Posted by: Nancy Keim Comley | October 13, 2011

Top Picks Thursday – 10-13-2011

October is MYSTERY MONTH on the Author Chronicles! Yesterday guest blogger Dennis Tafoya , our second Mystery Month author guest, commented on the challenges facing crime/mystery writers and how some well-known authors meet those challenges.

To enter the contest to win a signed copy of his latest book The Wolves of Fairmount Park, simply leave a blog comment on his post. Deadline for comments to be eligible for the contest is Sunday, October 16 at 11:59 PM Eastern DST. The winner will be chosen at random (using from those who leave comments and will be announced Monday, October 17.

Next week is Karen McCullough and then Jon McGoran (a.k.a. D.H. Dublin)!


From, be wary of putting too much ‘voice’ in your query. While we’re on the subject of voice, the YA Highway discusses The Middle Grade Voice.

We’ve all had trouble with writer’s block. io9 discusses 10 types of writer’s block and how to overcome them. Writer’s Digest talks about 10 ways to launch strong scenes.

A short but useful post, How to write an action scene. Revising and self editing: 10 tips.  Ever had trouble naming your characters?

What is one of the last things you should do with your WIP? Read it out loud!

2 posts on how to avoid “Buried Dialogue”.

What is the difference between an idea for a story and a concept for a story?

Mind mapping your story.

Multiple POV or not? For whoever has dreaded the editing process, Elana Johnson on editing your MS in 20 days or less.

Chuck Wendig interviews Joelle Charbonneau on how to write a great mystery, great characters and hat-wearing camels.


By the VP of Novel Publicity, an author’s guide to online reading communities such as goodreads. Roni Loren rants about blogging, platforms and the pressure on writers.

Jamie Gold asks Are Writers without Business Sense Doomed?   Also, are you risking your reputation (by epubbing without editing)?

From agent Rachelle Gardner, What Not To Say In A Query Letter.

And what does a writer need by the bucket full? Patience!

From Alan Rinzler, Getting published, the inside scoop from 3 top editors.  And interesting reflection on the value of social media for a writer.

Is giving an author his/her own imprint a publishing gimmick doomed to failure, or smart marketing? Do readers really care?

B&N is removing 100 DC graphic novels from stores: But likely only for four months.

How to boil your story down into a pitch.

When to stop working on your book.

You get a rejection and…what’s next?


The value of good grammar (and how it can save lives!).

More Greek manuscripts (13th-17th century) go online!

For those of us WITHOUT a delicate stomach, 25 things you should know about writing horror

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