Posted by: Kerry Gans | September 4, 2014

Top Picks Thursday 09-04-2014

Welcome to the first links round up in September. Around here, a lot of parents are doing the happy dance as the kids go back to school.

Simin Behbahani, the poet known as the Lioness of Iran, died at age 87.

All over the internet, we speak mostly about craft, but less often about author behavior. Porter Anderson and Jane Steen talk about 8 issues in author ethics. Join the conversation and see if an author ethics guide is needed and if one could realistically be fashioned.

There have been a lot of questions about author collaboration floating on the internet lately. Ruth Harris interviews some successful author collaborators so you can see if it’s the right path for you, and Helen Sedwick gives legal advice and more with 21 tips for creating a successful writing collaboration.

It’s the 50th Anniversary of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory! This September you can tour the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre from the comfort of your own home—and Roald Dahl has released a “lost” chapter of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Bookseller Elizabeth Bluemle discusses how to successfully sell diverse books in a bookstore—and what bookstore owners can do to promote diversity within the publishing industry.


Jeff Goins reminds us that our writing topic is not the most important element of our writing. And if you choose to write about crime, here are some crime writer tips from Niall Leonard.

Do you italicize words in another language in your stories? Daniel José Older makes a case for NOT italicizing words in another language.
Backstory can be a wonderful thing—when used correctly. Leila Austin tells us how to avoid the dread “council of Elrond” scene, while Scott Meyers answers the question: can we write a protagonist with no backstory?

We use language to convey emotion to the readers. The language is the tool, the emotion it stirs is the hook. Jack Smith shows us how to sharpen your novel’s language, Jane Meyers Perrine describes how we can write with emotion to draw the readers in, and Kathleen McCleary tells us how to weave personal sorrow (or any emotion) into your story.

As writers, we have so many choices for our characters. Among the choices is whose perspective so we use? We don’t have to choose just one. Adi Alsaid has 5 quick tips for writing in multiple perspectives.

Creating our characters also poses hurdles. Roz Morris tells us how to create characters that are not mere reflections of us, Jade Varden asks: how well do you know your main character?, Barry Knister wants to know why you chose your character’s name, and K.M.Weiland boggles the mind by asking: should all minor characters have character arcs?

Our job as author isn’t easy, as Martina Boone makes clear in her author’s job description. Jami Gold wonders how we stay motivated in the face of all the rejection we see, Chase Jarvis says writing daily journals can make any creative person—not just writers—more creative, and Chuck Wendig reminds us that even masters of the craft had to slog hard to make it look so easy.

Tori Telfer walks us through the 21 stages of writing a novel, while Mia Botha gives 4 tips on making time to write and Chuck Wendig explains why you should write what you love.


Being an author is being a business person. And it helps to have a plan. Jami Gold has created a business plan for writers worksheet to help us examine our writing goals and create a plan to achieve them.

Thinking about self-publishing? Tiana Warner has 6 reasons to self-publish.

Looking for a literary agent instead? Agent Soumeya Bendimerad of the Susan Golomb Literary Agency is seeking writers of literary fiction, upmarket/book club fiction, select young-adult and middle grade, and nonfiction.

No matter how we publish, we need a blurb for our book. Karen Woodward tells us how to write a kickass blurb.

We market in a digital world. Frances Caballo has 4 ways authors can rock on Twitter, Carole Jelen shares the 12 new digital rules authors need to know, and Jane Friedman explain how to make social media worth your time.


Ever wonder what it feels like to win a major literary award? Mary Robinette Kowal shares her Hugo Award acceptance speech and what it’s like to receive one.

We all know the stereotype of the writer in the coffee shop. E.C. Meyers gives us a lesson in coffee shop etiquette.

And in case you missed it up top, Roald Dahl shares a lost chapter of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

That’s it for us this week!

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