Posted by: J. Thomas Ross | December 22, 2011

Top Picks Thursday 12-22-2011

The year is rapidly drawing to a close, and the holidays are upon us. The Author Chronicles wishes everyone a picture-perfect holiday season shared with family and friends and filled with merriment and joy.

For some season-related blog posts, check out Erica Lucke Dean’s What the World Could Learn from Dickens and Roger Grubbs’ A Christmas Wish. For Jane Austen lovers with children, you might consider giving the toddler board book version of Pride and Prejudice.

Congratulations to friend of the blog Jim Kristofic, whose memoir about life on the Navajo reservation, Navajos Wear Nikes, was named a Southwest Book of the Year. Jim will be appearing on a panel at the Tuscon Book Festival, held on March 10-11, 2012.

The Hub is running a Story Summarizing contest — they provide a title and you develop a short summary of what the story would be about.


No one writes a perfect first draft. Roz Morris advises writers to dance because we all go wrong before we get it right! Scott Bury suggests writers follow four steps before beginning the next writing project, and Shannon Whitney advises writers to find out what process works for you and what doesn’t.

On My Book Therapy, Rachel Hauck warns writers to avoid the Rory Gilmore syndrome and not make their heroines too perfect, while Plot to Punctuation blog asks “Does Your Denouement Murder Your Characters?

Virginia Lowell suggests that interruptions can have benefits for a writer. In another post showing how writers can learn from real life, Melissa Cryster Fry discusses using maps to add color to your fiction.

Scott Bury reveals his editing process in a guest post on The Novel Project blog.

Cindy Huff discusses why caring about being published is important on the Write It Sideways blog.

Melissa Foster uses an acrostic to explain what it takes to hook the reader. Start Your Novel blog discusses what Maurice Sendak can teach you about writing, and author Jeff Goins provides book writing tips that work. Laura Paling explains the key to becoming a skilled writer.

Chuck Wendig offers 25 ways for writers to help other writers.

On Anonymous Legacy blog, Angela says that the names we give ourselves are important — we would call ourselves writers. For help in finding the time to write, Kathy Crowley provides some tips on time management for the organizationally challenged.

On Scholatic’s On Our Mind blog’s Topic of the Day, Jessica discusses “boy” books vs. “girl” books.


On the Terribleminds blog, Chuck Wendig gives authors three suggestions so that they don’t get burned by branding, and from Writer’s Digest: 50 simple ways to build your platform in five minutes a day.

Novel Publicity’s PR Campaign Manager, Pavarti K. Tyler gives writers some tips to remember when approaching a blogger for a book review.

On Digital Book World, Jeremy Greenfield considers whether the price of e-books has really increased.

James Wilcox relates his personal story about why he decided to self-publish on Wendy L. Young’s blog.

Jane Friedman discusses serialization vs. completed works — what works and what doesn’t when trying to sell serialized fiction. Jane also presents her list of the must-read articles of the year.

In trends, Dytel and Goderich Literary Management discusses storytelling in multiple media: video games and books, and the New York Times Book section mentions Scholastic’s intention to publish the Infinity Ring, a children’s story series with an online game component.


As we approach the two-hundredth anniversary of Charles Dickens’ birth, BBC News Magazine reflects on six things Dickens gave the modern world.

That’s it from us this week! Enjoy the enchantment of the holiday season!


  1. Thanks so much for the mention – I always read your column and was thrilled to see I’d made the list.


  2. Wow! Thanks for linking to my article! I appreciate it. What a great round up!


    • Thanks, Laura. We’re happy to share good articles!


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