Posted by: Kerry Gans | October 30, 2014

Top Picks Thursday 10-30-2014

It’s the final links roundup for October! Have a safe and spooky Halloween tomorrow!

In the spirit of Halloween, here are some literary-inspired jack-o-lanterns.

In a big change, Foreword Literary agency is now Fuse Literary.

Christine Kornylak talks about the fantastic Rutgers 1-on-1 conference.

Justina Chen defends an author’s right to write about diverse experiences not from their own life, and Lisa Parkin lists hot new YA books and trends

Laura Ruby takes on yet another article decrying the popularity of YA, while Tara Block has 50 signs that you’re addicted to reading.

Are you NaNo-ing this year? Kristen Lamb discusses NaNoWriMo, Gone Girl, and the confessions of a recovering jerk, while Anne R. Allen shares 7 ways NaNoWriMo can help beat perfectionism.


Since it is the season of spookiness, here’s Chuck Wendig with 25 things you should know about writing horror.

Whether we are writing contemporary or fantasy, we all have to think through the details of our world-building. Erin Cashman gives us some world-building tips useful for any genre.

Details are great, but we writers also struggle with big-picture issues. We often encounter the saggy middle in a novel, so Arin I Asolde lists 10 things you can do in the middle of novels. Many of us wrestle with that elusive concept of voice. Carolynne Melnyk helps us rise to the challenge and find our writing voice.

Getting inside a character’s head can be hard, as well, so Mary Kole shows us how to describe what the mind is doing. Time can also be tricky, and Roz Morris explains how to handle the passage of time in prose.

Grammar is both a global and detail problem. If you are confused by commas, watch this comma lesson by Terisa Folaron. Leslie Miller also has several more simple grammar tips to help up your game.

Character description can give us headaches. Jami Gold explores how and when to describe characters, and K.M. Weiland lists 4 ways to make readers instantly loathe your character description.

Maybe because it is Halloween time, but villains seem to be on the Internet’s mind this week. Shelli Coriell talks about loving the unlovable creepy villains, and James Scott Bell discusses creating sympathy for the devil while writing unforgettable villains.

All characters need goals, even villains, and K.M. Weiland lists 5 goals your character can strive for. And although characters should act consistently, James J. Murray explores the surprising link between pharmaceuticals and gambling addictions, which can make for an interesting nd believeable character twist. 

Every writer has their own unique writing method. Jody Hedlund discusses plotting, pantsing, and in-between, Kat Zhang writes out of order, Sharon Tennenbaum explores left and right brain techniques for writing, and Jennifer Ellis tells us how to write faster and keep it okay

To write well you need to have a rich life outside of your writing. Michael Hyatt explains why you need more art in your life and give 5 ways to get it, while Dan Blank connects the richness of life and art with the attention you give and the experience you create

Michelle Huneven talks about the trouble with writing, Joanne Harris gathers the 10 best pieces of writing advice ever, and Chuck Wendig wants to outlaw the phrase, “I want to be a writer, but…


Michael Kozlowski explains why digital ebooks are better than print.

Heidi Schulz gives us a behind-the-scenes look at her book tour.

Website templates can be an easy to set up an author site. Simone Collins explains how and why to customize your template website. When writing for your website or your blog, attention-grabbing headlines are key. Andy Crestodina lays out a checklist for writing great headlines.

Blogs can be an integral part of the writer’s platform. If your blog becomes popular, that’s great. However, Joel Friedlander warns us of 7 traps waiting for successful bloggers. If you’re worried about the content of your blog, Jane Friedman explain what authors should blog about, and Krizia lists 27 ways to find more blog content ideas.


To celebrate Oscar Wilde’s 160th birthday, here are 15 quotes from the man who could “resist everything but temptation.” 

Ever wondered what goes into writing a Mad Libs book

In a melding of fiction and reality, Kim Cooper has made a map of Raymond Chandler’s fictional Los Angeles in real-life L.A., while Lincoln Michel brings us a literary atlas of Ireland

Pictures are worth a thousand words. Harry Katz reveals 6 rare and intriguing images of Mark Twain, while Brontë enthusiasts try to determine the authenticity of several purported Brontë sister photos

Maddie Crum has an infographic of the most popular words used in classic books

Sean Durkin is set to direct the Little House on the Prairie movie

Author Elizabeth Gaskill’s house has opened to public after massive restoration. 

Not all fairy tale women are helpless victims. Here are 10 Grimms’ heroines who are definitely not damsels in distress

Ever read a book that has a book as part of the story? Claire Fallon lists fictional books within books that we wish were real

Time to get Medieval. Erik Kwakkel gives us a tour of the making of a Medieval manuscript, while Julian Harrison advises us on how to be a Medieval hedgehog.

That’s it for us this week! Enjoy your Halloween, and we’ll see you in November.

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