Posted by: Nancy Keim Comley | November 20, 2014

Top Picks Thursday

Welcome to this week’s links!

For all of you freelance writers/editors out there, Victoria Strauss warns of scams involving identity theft and freelance bidding websites.


A title can make or break your book. Roz Morris explains what makes a good title for fiction and non-fiction.

The Script Lab describes how to write the perfect outline, while Gretchen McNeil talks about writing a synopsis when selling fiction on proposal. Jody Hedlund tells us why writers are often blind to their own faults. Nancy J. Cohen wants to banish gerunds. Kassandra Lamb discusses the psychology of emotions.

Tracy L. Ward describes the 6 steps to researching a story, Bob Mayer examines 10 reasons writers should watch TV, and K.M. Weiland explains how to find your theme. Need to jump-start your creativity? Wendy Lawton suggests cleaning toilets. Feel like popping your editor? Keep calm and read this. Jodie Renner tells us that the right word is only a click away.

We all want our novels to stand out. Amanda Patterson lists 17 ways to make your novel more memorable. One of the things readers remember about a book is voice. Joe Bunting has 10 questions to help find your writing voice.

We all want to write diverse characters, but sometimes we fear offending someone. Melinda Primrose tells us how to research disabled characters. No matter who they are, our characters need to grab the reader. Joe Bunting shares 3 tips to show, don’t tell emotions and moods. And if your character needs to get their hands dirty, Darcy Pattison explains how to choreograph a great action scene. Writing secondary characters? Here’s a few that you may find inspiring.

Editing and revising is essential to a successful book. Amy K. Nichols shows us how revision gets ugly before it gets beautiful, and Amanda Patterson shares an editing checklist for writers. Gae-Lynn Woods explains what Vincent Van Gogh taught me about plagiarism.

Writers deal with many personal emotions in their creative life. Marcy McKay discusses what Stephen King teaches us about fear of failure and writing, Amanda Palmer tells us not to be afraid to accept help, and Sophie Masson talks about not giving up.

How’s NaNoWriMo going for you? If you feeling daunted, here’s a pep talk from Charley Robson. “You are not allowed to give up.” Amazing week three advice from author Stephanie Parkins.

Need help reaching your writing goals? Alicia de los Reyes suggests trying a DIY writing retreat.

Do you write Science Fiction of Fantasy? Here are 10 writing rules you should consider breaking.


Ring the bells! Amazon and Hachette have settled their differences. Also, Amazon wins auction for the .book domain name.

If you’re looking for an agent, Janet Reid shows us how to revise a query letter so it actually works.

In marketing, Sandra Beckwith shares 4 tips about book publicity, while Jason Matthews has 6 ways to use video as an author. Are you self-publishing? Dee Ann Waite has some advice on preparing your book for launching. Want to sell more books to the right target audience?

Do you want to study/work/make a living in writing?


Living in the UK? If you know anyone aged 13-19 they should try Project Remix – a competition to find the UK’s best young writers and creators.

Sometimes a library is exactly what we need on a bad day.

That’s it for us this week!

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