Posted by: Kerry Gans | July 12, 2018

Top Picks Thursday! For Writers & Readers 07-12-2018

Welcome to this week’s Top Picks Thursday! July is steaming, but here are some cool writerly links. Grab a cold drink, kick back by the pool, and enjoy!

Lee Wind reveals the movement to NOT italicize foreign words.

Neil Gaiman and others mourn the loss of Spiderman and Dr. Strangelove co-creator Steve Ditko.

Alexandra Alter investigates the changing face of romance novels.

Steve Laube has some great tips for safeguarding your identity and privacy as an author.


When most people talk about structure, they are thinking macro—the overall story structure. But structure can be found down to the sentence level, and everywhere in between. Jami Gold describes how we can use beat sheets with shorter fiction like short stories and novellas, while Eddie Jones explains the making of a scene.

No matter what we write, the characters have to be compelling. Not always likeable, but compelling. Donald Maass explores what heroism means today, Brian DeLeonard reboots the mentor trope, Greer Macallister talks about how to write bad characters, and Jami Gold discusses the antagonist role in romance.

Tamar Sloan shows how to “level up” your character’s wound, Jo Eberhardt explains how to get the English language dialect you want correct, and Fae Rowen has 5 conflict-making choices your characters can make (part 1 and part 2).

Every writer can use an editor at some point in the process. Natasia Lekic of New York Book Editors has tips for editing your book, and Hayley Milliman has 8 self-editing techniques to cut your editing time in half. Ryan van Cleave shares the 7 habits of highly effective writing critique groups, Melissa Donovan demystifies using fewer vs. less, and Patricia B. Smith wonders if editing is a dying art.

Writers are always looking to write better, faster. K.M. Weiland gives us 8 steps for learning responsibly so we find the process that works best for us, Dave Chesson lists 6 steps to achieving zen-like writer efficiency, James Scott Bell reminds us of the importance of creativity time, and Joel Friedlander urges us not to overlook the most basic of writer tools: the keyboard.

Writing can be an emotional roller coaster for writers. Akshaya Raman admits to giving up on writing again and again, Cristian Mihai tells us how to feel good about our writing, Anna Elliott says to keep your hustle joyful, and Janice Hardy explores how a new kitten is like a new story idea.


Alex Clark discusses the ongoing rise of the audiobook.

If you’re a self-publisher and are considering a paperback box set, Helena Halme advises how, when, and why to self-publish a paperback box set.

No matter what publishing path you take, you will need an author bio. Rachel Gardner tells us how to write an author bio people will remember.

Marketing is often the part of being a professional writer that sends authors over the edge. Roz Morris has advice for shy writers: feel the fear and put yourself out there. Elena Mikalsen lists 10 ways to survive your debut author year, Austin Kleon assures us that you don’t have to live in public, and Jael McHenry reveals how to deal with book promotion fatigue.

There is a method to marketing madness. Rick Lite shares the ultimate book marketing timeline for indie authors—part 1 and part 2. Penny Sansevieri has a simple method to market your book, Therese Walsh lists 13 ways to promote before publication, and Rachelle Gardner brings us 12 mistakes authors make when connecting to readers.

One good marketing tool is your website and/or blog. Aidee Ladnier explains why all new authors need a website, Renard Moreau asks if you are happy with your blog, and Jordan Peters has the way to beat blogger’s block.

Frances Caballo shares her expertise about different platforms this week: 9 best practices to boost your LinkedIn profile, how to build a community on Twitter, and how poets especially can use Instagram for brand-building and success.


Lisa Ruiz answers the question: what is Gothic fiction?

Charlotte Ahlin investigates why mice were wildly popular in children’s books in the 80s and 90s.

Take a look at a message written in a copy of The Faerie Queene that reveals it to be one of the last books read by England’s Charles I.

That’s it for this week’s Top Picks Thursday! Join us next week for more writerly links…and poolside refreshments.


  1. 🙂 Thank you for the mention.

    Also, your article is loaded with resources from other fantastic bloggers.


  2. Thanks for the blog love, Kerry!


  3. Thanks so much for all the times you share my link, Kerry! Much appreciated! 😀


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