Posted by: Kerry Gans | August 20, 2015

Top Picks Thursday 08-20-2015

Welcome to our weekly writerly links round up! A hot and steamy August is just right for staying cool indoors and browsing for writing advice.

Many of us bemoan how long it takes to get published. A.J. Cattapan explains why she’s glad it took 11 years to get her first novel published.

In this digital age, can you successfully market under a pen name? Frances Caballo discusses how to market your books using a pen name.

So you’re an author and you’re going to be on a radio show or podcast. David Congalton shares 10 tips for authors for mastering a radio interview.


Everyone has different writing processes, but have you ever tried pre-writing? Kaitlin Hillerich describes the 4 benefits of pre-writing. One benefit is to stave off writer’s block. If you get stuck, though, Martina Boone shares 3 techniques guaranteed to break writer’s block.

Caroline B. Cooney explains how to use the “what if?” technique to overcome story slump, Rochelle Deans shows how using brackets in our first draft can save time and sanity, and Molly Best Tinsley explores the purpose of the second draft.

When it comes to characters, we need to make them real in what they feel and say. Mary Jaksch shares 3 secrets of transmitting naked emotions, Liz Bureman explores how the 5 stages of grief can help your writing, Marcy Kennedy gives 5 reasons why internal dialogue is essential in fiction (and how to use it in your story), and Linda Clare shows how to write dialogue that sounds like real speech.

Every part of your story needs to work together to make a compelling read. Joanne Hall explains how to write fight scenes an editor wants to see, and K.M. Weiland teaches us how NOT to waste your story setting’s full potential.

After we write “The End” we need to edit. Lee Wind suggests using Tag Crowd as a useful editing tool, Kathrine Locke shares the reverse outline and magic Post-It revision technique, and Stuart Horwitz explains how to use beta readers to help you write your best novel.

Janine Savage lists 5 things you can do to improve your writing, Terry Tyler has 10 debut novelist danger areas, book doctor Allie Spencer shares top 10 tips for your first novel, and Carrie Bailey gives us 3 rules to finish a novel faster.

Jo Ann Schneider reminds us that we know more about writing than we think we do, Robena Grant ponders that passion is an odd thing, and Jeff Goins explains why writing isn’t really what you write about.


Publishing is a business, so we writers need to think like business people. Allison Stadd shows how focusing on the little things allows the big things to take care of themselves.

Because publishing is a business, publishers often want entertaining books that sell rather than difficult, literary works. James Scott Bell explains why writing entertaining, escapist fiction is NOT a bad thing.

Got a book? You need back-cover copy and a good author photo. Jessi Rita Hoffman tells us how to write back-cover copy for any type of fiction or non-fiction book, and Bill Ferris shows us how to get the perfect author photo.

We also need an elevator pitch, which is good in many situations from queries to writers’ conferences. Grace Hitchcock walks us through creating an elevator pitch.  Finally, we need an awesome bio to attract new readers. Alex Limberg explains how to write a bio that will supercharge your guest posts and drive traffic to your website.

If you are an author who also blogs about books and worries about getting on publishers’ bad sides with your reviews, Janet Reid lays out some rules for blogging about books as an author that should keep you out of trouble.


Arianna Rebolini brings us 20 struggles of being the only book lover in your friend group.

Ever wonder what Presidents read on vacation? Jarry Lee has President Obama’s summer reading list.

That’s all for this week’s Top Picks Thursday! See you next week—stay cool!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: