Posted by: Kerry Gans | August 6, 2015

Top Picks Thursday 08-06-2015

Welcome to August’s first Top Picks Thursday! We have plenty of links for you today, so let’s jump in.

The Twitter hashtag #TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter gives a lively (and often funny) look at what NOT to say when you meet an author.

Catherine Nichols ran an interesting experiment. She sent out her novel under a male pseudonym—and watched vastly different results roll in.

Jo Eberhardt reminds us of the power of fiction—how even those who write for “entertainment” can save a life.

When a husband loses his wife’s special book, author Judy Blume saves the day.


Many writers use Word for their manuscripts, but the software Scrivener is growing in popularity. If you’ve been a little leery of diving in, Jessica White explains Scrivener.

To make your story great, you have to pay attention to things both large and small. Janice Hardy discusses the midpoint reversal that sets up the second half of your novel, Jody Hedlund shows how similes and metaphors spice up a story, Alexander Limberg explores balancing dialogue and description, and K.M. Weiland gives a clinic on using exclamation points.

Not every hero is a superhero, endowed with paranormal powers. Emily Tjaden lists 6 ways to make ordinary protagonists extraordinary. Sometimes we want to include real people in our stories. Helen Sedwick explains the right of publicity, and how you can safely handle real-life characters.

Revision is necessary to creating a great story, but sometimes knowing where to begin editing is mind-boggling. James Scott Bell addresses writing paralysis due to over-analysis, and Jami Gold looks at when it makes sense to make big revisions.

We all seek inspiration. Carrie Bailey has 5 things painting teaches us about writing, Jami Gold explores what we can learn from reading bad writing, and Martina Boone shares 6 ways to unleash the magic of subconscious writing.

Writing takes commitment. Drew Chial explores how writing a novel is a lot like a relationship, Julie Ellis lists 5 tips for making writing a daily habit, and Martina Boone discusses how to overcoming shiny, new idea syndrome.


Many authors also review books—so what happens when you are asked to review a train wreck of a book? Can you get out without being blacklisted? Janet Reid answers.

If you’re looking to be published, Erica O’Rourke shares her super-secret key to publishing success. Shayla Eaton examines the Kindle Scout program’s problems—and the solution.

Many of us are seeking agents—but sometimes the relationship is not what you expected. Nathan Bransford explains how to know when to leave your agent.

Tracy Hahn-Burkett gives advice to authors from a bookseller’s point of view, while Anne R. Allen discusses how the Look Inside preview can make or break a sale.

If marketing scares you, Jael McHenry reminds us that everything is writing. Along those lines, Jason Kong describes 5 awesome benefits to writing flash fiction for your email subscribers.

Sometimes juggling writing, marketing, and real life seems an impossible task. Sarah Negovetich shows us how to stop being a tortured artist, and Joanna Penn tells us how to set up your own website in 30 minutes.


How literate are you? Can you match these quotes to their classic books?

That’s all for this week’s Top Picks Thursday!


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