This Week in Favs…….

Playing on the Zune: “Misguided Ghosts” by Paramore <—This just so happens to be one of my favorite bands. I can always find the perfect song to fuel my writing with these guys on my playlist  :0) 

10) “A Time to Kill…Your Novel” by Marcus Brotherton, guest blogger on Rachelle Gardner’s blog. Ack! I hate the words ‘kill’ and ‘your novel’ in the same sentence…but it’s a fact of the writer’s life that must be faced. Not everything is going to be gold when it’s completed – and as I’ve said before: Every completed MS you write is a stepping stone in the journey to getting published. You learn something valuable from every single one of them, taking it with you onto the next, hoping the next one will be the one to bring you success in reaching your ultimate goal.

9) “5 Great Bits of Wisdom from a New York Times Bestseller” by Jenny Hansen. Yes, these are the same tips that you read and hear about so often within the writing blogoverse – but they’re SO TRUE! Never give up, visualize your goals, never stop learning, be a good ‘writing’ friend, and show up to the page and do the work. Save and/or print this page. It served as a good reminder for me this week when I started to feel lost and frustrated with my writing. Maybe it’ll either do the same or something different for you.  :0) 

8) “Guest Author Kenn Crawford: Tools of the Trade to Beat Writer’s Block” on The Other Side of the Story with Janice Hardy. Ok, I don’t necessarily believe in writer’s block….I believe in the Muse taking a major vacay without me. But nonetheless, even while the Muse is out on the beach drinkin’ Mai Tai’s, there are words that have to be written – even if it’s just 500/day – and the tools we should have are the write ticket to getting the creative juices flowing again: dictionary, thesaurus, ‘idea file’….not to mention the fact that we should always just keep writing whenever the block hits. Words have the power to pull you through!

7) “Symbolism in Writing: Shell Cottage: A Respite from the Storm” by SP Sipal on Harry Potter for Writers. Why hadn’t I thought of this before?!? Oh, duh! *head palm* I know why! Because sometimes what is staring you straight in the face – such as symbolism – isn’t what you see at first glance. Thanks to Susan, my mind is wide open to the symbols we see in everyday life. They may not be meant to have a meaning, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find one. I love how Susan explained the history behind a shell’s meaning then weaved it into a pivotal moment in young Mr. Potter’s life. Genius!

**Want some help on weaving symbols into your writing? Go check out the Symbolism Thesaurus on The Bookshelf Muse.

6) “10 Ways to Launch Strong Scenes” by Jordan E. Rosenfield on Writer’s Digest. What an informative article! Three different types of launches – action, narrative, and setting – and tips on how to get your scene airborne from each one! I loves it! Here’s a little tidbit to get you wanting to read more: “Each new scene still has a responsibility to the idea or plot you started with, and that is to communicate your idea in a way that is vivifying for the reader and that provides an experience, not a lecture.”

5) “Structure Part 2 – Plot Problems – Falcor the Luck Dragon & the Purple Tornado” by Kristen Lamb. Despite what my husband may think, I did not choose this post just because it had a picture of Falcor (although that helped *wink*). Any story that has a major plot issue is doomed to fail – and I believe I just stated the obvious, didn’t I? But it’s true. And unlike The Neverending Story, we can’t call upon Falcor to fly in and save us. Instead, we have to back track and fix it because it’s never going to sell if we don’t. I also loved Kristen’s story behind the purple tornado – major plot events that are too much, too soon. She really nailed it on the head in this article, pointing out the major reasons why plots tend to either fail or leave the reader high and dry for the rest of the story.

4) “Character or Plot or Setting? Building Your Story’s Universe” on Adventure’s in Children’s PublishingDo you begin with character, plot, or setting when you write? This is the main question this article posed to me this week. My honest answer would be the characters and the setting. Plot tends to tag along at the end of the day saying, “Yeah, I’ll show up to the party if you really want me to.” This is both good and bad, but it just means that I really have to focus on the plot of the story somewhere in the middle of writing – and that’s okay, because the writing process is one that you make your own. <—this is obvious by the great comments that followed the post which were just as enjoyable to read as the article itself. 3) “Make Your Setting a Character” by Susan Meissner on Novel Rocket. I just noticed how this post can tie right into #4. For some writers, setting is what comes first. When that comes first, the setting truly is a character of the story – it has a personality all on its own, and I’ve read quite a few books where the setting was more intriguing to me than the story itself, but this article isn’t geared towards doing that. It’s geared towards bringing your setting to life on the page. As a way to flex your writing muscles on this, there’s a little exercise at the end of the article that actually has me planning on re-watching You’ve Got Mail sometime this weekend. :0)

2) “What Does It Take to Sell Books” by Jami Gold. This is one of Jami’s best posts by far! I took a lot out of this one as it made me think about the writing friends I’ve come to know and love, through Twitter and blogging, and the fact that they are there for me throughout the writing process. If they’re here for me now, then won’t they also be here for me whenever I’m published? To me, that is invaluable because as you know, the writing community is one where ideas are spread and support is given more than any of us could’ve ever imagined. The personal connections you make with others is how you sell books…but it’s not about quantity – it’s about the quality of your work and the quality of those connections. 

1) “Why Steve Jobs Could Have Been a Writer” by Lisa Gail Green on Paranormal Point of View. This one truly needs no words from me as Steve Jobs was a genius – but I DARE you to listen to the speech in its entirety and not feel like he was speaking directly to you. Thank you, Lisa, for posting his speech. He really could’ve been a writer – and an amazing one at that! Now, go over and there and have a listen. Go ahead…I double-dog dare you! 

And here’s some more Friday fun: A new Simon’s Cat has been posted!!


Happy Reading & Writing Everyone!!!!


7 thoughts on “This Week in Favs…….

  1. Love the new Simon’s Cat, Melinda. And I especially appreciate your list this week because I was gone the early part of the week and have gotten behind. So most of these I missed. Thanks for including me in the round-up! 🙂

  2. Hi Susan! Wasn’t the new Simon’s Cat adorable! Makes me wonder if I really do want to get another cat. Haha!

    You’re most welcome and it’s good to have you back! Hope your vacation was both relaxing and enjoyable! 🙂

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