Posted by: Nancy Keim Comley | March 15, 2012

Top Picks Thursday 03-15-2012

We have some very exciting news this week.  The cover for SEND ME A SIGN, written by Tiffany Schmidt and coming October 2, 2012 from Walker Books For Young Readers, has been revealed! Check it out and enter the contest!


How do you feel about creativity? Chuck Wendig’s 25 Things You Should Know About Creativity.

For some of us, spelling is more an adventure than an exact science. Tim Kane writes about his own spelling shortfalls or personal word demons.

Nora Roberts explains how to write a story. When you’re writing that story, don’t forget to craft memorable scenes writes Martina Boone in Adventures in YA & Children’s Publishing.

Are you world building? Check out ten amazing Real-World Locations for Fantasy World building. After viewing those wonderful photos, it’s easy to understand why Cora Ramos advises that we not lose all of our childhood wonder in her blog: Voice and your inner child.

How do you write? Caren Estesen discusses The Lean Startup Method applied to Writers. Do you write full throttle? Or do you plan, creating an itinerary for every scene? Tim Kane argues for a happy medium.

What do you dream up on a rainy day? Jennifer Laughran answers the question: Q: “If my YA novel could have awesome tie-ins like graphic novels, knitting pattern books, etc…”

Over at Sara Crowe’s blog, Crowe’s Nest, Dianne K. Salerni Discusses the Anatomy of a First Draft. Then Ami Hendrickson provides us with 4 quick fix ways to improve your novel’s opening right now.

Mary Cole asks, what is a characterizing detail? While you are strengthening your WIP, read Joe Bunting on How to Use Motif to Enhance Your Writing. After that, what about your pacing? Alicia Rasley gives Top Ten Tips.

What kind of writer are you? At the Gotham Writers’ Workshop, Mignon Fogarty, creator of Grammar Girl and founder of the Quick and Dirty Tips Network, shares her insights into the writing process. After you answer that, ask yourself: Do you need to burn your ships or have a catastrophe plan? If you want to improve your writing, Valerie Comer suggests 10 steps to accepting a critique.

There is an ongoing debate on female characters in books. Marcy Kennedy has a very interesting post “What Do We Mean By “Strong Female Characters?””  Then try Gail Gayner Martin on Sympathetic Characters.

How many languages can you speak? Jane Lebak writes about Your Character’s Language.

What about that all-important first line? Then, as Yoda would say, Do or Do Not. There is no Try: Clarifying what your characters do.


What happens to authors if the agency model dissolves? Mike Shatzkin writes about this subject. For more clarification, here’s a Department of Justice agency pricing roundup by Porter Anderson.

Ever wonder how to identify top blogs and websites in your category? Jane Friedman makes some suggestions. Then Cynthia D’Alba discusses Blog tours: the good, the bad, the ugly. Then Jody Hedlund has 3 Ways To Keep Social Media from Taking Control of Writing Time.

“On March 30th, every page on Facebook will be rolled over to the new timeline format currently being used for personal profiles.” Starting there, Jon F. Merz gives Facebook page timeline tips for authors.

To the great joy of many writers, Scrivener for iPad and iPhone release is set for 2012. Jennifer Laughran answers the question: Q: “How does one find a list of agents who rep Graphic Novels?”

Lest we forget, Rainy Kayne reminds us: Writing is a business — treat it that way. Along those same lines, Lyndy R. Young has some suggestions on How to handle criticism.

Questions about YA SF or Fantasy? Ask the editor at Strange Chemistry

Why your homepage is not as important as you think by Dan Blank. What is platform, anyway? A Definition by Jane Friedman. The Giles Hash and the Myth of Standards.

Therese Walsh asks, Why should writers care about indie bookstores? ANd finally Jami Gold poses some very important questions in her blog Who Cares about Quality Writing Anymore?

The Unique Shelf

Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind – RUDYARD KIPLING

Test your literary agent IQ – quick true/false test here

Six tips on writing from John Steinbeck.

Want to write a book? There is an app for that!

Need inspiration? 25 inspiring biographies for writers.


  1. Thanks for including my post along with such amazing company 🙂


    • Your blog on strong female characters was wonderful! Not only did we put it in here I forwarded links to my mother, sister and a couple of friends.


  2. Nancy, I came here to thank you for the Writers in the Storm shout-out – and now I have hours of reading with all your great links! I don’t know if I should thank you, or curse you. 😉


    • Glad to give you the shout out! It was a great post.


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