Those awesome posts!

Another rush of those amazing posts came my way and I couldn’t resist but to collect a few of them and line them up for you. See if you like them. My hope is you find a couple useful or at least interesting.

I haven’t kept my writer’s block a secret from anyone. If you have this, you know how painful it can be. This post is from Nathan Bransford on the subject. He has his own version of a break through. If Nathan Bransford doesn’t do it, here is the latest help on that subject from The Write Practice, by . Finally, Tiny Buddha has this great post on how to keep dreaming when others have discouraged you.

Free right now, in Amazon, this book is a great help to Write better. Check it out and get it…free! And a HUGE thanks to Winter Bayne for this tip!

We had a ton of announcements this week. Here’s Rose B. Fisher’s, an update from Natacha Guyot, Sourcerer has this one for self-promotion, here’s Infinitefreetime’s, Amos M. Carpenter had a big announcement here, Brittney Sahin has hers here, Chris McMullen has found a ton of awesome Math Blogs here and Ronovan made some changes here.

Looking for a way to improve your stats? Here’s a great post from The Positive Writer with 7 Great Blogging Tips.

If you need a laugh, check out this post from Elfkat I found thanks to Chris the Story Reading Ape.

And, finally, a little something to make you smile,

(credit: amazon.com)

(credit: amazon.com)

Posts I loved this week

An incredible week on posts, I was actually tempted to break this post into two parts because there were so many amazing posts out there. A huge thank you to everyone who’s written this inspirational, moving posts. They got me through a very snowy and tough week!

Suzie81 Speaks has a beautiful idea. She promotes a new blog on Mondays under the post Blog of the Day. Check out this wonderful idea here and meet a new blogger!

Hilarious and yet insightful, this post by The Story Reading Ape made me laugh. I absolutely loved it!

With her usual hilarious humour, Winter Bayne wrote this fantastic post on the Fifty Shades books. I loved it because it was not only insightful and incredibly honest but also so well written. Winter is an amazing, very talented author (check out the book covers she creates) don’t miss this awesome post!

A fantastic post on how to overcome the 7 worst writing barriers. Both true and insightful, those barriers are there in my head every day. A great post to get writing from Write To Done.

If you’re starting out your blog and wonder just how to get traffic, check out this post on how to create a loyal audience from Quick Sprout.

For those who love links and referrals, Nathan Bransford has his own post with them here.

The Top Ten Tuesday is quickly becoming a favourite feature of mine. Check out this week’s version on Part Time Monster and see why. Cute, adorable and funny, I just love that post!

A Writer’s Life For Me had a wonderful, insightful look at heroines and our attitude towards violence. I loved each and every word.

Molly Greene had a great post on blogging. She explains what authors should blog about with 6 things readers are looking for and things to avoid. As always, she’s a pro and the post is outstanding.

On the idea of the dangerous internet, check out this insightful post by Nathan Bransford on what happened to an author who reacted badly to an unkind review. Titled ‘Virtual Witch Hunts’, it scared me silly.

Just Gene’O, an amazing blog, had this fantastic series of posts on Internet Trolls. It started with Trollery, defining what it is and why it’s so hard to deal with it, moved on to Indicators, eight sure signs you’re dealing with a troll, How he handles it, with explanations as to why these ideas work, and finishes with a great series of questions to see How Vulnerable you are. We all hope to never meet at troll, but this is a great way to be prepared. A huge thanks to Gene’O for that incredible series!

Friday was a very special day online. Bloggers everywhere wrote about compassion. Instead of highlighting the ones I adored (and there were many) I thought I’d link you to one of the hosts and let you find the posts that move you. They’re all different but all on compassion, something we can all use more of.

#1000 Speak

To prologue or not to prologue

Prologues have a pretty bad rep. Most editors will tell you to cut them out. If they’re giving the reader crucial information, slide that into the book. If they’re hooking the reader, make it a chapter. Either way, chop that prologue away.

The issue with prologues is that they’re asking the reader to get into the book, not once, but twice. It takes effort. Some readers don’t make that effort. I have to admit, there are times when I’ve skipped the prologue. It’s a chancy business.

If you’re an indie author, you can do whatever makes you happy and go with your gut. They say prologues are out? You put in three. Who cares what they think? After all, you’re your own boss.

However, if you’re interested in what others are saying (here come the links!), I have some posts to share with you.

This one is by Marg McAllister in Foremost Press and breaks down when to use a prologue and when not to. It also explains the uses of a prologue and has examples when it works well.

This one is by Kristen Lamb and has the cons and pros of a prologue with a delicious title: The Seven Deadly Sins of Prologues.

This one is by Nathan Bransford and this one by Kristin Nelson where they explain all the reasons against prologues.

Finally, this one by Kas Thomas in his Author Zone in which he candidly explains pros and cons.

I should add that in my first book, I put in a prologue (about 5 lines long) and now, my second, I’m considering doing without.

What about you? Do prologues work for you? Do you skip them (gasp!) when you’re reading or faithfully read every word?

Publishing in a brave new world

So you have a manuscript and you want to publish it. Today, you may have more choices than ever before. You can publish it by the traditional route of getting an agent and getting a publishing contract or you can go the independent route. Like all really tough decisions, there are pros and cons to both venues. Since I’m so new to the entire process, I have a few posts that discuss them for us written by the pros.

* Claire Cook wrote this one on Jane Friedman’s blog. She used to be a traditionally published author…until bad things happened. She has a candid view on what can go wrong and what to look out for. I was stunned.

* The Passive Voice is a great site because it deals with the legal aspect of publishing for both indie and traditional authors. Check out this post on the pros and cons of both, Two Different Worlds or this one on indie authors making a living self-publishing.

* In this one, Nathan Bransford argues that there is no right way, there’s only your way and discusses pros and cons of each.

* In this one from , two authors discuss the pros and cons of each path to publishing bliss.

One final note, there are some traditionally published authors who are suddenly self-publishing their books. Something else to keep in mind when making that decision.

Maya Banks is self-publishing her Tangled Hearts trilogy.

Nalini Singh is coming out with a surprise ebook: Rock Addiction that’s a contemporary romance (completely new genre for her) in September.

The publishing industry is changing rapidly and so are the pros and cons of publishing. This brings us back to you. What do you think? Which way is better for you?

Note: Apparently, that was the printing press back in the day!

Posts I loved this week

During a week when we listed our home, these wonderful posts kept me smiling through hectic, insane times. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

I re-blogged these photos from the feature Silent Sunday (one and two) because I just couldn’t stop admiring them. Incredibly beautiful, they are both simple and elegant. A big thank you to Sourcerer and The Writing Catalog for sharing these. They’re absolutely stunning.

This one was not only well written, it was useful. We’re moving and my writing time is disappearing. This post has really great ideas to maximize time. A big thank you to LKR for the post!

Definitely one to read, this post is on the 5 biggest barriers to gaining a great Social Media presence. Since I believe Social Media is very important, I certainly appreciated the post! Thank you Kissmetrics!

One blog I never miss is Infinitefreetime. His posts are never predictable, funny and always entertaining–sort of the same as the book The Benevolence Archives Vol.1. You be the judge with this post or this one.

If you’re looking for blogging tips, look no further. Sourcerer selflessly shared theirs in this great post. A big thanks for those great how-to lists!

I loved this post because not only is it a list, it’s a book list. Top books read so far means recommendations. I love finding new books to read. Yum! Thank you so much, Part Time Monster!

Funny writing myths that I used to believe…ahem. A big thanks to Jeff Elkins for the great post!

I loved this post because waiting for replies from publishers is sooo hard to do. This post helped me not feel alone and gave me ideas on how to send those letters and not worry.

I laughed at this post by Nathan Bransford because I could relate and I found the way he put it really funny. I love a laugh.

An absolutely inspiring post on hashtags. Powerful, moving and really well written, this is an awesome post. A big thanks to Sourcerer for re-blogging it and to Rose B. Fisher for the post!

And finally, a bit of self-indulgence…Fifa…ahhhh! Sooo good! The Beautiful Game is back!

Editing links

If you’re editing and you’re like me, you don’t want to spend any more time at this task than you need to. That’s why, before you start adding comas and deleting adverbs, you might want to keep in mind how these pros do the job. I certainly wish I had done so before I did the editing of Olivia’s Choice. Instead of an entire year, the thing might have been done much sooner.

http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2011/05/how-i-edit.html–author, writer and literary agent, Nathan Bransford knows writing. Here’s how he edits.

http://www.demerybunn.com/blog/2013/12/30/the-joy-and-necessity-of-editing-2-novel-length-edits/ — Big edits first. Don’t edit the little things first. It’s like choosing paint while you still haven’t finished the roof.

http://www.demerybunn.com/blog/2014/03/19/the-joy-and-necessity-of-editing-7-in-line-revision/— little edits. When the big guys are done, check out those little things. They add up, so get a good cup of coffee and your eagle eye.

http://elizabethspanncraig.com/1559/approaching-messy-first-drafts/–when you don’t know where to start, start here.

http://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/2013/06/how-i-self-edit-my-novels-15-steps-from.htmlIPPY Award-winning and internationally published author of the Amazon bestsellers Outlining Your Novel and Structuring Your Novel, as well as the  western A Man Called Outlaw, the medieval epic Behold the Dawn, and the epic fantasy DreamlanderK.M. Weiland certainly knows writing. This is how she edits.

http://romanceuniversity.org/2012/09/07/five-things-to-consider-during-revisions-with-loucinda-mcgary/–five things to look for while you’re editing by author Loucinda McGary.

http://romanceuniversity.org/2012/03/09/the-best-way-to-edit-by-tracy-sumner/–If the traditional ways don’t work for you, try this post!

http://www.profkrg.com/11-tips-for-editing-your-own-writing–eleven clear steps anyone can follow.

Do you have a way to edit that works for you? Share it! I’d certainly love any tips you can send my way.

Conflict

I’m editing and I keep wondering, is there enough conflict in my story? Though I could do without it in real life, it’s different in my story. In a book, conflict is key. It’s so important.

So, I did a bit of searching and found some sites on conflict. If you’re like me and wondering if you have enough of it, these might help.

http://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/2013/11/double-storys-conflict-seconds.html–How to double your conflict in seconds. Thanks to K.M. Weiland. 

http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2009/03/on-conflict.html–Nathan Bransford weighs in on conflict and why you need it.

http://blog.janicehardy.com/2012/11/guest-author-cj-redwine-how-to-escalate.html–10 ways to escalate conflict in your story.

http://blog.janicehardy.com/2010/11/find-your-plot-fridays-forcing-issue.html–By Janice Hardy again. Another great post on how to add conflict to scenes.

http://thewritepractice.com/creating-conflict/–by Joe Bunting on how to create conflict.

http://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/2012/09/why-your-storys-conflict-isnt-working.html–A very important point about adding valid conflict by K.M. Weiland.

And finally, a cute and funny test by Janice Hardy to see if you’re too nice to your characters. http://blog.janicehardy.com/2010/12/do-you-suffer-from-nws-living-with-nice.html

P.S. Yes, I did take the test and, no, I don’t want to talk about how I did.

Posts I loved this week

I loved, loved the posts this week and I think you’ll see why below. They’re just top notch. Absolute gems. Check out these beauties.

I love getting links and tips and here, Winter Bayne sent out a selection of blogs she adores. A big thanks to her because I love finding new blogs!

This one is great for that writer’s toolbox. Nathan Bransford posted this great selection of tips for before, during and after writing your masterpiece. Keep in mind he actually wrote a book on how to write books and it’s doing really well. These posts are the top writing advice posts from his blog. Don’t miss out.

I loved this post by David J. Delaney because my characters too seem to do what they want at times and I have a difficult time bringing them back to task.

This one is a really interesting post about writing as therapy–from the author’s perspective. They always say, ‘write what you know’, so it makes sense that our characters would have pieces of us in them.  Thank you Victoria Grefer, for the great post!

If you’re a fan of the bad-boy hero, check out this post by A.O Peart at Romance University. Not only does it explain the reasons behind the attraction, it has a list of possible bad-boy heroes in books you may not have yet read…Yum!

Here‘s a fantastic post by K.M. Weiland on ‘downtime’ for writers and why there’s no such thing. A big thank you to Winter Bayne for sending me the link!

If you’re looking for an interesting hook on how to find books, check out this post by Inky Tavern. There are three examples of the first two sentences of these books and they all sound absolutely amazing. Now, I’m thinking of all the beginnings to my favourite books. How did they start? What a great post!

Infinitefreetime got a new look this week. He went Premium. If you’re considering spending the money, you might want to see what his blog looks like now. On another note, awesome cover and big congrats on his upcoming book!

The April Blogging challenge is still on and I have been delighted with it because the quality of the posts has been absolutely amazing. Check out these great blogs and their amazing posts this week. One, on Tone, is The Writing Catalog and the other is on Twitter, by BCII. A big, big thanks to both for their great posts and hard work. You’re almost at the end!

For the bloggers out there, here are 5 blogging tips you might be overlooking. A big thanks to Drew Iaconis for the excellent post!

Alianne Donnelly had this post that I absolutely drooled over. She explains in it the reasons why she writes. The post really resonated with me. I loved her honesty and integrity.

Posts I loved this week

This week’s posts are just below. Interesting and inspiring, I’m always amazed by the quality of writing in blogging posts.

I loved this post by Jodie Llewellyn because it made me think about my own writing and my self-awareness. An excellent post and very thought-provoking.

If you’re looking for inspiration, go no further. This collection of great quotes by great writers will get you moving. A big thanks to Jen for the post!

Nathan Bransford had a guest post from Natalie Whipple who posted about the differences between indie publishing and traditional publishing. See the post here.

DBCII had this great post about newspapers in the internet age. Really, really interesting. If you’re wondering what the trends are and what’s going on, definitely check it out.

Mishka Jenkins had an awesome idea on her blog to help anyone looking for a good read. We’ll share links to our books! She’s got a list going and it’s got some very interesting choices. Some of them are free! 😀

And don’t miss out this superb post by Gene’O on Narrative. Beautifully written, with links for support, it’s insightful and captivating. I started reading and I just wanted it to go on. Then go onto this one on Pacing. With great insights and very clearly written, it’s one not to be missed. A big thank you for the great posts to Gene’O on The Writing Catalog!

A really alarming post about males and reading (I suspected male readers weren’t on the rise but I didn’t think it was this bad) and trends. I found it through Alianne Donnelly’s great post on Readers and Reading.

Posts I loved this week

Spring has sprung and we have an amazing selection of posts! Check out these beauties.

I don’t know if I have mentioned how much I like blog writers. It’s the reason I started this weekly post. There are some amazing writers out there. I read some of their posts and simply sigh with joy at how well they write. Here‘s an example in the blog Kateywrites. Funny, light-hearted and easy to read. The post flows so well, it’s deceptive just how difficult it is to write so eloquently. Katey is one talented writer…and funny to boot! Loved it!

Outmanned did it again and I laughed out loud at this post…while in a coffee shop full of people. I don’t care. It was worth all the stares. What a great post! Then she wrote this one and I almost cried. She can make me laugh and cry. What a gifted writer.

I loved, loved this post on The Writing Catalog because Gene’O described a dream he has had for years and, I suspect, kept hidden. It takes a lot of guts to disclose something like that. It’s a beautiful dream that I hope sees the light of day. It resonated with me because it was so full of promise and potential. And the story of how it was born is so beautiful. A secret dream, kept hidden for years…Sigh.

A great idea from Mishka Jenkins on how to improve your visualization for writing. Check out this post from A Writer’s Life for Me.

Nathan Bransford’s site is always informative. This week he wrote this post on ways to tell if you have a good agent. Coming from someone who was once an agent himself, the post is a sure way to know if you have a good one. Ahem. Being self-published, I don’t have one but, if you do, check it out.

 wrote this great post on books about writing in Writer Unboxed. Lots of times, I too searched for the magical formula that would make my book an instant best seller. The truth is, there’s no such thing. A big thank you to Ms. McHenry for such a great post!

This one is a great post for procrastinators. A big thank you to Donna Cummings, who explains a great trick to get you going. I’ve done it and it really works.

I just about died laughing with this one. Turns out Infinitefreetime is a teacher and he just returned from a trip with a group of his students. This is what he posted as he arrived. Ha!

DBCII wrote this post about Hooks. The title alone had me interested and the post didn’t disappoint. From Twitter to newspapers, it was a great overview about hooks and what role they play in our world. Great post!

Now Winter Bayne is deep into Camp Nano but she still managed to write this great post. I particularly loved it because it was funny, true and touching all at once. Even managed to get a cutie-patootie doggie picture!