Posted by: Kerry Gans | February 12, 2015

Top Picks Thursday 02-12-2015

Welcome to this week’s links! It’s cold outside, but these links will warm up your Muse.

Want to be an overnight success? Carly Watters explains the myth of overnight success AND what all “overnight successes” have in common.

If you are a writer, you need to understand copyright. Neal Litherland tackles copyright myths authors should know.

SCBWI discusses how lack of funding to write helps stifle the diverse voices we need to hear. In other children’s book news, a new middle grade book blog, Middle Grade Strikes Back, gives us a peek into what UK kids are reading.

Cassandra Neace discusses how reading is a political act—whether we want it to be or not.

The class action suit against Author Solutions Inc., is progressing, and the law firm conducting the litigation gives an update.


It’s February, the month of romance. Liv Rancourt explores what makes a good romance, Merry Farmer shares the rules of romance, and Drew Chial discusses the revenge thriller romance.

Do you write “slipstream” fiction? Find out what it is and how it’s moving into mainstream fiction.

Every story needs structure. Jami Gold explains what a beat is and where they go, Mary Rowen discusses storyboarding, and Mary Carroll Moore shows how to start your chapters with punch.

Amanda Patterson lists 6 subplots that add style to your story, and Melodie Campbell shows how to build atmosphere.

Dialogue can be hard to master. Roz Morris shares 4 reasons why your dialogue sounds awkward, Isabel Wolff tells us how to write good, realistic dialogue, Karina Wilson reminds us to nail the subtext, and Jemi Fraser says hearing the dialogue is just one of the 5 reasons to read your draft aloud.

Characters can also get a writer into all sorts of trouble. Amanda Patterson lists 9 types of unreliable narrators, Elizabeth Fais says quirky makes memorable characters, Marian Allen has 5 useful questions for characters, and Mooderino reminds us that even tertiary characters have their own issues.

Writers need to know weird stuff. Ciara Ballintyne tells us how to properly remove an arrow, Robin Rivera gives us 5 tips for picking the perfect loot for a heist, and Annie Burrows warns us of the dangers of “unknown unknowns” in writing.

Editing makes your work shine. Rachel Starr Thomson shows us how to find our story when nothing’s happening, Rayne Hall cuts needless POV filters, French writer Colette offers advice on how to critique your friends, and Shawn Coyne discusses using the story grid to tell and edit your fiction.

Sometimes it takes a long time to “make it” as a writer. Jody Hedlund shares 1 important thing many writers neglect to do while waiting. And we can all relate as Chuck Wendig rolls out a handy guide to the emotional milestones of writing a novel.

Jami Gold suggests that knowing what has influenced our writing might be helpful, Ilana Johnson thinks that writing is the best medicine, and Amanda Patterson lists 10 things to stop doing to yourself as a writer.

We all know routines can boost productivity. Michael McDonagh explains why routines help productivity. Shon Bacon talks about FORCEdraft, which helps create a distraction-free writing environment, and Kristin Lamb discusses what to do when our dreams and goals fizzle.


Harry Bingham explores why authors walk away from good Big 5 publishers.

Traditional publishing especially is full of rejection—starting with the search for an agent. Shannon Price shares her “rejection jar” method of coping. Meanwhile, new agent Heather Flaherty of The Bent Agency seeks children’s, mid grade, YA, select new adult, & pop culture or humorous nonfiction.

Book marketing is a long game. Andrea Dunlop tells us how to take advantage of the lag time between signing a contract and the book’s release. Lynette Labelle has 3 things to avoid when promoting your book, and Keith DeCandido shares his list of book-signing inscriptions to help you brainstorm yours.

Ramsay explains why we should keep our Facebook author pages, in spite of their lack of organic reach. Jason Kong shares the 3-step process to creating a compelling marketing offer, and Cathy Yardley lays out how non-fiction writers can find their ideal reader.


It seems Harper Lee had intended To Kill A Mockingbird to be the first of a trilogy, with the new Go Set A Watchman as the final novel.

Rachel Gould gathers pictures of the 10 most beautiful libraries in America.

Check out the Brontë family writing table, where masterpieces were penned.

Ever hear of a “Commonplace Book”? Turns out they’re far from common.

Some fascinating history—how modern lasers are revealing clues to King John’s lost treasure.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Speech bubbles connect Medieval and modern books and media.

That’s all for us this week!


  1. Thanks for including Shannon Price’s “Rejection Jar” blog!


    • It was a great idea! Rewarding the effort instead of dwelling on the rejection. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the shout out! As always, you have a great list of resources here. 🙂


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