Welcome to this week’s link round up!
Bob Eckstein takes a picturesque look at the endangered bookstores of New York.
Many authors would like to write more diverse characters but are afraid they will not do those characters justice, in spite of their best intentions. Ellen Oh gives us a guide to spotting and growing beyond stereotypes in our own writing.
Janet Reid answers the question, “How long should my book be?” with her definitive word count post.
LeVar Burton debuts children’s book and announces the return of Reading Rainbow online.
Starting a new project? Lynnette Labelle lists 8 things to do before you write a new book, Laurie Scheer shows how to make your mediocre story idea great, and K.M. Weiland discusses story concept vs. story premise.
Writers of memoir and historical novels often feel constrained by facts (or lack of facts) because they want to be truthful. Brenda Peterson and Sarah Jane Freymann have 5 principles in truth and facts in memoir, while Jack Woodville London explains how novelists can blend factual research with creative storytelling.
If one compelling character is good, then two or three or four is better, right? Jami Gold answers the question: how many characters is too many? Jody Hedlund sheds more light on this subject by explaining how to plant minor characters with purpose.
If any of your characters are going to be in a battle scene, read Tiana Warner’s 5 keys to writing epic battle scenes. If your characters are going to handle a gun, check out Chuck Wendig’s things you should know when writing about guns and Fiona Quinn’s firearms, self-defense, and the law post.
Is your story bloated? Jen Matera tells us how to edit out the bloat. Corina Koch MacLeod and Carla Douglas introduce us to the idea of crowdsourced editing. Shayla Eaton shares the top 5 ways authors sabotage their own book, and Blot the Skrip lists the top 10 writing mistakes she sees as an editor.
Storytelling crosses many media, and we can learn a lot by borrowing from other media when we write. Shelli Cornelison shares 5 lessons learned about novel writing from watching Orange Is The New Black, and C.S. Lakin tells novelists about 6 visual storytelling techniques to borrow from film and TV.
Much of the best storytelling is ancient myth stirred with modern imagination. Janice Gable Bashman discusses mythology in modern storytelling, and Hazel Longuet shares 3 fun ways to unlock your imagination.
Darcy Pattison shares 10 writer quotes to keep you working on your novel.
Agent Janet Reid tells a commenter what it takes to get started in the publishing industry as an agent or editor.
Kathryn Craft reminds writers that your publishing career is all about choices.
Like it or not, a book is judged by its cover—so don’t make these 9 awful cover mistakes.
Whether you are self-published or traditionally, all authors are as much business people as creatives these days. Joanna Penn shares 3 mind shifts for author-entrepreneurs, Frances Caballo explains how to target your readership, and Jason Kong lists 5 marketing mistakes that beginning fiction writers make.
THE UNIQUE SHELF
Coffee is a staple of writing life. Check out this Regency recipe for café au lait.
October has its fair share of literary birthdays, including Michael Crichton’s today.
Would a house having literary connections appeal more to you? Beth Teitell explores whether buyers really care that a famous writer once slept here.
In 1408 China, the emperor Yongle commissioned the Yongle Dadian, an encyclopedia of Chinese literature of all types written by more than 2,000 scholars. Now on display at the British Museum.
Searching for good info on English Medieval literature and background? Bookmark the site A Clerk of Oxford for inside looks, such as this exploration of St. Paulinus and the Sparrow by Bede.
That’s all for this week! See you all on Halloween Eve!