Posted by: Kerry Gans | September 1, 2011

Top Picks Thursday 9-1-2011

We hope you weathered Hurricane Irene well, and our thoughts are with those who suffered severely from the effects of the storm. In spite of Irene’s best efforts and long hours without power, the Author Chroniclers have compiled another jam-packed list of resources for you.


Handling point of view in your story is one of the trickiest parts of the craft. Over on STET!, they ask: How do you stay in the right POV?, while Janice Hardy tackles the perennial problem of describing a first-person narrator.

Unless you’re using an omniscient narrator, POV requires characters—each with their own unique voice. Superhero Nation breaks down the keys to writing distinct character voices, and Steven James explains how to manage status to increase the depth and dimension of your characters.

Need to shake up your writing? Editor Lynette Labelle gives scene-writing tips in two blog posts; Mary Carroll Moore explains why bad decisions make for good stories; Susan Sipal uses Harry Potter to explore how to plant clues while simultaneously distracting readers from those clues; and sponsors a Critique Connections network accepting people until Labor Day.

The reader is the final piece of the writing puzzle, of course. Jami Gold asks the question: Do you write for yourself or your readers?, while A.C. Crispin explains how to walk the fine line of satisfying your reader without being predictable.

Struggling with your writing? A. Victoria Mixion reveals the 1 Secret Trick to Becoming a Genius Writer in One Day; Roz Morris at Nail Your Novel explains why your second novel is easier to write and gives ideas on how to smooth the process even further; she also advises looking for four key shifts or turns in your plot; and here’s how to write 10,000 words a day.

In a post that reminds us writers just how lucky we are, Susan Bischoff talks about respecting the gifts we were given that helped us get to where we are today—and giving a break to those who were not as fortunate as we were.


In traditional publishing, the query letter is still king. Melissa Foster shares the basics of querying, and YA Fantasy Guide provides key questions you should ask yourself before and after you hash out that query.

Meanwhile, Nathan Bransford wonders if self-published authors who make it big will still need traditional publishers at all; and Chuck Wendig shares an irreverent but insightful 25 things to know about self-publishing (or, how to sell a bazillionty books in 17 minutes).

It’s no secret most YA is aimed at girls these days because “boys don’t read.” Except that they do—if you give them the right books.

If you’re interested in the finer points of publishing contracts, lawyer Jeffrey V. Mehalic begins his series about publishing contracts . After reading this, I am sure of one thing—an agent earns their 15%!

Social media is one of the most efficient ways to spread the word about your book. If you haven’t jumped into the pool yet, here are some tips for getting started in social media. In some posts more specific to writers, here are 40 Twitter hashtags writers should know, as well as info on using the Twitter hashtag #amwriting.

Danielle Poiesz shares NPR’s Audience Top Picks for Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Kristen Lamb shares a tongue-in-cheek listing of the top 10 reasons to become a writer. To which Teresa M. Owen replies with 8 reasons NOT to become a writer.

And just for fun, Erica Lucke Dean wonders at her extraordinary klutziness, Mlkshk has a perfect cartoon aimed at the misinterpretation of an author’s words by well-meaning teachers, and Jon Gibbs writes an agent’s response to the most famous query letter of all times, the Beatles’ “Paperback Writer“.


  1. Thanks for the link! I didn’t expect my first article (the guest post on Superhero Nation) to be a top pick.


    • Well, when you write good content, people notice!


  2. […] in terms of recognition and visits.  Highlights: being mentioned by Kristen Lamb, Epic Black Car, Author Chronicles,  Nurture Your Books, and getting so many really encouraging comments, including one from The […]


  3. Thanks for the link to my blog-I really appreciate it! I hope you’ll consider subscribing so you can read future posts about marketing strategy and share them with your readers.


    • Anytime, Jean! Marketing is such a black hole for so many writers, it’s great to have good resources like you to help us out!


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