Posted by: Nancy Keim Comley | May 24, 2012

Top Picks Thursday 05-24-2012

The Author Chronicles kicks off its month-long anniversary celebration on Monday, May 28. Check in Monday for official giveaway rules and prizes!


Recently Neil Gaiman addressed the 2012 graduating class of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Brain Pickings has a link to his speech and a summarization of “8 Bits of Wisdom on Being a Creator”.

A TPT post wouldn’t be the same without some advice from Chuck Wendig from Terrible Minds. This week he gives us 25 Reasons You Should Quit Writing.

Anna Bell on The Secret Dreamworld of an Aspiring Author. She suggests that we stop making the same mistakes. Though even as we make those mistakes, Rachelle Gardner offers some hope with 7 Bad Habits of Successful Authors.

An easy mistake to make is when a writer filter’s the reader’s experience through a character’s point of view. Cynthia Chapman Willis wants us to stop putting distance between the reader and our characters. The Write Practice gives us 7 Steps to Creating Suspense.

Ever wonder how a book is born? Mariah Bear has created a brilliant and rather terrifying flow chart.

Do you write in First Person? Third Omniscient? Ciara Ballintyne wants us to do it right. POV Made Simple and Why Head-Hopping is Naughty.

Are you partial to a comma? Semicolon? Em Dash? What Your Favorite Punctuation Says About You by Renee Miller.

If you haven’t gotten enough of commas, Ben Yagoda in the New York Times writes about The Most Comma Mistakes.

Many of us balance parenthood with writing and there is invariably a feeling of falling down on the job. Stephanie Burgis understands this and writes eloquently in her post on Parenting and Writing. Then Rosalie Warren on When Writer’s Play and reminds us to have fun. And in other time management news, Amie Kaufman describes Finding Time to Write: Making Hard Choices.

Do you like to drop your reader into the middle of the action? Are you giving them a taste of mystery or simple confusing the living daylights out of them? Mary Kole reminds us: Confusion Is Not The Same As Mystery.

Is your writing Labyrinthine? Does your reader have to re read sentences several times just to understand? Tim Kane asks writers to stop doing that immediately. Are your characters well rounded? Do they have depth? Try Converting Backstory into Character with Theresa Stevens, Editor.

Do you write romance? Adrienne deWolfe gives us 20 Tips for Writing Lovable Romance Novel Heroes. What about your supporting characters? DiY MFA lists 5 Archetypes for Supporting Characters.

Are you proof reading? Tina Koenig gives us 20 Tips to Help You Proofread Like A Pro. Ever wonder How Can I Cut Back On The Abundance of Pronouns in my Writing?

And finally, rejection is hard but it is something all writers must go through. The best advice is When You Get Rejections, LEARN.


New agents alert! Sarah Joy Freese of Wordserve Literary Seeks fiction & nonfiction, including Christian works. Jennifer Azantian of Sandra Dijkstra Agency seeks young adult science fiction and fantasy.

Are you marketing a book? Jane Friedman gives us 4 Ways to Immediately Improve Your Book Marketing Efforts. She also writes that, yes, old-fashioned E-mail Still Works for Book Marketing.

What about if you could boost both Your Author Karma AND Your Sales? Jen Blood has some ideas. Some of us love sites like Twitter, others aren’t so sure. If you are in the second camp, Take It From A Skeptic, Twitter Works. We all spend a great deal of time online and it’s a good idea for everyone to be aware How to Control Their Personal Data. Once you’re online, what do you do? Twitter? Facebook? What about LinkedIn? The 20 Essential LinkedIn Groups for Aspiring Writers. According to Nathan Bransford Social Media is an Imperfect Sales Tool. Use It Anyway.

We all want to be published. Judith Briles lists Blunders Guaranteed to Crush Your Publishing Efforts.

What about making a living from your art? Jarrod Welling-Cann posted Starving Artist vs. Slimy Marketer: How To Strike a Balance.

Why Is Literary Fame So Unpredictable? In a longish but good post from The New Yorker, Tom Vanderbilt discusses the fickleness of fame.

Ever feel that as soon as you understand how reviews work The Landscape Changes? Lee Wing on scbwi: The Blog asks if this is for better or worse.

Do you self pub? In that case, don’t get a Chip On Your Shoulder.

The Unique Shelf

Everyday Words That Were Invented by Famous Authors.

Delilah S. Dawson on The Dirty Secret About Being An Author.

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