The first helpful writing sites blog post for the year. I’ve come across quite a few good ones this month.
Writing in the Age of Distraction
Tips on how to balance writing with social media/the internet. What I most like about this post is that Cory Doctorow outlines how the internet has benefited his writing as much as it’s been a distraction and that there can be balance – you don’t have to black-ban yourself from the internet to get writing done.
Brooke Johnson talks about mastering the skills of back story and exposition without resorting to the dreaded ‘info-dump’.
How to Write Intriguing Male and Female Characters
A post on how understanding gender differences can improve your writing in any genre.
A post explaining what makes a story ‘high concept’.
The Increasing Importance of the First Chapter
Author Jody Hedlund explains why the first chapter is so important. She also includes a link to a post on ‘Potential First Chapter Problems’.
100 Stories for Queensland Update
While the submissions for the 100 Stories for Queensland Anthology closes today (there’s still just over 12 hours left to submit – it’s for a great cause), this post is worth reading if you are a short story writer. Scroll down the page a little and Nick Daw gives some great advice on writing short stories.
Author Jody Hedlund talks about query statistics and how you can improve your chances of getting an agent.
The Difference Between ‘Pitch’ and ‘Query’
Query Shark, Janet Reid, outlines the difference between giving a verbal pitch to an agent and writing a query.
Your Professional Bio: Query Letter and Cover Letter Tips for Writers
As part of a query or cover letter, writers are asked to include a bio paragraph. This post outlines the things you should and shouldn’t include in your bio paragraph, and what to do if you have no writing credentials.
The Biggest Mistakes Writers Make When Querying Literary Agents
This is a long post, but well worth reading. J.M. Tohline e-mailed 100 literary agents and asked them the same question, “What is the single biggest mistake writers make when querying you?” This post looks at the answers received from these agents, including some of the detail agents went into when answering.
How to Write a Synopsis for Your Novel
7 steps to writing an effective synopsis. This post gives advice on how to avoid ending up with a boring summary of your story (‘and then this happened and then that happened’), and tells you how you can include the emotional twists and turns that make your story interesting.
This truly awesome checklist has been compiled by an editor/publisher. The comprehensive checklist includes everything you need to remember when submitting your manuscript. It even includes a handy printable version with check boxes.
Formatting Your Manuscript – The Silent Scream
All the things you can do to ‘keep your editor’s hair from turning white’.
*image by nuttakit
8 thoughts on “Helpful Writing Sites & Blog Posts January 2011”
Holy Bookmarking this Post, Batman! Great list!!
There’s been some really good posts around this month. Always glad to share 🙂
Thank you for mentioning my post, Jo! I appreciate it!
No problem, thanks for posting such informative posts!
Great article about the dying query system. The recent closing of Borders confirms something is wrong with the industry as it traditionally was.
Awesome website you have here but I was curious about if you knew of any forums that cover the same topics discussed in this article? I’d really like to be a part of online community where I can get feedback from other experienced individuals that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Thanks!
I can name a few off the top of my head.
YALITCHAT is a fantastic forum for writer of Young Adult and children’s literature. They have critique forums and lots of great information for writers. Membership does cost though. There’s a link to it in my blogroll on the side.
If you’re an Australian writer, you can join The Australian Writer’s Forum. It doesn’t cost anything to join. http://www.catplace.net/writer/phpbb/index.php
The Blue Dingo Network is a new Australian site that’s just started up and has half price membership at the moment. They’re mostly focused on kidlit. http://bluedingo.ning.com/
Write on Con is an online writers’ conference that happens around August. It’s free and has a great writer’s forum with critique and resources, but again, they only encompass children’s and YA.
As you can tell most of the forums I’ve been involved in are geared towards children’s and young adult literature (as that is what I mostly write), I haven’t had much to do with forums for general/adult literature.