Mid-July! Depending on your viewpoint, it is either “already” mid-July or “only” mid-July. To combat the mid-summer doldrums, here are this week’s Top Picks Thursday writerly links.
Helen Pollard talks about the struggles of writing in the summer—a problem seemingly common to writers with and without children.
Libraries are a great way to escape the summer heat, but the New York Public Library’s Rose Reading Room won’t reopen until 2017.
With Harper Lee’s Go Set A Watchman now on the shelves, here is a look at Harper Lee by older sister Alice Finch Lee.
Have you ever thought of writing short stories? Michelle Rene Goodhew gives tips on how to know if short story writing is for you, and how to write a good story. Anne Leigh Parrish also weighs in with how to avoid the most common mistakes when writing short stories.
Martina Boone lists 6 steps to nail your plot, motivation, character and story opening. If you are more visual, Victoria Oldham shares two diagrams to help sort out your story and character arcs.
Compelling characters make or break a story. Gavin Wadsworth has 5 guidelines for writing a strong female character, while Susan Kouguell focuses on tips for writing memorable minor characters. When your characters talk, reference this infographic on dialogue to make sure you dialogue is supporting the story as best it can.
Every word of your story needs to work hard. Martina Boone shares 5 tips for making any scene in your novel more tense and interesting, and Rhoda Baxter lists 7 tips for adding humor to any story.
Need some writing help? Now Novel has 10 writing productivity hacks, and Amanda Patterson gives us 10 elementary tips for writers from Sherlock Holmes.
The voice of experience is worth listening to: Jane Lebak shares the best writing advice she ever got: do one scary thing every day; Carrie Patel on 5 things she learned while writing Cities and Thrones, and Stephanie Feldman has 7 things she’s learned so far.
The publishing industry can be hard to navigate. Jane Friedman discusses how publishers use P&L statements to choose what books to publish. While most publishers are in it for the profit, Greenpoint Press is a nonprofit publisher that partners with authors.
If you self-publish, you may find it hard to get into your book into your library. Porter Anderson brings us more in-depth information about the Library Journal’s new SELF-e program that brings self-published books to the library.
Still seeking an agent? Literary Rambles has tons of agent information for you to browse.
If you are submitting your work to magazines and other markets, Susan Maccarelli has 14 behaviors that completely irritate editors for you to avoid.
These days authors need to be somewhat tech savvy. David Kudler explores 4 ways to create an epub ebook, Candance Williams shows how to make a book trailer in iMovie, and Amy Patrick explains how to get started in audiobooks with ACX.
The Internet is a huge part of most marketing strategies. Frances Caballo has some cool and not-so-new social media networks for authors, Shanan lists 5 tips for guest-blogging like a pro, and Victoria Straus discusses Amazon’s “personal connection” review policy that has people riled up.
THE UNIQUE SHELF
Ever wish you had the perfect insult while you’re in the middle of an argument? Have the upper hand with this convenient Shakespearean Insult Generator!
Speaking of Shakespeare, did you catch the joke about thistle in Much Ado About Nothing?
Grammar, vocabulary, and spelling can drive us writers nuts! Check out this grammar and vocabulary learning resource, as well as the University of Glasgow’s mega-thesaurus Historical Thesaurus of English. And if all else fails, make up your own spellings. Maybe it’ll stick, unlike these 8 spelling reforms that never quite panned out.
Like Gothic novels? Here’s how the first Gothic novel, The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole, came to be in 1764.
Check out these literary treasures from the Harry Ransom Center in Texas.
If you travel to Amsterdam, The Netherlands, be sure to hit these literary tourism sites.
These pencil lead sculptures carved by Salavat Fidai are amazing!
That’s all for this week’s Top Picks Thursday! See you next time!