Helpful Writing Sites & Blog Posts April 2011

It’s been a huge month this month with some great posts celebrating Aussie Author Month. You can visit here for links to the weekly round ups of posts around the web related to Aussie Author month.

Onto the monthly round up (and don’t forget, all these links will be added to the masterlist, which you can find at the top of my blog).


First Page Shooter

In the style of Query Shark, and run by two literary agents, the idea is to submit the first 250 words of your manuscript for critique.

What the Fiction Editor Looks For Part 1

Literary agent Rachelle Gardner points out what an editor looks for in regards to characters. Some great points to keep in mind when revising your manuscript.

Checking for Plot Holes: Does Your Story Add Up

A list of questions to ask yourself to make sure you haven’t left any plot holes in you novel.

How to Make Your Most Ordinary Scene Interesting

How to recognise a boring scene and what to do about it.

10 Tips to Keep in Mind When Naming Your Character

Author Jody Hedlund gives some advice on naming characters.

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Writers

Doing at least one of these can help improve your productivity as a writer.

10 Lies You Might Tell Yourself When Editing

Do you tell yourself these lies when editing? This list will either give you a laugh or make you hide your head in shame.

Top Ten Reasons You Should Rewrite That Scene

A literary agent intern’s guide to why a scene is not working in your manuscript  and some tips on how to fix it.

Bolstering Your Word Count

We see a lot of posts on how to write spare or cut down the word count of a novel if the novel is too long, but I tend to write spare to begin with and often fall short on word count. This post has some tips on bolstering your word count (without padding it out with unnecessary words).

Standing Out in the Slushpile: Some Basic Tips

Some tips on increasing your chances of being picked from the slushpile as observed by an editor. Can be applied to short story submissions or novel length stories.

Your Book is Coming Out… Now What? – 5 Easy Things to Get You Started

Where to begin when promoting your book after it’s been published.

The 50 Things Every Graphic Design Student Should Know

I know this is aimed at graphic design students, but a lot of the points can equally be applied to writers. For example, “If your work doesn’t excite you, then it won’t excite anyone else. It’s hard to fake passion for mediocre work – scrap it.”

Picture Books

5 Rules for a Breakout Picture Book: A Quick and Dirty Guide

An editor gives 5 tips on making your picture book great.

5 Tips for Creating Characters for Kids

Character development is not just important for novel length manuscripts, it’s important to create fully developed characters for children’s stories and picture books as well.


The Call – Questions to Ask the Agent

An agent likes your manuscript and wants to offer you representation. Now what? A printable list of questions to ask when you get ‘The Call’.

Cover Art

Designing Your Cover – Part One: Concept Part Two: The Rough Draft Part Three: Revisions, Titles and Printing

This is a three part series for self-publishers on designing an effective cover for your book.

Social Networking

The Ultimate Blog Checklist

This list highlights the little things you can do to make your site more effective. It comes with a printable checklist.

Your Facebook Fan Page – 11 Tips to Captivate Your Audience

It’s sometimes hard to know what to do next once you’ve set up your author page on Facebook. This post gives some tips on how to attract and keep people on your page.

3 Reasons to Interview Other Authors on Your Blog

A self-explanatory title. The 3 reasons are very convincing.

Just for Aussies

What Makes Australian Authors Tick?

The up sides and down sides to being an Australian author.

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