I’m excited this month to introduce a new addition to my blog. If you look up at the tabs above you will see a new one titled, ‘Helpful Writing Sites and Blog Posts Masterlist’. In this master list I have gathered all the links from all the past editions of ‘Helpful Writing Sites and Blog Posts’ into one place. This way you won’t have to go searching through all the past editions to find the link you’re looking for. To make it even easier, I’ve put the links under headings, such as: ‘dialogue’, ‘openings’ and ‘queries’, so if you’re looking for information on query writing, go to the ‘queries’ section or if you want a stronger opening, go to the ‘openings’ section. From now on, whenever I do one of these monthly posts, the links will get added to the master list.
Now, onto this month’s edition:
A great flowchart (and checklist) on the writing process and a great way to know if you’re ready to query.
Author Jody Hedlund explains the one specific thing that helped her most on her journey towards writing success.
Using their soon-to-be-published anthology of stories as examples, The Australian Literature Review outlines the elements of effective story opening lines.
Although this post is meant to be a teaching tool for young readers/writers in the classroom, it’s a great post for writers of picture books as well. It focuses on the basic structures used in picture story books and includes examples of each structure.
There’s always a big focus for writers on getting that first chapter perfect, but what about chapter two? This post looks at building a strong second chapter.
Based on the book From Where You Dream: The Process of Writing Fiction by Robert Olen Butler, this post looks at expressing emotion in your writing with a focus on showing vs telling.
A short guide to word count rules and subgenres for the various genres (fantasy, romance, historical, mystery, thriller, horror, YA, and Western).
Before you submit your work, double-check to make sure you haven’t made any of these mistakes that are easy to fix. (Sometimes this is where a critique partner can come in handy.)
NOTE: For number one, I find Wordle is a helpful website for weeding out crutch words. For number nine, reading aloud is a great way to pick up on awkward phrasing.
An exploration of common problems found in the beginning of a manuscript that can be an indicator of problems in the rest of the manuscript.
A look at how to write an effective query in only 140 characters.
This article includes two sample letters: an example of what not to do (including common mistakes) and a successful letter.
Author Susan Dennard shares advice on writing a good query letter, using her own successful query letter as an example.
A break down of the key elements needed for a one page synopsis. Includes worksheet.
A reminder from author/agent Mandy Hubbard that is hard to become published, and why it is important to stick to it and not give up.
Using these writer hashtags on Twitter is a great way to meet fellow writers. A comprehensive list of writer hashtags, including a schedule of writer chats on Twitter.
These 8 bio mistakes may be costing you followers and you may want to avoid them. Includes two things you may want to include instead.
Rachael Harrie has some great simple tips for building up a following on your writing blog.
Agent Nathan Bransford gives some helpful tips on starting up a Facebook author page.
Very funny and very true. Pass this list on to all your non-writing friends.
Speaking of Facebook author pages, I’ve just started one of my own. You can find it here: http://www.facebook.com/JoHartAuthor or on the Facebook link on the sidebar of this blog.