Helpful Writing Sites and Blog Posts – August 2010 Edition

It’s that time of the month again, time to give a round-up of all the helpful writing sites and blog posts I’ve come across in the past month. I have quite a few this month so I’ll break them up into categories.

WRITING TIPS

Bring Your Characters to Life

Some great ideas on how to really get into your character’s head and make him/her come alive.

How to Write About a Real Location if You Haven’t Been There

Joanna Penn gives some ideas on how to write a location even if you’ve never been there.

Act First, Explain Later

Twelve dos and don’ts for writing a compelling first page.

Tension

Spawned from the #storycraft chat on tension, this post talks about ‘The Knitting Exercise’. By applying this exercise to your novel you can check to see how well tension is working in your novel. You can even apply it to your outline before you start writing.

In A Series, Foreshadowing A Character

Using the Harry Potter series as an example, this post shows how characters can be foreshadowed in a series before making their major appearance.

Tips For Writing A Great Second Draft of You Novel

Five tips for those who have finished the first draft and are ready to start editing.

Make Your Characters Earn Their Keep

Author Wendy Lyn Watson offers a trick for weeding out unnecessary characters.

GETTING READY TO SUBMIT

20 Questions to Ask Before Submitting Your Work

A great checklist for making sure your writing is perfectly polished.

Top Ten Novel Writing Mistakes

Check this list to make sure your novel doesn’t contain any of these common errors.

What Writers Wish They’d Known Before Pitching

A list of 12 things that matter to agents and editors when being pitched by writers.

Are You Ready To Submit Your Novel?

This post covers three critical elements to knowing if your work is ready to submit.

Are We Done Yet?

How do you know if your writing is as polished as it can get and is ready to submit? This post covers ways to know it’s ready and ways to know if it’s not ready.

Write on Con Forums

Even though Write on Con is over for this year the forums are still open. If you write picture books, middle grade or young adult there are sections for each where you can get critique or connect with fellow writers.

QUERIES/SYNOPSES/AGENT ADVICE

Writing the Dreaded Synopsis

Author Ebony McKenna gives some helpful advice on writing a novel synopsis.

Some Query Mistakes

Agent intern Amie (who also does great query sessions on Twitter using the hashtag #queryslam) lists 4 big mistakes you should avoid in your writing. And even though the post is titled ‘Some Query Mistakes’, the mistakes she lists can really be applied to your writing as a whole, not just your query letter or first five pages.

16 Reasons Why Your Manuscript Got Rejected Before Page 1

A former assistant editor outlines 16 common problems found in query letters and offers some solutions.

Interview with YA Agent Mary Kole

Mary gives some insightful answers to questions ranging from what she believes are the qualities of a successful manuscript to what books she would recommend to hone your writing skills.

How to Ensure 75% of Agents Will Request Your Material

This post caused a little bit of controversy, and not everyone agrees the 75% request rate is accurate, but nonetheless Marcus Sakey makes some noteworthy points.

How To Write A Query Letter

Agent Nathan Bransford outlines how to write a query letter. This is a really good post for anyone in the process of writing a query letter as it has lots of great information on the steps involved, from researching the right agent to the most important points to include in your letter.

AUTHOR PLATFORMS

10 Things Authors Should Never Blog About

Some things authors should remember when blogging.

ENCOURAGEMENT/MOTIVATION

Don’t You Dare Give Up

I quoted this in a blog post last week, but I thought it was worth linking to it again. Agent Natalie Fischer gives some encouragement to all of us querying and facing rejection.

50 Strategies For Making Yourself Work

If anyone else is like me, procracstination and distraction can sometimes get in the way of getting writing done. This post has lots of ways you can stop the distractions and get down to writing.

Happy Potter Day

In celebration of J.K. Rowling’s birthday (and her of course Harry Potter’s birthday too) last month, Harry Potter for Writers posted some quotes from J.K. Rowling relating to her writing journey, including some on getting rejected and being persistent.

P.S. Speaking of birthdays, my blog is fast approaching its 1st birthday and to celebrate I will be announcing a contest in one week, so be sure to check back.

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11 thoughts on “Helpful Writing Sites and Blog Posts – August 2010 Edition”

  1. No problem! I come across so many great writing sites and posts I like to share them with other writers. I usually try to do one of these once a month. 🙂

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  2. Thanks B.Mac. The blogiversary celebration will be happening on the 11th Sept (the 10th in the US), but watch out next week for the announcement of a competition 🙂

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  3. Thanks Mary Ann, I didn’t even pick up on that when I proofread before posting. It’s one of my biggest pet peeves too, how embarrassing!

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