tips that Jurgen has listed here is, “Take a to-minute break before you start your writing session.”  <—Never thought of that before, but I’ve tested it out and you know what?  It actually seemed to help a bit – the words flowed a little better.  12)  “The Twelve Most Dangerous Words for Writers” by Kim Wright on Writer UnboxedThis is such a great article!  This one actually pertains to what we should be doing – besides writing – in regards to a publishing contract, contacts, and marketing.  So in regards to those twelve little words – no, there are other things we should also be concentrating on in this day in age.  Great read and I always enjoy hearing from other writers who have been there, done that, and are willing to share their experiences for the rest of us to learn from. 

11)  “25 Things Writers Should Know About Rejection” by Chuck Wendig on Terrible MindsThis is why I love reading Chuck’s blog:  his lists are in your face and he tells is like it is.  Sure he’s a bit crass, but still, sometimes that’s how you need to hear it!  Well, at least for me, that is.  *wink*  Once again we’ve come across another great posting on how we should be handling rejection, ‘cause let’s face it, we’ve all been rejected and we’re still going to face a bit of rejection even after we’re published.  Great post, Chuck!

10)  “I Prefer My Rubber to Meet the Road” by Jan O’Hara on Writer UnboxedJust like Ms. Hansen in her post above, here is a real-life example and how it rings true to our writing.  In this case, her real-life example was one of surviving after an horrible accident and realizing what lessons that story has for our writing such as listening to you gut, staying healthy, and reveling in the simplest of joys as you’re writing. 

9)  “How Rebecca Skloot Built The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by David Dobbs on The Open NotebookHow here’s an article to sink your teeth into:  Rebecca’s interview travels into story structure – how other books have modeled structure for her and how she handled the task of structuring her book.  This is thoroughly enjoyable and personally, I have taken a lot away from reading through her interview very carefully. 

8)  “10 Things I Learned About the Publishing Biz the Year My First Novel was Published” by Kameron Burley on The Night Bazaar.  What a great post!  Once again the writing community never ceases to amaze with how open and honest everyone is – from those just starting out in their writing journey, to those that have been published.  The best takeaways from this particular post would be that writing conventions are totally worth it, realizing that your family is a lot more supportive than you may otherwise think, and knowing when to fold.  Great read here!

7)  “How to Survive WAITING” by Natalie Lakosil on Adventures in AgentlandHere are some great tips on how to keep your wits about you while stuck in the limbo otherwise known as waiting.  I don’t know about you, but I really do hate waiting.  I’m one of the most impatient people on the planet, and my husband wouldn’t tell you any differently.  With these great tips, I believe we can all learn and find a way to fill that time, such as starting a new project and being proactive. 

6)  “Killer Log Lines” by Stina Lindenblatt on QueryTracker.netYes!  I love when queries, synopsis’s, and log lines are broken down and sort of ‘made easy’ for us writers.  It’s not that we haven’t already attempted to write these on our own, but sometimes you can get stuck in trying to figure out exactly what is needed, what’s not really needed, and how to link it all together – especially when you feel as though you’re leaving out some of the best details of your story. 

5)  “10 Writing Truths – Part 1 & Part 2” by Ava Jae on WritabilityIt’s always great informative fun to learn from fellow writers, isn’t it?  Ava’s lists of ‘writing truths’ are 100% right on the money in regards to what it truly means to be a writer – there’s the good, the bad and the ugly, but the love of the craft is what keeps all us going in seeing each story through to the end.  Ava’s definitely written two great enjoyable posts here, and I can almost bet that everyone who has either read it, or is about to read it, will be nodding their heads in agreement with each point.  If you’re not, you will be soon as you learn and grow in your writing journey. 

4)  “The Meaning of Persistence” by Rachelle GardnerOnce again, Rachelle has written an inspiring post for all aspiring published authors out there.  This is, yet again, another article that I feel I cannot do justice for when describing why it is a favorite of mine, so I really really encourage everyone to get over there and read this particular post so you can inspired as well to keep trucking through the hard times.

3)  “Write Fiction?  Why You Should Try a Short Story” by Jami GoldWhat a great list of reasons for us to try our hand at writing a short story!  I’d never actually thought about doing this until recently, and here comes Jami’s post on that very topic.  What perfect timing, Jami!  Jami has pinpointed exactly why every fiction writer should give this a shot: we will understand, learn and strengthen our novel-length writing/planning/plotting in a way that possibly no other avenue could do so.  The best part about this particular post?  The editors from Entangled Publishing will be visiting Jami’s blog early next month to take pitches for short stories! Wee!!  What a great opportunity for everyone to start writing (or polishing) over the holiday break in preparation for a possible request! Get over there to read the details, and good luck!

2)  “Raising the Stakes” by Lynette Labelle.  I know most of us have heard this before from either our CP’s, Beta Readers, or even an agent in a response to a query:  “The stakes just aren’t high enough.”  Lynette has laid out exactly what stakes are and has explained, in plain writerly english, exactly how you can achieve raising the stakes in your own MS. 

1)  “Creating a Story Bible” by Suzanne Johnson on Roni Loren’s Writing Blog: Fiction GroupieNow here’s a must-read post on creating a bible to the world you’ve built so that they are easily accessible as you write further stories that take place in that world.  This is really great advice for those of us who write paranormal stories!  I’m going to be starting on my story bible next week, so thanks, Suzanne, for sharing your ‘lesson learned’ this week!

Here are some Friday giggles to start your holiday weekend off right – Enjoy!

Additional ‘Fav’ Writing Links from the past two weeks

Happy Reading & Writing!!!

Melinda

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