Welcome to the first Top Picks Thursday of December! I cannot believe the year has gone so fast.
Since it is holiday time for many people, Ruth Harris has a gifts for writers wish list.
NaNoWriMo has also wrapped up for another year, and Ash Krafton has some encouraging words for those who didn’t “win” NaNo.
Speaking of winners, Colson Whitehead wins the National Book Award for The Underground Railroad.
Mike Richardson talks about the coolest book of the year: Moebius Library: The World of Edena.
In fighting for diversity, books can be a potent weapon. The Horn Book shares their Making A Difference booklist, and The Guardian writers discuss the non-Western books that every student should read.
Civil-rights icon John Lewis shares his thoughts upon winning the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature with March: Book Three. “Read everything. Be kind. Be bold.”
If you are interested in poetry, Lee Wind shares a poetry resource that defines many different types of poetry. For prose writers, Jane Friedman has a round-up of posts on how to write a great story, and Gill Stewart discusses writing cross genre.
K.M. Weiland tells us how to write a scene outline we can use, and Warren Adler lists the top 7 details you need to think about when writing historical fiction.
The beginning is crucial to your story. Part of the beginning is making sure you have the right premise for your story. K.M. Weiland shows how to identify your story’s premise—and its most important part. Once you have that, you need to have a great first scene. Paula Munier tells us how to start your first scene right.
As important as beginnings are, if your ending disappoints readers they won’t come back for more. Janice Hardy explores what makes a good ending, while Kassandra Lamb takes it a bit further and looks at when and how to end a series.
Characters and their emotions suck the reader into the story. Michael Schiff explains the 2 stages of creating a believable character, K.M. Weiland lists 8 necessary tips for writing child characters, and Hannah Heath has 7 tips for writing emotion into your story.
Roz Morris examines how to get maximum impact from a story, Mary Kole warns against the dangers of heavy-handed imagery and theme, Jaiden M. Pierson talks backstory, Bonnie Randall looks at personification, and Martina Boone shares a 30-question revision checklist to help get you through the process.
A whole lot of writing is psychological. Nick Ripatrazone advocates not worrying so much, Deniz Yalim discusses how to let go of fear, The Magic Violinist lists 4 ways to create empathy in your writing, James Scott Bell shows how heating up point of view for greater reader empathy, Larry Brooks shares the most important aspect of craft that gets almost no airtime, and Kristen Lamb has the single largest secret to success.
While there is no “formula” for writing a bestseller, Sarah Juckes notes 10 things you’ll find in every bestselling book.
If you want to make more money in the coming year, Lee Foster shares 11 ways to monetize your writing and photos in 2017.
Dan Blank reveals what agents and publishers want and why, Janet Reid tells us the appropriate timetable for querying a second novel, and Chuck Sambuchino has 17 literary agents seeking Young Adult science fiction and fantasy.
We writers are protective of our words. Matt Knight discusses negotiating editorial control in your publishing contract.
Book marketing takes so many forms these days. Sarah Bolme talks book marketing with endorsements, Mark Gross delves into using metadata to help readers find your book, and Zoe M. McCarthy has pointers for writing book discussion questions.
In online marketing, Chris Syme lists 4 steps to selling more books with less social media, and Frances Caballo gives us an author’s guide to email marketing.
THE UNIQUE SHELF
I think we all need to laugh a little: Julie Gerstein has 18 people who definitely failed English class.
The Passive Voice discusses the need to read, while the United Arab Emirates has passed an awesome law to “make reading a daily habit.”
Lewis Dartnell gives us pointers on how to cope with the literal end of the world.
We Chroniclers love our libraries, and Matt Meltzer brings us a collection of the best college campus libraries.
New Shakespeare information is still coming to light after 400 years. Shakespeare may have tailored Henry V for a specific theater, and a heraldry researcher unearths a trove of new Shakespeare documents.
A modern-day Civil War mystery has been solved! A Michigan woman says she mailed Civil War letters to the post office.
Although we five chroniclers don’t live close to each other, we do live in the same region — southern and central New Jersey and southeastern Pennsylvania — and we’re going to show our support for libraries by concluding with a photo of a local library for the next several weeks (until we run out of them!) This week, we’ll give a shout out to the Ephrata Public Library in Ephrata, Pennsylvania.
That’s it for this week’s Top Picks Thursday!