This Week in Favs….

I hope everyone had a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving!!

Playing on the Zune: Winter Wonderland/White Christmas by MercyMe.  Yeah, I’m trying to get into the holiday spirit…MercyMe’s holiday album, ‘The Christmas Sessions’ always seems to do it for me. :0)

15) “Something to Think About” by Suzanne Johnson on Roni Loren’s blog, Fiction Groupie.  This was such a good article for those of us who are so busy running from one task to the next – be it the day job, cooking dinner, working out, writing, editing, reading, or sleeping.  I recently discovered the ‘stop, slow down, and think’ idea myself.  This is great read if you’re feeling as though you don’t have enough time to plot or come up with ideas on how you’re going to get from point A to point B in your current WIP.

14) “Write with Fire” by Beth Hill on The Editor’s Blog.  Ah, yes….bring the passion to your story! Beth has truly written a great post here!  We all work on our craft, polishing our skills and focusing on getting everything exactly right.  But Beth’s article is wonderful because she looks to remind writers to “bring passion to those stories….write with abandon and pleasure and giddiness….write without restraint.”  Click on this link, read and be reminded of exactly how we should be writing!

13) “We are Our Own Protagonists” by Dawn Simon. I thoroughly enjoyed being reminded that we are our own leading characters in the story of our lives – the story in which we journey from aspiring to published author.  I found Dawn’s post here to be refreshing and enjoyable, especially when I stopped in the middle of reading and thought ‘Damn, she’s right!’  ;0)

12) “How to Write Horror: Writing Tips for Dark Fiction” by Shelly SouleNo matter is you write horror, these are great tips for several other genres as well.  Even in Christian fiction, you’d need to write about what scares you, which just goes to show you that what scares us varies by person, but it is still universal advice, not just reserved for horror.  These are all tips that we have seen and read before, but I wanted to include this particular article since it never hurts to be told, once more, what exactly it is that you need to do in order to write good fiction.

11) “Writing Advice” by Kat Zhang.  I’ve always enjoyed Kat’s blog, in particular because she shares insights into the world of becoming a published author and the lessons she’s learned.  This particular article is no exception.  Do you want to know a fresh take on exactly why we should taking in all of the writing advice we can get our hands on? Why we should gobble it all up but not let it force us to pull our hair out?  Read this short, sweet and simple post.

10) “Top 5 Writing Tips the Grinch Stole” by Darcy Pattison on Fiction NotesThis was such a cute, original and holiday-themed post that I just could not keep myself from including in this listing.  It’s amazing to me how the simplest and oldest of stories, those that we grew up with, are the ones that can teach us not only the very basics of good story-telling, but also teach us how to make out stories and characters stand out among the rest. Enjoy!

9) “Believability or Bust” by Stina Lindenblatt on QueryTracker.net Blog.  There are many deadly sins in writing; enough to where there are just too many to name right here, but at the top of my list is believability, and I’m sure it’s right up there on yours also.  Nothing’s worse than getting vested into a story or a character only to have something happened that makes you think ‘there’s no way in hell that would happen.’  Stina has some great tips on how to keep believability in mind as your writing so this one has definitely made the infamous ‘writing tips notebook.’

8) “Called to Write” by Rachelle Gardner.  Here’s a great dose of inspiration – or better yet, a reminder of why we keep trucking through every word, every edit, and every keystroke, even when we’re feeling every now and then that it’s just not as much fun anymore.  I’ve got this one bookmarked for those moments when I’m feeling a bit down in the dumps so I can be reminded of why I’m writing and that the fun will be back the next day and I just gotta push through the present first.

7) “Antagonists – The Alpha and the Omega of the Story” by Kristen Lamb.  I’ve never heard of writing advice that advised we create our antagonist first, but there’s a first time for everything and this is an amazing read that’ll get your brain turning on that new idea you’ve got written down waiting to be fleshed out.  Don’t pause to think about whether or not this a good a idea.  Instead, click on this link and read the entire article and be open to the idea first before you think to shoot it down because it’s actually some of the best advice I’ve come across in a while. 

6) “Writing: It’s a Numbers Game” by Ash Krafton on QueryTracker.net BlogAre you good at math?  No matter since Ash has practically done the math here for you.  Within this article are all kinds of links to ‘top 10 lists’ or ‘10 secrets’ that are all related to writing, but wait! Ash makes a good point once your head starts to spin from all of those numbers that are flying around on the page.  Check it out as I will not give a spoiler on this one.  :0)

5) “What Writing Skills Do You Suck At?” by Jami Gold.  Yuck! Weakness is a bad word.  But it doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad, we all have weaknesses that we must hone in on and strengthen if we expect to make it to publishing success.  I enjoyed the absolute honesty that Jami had in this post with sharing her own weaknesses (or as I like to call it, opportunity) as it opened up the door for a lot of blog followers to confess their own weaknesses.  Please check this one out and share your own areas of learning opportunity.  You’ll feel great afterwards, promise!  ;0)

4) “10 Ways to Make Our Characters Stronger” by Keli Gwyn.  Strong characters go hand-in-hand with making your character likeable and your story believable.  I have a list of 4 characteristics of a strong protagonist, but that has just grown into 10 thanks to Keli’s post.  This is another one those lists that you’ll want to keep handy for reference as your getting to know your characters.

3) “Five Reasons For Agent Rejections of a Manuscript” by Kerry Gans on The Author Chronicles.  Before you think about querying, read this list first.  Keep it in mind as your doing a final read-through of your WIP to help ensure you have the best chance possible at getting an agent for that MS you’ve been slaving over for the past year (or two).

2) “The Ultimate Gift Guide for Writers” by Jami Gold.  Raise your hand if you dread coming up with a gift list to give your family?  Raise your hand if you always tend to not be able to come up with anything that you want for Christmas?  No worries, Jami’s got us all covered here.  Just print this post, make copies, and start passing it around to those who ask what you want for Christmas.  There’s plenty of options there that no matter what the person’s budget is, they’ll be able to find a perfect gift for you – the writer.  Thanks Jami for making my gift-list-creation much easier this year!  ;0)

1) “Top 90 Top Secrets of Bestselling Authors” by Jessica Stawser on Writer’s Digest. Don’t let this listing overwhelm you. Instead, take it slow, reading through one section at a time and allow the advice from one quote sink in before moving onto the next. This is such an awesome article that you absolutely must check out now!!

And our ‘Friday Fun’ for the week is….
A NEW Simon’s Cat! This one was posted last week and it’s entitled: ‘Catnap’
Enjoy!
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Happy Reading & Writing!!!

Melinda

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