Posted by: Kerry Gans | July 25, 2013

Top Picks Thursday 07-25-2013

It’s the last Thursday in July. For those of us writers with children at home on summer break, this means we are in the home stretch before school comes to rescue us!

Congrats to friend of the blog Greg Frost for being named Geekadelphia’s Geek of the Week!

Check out this list of 150 writing resources from the Open Education Database. It’s got something for everyone.

Kristen Lamb reports in the aftermath of Thrillerfest that the publishing apocalypse might actually be something to celebrate.

If you are struggling with this problem, Rachelle Gardner clarifies how to get your rights back from a publisher.

Ever hear of a book shepherd? Well, here’s everything you need to know about book shepherds—and if one might be right for your book.


You have tons of wonderful ideas for a novel. Which one should you pursue? Christina Farley walks us through the process of choosing which idea to develop first, and Steven Pressfield reminds us that a publishable book is one depicting artificial reality.

You’ve chosen your idea, you’ve done your pre-planning, and you are ready to start writing. But where to start—the beginning, the middle, the end? How about a prologue? Jami Gold talks prologues—when they fail and when they work, while Beth Hill tells us the best place to start writing that novel.

Once we’ve begun, Michelle V. Rafter shares how to write fast, and Joe Bunting helps us to write like a pro by avoiding the single biggest mistake beginning writers make. Stacey Kade advises to write to the end of your first draft no matter what, and K.M. Weiland shows us how to shock readers in a good way.

Making readers care about your character is everything. Lisa Cron lists 6 ways to sync your reader’s brain with your protagonist’s. Liz Bureman goes the other way and explores 4 types of anti-villains. And K.M. Weiland wonders: should you ever redeem your bad guys?

Roz Morris tells us how to pace your story so it hooks readers. One way to study your pacing is to use beat sheets. Jami Gold discusses whether beat sheets lead to formulaic writing.

Are you metaphor happy? Thomas Jones looks at when to block that metaphor, and when they work effectively. Jacquline Chretien gives us a quick primer on semicolons, and Jon Morrow gives us 317 power words that will instantly improve your writing.

Some writers love to write in a crowd. Some need quiet. There are strengths to both types. Sophie Novak explores the pros and cones of being an introvert vs. extrovert writer, while Kristi Holl examines the importance of emotional boundaries in an author’s creative life.

Writing advice from the pros: Neil Gaiman shares 8 good writing practices, Dean Wesley Smith tells us how to make writing fun again, and Chuck Wendig warns: writers, you’re doing it wrong if


There are murmurings in the publishing world that Amazon is raising its prices on the sly, now that most of its competition has been vanquished. Brandon Ballenger explores.

If you are traveling the traditional publishing route, Rachelle Gardner shares 13 ways to convince a literary agent to represent you, and over on Adventures in YA & Children’s Publishing, YA agents lay out what they are looking for in their inboxes.

Think only those pursuing traditional publishing need queries? Think again! Ash Krafton explains why even if you’re self-published, you need to know how to write queries.

Do you have a career plan? You should. Rachelle Gardner lists 7 keys to planning your career path. Part of that planning is finding your audience, so Nick Thacker tackles how to find your target market. Suw Charman-Anderson explains how to decide what marketing services you should pay for and spend time on.

We hear much about author platform these days, so Penny C. Sansevieri explains what platform is and how to get one. Joel Friedlander examines what the Rowling-Galbraith episode teaches us about platform.

Anne R. Allen shares some social media secrets with us, and Pavarti K. Tyler tells us 4 words every author needs to live by for successful social media marketing.


Check out these handwritten notes and outlines from Bram Stoker’s original manuscript of Dracula.

That’s all for us this week!

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