Posted by: Kerry Gans | November 5, 2015

Top Picks Thursday 11-05-2015

Welcome to our weekly Top Picks Thursday link roundup! I still can’t get used to writing “November” on things.

For those of you caught up in the NaNoWriMo whirlwind, Stop Procrastinating created a NaNo advice infographic from 2,000 authors, and Adrian Faulkner shares 10 things they never told you about NaNoWriMo.

You may have heard that Amazon is suing over 1,000 reviewers over fake reviews. Saundra Beckwith examines Amazon’s case against fake reviewers and what it means for authors.


Before you start writing, you need a killer idea. Larry Brooks tells up how to write a compelling novel concept. Once you start writing, you want to finish. Kristen Lamb reveals the single best way to finish a novel. You want to write well, so Jody Hedlund explains how to learn fiction writing techniques with less pain and frustration.

NaNoWriMo is all about writing a first draft at high speed. Roz Morris shares 5 tips for writing a useful draft at speed, Tosca Lee gives us the #1 rule of first drafts, and Jael McHenry sends a love letter to a sloppy first draft.

Your readers need to relate to your characters. If you are worried your characters are too abrasive to be liked, K.M. Weiland shares a trick to bring your characters instant adoration. If your characters are too perfect, Janice Hardy has 5 ways to fix your too-perfect characters. All main characters have a story arc, and Larry Brooks looks at the evolution of your hero.

Dialogue is key to a gripping story, but sometimes the tags that trip us up. Jen Matera revisits a dialogue tag primer, and K.M. Weiland explains why avoid “said” can be a big mistake

Sometimes it is the small things that make or break your work. Marcy Kennedy has 5 tips for finding point-of-view errors, and Becca Puglisi examines the art of turning a unique phrase

Monica Leonelle shares tons of tips on how to dictate your book to increase your productivity.

Once the book is written, we need to edit. Sometimes we need to trim word count, and we always need to polish. Liz Michalski shows us how to lose word weight by putting our manuscript on a diet, Corina Koch MacLeod and Carla Douglas explain how to get ready for an edit and save yourself some money, and Janice Hardy gives tips on copy editing your own work.

No matter what we write, no matter what our process, we are all writers pursuing this often odd craft. Barbara O’Neal shares some positive thinking for writers, Chelsey Pippin has 21 invaluable writing tips from renowned British writers, and James Scott Bell encourages us to embrace our weirdness.


Ebook giant Amazon had opened its first bricks and mortar bookstore in Seattle. Kristen Lamb explains why this is a good thing for readers and authors.

If you are looking to go ebook rather than print, Jane Friedman compiled a list of resources to publish an ebook.

Some unlucky authors have their books trapped with unscrupulous subsidy publishers. Judith Briles tells us how to avoid getting caught in the scams that subsidy publishers (vanity presses) run.

Sometimes the hardest question to answer in your pitch is “why?”. Mary Kole explains how to answer “why did you write this book?” in your pitch.

Perhaps you are looking for ways to make some money while waiting for your books to hit the big time. Leslie Truex explores freelance writing for online markets on the less glamorous end of the spectrum.

Much of success is mental. Anne R. Allen discusses 5 common delusions that keep writers from professional success.

Marketing largely consists of social media these days. Frances Caballo shares social media guidelines for newbie and experienced authors, Joleene Naylor explains what she learned about Facebook parties, and Thomas Umstattd gives us 7 ways author websites irritate readers and what to do about it.


Problems only book lovers understand, with LeVar Burton.

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

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