Links to Blog Posts on Writing – February and March 2017



I’ve been so focused on other things recently – one of them writing a bit! – I’ve decided to take this down to a bimonthly post. Today’s post summaries February’s and March’s posts that, for one reason or another, caught my eye. Enjoy!



Is It Time, Dear Writer, To Ditch Your Literary Agent?  Chuck Wendig with advice on the author-agent relationship.

Red Flag Alert: Loiacono Literary Agency, Swetky Literary Agency, Warner Literary Group – Victoria Strauss at Writer Beware. While she’s pointing at specific agencies, some of her points are universal.

When your agent wants to charge you a fee – Interesting article at the Query Tracker blog. I can’t imagine anyone being daft enough to fall for this, but if there’s a blog post about it, then…


How To Keep Writing Through Times Of Great Political Upheaval – Kameron Hurley guesting with Chuck Wendig.

Behind the Scam: What Does It Take to Be a ‘Best-Selling Author’? $3 and 5 Minutes – Brent Underwood at The Mission with a picture of his foot.

Bestseller Lists and Other Dreams – Kristine Kathryn Rusch with another look at how bestseller lists mean nowt.

Save Money on Professional Edits—6 Easy Ways to Clean Up Your Own Manuscript – Kristen Lamb with some good advice, although I’m not sure how it will save money. Professional editors charge on the basis of wordcount. I suppose giving them a clean copy will allow them to focus on a development edit rather than correcting your grammar, but I can’t see that being cheaper. Just more productive.

Real Writers Get Bad Book Reviews. Here’s Why That’s OK. – Michael Alvear at The Write Life

Publishers are hiring ‘sensitivity readers’ to flag potentially offensive content – article at the Chicago Times


Fonda Lee: Five Things I Learned Writing Exo

Lara Elena Donnelly: Five Things I Learned Writing Amberlough



Why You Should Consider Writing With an Omniscient Narrator – Martin Cavenagh at The Write Practice

A Simple Trick To A Stronger First Person Narrative – Janice Hardy at The Fiction University

Three Ways to HOOK a Reader & Never Let GO and The Seven Deadly Sins of Prologues—What Doesn’t Work and What Does – Kristen Lamb with some sound advice.

How to Fill Plot Holes In Your Novel – Janice Hardy at The Fiction University. That’s always assuming you realise that they’re there. So many books I’ve read where the author hasn’t seen a plot hole you could drive a farm tractor through or covered it so clumsily that it leaves you breathless.

Tips on Writing a Non-linear Narrative – Darlene Reilly at the Fiction University

How J.K. Rowling Plotted Harry Potter with a Hand-Drawn Spreadsheet

Fiction University’s Revision Workshop – a collection of articles to help you revise that first draft.

Descriptions – the Angels are in the Details! – Laura Drake at Writers In the Storm

“Write Better Character Description,” Said The 6’3”-Tall, 349-Pound, Bald Writer With Brown Eyes And Glasses, Who Was A Male Human – Philip Athans at Fantasy Authors Handbook



Write Unafraid, Without Fear Of Failure –“Tempt failure. March right up to it. Always write as if you’re about to fall on your face. Add fire.”

A Very Good List Of Vital Writing Advice — Do Not Ignore!  “25. Never Take Advice From Writers. We don’t know what the hell we’re doing, either, and if we did, we wouldn’t spend time telling you how to do it, we’d just be doing it.”

Is It Time, Dear Writer, To Ditch Your Literary Agent?

A Reminder Of What Makes A Real Writer – Also, kill a goat. TRUE writers kill goats.

So, You Wanna Be A Professional Writer? Some Considerations!  – So, what do you love about it? And how will you translate that love to a career?




Marketing for Authors Who Hate Marketing  – a new book from James Scott Bell.

7 Essentials for Your Book Launch – advice from K M Weiland

Make the Most of Your Book Back Cover With These Tips – Amy Collins at BookWorks

Using Back Matter to Sell More Books [Infographic] – Bookbub

Helpful Hacks to Build a Strong Online Brand – Jenny Hanson at Writers In The Storm

Review opportunities with BookLife – Ray Rhamey at Writer Unboxed. Worth a look!

Why Discounting Box Sets Can Dramatically Increase Sales – Carlyn Robertson at BookBub

How to Use BookBub to Get on The Amazon Bestsellers List – Alicia Rades at the Write Life

20 Ways Authors Use Videos to Engage with Readers – Diana Urban at BookBub

How Traditionally Published Authors Market Their Books (Free Flipbook!) – another good resource from BookBub



Author Blogs: 5 Bad Reasons for Authors to Blog and 5 Good Ones – Anne R Allen… at her blog. 😊



10 Questions to Ask Before You Accept a Traditional Publishing Deal – Susan Spann at Writers in the Storm. READ THIS is you’re looking at publishing through a publishing house.

Indie Publishing Paths – a series of articles at The Fiction University. A must read if you’re self-publishing.

How to Start Your Own Publishing Company – Erica Liodice at Writer Unboxed. “‘Sun City Press’ is a lot more impressive-sounding and easy to market as an imprint than ‘Joe Schmoe Books.” (Cough) Ever bought anything from Glass Hat Press? (cough).

Vendor Spotlight: Pronoun. Distribution Beyond Amazon – a new distributing house gives you another route to getting your books up on platforms such as B$N and iBooks. Details at Fiction University.

Creating Multi-Author Box Sets – Marcy Kennedy at The Fiction University. This is something I’m seriously thinking about doing, but the admin side of it is a bit scary.

Book Cover Design: How self-publishing authors can do it best – article and infographics at Reedsy. Hell, did I choke over their suggested price tags, but work through some of the principles and then go and look for a cover designer who doesn’t want you to sell them your kidneys. Six months ago I published a list of cover designers. Try one of these (scroll down to the bottom of the page)



The Author’s Biggest Mistake – contracting advice from KJ Charles, who is not only an author but has worked at several UK publishers and done a lot of contract negotiation. READ IT!

Pirates Beware: How to Prepare and Use a DMCA Takedown Notice – Susan Spann at Writers In The Storm



Open Access at The Met – The Metropolitan Museum has made more than 375,000 images of public domain artworks from its collection available to use, share, and remix—without restriction. Terrific resource for covers, illustrations, blog posts, etc

Writing the Crime Scene: Poison  –  very useful post for crime writers! Repo Kent at LitReactor, which is itself a good site to explore and keep bookmarked if you plan to murder a character or two.

The 100 Best Websites for Writers in 2017 – Marisol Dahl at The Write Life



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