Writing tips!

Found a whole gaggle of writing posts that might just come in handy to all the authors out there.

1. Before you send out your query letter or your manuscript, read this checklist. Don’t make the mistake I did and mess up your blog address or their name (yikes!). A big thank you to Chuck Sambuchino for the great post!

2. If you’re trying to meet word goals, read this article on how to write faster–and better too! A great post by .

3. If you have trouble meshing time passing in your novel, check out these great tips on how to do it seamlessly. A big thank you to C.S. Lankin.

4. For those of us who write romance, this is a great one to add some spice to our novels. Writing good chemistry and sexual tension are easier said than done. Check out this how-to post by one of the experts, Susan Squires.

5. You need a great start-up line? You need a hook to end your chapter? Look no further. Monica M. Clark has done all the hard work for us. Check out this great post on hooks to keep even the most indifferent reader turning those pages.

Here’s hoping you can use these! 🙂

Posts I loved this week

I’m humbled and delighted with these posts. They’re simply amazing. Bloggers are highly talented people and, in my opinion, produce amazing posts. Check out this week’s great offerings.

I really appreciated this post on reasons to keep going when the editing gets tough. Editing is tough. You’ve created this beautiful story and, in editing, you cut it to pieces. It’s hard to do it day after day. I loved hearing reasons to keep going especially now that I’m editing Amy’s Courage like mad. A big thank you for the awesome post to Victoria Grefer.

I loved this post by Jodie Llewellyn because I think all writers find themselves in that place of doubt at one point or another. She writes with incredible courage and raw honesty that made me not only feel for her but identify very strongly with that incredible post.

A really cute post (and funny!) about lessons learned from the 80’s movies. Check it out and laugh! A big thank you to Dadmissions for the great post!

Seven great tools to hook your reader. Of course, great writing should always be our goal as writers but these are gems to keep in mind. I know I will keep these close to my fingertips. A big thank you to Monica M. Clark for the great post on The Write Practice!

I loved this post because it spelled out just how to connect emotionally to your readers. I find that my enjoyment of a book depends directly on how well I connect emotionally to the hero or heroine. That’s such a key point, so I loved this post and I’m very grateful to Nate Philbrick and Writerology for the great ideas!

Wow. Don’t miss this picture post by The Writing Catalog. Just…wow.

A big question all writers have to answer is what name to be published under. This post interested me because I struggled with that question myself and it offers a myriad of answers. A big thank you to  for the great post!

I loved this post by Mishka Jenkins on characters’ backstories. I love having characters with a rich backstory. I love reading about them too. Her post brought that to life for me. Plus, it had links to other posts on the subject! Bonus!

Oh, this post touched my heart. A dog’s eyes can say a million things. Incredibly, Part Time Monster caught a picture of this phenomenon. Amazing post.

If you’re an author thinking of starting a website, this post is for you. If you are considering starting a blog or want to know what yours should include, check out this one instead. A big thanks to Mishka Jenkins for sending those beauties my way and to Callisto Green for the awesome posts!

If you’re editing, you might want to check this one out. I have to admit, I make those mistakes. This post has great examples that really clarify the difference–for example between whom and who. Who knew! A big thank you to Jon Gingerich for the great post and excellent examples.

Finally, four tips for writing a great novel. This one was a hit for me because it’s only four, not twenty or fifty. A big thank you to  from Writer Unboxed for the great post!

Posts I loved this week

From the amazingly useful to posts that are just so well written I was in awe, this week’s posts speak for themselves.

A how-to for those interested in Twitter. Sourcerer is committing to a series of posts to teach readers how to not only Tweet but to also grow a following. You can find the first of those instalments here. They’re easy to read, short and uncomplicated. A great big thank you for Gene’O for being so giving and sharing the secret of his hard-researched success with everyone!

If you’re dealing with burn out, or are in the grip of that nasty Writer’s Block, check out this post by Winter Bayne. One of the hardest working people I know, she has a very unique way of dealing with the exhaustion that comes from tough deadlines and the demands of writing.

Six tips on how to write a surprise ending. A big thanks to Chris Musgrave for that great post!

A really interesting look back by a participant in the A to Z Challenge, this post highlights what Elsie Elmore has learned from the process and includes links to some awesome blogs!

On that topic, here‘s Amos M. Carpenter‘s perspective on the same challenge. He’s a newish author and has a very different take on the entire thing–though not any less interesting.

Trying to present a professional writing front is all good but there’s something to be said for honesty. I connect to other authors through their struggles and their triumphs, so I definitely enjoyed this post by Mishka Jenkins on the subject. And this interview giving me some insight into who she is.

If you’re looking for inspiration, check out this post by Monica M. Clark. She has four great tips I loved. What a great post!

I can’t thank Part-Time Monster enough for this post. So, so, sooo good. Thank you. It made my day. It also made me wonder why I waited so long to follow them. Nuts. I hate missing out on a great blog.

If you’re looking for narrating your story from a different point of view here‘s a great idea from  Liz Bureman.

Super-excited about this book coming to film. I hope they do it justice because the book is absolutely incredible and I think it would make such an amazing film–if done right. I had no idea this was happening until I saw Winter Bayne‘s post. It made my day.

Finally, I loved, loved this quote. It’s exactly what I want to do to my book Amy’s Courage. I’m going back and it’s going to be nasty. A big thank you to Serial Narratives for it.

Character flaws–a great gift

I loved this post by Monica M. Clark. I always loved it when characters aren’t just evil for the sake of being evil and aren’t just perfect because they’re the hero and heroine. In fact, flat characters like that tend to turn me away from a book. When I write, I always hope to make my characters both flawed and gifted, whether they’re the heroine or the villain.

Personally, I don’t know if I would call the thing that shapes your protagonist or antagonist a “flaw” per se.  I think it’s more of a trait,” Ms. Clark says. And that’s a great way to put it, isn’t it? Maybe my villain keeps the hero away from the heroine because he’s prejudiced against him but, at the same time, he’s caring about her, he’s trying to protect her. That same ‘flaw’ might be a redeeming quality if he cares about the heroine enough to save her life, say.

Here’s how she explains it. “…a character’s “flaw” is the source of both his greatest strength and his greatest weakness. So, if the flaw is “fear of failure,” then the strength is that he is careful, prepared, and a strategist, while the weakness is that he is also relentless.”

Love it. Love how one strength is also a weakness and vice versa. Love it. I think, if I manage to study my characters this way, it’ll make them richer and more enjoyable.

What a great post. Loved it! A big thanks to Ms. Clark for writing it!