Links To Blog Posts on Writing


I have been very remiss recently at keeping up to date with this sort of post. No real excuse – I’ve certainly been reading the posts other people make on writing and fallen on several of them with cries of joy. I’ve just been very bad at pulling them together to share. Mea Culpa. I will do better, I promise!

Anyhow, here’s a selection of posts and articles on writing that have caught my eye over the last few weeks:

Writing (general)

There Are Only Six Basic Plots, According To Computers – with the bonus of the video of Kurt Vonnegut talking about story shapes, which I’ve mentioned before, I think, but don’t mind repeating because it’s total awesomesauce.

The Clusterfuck that is the Hugo Awards:
If you hadn’t heard this already, then the Hugo Awards this year have been torpedoed by a coalition of white, reactionary, middle-aged male writers who call themselves the ‘Sad Puppies’ and who hate women/gays/anyone who isn’t them. They’ve gamed the system to get all their books put in for awards, and effectively destroyed any credibilitLinks6y the Hugos had. Sad.
The Hugo Awards: GamerGate Edition 2015 Chuck is not impressed.
The Hugo Awards Were Always Political – from Io9
Some Sad Puppy Data Analysis – it has charts, and pie charts and graphs and it gave me a headache.
Some comments on the Hugos and other SF awards – excellent post from author Eric Flint, who espouses that rare commodity, reason..


Writing (skills)

Posts at Writers Write on technical aspects of writing, all of which are worth a look:
45 Ways to avoid using the word “very”
Cheat Sheets for Writing Body Language  (but if you want something more comprehensive, invest in Ackerman and Puglisi’s book “The Emotional Thesaurus”)
The Five Elements of a Story
Persuasive Writing – Emotional vs Intellectual Words (follow the link in this one
Five Incredibly Simple Ways to Help Writers Show Not Tell
The Six Defining Characteristics of Strong Female Protagonists – although, to be honest, these seem to me to be the defining characteristics of strong characters, gender irrelevant. But maybe that’s the point they’re making. And if it isn’t the point they’re making, then they should be.
Why You Need Strong Verbs
Five Best Online Tools To Help You Outline Your Novel

Writing Tip: Characters  David Farland on creating characters with the dimensions of real people, not stick figures.

The Difference Between “Flawed” Characters and “Too Dumb to Live” – Kristen Lamb with an entertaining, and useful, post.


Writers on Writing

(a) Chuck Wendig
 I’ve been thinking for months that I quote so much of Chuck’s blog, he deserves a section to himself. So here it is.


The Ten Commandments on Authorial Self-Promotion

Rating Self-Promotional Techniques for Authors And Their Books

A Smattering Of Stupid Writer Tricks – loved this post, lots.

The Hugo Awards: GamerGate Edition 2015 Chuck is not impressed.

The Toxicity of Talent – on why it doesn’t matter

Authors and Their Opinions – on why you should have them and express them, even on controversial topics.

How To Make The Most Out Of A Writing Critique  – 10 tips for surviving it.

Writing Is A Profane, Irrational, Imperfect Act

Counting Words – on why you shouldn’t be jealous of how much other people write. Chuck says it here: Writers tell stories, not word counts

(b) Everyone else
Carrie Patel on Five Things I Learned Writing ‘The Buried Life’

Lauren Roy on Five Things I Learned Writing ‘Grave Matters’

Cat Rambo on Five Things I Learned Writing ‘Beasts of Tabat’

Molly Tanzer on Five Things I Learned Writing ‘Vermilion’


Technical ‘Stuff’

How To Clean Up Your Manuscript Formatting In MS Word – helpful tips from Veronica Sicoe

How to format your novel for Smashwords in ONE DAY – more helpful tips from Veronica. I would add that from my own experience of using Smashwords, their meatgrinder process is simple if you take a deep breath and keep it slow and methodical.


Marketing for Writers

Two posts from Chuck Wendig: The Ten Commandments on Authorial Self-Promotion and Rating Self-Promotional Techniques for Authors And Their Bookslinks3

How NOT to Sell Books: Top 10 Social Media Marketing No-Nos for Authors  – Anne Allen with some tips on not what to do. Nothing earth shattering, but a timely reminder for all of us.

Top Three Marketing Tools I Won’t Use with a follow-up post, Author Newsletter, Yes or No? –  Veronica Sicoe, who’s fast turning into my second fave pundit after Chuck. I like ‘pragmatic’, you see.

44 Types of Content to Share on Social Media – from Writer’s Write.

Social Media Chill Pill – 15 Top Tips For Writers On Social Media – from Writer’s Write, but I raised an eyebrow over the advice to engage on Goodreads. It’s a place primarily for readers, and they don’t let you forget it.

Social Media Is About Adding Value – Not Self-Promotion – from Writer’s Write, this post ties in with the previous two links.

Selling & Social Media–DON’T Be a Personal Space Invader  – Good advice from Kristen Lamb

Please Shut Up – Why Self-promotion As An Author Doesn’t Work – Delilah Dawson on being out of love with social media and promotion. She has some good points to make on why these don’t create a ‘pull’ for readers. She doesn’t have much in the way of solutions but ‘chill out and write more books’. Which, you know, I can sympathise with.



Independent Publishing And DMCA Abuse, Or “How A Scammer Got My Book Blocked With Very Little Effort” – a cautionary tale for self-publishers on how scammers can try and take you for a ride by filing false DMCA Abuse claims.

How To Spot A Rights Grab – Joel Friedlander with some very good advice on the warning signs in publishing contracts.



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