Friday, December 30, 2011

The Excitement of a Small Town Setting

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

Chloe and me in downtown Matthews[6]I’ve talked to writers before who just don’t get why I write small town settings.

“But it really limits what you can do!” and “Does anything really ever happen in small towns?” are the two comments I usually get when the topic comes up.

I’ve found, though, that it’s not limiting because a lot does happen in small towns. I grew up in one and still remember some of the shocking, soap-opera-like stories I’d overhear the grownups whispering over. You’ve never known drama until you’ve lived in a small town.

Small towns are full of secrets: When everyone knows everyone else, you feel the need to hide things that you don’t want the whole town knowing about. Realizing there’s a character with a secret and having a protagonist work to unearth it leads to natural suspense.

Small towns can set the stage for conflict: Feelings run deep in a small community because perceived slights seem personal.

Isolation: Small towns can seem, or actually be, remote. If you’re writing a book where the characters need to either feel or really be cut off from the rest of the world, a small town setting can really add that element to your story. Want Wi-Fi? Good luck.

Replicating a small town feel in a larger town setting:

I also write stories set in larger locations—no one would call Memphis a small town. But I try to replicate that small-town feel in other ways:

Limited setting: The story’s action centers around a central location with limited other scene settings. Just get rid of your wide angle lens and the panoramic city shots in your story and pull the shot in.

Presence of family and connectivity: Gathering around food, conversations in rocking chairs on porches, etc.

Recurring series characters who are warm and engaging for readers.

Do you enjoy reading or writing stories based in small town settings? What particular elements of this setting have you found interesting to work with or read?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Planning a Book

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

IMG_4118_copyI’ve always been somewhat allergic to the word outline. I don’t outline books unless editors ask me to.

But that doesn’t mean that I wander through a book with no direction at all. There are a couple of different things I do before and during a first draft to make the process a lot quicker: I come up with a big picture plan for the book (and write back cover copy for it), and make mini outlines for the following day so that I have an idea what I’m wanting to accomplish the next morning.

But to me, this isn’t outlining.

My teenage son and I were waiting in line at a salon for him to get his hair cut. He’s got this really shaggy hair and he really doesn’t like getting it cut because he wants it a very particular way. And he only wants Phil to cut his hair. We’ll wait for an hour to see Phil since it’s the type of place that doesn’t take appointments. Yes, I bring my manuscript with me. :)

When Phil found out I was a writer, he started playfully pretending to ask me to write a book based around his salon. The main character would be Philippe and it would involve various dramas that play out at the salon.

My son thought that zombies and a dystopian feel to the novel would be a good idea. They’ve been enthusiastically adding storylines and characters to this pretend project for the last few months. My son is reading Romeo and Juliet for school, so he’s also pulled in some characters from that play—Benvolio and Tybalt, for instance. He also thought it would be cool to include the wicked Montresor from The Cask of Amontillado.

Last Friday, while we were waiting at the salon, he said, “Mom! Can you write this story?” He was half-serious.

“Under an assumed name,” I told him. “I don’t think my readers are looking for me to write a cross between Dawn of the Dead and Romeo and Juliet with Poe thrown in for good measure!”

“How would we do it?” he asked me. “If we wanted to?”

“It’s easy,” I said. I took out my always-handy notebook and wrote cast of characters, setting, internal conflict, external conflict, climax, resolution.

He quickly named the characters and a two or three word explanation of who they were. The protagonist and antagonist got a little more explanation. He came up with a love triangle, an internal conflict when the protagonist had a choice on whether to save his mom or his girlfriend from zombies, and some other details. Phil called out some ideas, too.

“How do you want it to end?” I asked him. He devised a standoff at a mall, and I told him that had been done before. :) He created another ending that was original and pretty thrilling. “Hey,” I said, “you have to leave room for a sequel, too.” So he modified the ending again.

“How do you want it to start?” I asked. He listed a peaceful day at the salon. “Might work,” I said, “but for your readers, they might want to start off with zombies trying to break into the salon and the stylists building a barricade.”

It took about ten minutes to come up with this plan, but of course, they’d been talking about this pretend book for months. “Mom,” my son said, “I think I almost could write this book.”

“Of course you could!”

“But I thought you said you didn’t outline.”

“This isn’t an outline.” I’m sure I must have recoiled at the word. “This is brainstorming. And making a list. And a chart. This stuff can all be changed, too—you’re not locked into it.”

And somehow, when undertaking something as massive as writing a book, it’s kind of cool to see it reduced to a sheet of paper.

What sort of planning do you do before starting a new project?

Monday, December 26, 2011


by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

treeHope everyone had a wonderful holiday! I enjoyed my Christmas break. :) Although I wasn’t blogging last week, I was tweeting…and here are the writing links I tweeted (in a special Monday edition of Twitterific!)

Hope you’ll have a chance to relax a little and click over to a few of these blogs…there are some great resources here.

Widen Your Reach - Know Your Audience: @KarenCV

Why Your Book Pitch Matters (Even If You Don't Want an Agent): @JFBookman

A look at holiday parties in crime fiction: @mkinberg

85 Synonyms for "House": @writing_tips

Dos and Don'ts of taking a much needed break while writing for web: @lizstrauss

The Value of Social Media for Writers: Self-Promotion or External-Validation? @wegrowmedia

10 Remarkable Posts That Pull Inspiration From Your Own Blog: @SeanPlatt

Create Creativity Pillars to Boost Your Productivity Level: @krissybrady

Two SF/Fantasy Predictions for 2012:

Open to Interpretation: @soulofaword

Is your novel missing a sense of time and place?

Perfecting our elevator pitch: @JohnKremer

1 writer's rewriting solution:

The appearance of character: @cncbooks

Shutting the Drawer: What Happens When a Book Doesn't Sell? @EdanL

The truth about book publicity: @ChuckSambuchino for @rachellegardner

Encouragement for writers: @byseanferrell

Distractions Can Be Used To Our Advantage: @krissybrady

Clothe Characters Well—Choose Words that Fit: @NovelEditor

Reasons Not to Self-Publish: A Fallacy is Exposed: @gary_author for @Jhansenwrites

Are you playing to your strengths as a writer? @jhansenwrites

Kindle-Proof Your Book in 7 Easy Steps: @The_Millions

5 Timeless Books of Insight on Fear and the Creative Process: @brainpicker

Critiquing: The Naughty and the Nice: @JenBrinn

Beyond the Basics—Push the Story and Push Yourself: @NovelEditor

The E-Reader of Sand: The Kindle and the Inner Conflict Between Consumer and Booklover: @mrkocnnll

Sitting and watching:

What Happens to Your Manuscript in Hollywood? Coverage: @WriteAngleBlog

Baker & Taylor Digital Chief on Reaching Millions of Readers: @digibookworld

Character Development and Staying in Character: @billsonskinner

How to Pick an ereader This Holiday Season: @mashable

Making Room for Readers: @SteveHimmer

5 writing truths: @Ava_Jae

6 Simple Mistakes to Avoid when Creating an Online Video: @jeffbullas

How To Accomplish More By Doing Less: @the99percent

Rewriting: the Genre Pass: @AlexSokoloff

Why Writers Must Make Themselves Easy to Contact: @ChuckSambuchino

Does Blogging Sell Books? — 3 Marketing Strategies for Writers:

Foreign Rights Directors in France: The Advantages of Being Foreign: @pubperspectives

Character Reaction—Make Your Characters Respond: @NovelEditor

Google Plus: 7 Reasons Why You Should Give It A Try: @podjamtv

An agent on publisher rejections: @greyhausagency

The State of the Blogosphere 2011: @briansolis

Tough love and being a writer: @KristenLambTX

Writing Goals: 2012 — The Herald's Call: @gointothestory

Author Tech Review: The Kindle Fire: @authortech

When self-publishing goes wrong:

Does Alcohol Improve Your Writing? @slatest

14 offbeat gifts for writers: @latimesbooks

Why showing, not telling, is so important: @clarissadraper

Weighing the costs of promo: @BevVincent

Commas and clauses: @EPubGuide

Hosting a blog tour successfully: @Margo_L_Dill

Screenwriting: Should you write an ensemble piece? @jacobkrueger

Do Intro Prologues Work? @Janice_Hardy

The call to action in our story: @TheresaStevens

Memoir writing tips: @mroachsmith @jeffgoins

Will publishers kill Amazon's golden goose? @PassiveVoiceBlg

On scene length: @theresastevens

How to write a good sidekick:

The destructive side of the creative community: @MarkChangizi for @CreativityPost

Asking why: @YAHighway

"Hating Amazon Is Not a Strategy" — The World Reacts As Amazon Opens a New Front in the Pricing Wars: @scholarlykitchn

Self-Publishing And Ebook Predictions For 2012: @Rule17 for @thecreativepenn

Tips for making school appearances: @amydominy for @BlurbisaVerb

Rest breaks for writers--feeding the creative artist:

1 writer's free ebook experiment: @season4romance

The writer's voice and its possible intrusion in a story: @annerooney

Celebrations in Story—Marking the Special Days: @noveleditor

How to Use Images in Your Blog Posts: @themefuse

5 Clever Tactics to Get More eBook Sales Per Reader: @skellie

How Do You Decide Which Story You Should Write? @KMWeiland

Ebook pricing and traditional publishers:

An author with an Amazon success story: @RobertBidinotto for @jenniecoughlin

A List of 32 Superhero Cliches:

25 Adverbs That Get an "A": @writing_tips

Tips for Writing a Killer Thriller, Part 3: @JodieRennerEd for @DPLyleMD

Traditional publishing--deciding if it's right for you: @roniloren for @annerallen

Get Out of Your Own Way as a Writer: @storyfix

3 Ways to Borrow Kindle Ebooks: @PassiveVoiceBlg

Connecting with readers on Facebook, using photography: @lilywolf

Getting a novel right is trial and error: @dirtywhitecandy

An agent with examples of books at the intersection of literary and mainstream: @rachellegardner

What a blurb needs: @bookemdonna

Taking time to enjoy life: @danyelleleafty

The 3 things one editor is looking for:

3 Steps To Cost Effective Homemade Bookplates: @BryanThomasS

Tips for getting acquainted with our characters: @jemifraser

Tips for successfully navigating self-publishing pitfalls: @cjlyonswriter

Finding Time to Write: the Power of Small Assignments: @CherylRWrites

Age of Amazon, author's passion, #ebook pricing--essential news: @Porter_Anderson for @JaneFriedman:

Why Amazon Is The Best Strategic Player In Tech: @vgr for @Forbes via @Porter_Anderson's

Writing Children's Books: Genre Differences: @KarenCV

Experimenting With Serials for Fun and Profit: @janefriedman for @pubperspectives

Use Your Facebook Profile To Market Your Writing: @lisahallwilson

Career Planning for Writers:

How to Find Community through Writing : @VictoriaMixon

Analysis: Amazon's 100 top-selling Kindle books of 2011: @bufocalvin

Indie Epub : A Beginner's To Do List: @EPubGuide

5 Benefits of a Writing Group: @Eliz_Humphrey

Author Blogging 101: Blog Analytics: @JFBookman

Useful Amazon links: @bufocalvin

Hiveword Novel Writing Software Launched: @Hiveword

For literary inspiration follow @AdviceToWriters. Jon Winokur dispenses writerly wisdom of the ages.

Increasing Your Ebooks' Visibility via Ereader-Centric Blogs:

Does your denouement murder your characters? @p2p_editor

Top books of 2011: @JanetBoyer

Building a Portfolio as a Freelance Writer: @mindywrites for @AlexisGrant

Copy Edits: Curse or Blessing?

A 5-Minute Guide to More Persuasive Copywriting: @MenwithPens for @CopyBlogger

The Design of Authorship: @thebradking for @JaneFriedman

7 Steps to Taming Your NaNoWriMo Manuscript: @merciaslayer

How NOT to Bore the Reader: @LisaGailGreen

What 1 writer did to improve his writing: @TweetTheBook

How Editing Works for Indie Authors: @GoblinWriter

When Telling is Better Than Showing: @Janice_Hardy

4 Ways to Beat Moments of Discouragement: @FriesenPress

Does having a contract offer in hand automatically mean an offer of representation from an agent? @greyhausagency

When close calls change our priorities: @jan_ohara

What Make A Cozy Mystery "Cozy?"

When you're the only one you know who loves a particular book: @bookladysblog

Must every scene must be different? @JulietteWade

Tips for creating a story bible: @Suzanne_Johnson for @RoniLoren

The Only Way to Become a Real Writer: @JeffGoins

1 writer with a game plan for depressive writers: @NovelRocket

How To Speed Through Your Novel's Second Draft Like A Concert Pianist: @OllinMorales

6 Steps to a Loyal Blog Following: @ShariLopatin

4 ways to kill narrative drive: @jammer0501

A Review of Book Recommendation Websites: @bookriot

How 1 Writer's Idea Morphed into a Published Book: @kapkaful

Amazon is (Not) the Devil: @selfpubreview

Screenwriter John August Describes His Writing Universe: @ChandlerWrites #screenwriting

Building buzz for your favorite books and authors: @KristinHalbrook

5 writing truths: @Ava_Jae

eBook Exclusivity — A Good or Bad Idea?

3 types of boring writing and the cures for them: @sarahahoyt

Writer's Digest's 18 most popular posts of 2011: @BrianKlems for @writersdigest

How to break up long stretches of dialogue: @write_practice

An agent explains what he means by real stories and real char's: @greyhausagency

Satire's New Golden Age:

Create a manuscript template: @JHansenwrites

How To Drive Yourself Crazy as a Writer: @JodyHedlund

Dear Book Biz Santa: @MJRose

Can publishers and customers meet on ebook pricing? @PassiveVoiceBlg

3 Things to Consider When Writing Teen Romance: @Kody_Keplinger for @Janice_Hardy

Writing Lessons from a Red-Nosed Reindeer: @DIYMFA

Got a new Kindle? Here's the most important thing to know: @bufocalvin

Sunday, December 18, 2011


by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

Below are the writing-related links I tweeted last week. The Writer’s Knowledge Base search engine, designed by software engineer and writer Mike Fleming, makes all these links (now over 12,000) searchable. Sign up for the free monthly WKB newsletter for the web's best links and interviews: . Hiveword

In recent news, my writing and computer programming friend Mike Fleming has launched his Hiveword Novel Writing Software. To check out what it’s all about,just click here.

I’ve also released another backlist Myrtle Clover title to ebook. A Dyeing Shame is available on Kindle and Nook for $2.99.

*******Happy holidays to all! I’m going to have a weeklong blocation to celebrate Christmas with my family. I’ll be back with the next Twitterific roundup a day later than usual…Monday, Dec. 26. *******

A useful resource for describing settings, emotions, shapes, textures, and more: @AngelaAckerman

A free directory of ebook pros--for covers, editing, formatting, & more:

How Much Do We Want To Be Paid Tomorrow? @DavidGaughran

How Not to Blog: Beginning Blogging for Authors: @AnneRAllen

10 Easy Ways to Improve Your Dialogue: @aliventures

A flawed vs. an unlikeable character: @JulieMusil for @lisagailgreen

The 12 Most Dangerous Words for Writers: @Kim_Wright_W

9 Steps to a Daily Blogging Schedule: @ytravelblog

Inexpensive Ways to Improve Your Writing or Get Published in 2012:

The New World of Publishing: The Big Hurry: @DeanWesleySmith

How to Use an Outline to Write a First Draft: @writersdigest

5 Dialogue Mistakes You Can Fix Right Now: @ashleymarch34 for @RoniLoren

A Writer's Christmas Carol: The Ghosts that Haunt Us: @fuelyourwriting

8 Writing Techniques to Win You a Pulitzer: @JaneFriedman

5 Places to Find New Article-Writing Ideas: @KrissyBrady for @writeitsideways

1 writer's tips for self-publishing: @nicolamorgan

Character name use--when introducing characters & during dialogue: @KeliGwyn

Is "it's a Wonderful Life" really a YA novel? @LauraPauling

Holiday gifts for writers: & @thewritermama @HowToWriteShop

The trap of social media noise: @thisissethsblog

How to Find Gratitude through Writing: @VictoriaMixon

Why we should avoid auto-DMs and pleas to check out our blog: @alexisgrant

How a Shift in Your Vocabulary Can Instantly Change Your Attitude: @michaelhyatt

Is There Life After Plagiarism? Not For Journalist Stephen Glass: @elanazak for @10000Words

A Key Attribute for Strong Novel Writing That's Often Overlooked: @wendypmiller

An example of outlining (using "Ghostbusters"):

New Year's Resolutions for Marketing Your Book: Say Yes to New Things: @ZimblerMiller

Tips for writing queries: @billsonskinner

4 tools for breaking your blogging writer's block: @smexaminer

What makes a SF/F work a classic? @BlackGateDotCom

Suspension of disbelief: @Scalzi

Worldbuilding With Horses: Ramifications: @dancinghorse

How to think creatively: @TonySchwartz for @HarvardBiz

Put Adjectives in Their Place: @writing_tips

1st person or 3rd? How to decide point of view: @dirtywhitecandy

Tips for writing strong heroines: @BryanThomasS

Social Bookmarking 101 for Authors: @curiosityquills

An agent on the meaning of persistence: @rachellegardner

1 Bookseller's Modest Proposal: Amazon Pay Bookstores an Affiliate Fee: @Rachelrooo for @pubperspectives

Travel Writing: Shaping Experience Into Stories: @BTMargins

Sleeper Hits from Big Houses: @DeahlsDeals for @PublishersWkly

10 Ways To Help Boost Your Confidence as a Writer: @OllinMorales

It takes more than a question mark to make a question: @TheresaStevens

6 Steps to Building Your Creative Endurance: @EnduranceLeader

Movies about Writers and Writing:

How to Hook a Reader and Never Let Go: @KristenLambTX

Archetype vs. Prototype: @writing_tips

The Indie Bookstore in the Amazon Age:

10 Writing Skills Worth Practice: @CherylRWrites

5 Steps to Transform Meals into Writing Experiences: @diannej for @writersdigest

7 Lessons In Self-Publishing 1 Writer Learned in 7th Grade: @mainakdhar

The Rule of 3 in Writing: @authorterryo

4 Ways Inspiration Helps You Beat Writer's Block: @writersdigest

Writing male point of view: @JulietteWade

5 Steps to Meeting Self-Imposed Deadlines: @on_creativity

Hitting the Reset Button When Life Kicks Your Creative Keister: @Jhansenwrites

How To Prolong Your Book's Exposure: @JodyHedlund

3 Reasons Why You Should Be a Formulaic Blogger: @aliventures

Questions to ask yourself about your plot while you revise: @DeeScribe

Paying authors more might be the best economics for publishers in the long run: @MikeShatzkin

50 Simple Ways to Build Your Platform in 5 Minutes a Day: @BrianKlems for @writersdigest

Quality is the new gatekeeper: how ebooks have changed 1 woman's reading:

10 Marketing Strategies All Writers Should Consider: @ajackwriting

Storyboarding Timelines: @RavenRequiem13

Explaining sample chapter submission: @BrianKlems for @writersdigest

Zombies aren't characters in a story. What zombies are: @PatrickFreivald for @hartjohnson

10 reasons 1 writer can't write right now: @ElspethWrites

Cheap Kindle Textbooks for Mystery Writers: @ClarissaDraper #reference

How to take criticism: @TheCreativePenn

Make time for writing by making lists: @AmySueNathan for @BTMargins

Exceptions in the Rules of Hyphenation: @writing_tips

The Inevitable Identity Crisis That Happens After Publication: @JodyHedlund

Making Bad Characters Good: @elixing for @4kidlit

Google+: Do Writers Need It? @JFBookman

The Black Art of Debut Novel Promotion: @cischafer

Platform for non-fiction writers: @RachelleGardner

Freelancers: Softening the Blow of Rejection: @KrissyBrady

Is KDP a good deal for self-publishers? @rule17

Setting a Word doc for 25 lines a page: @jhansenwrites

How Social Media Can Change Your Life: @JaneFriedman

Tips On Responding to Public Criticism (Inspired by Steve Jobs): @lkblackburne

The difference between writing a play, screenplay, & novel: @authorterryo

Including a romantic subplot in crime fiction series: @mkinberg

Using history to inspire: lessons from Attila: @GeneLempp

1 agent's newbie mistakes: @SaraMegibow

Obstacles to being traditionally published: @nicolamorgan

New Book Discovery Tool Offers Groupon-Style Deals: @Readuxreads for @pubperspectives

3 reasons most aspiring authors will never write books: @KarenCV

Easy Ways to Keep Up with Publishing News in 2012:

How Can Superheroes Maintain a Day Job?

Follow the market or follow your heart? @RachelleGardner

Moms in Fantasy: Beyond the Stereotypes: @AmyJRoseDavis for @FantasyFaction

Customer vs. Client: @writing_tips

Temporary triumphs: @Mommy_Authors

Only a small percentage of authors sell through. What's the solution? @LauraPauling

The Case of the $0.49 Print Book: @JFBookman

One Hour of Daily To-Dos: @watched1

Story Threads—Tie the Elements Together: @NovelEditor

Hints that you have too much dialogue and helpful fixes: @NovelEditor

Weed Out Author Intrusion: @NovelEditor

Freelance writing work--the possibilities: @KarenCV

Pearson Education Extends Scope of Permissions Licenses: @VictoriaStrauss

1 writer's Undercover Soundtrack: @byRozMorris

The enjoyment of fantasy--how and why readers read it: @Fell_Gard

Character Motivations versus Plot Motivations: @JulietteWade

3 critical ways to shuck off the negative & boost fortitude as writers: @angelaackerman @Janice_Hardy

Easy Goal Setting for Your New Blog: @ABasanti

Do your secondary characters have lives of their own? @HP4Writers

Tips for successful plotting: @lynnettelabelle

Ways to regain or retain our enthusiasm for writing: @JulieMusil

How much does a 99c ebook cost on Amazon? @EPubGuide

What To Cut Out Of Your Story: @ollinmorales

Correct use of ellipses: @write_practice

An editor reminds us to keep writing through our blocks: @behlerpublish

1 writers 5 ways of dealing with reviews: @LadyGlamis

1 writer's top tip for querying: @RoniLoren

Screenwriting --Script To Screen: "Up": @GoIntoTheStory

Twitter by Post: @gilest for @themorningnews

Ins and outs and dos and don'ts of Twitter: @SeanPlatt

How many times should you query the same agent with different projects? An agent answers: @greyhausagency

Tips for querying bloggers for guest posts: @KSElliott_Shark

When Critique Goes Wrong: Crit Group Calamities: @Janice_Hardy for @LauraPepWu

Core Character Values: Finding the Moral Compass: @HowToWriteShop

Writing Shouldn't Be a Solitary Activity:

1 editor's process for determining story order in his anthology: @martyhalpern for @madhatterreview

Why Steampunk (still) Matters:

SF for MFAs: @sonewpublishing

Why You Should Never Write Like You Talk: @menwithpens

Villains: Evil and Otherness: @DeborahJRoss

Amazon's Jungle Logic: Richard Russo for @nytimes

An online tool to help you organize your novel: @litlift

2012 Events for the Screenwriter: @scriptmag

Why you won't go to hell for putting two spaces after a sentence: @shunn

Increase Your Story's Suspense With Breadcrumbs: @KMWeiland

5 Easy Fixes for the Most Common Twitter Faux Pas: @hubspot

10 Ways to Conjure Up a Viral Blog Post Title: @catseyewriter

O. Henry, Criminal and Crime Writer: @crimehq

Tips for writing plot twists and laying clues: @LisaGailGreen

A tip for making characters real for readers: @VeronicaRoth

The 10 Least Thrilling Thriller Clichés: @crimehq

Amazon vs. The Shop Around the Corner: @harriet_poetry

Has the Price of E-Books Really Increased? @JDGsaid

Tips for novel pacing:

Tips for novel pacing:

Finding balance within our writing: @billsonskinner

On pricing ebooks: @JamiGold

Tips for Writing a Killer Thriller: @JodieRennerEd

Letting Go In Order to Write: @EllenByerrum

Slate Mag w/ a controversial post: Don't Support Your Local Bookseller: @fmanjoo

Who Am I Today? Managing the Writer's Many Online Personae: @GeoffreyCubbage

Top links this week for writers: @4KidLit

Starting Small Is Better Than Not Starting At All: @krissybrady

Introducing magical elements into our story: @HP4Writers

Free ebook of writing prompts: @JoeBunting

Kindle sales top 1 million for third week in a row: f @PassiveVoiceBlg

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Writing Plot Twists and Laying Clues

Lisa Gail GreenHope you’ll pop over and join me today at paranormal and fantasy writer Lisa Gail Green’s blog, Paranormal Point of View.

I’m talking a little about creating plot twists and laying clues in our story.  And Lisa’s blog is a great place to visit—she always has interesting posts for writers. Hope you’ll come by!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Easy Ways to Keep Up with Publishing News in 2012

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

cohdra_100_9154Keeping up with publishing news in, let’s say, 2000 wasn’t particularly interesting. I know I wasn’t paying attention to it. I wonder how many people were.

But today, keeping an eye on publishing is important for every writer considering publication. Actually, I think it’s important for readers, too, if they’re interested in the health of their local bookstore chain or whether they should invest in an eReader.

Luckily, there are some great sites to help us keep up with it all and to help us disseminate the information we receive. That’s a good thing, because it’s all changing so quickly.

Publishing news and analysis

eBookNewser Jane Friedman’s blog, in particular Porter Anderson’s Thursday segment, Writing on the Ether TeleRead Publishing Perspectives Publishers Lunch Blogs that weigh in on e-publishing vs. traditional

Joe Konrath’s blog (A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing) Dean Wesley Smith The Business Rusch (Kristine Kathryn Rusch) David Gaughran—Let’s Get Digital The Shatzkin Files (Mike Shatzkin)

Help sorting out legal ramifications of these changes in publishing:

Passive Voice Blog

These are just a few great sites…there are many more out there. Want to add to my list? Or, what are your thoughts on the rapidly changing publishing world? (I think it’s a great time to be a writer.)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Inexpensive Ways to Improve Your Writing or Get Published in 2012

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

IMG_1434I was speaking to a lady the other day who is an aspiring author. She has been researching ways of improving her writing, but told me that everything seemed so expensive—the classes, the conferences, etc.

It could be expensive to improve our writing, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some cheap ways to improve our writing in 2012:

Of course, there are books to buy and magazines to read. There are excellent ones out there, actually. See if your local library has any books on how to write. It doesn’t matter if the book is ten years old or not—good writing is good writing. Many libraries also carry Writer’s Digest or Poets and Writers. Cost of a library book (that’s not overdue)=free

Learn what areas you need to improve. Probably the best way to do this is by sharing your work. I know this is tough for some. I think it’s easier to share with strangers, personally. There are plenty of online critique groups that can match you with writers of similar genres. Check out writer Clarissa Draper’s excellent list of critique groups (or her own match-up program). Cost=varies, but there are many crit group programs that are free.

Once you know what you need to improve, you can easily find resources online to help you improve. I compile the best writing-related links that I can find each week and they are sent to the Writer’s Knowledge Base where they’re searchable for free. So, if you realize you have trouble with transitions, if your book has a saggy middle, if you have trouble with point of view (POV), then you can search the WKB for those terms and find hundreds of articles on those topics. Cost=free.

Buy some inexpensive notebooks and try writing different places and at different times if you can’t seem to fit writing into your day. Make it portable…index cards for those minutes waiting at the dentist’s office. Small notebooks for your briefcase or purse. Cost= a few dollars.

Try online writing classes. I know I don’t talk much about classes on the blog, but I took five or six of them when I was starting out with my first book. I found them very helpful. I could choose the topic I needed help with, the instructors gave homework which I submitted for critique, and I got real feedback. Now, obviously, you can end up with a crummy instructor, so I’d check and see how many classes the writer has taught---or go through an organization like the Romance Writers of America.

I’ve found their classes are excellent and frequently aren’t limited to romance (clearly, since I don’t write it!) You can pay via PayPal and email back and forth. It’s very simple. What’s more, their classes are dirt cheap, compared to other venues. At a glance on their upcoming calendar (click on the link and scroll down) I see classes for using backstory effectively, writing steampunk mysteries, creating a web presence, writing synopses, weapons, queries, and more. Cost= $25-$30.

Free help pursuing the traditional publishing route. Have you got a book that you’re ready to query? Here are a couple of sites to help you screen prospects: AgentQuery (which can help you find an agent who represents your genre) and Preditors and Editors which help you eliminate agents and editors and “publishers” who prey on writers. Cost= free.

The low cost of e-publishing. You can upload your books to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords for free. Your only costs should be for a cover design (which you come up with independently), a freelance editor (if your book hasn’t been proofread), and someone to help you with formatting for epub and mobi (if you can’t do it yourself.) For a list of epublishing professionals, check out my spreadsheet of cover designers, formatters, and freelance editors. Cost= varies for cover artists and freelancers. The publishing process itself is free.

Reading our genre. One of the best ways for us to improve our writing is by reading the genre that we want to write. Cost of a library book= free.

And, of course, the more we write, the better we get. I’m trying to fit in more writing….and reading…time for 2012. What are some ways you’re planning to invest in your writing next year?

I've also given a holiday interview to Diane Morasco at Blogcritics. Thanks to Diane for hosting me.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

Below are the writing-related links I tweeted last week. The Writer’s Knowledge Base search engine, designed by software engineer and writer Mike Fleming, makes all these links (now over 12,000) searchable. Sign up for the free monthly WKB newsletter for the web's best links and interviews: . Hiveword

In recent news, my writing and computer programming friend Mike Fleming has launched his Hiveword Novel Writing Software. To check out what it’s all about,just click here.

Craig A DYEING SHAME copy (2)I’ve also released another backlist Myrtle Clover title to ebook. A Dyeing Shame is available on Kindle and Nook for $2.99.

Controversies Surrounding Ebooks in Libraries: @PassiveVoiceBlg

How Nook could lose 1 writer as a customer: @shaunduke

Teen-Lit Queen Takes Up Book Packaging: @dianebrady

Character Trait Entry: Responsible: @AngelaAckerman

Are your characters 'beginning' or 'starting' activities too frequently?

A weekly roundup of links for historical writers: @2nerdyhistgirls

Tips for the sick writer: @NoraBPeevy

Tips for the sick writer: @NoraBPeevy

Want to be a screenwriter? Don't waste time on gimmicks: @scriptmag

Writing for Middle Grades: Being age appropriate: @authorajhartley

Choosing publications to query: @robertleebrewer

Keeping It Real in Sci-Fi: @zonal

The Myths of the Overworked Creative(video): @tonyschwartz

4 Ways to Move Beyond Discouragement in Your Author Career: @bethbookcoach

What's different about crime fiction marketing: @erinfaye

For literary inspiration follow @AdviceToWriters. Jon Winokur dispenses writerly wisdom of the ages.

A useful resource for describing settings, emotions, shapes, textures, and more: @AngelaAckerman

The structure of a short story: @sarahahoyt

How to Use Uncertainty to Fuel Your Writing: @krissybrady

5 SF&F Novel Series That Should Come to TV: @gammasquad

40 Inspiring Quotes About Reading From Writers: @flavorpill

Considerations when deciding between writing a memoir, novel, or fictionalized memoir: @DirtyWhiteCandy

The long road to a surprise best seller: @AlexJCavanaugh

How dialogue can help readers know our characters: & @mkinberg

How to blog: A Beginner's Guide for Authors: @AnneRAllen

How to Create Another Day a Week Just for Blogging: @problogger

Your Book Trailer as Calling Card: @dataylor1

Character Development — Secret, Wall, Loss, Desire:

What To Do When Your WIP Turns Against You: @cjredwine

Making choices between fight or flight: @victoriamixon

An agent's tips for breaking into publishing: @RachelleGardner

The New World of Publishing: Why Bad Agent Information Gets Taught: @DeanWesleySmith

Know your netiquette: @roniekendig

5 Prompt Websites to Fill Your Creative Writing Well: @krissybrady

50 Diminutive Suffixes (and a Cute Little Prefix): @writing_tips

Turning Self-Publishing Into Self-Employed: @TweetTheBook

Build Your Platform Tip #2 Get Other Authors to Work for You: @kathilipp

10 Holiday Themed Science Fiction And Fantasy Stories: @BryanThomasS

5 tips for your LinkedIn profile: @fuelyourwriting

Faltering Dialogue Punctuated: @KeliGwyn

Organize Your Writing Life: Ask Santa for a 2012 Planner: @KrissyBrady

Want to have a LinkedIn profile as a writer? A guide: @jhansenwrites

5 Major Turning Points on the Road to Finishing a Book: @writeabook

Enduring through writing's slow growth periods: @ollinmorales

'Clean Slate' Blogging: How to Write a Post Your Readers Will Remember: @catseyewriter

3 Ways to Work Through a Difficult First Draft: @writeitsideways

4 steps for untangling plot threads: @bluemaven

Is Your Novel a Spineless Weakling? @KristenLambTX

How to Make a Secret Door in Your Bookcase: @GalleyCat

3 post-NaNo articles on revision: , , @p2p_editor

5 Secrets “Miracle on 34th Street” Can Teach You About Persuasive Writing: @Copyblogger

A complete guide to Word's Track Changes for writers: @Jhansenwrites

What Good Salespeople Know That Writers Should: @joannetombrakos for @janefriedman

Tightening your plot by layering: @JulietteWade

The Ugly Truth About Consumer Book Reviews: @tglong for @IndieReader

Publishing, from a bookseller's perspective:

5 Reasons Not to Criticize First Drafts: @mgherron

How to Network Without Networking: @nathanbransford

Tips on writing about another culture: @Holly_S_Warah

What to Do With Contradictory Feedback (And 2 Star Reviews): @JodyHedlund

Who, Which, That—or, How Not to Ruin a Sentence: @write_practice

How to Make Your Writing More Visible Online: @galleycat

Into vs. In To: @BrianKlems

Get help: @writenowcoach

Should You Write Your Second Book First? @RedTashBooks for @DavidGaughran

How to Get the Most out of a Writers' Conference: @CAMorganti

12 Things You Were Not Taught in School About Creative Thinking: @MichaelMichalko

Writing to genre: @TheresaStevens

How to Make the Most of a Scene: @JamiGold

The Self-Published Author as the Self-Employed Author: @PassiveVoiceBlg

Active versus Static Backstory and Description: @4kidlit

Write with authenticity: @JulieMusil

Will Packaging Save Print Books? @diannadilworth

Bookstore terms, shelf location, signings---from a bookseller's POV:

A dramatic change in backlist for authors: @bob_mayer

How to confront the fear of public speaking: @Janefriedman @antiquityoaks

The new publisher: @pubperspectives

5 Reasons to Shed the Genius Within: @LyndaRYoung

An analysis on 1 writer's ebook pricing experiment: @ElleLothlorien for @JAKonrath

Music's influence on @nicolamorgan 's writing: @byrozmorris

Confidence Matters Just as Much as Ability: @creativitypost

Writing Predators: @WriteAngleBlog

5 More Tips for Cleaning Up Your Writing Right Now: @writing_tips

Writers, are you making these 25 financial mistakes? Advice from the profane & brilliant @ChuckWendig:

3 Ways to Get Out of a Blogging Slump: @urbanmusewriter

What Hunter S. Thompson Can Teach You About Powerful : @junhax

Are publishers putting the squeeze on book bloggers? @alisonflood

6 Questions NOT to Ask a Writer: @elspethwrites

30 Holiday Gifts For Journalists: @10000words

The 5 Biggest Mistakes in Writing Scenes:

Why Only Focusing On Your "Target" Audience May Hurt You: @RoniLoren

5 things new self-publishers should know: @cathryanhoward

How Much Time Should Writers Devote to Social Media? @JodyHedlund

5 reasons the queries received by 1 editor have been disappointing:

Online resources for finding character names: @tn_tobias

When the Reader Becomes the Enemy: Lessons from Pottermore: @JamiGold for @HP4Writers

Mobile Barcode Advice for Writers: @GalleyCat

2012 Events for the Screenwriter: @scriptmag

How Much Should You Explain in a Story's Beginning? @KMWeiland

Formulae for Success in Publishing:

Charles Dickens' Plan Sheets: @wolferiver

How to Bring Your Characters Into Focus: @2KoP for @Writeitsideways

Creating a Facebook Fan Page for Marketing — 1 Author's Experience: @GoblinWriter

Tips for Dividing Your Novel for Serialization: @dirtywhitecandy for @TuesdaySerial

How To Make Traditional Publishing Writer Friendly: @KristineRusch

UK Publishers Seek 'Most Thrilling Outcome for Readers and Writers': @pubperspectives

On writing programs and processes: @kalayna

Tips for keeping your writing sanity: @YAHighway

Amazon Creates $6M Fund For Books Available In Lending Library: @GalleyCat

The emotional cycle for writing: @CherylRWrites

Independent Children's Publishing in France: Inspired, International, Ingenious: @oliviasnaije for @pubperspectives

Sharing our work:

FutureBook con,kids & Kindles, ebook pricing & more industry news from @Porter_Anderson for @JaneFriedman:

What it means to be an artisan writer: @camillelaguire

Your Writing Goals: DARE to Reach Them: @KWrites2

What Happens to Your Manuscript in Hollywood? Part One: Solicitation: @RSMellette

Why 1 writer is joining Amazon's KDP Select: @TweetTheBook

9 things about writing: @tobywneal

Developing a business plan for our writing: @rileymagnus for @JFBookman

The Big Mistake of Author Websites and Blogs: @JaneFriedman

Self-Publishing And The Definition Of An Indie Author: @TheCreativePenn

Writer Beware: The Fine Print of Amazon's New KDP Select Program: @Victoria Strauss

Explore different platforms as a writer: @thewritermama

How to Write an Irresistible Blog Bio: @catseyewriter

A Couple of Notes About "Couple": @writing_tips

All Work and No Play Makes A Dull Writer: @gillespiekarin

Guilt Free Writing Time: @BretBallou

A Quick-Start Guide to Teaching Yourself Creative Software: @the99percent

On critiques: @CSLakin for @KMWeiland

The Friendship of Arthur Conan Doyle & Harry Houdini (& its influence on Doyle): @brainpicker via @Porter_Anderson

Amazon Book Review Policy Explained: @GalleyCat

Understanding POV: @C_Herringshaw

Why an editor might decline an editing job:

How to create great content for your blog: @jammer0501

Barnes & Noble Has Shipped One Million Nook Tablets, Industry Report States: @mjburnsy

St. Martin's Press Defends Lenore Hart Against Plagiarism Charges: @GalleyCat

Write Your Screenplay: Don't Run From Cliché: @jacobkrueger

Know the goal of your marketing plan:

Fighting an Invisible Enemy: Accepting Feedback: @EDFsChronicles

9 Habits of Extraordinary Blogs: @fluencymedia

Invest in yourself: @sharonbially

Real life diagnostics on character likeability: @Janice_Hardy

Tips for hosting guest bloggers on your blog: @KSElliott_Shark

What 1 poet has learned about self-publishing: @robertleebrewer

The Latest Best Argument Against Perfectionism:

The romantic fantasy and fantasy romance subgenres: @FantasyFaction

Top 10 ways to promote your virtual book tour: @BookMarketer

An introduction to fan fiction: @Kerrie_Flanagan

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Quick and Dirty Calculation of Break Even As a Result of Promotional Costs—by Eduardo R. Casas

Thanks to Ed Casas for guest posting today and covering a topic I know very little about! Thanks to Ed for developing a formula for finding it out.

BY EDUARDO R CASAS Below is a simple way to calculate how many books one has to sell to recover the promotional costs ( or any additional fixed cost) of a marketing campaign.

Break Even Promo Spreadsheet

Both in units and dollars

You need to know 4 things:


The spread sheet is flexible so that every time you have any additional fixed costs or promotional costs just simply enter the amounts on the cell 1 FC for fixed costs, 2 FC for promotional costs , 3 FC automatically sums up all the costs , and below you can see the results.

For those who can use Excel, it’s rather simple , if you would like an Excel copy of the spreadsheet, please send an email address in the comments or comment with an email to my blog.

You can see given these factors that an additional 333 books need to be sold to cover this additional cost. Just plug in the cells motioned new costs and the spreadsheet gives you the new results.

3 New --Books copy BLOG

Ed CasasBorn in Havana Cuba, Ed now lives in Coral Springs Florida. His experience as an auditor has spanned over 20 years. He has traveled to many international locations and has dealt with all kinds of financial situations, providing a myriad of experiences, from which Ed has drawn on for inspiration for his stories. You can find Ed on his blog, on Facebook, and at his profile on Crimespace.

Devil's auditor

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Each Book is a Different Experience

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

Craig A DYEING SHAME copyI was running errands recently and ran into a mom I haven’t seen for a while.

“Have you had any books come out lately?” she asked.

I’ve had four this year.  Two were traditionally published, two I released myself through e-publishing. My friend asked if the writing just got easier and easier.

In some ways, that’s true.  The mechanical stuff, the organizing of a book, just knowing you can do it—that gets easier.

But each of those books had a story of its own behind it—completely separate from the story I was telling.  It wasn’t always smooth going, either.

Finger Lickin’ Dead was a breeze to write.  I laughed all the way through it and wrote it in no time flat.  Easy.

Hickory Smoked Homicide was a book that I nearly deleted off my computer 1/3 of the way through because I lost direction.  I was so frustrated and panicked when I knew my deadline was looming.  I talked to a friend who happened to be an expert in the area I was struggling in,  found my direction again, and the rest went smoothly.

Progressive Dinner Deadly was a book that I wrote in 2009.  It was easily tidied up and released.  Took me about two weeks to edit. I e-published it, myself.

A Dyeing Shame  was a backlist book that I wrote circa 2002.   It took me longer to clean up that book than it took me to write Finger Lickin’ Dead.  I finally got it to the point where I was pleased with it….and it’s a completely different book. Only the killer is the same.  I even changed some of the character names.  I finally released it last week.

The point of these reflections is to remind me not to get discouraged while writing.  It all works out in the end. And not to experience hubris when writing goes really well (e.g. Finger Lickin’ Dead.) 

I learn something from every book I write.  I think I learn more when I struggle through it than when it comes really easily to me.

Have you found that every book has its own personality?  How do you stay encouraged through the process?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

On Sharing Our Work

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

blog20I had Bad Parenting Moment #1,000,001 (at least) on Sunday when I was at the theater with my ten year old daughter.

She’s recently become completely obsessed with horses. She writes poetry about horses, reads horse books, watches horse shows. And she draws many, many pictures of horses.

My daughter had her sketchbook with her while we were waiting for The Nutcracker to start (surprisingly, she’d agreed to go, even though there were no horses in the ballet.) A friend of mine was also at the ballet, noticed my daughter’s sketchbook (which I was holding for her), and asked her about her artwork.

I said, “Oh, yes! She’s drawn some amazing pictures of horses! Let me show you.” And, proud mama that I am, I opened that sketchbook right up and started flipping through it.

My daughter was absolutely horrified. She snatched it right back out of my hands and gave me a reproachful look. I apologized immediately and was still apologizing the next day.

You’d think, of all people, I’d understand about the privacy aspect of creativity. And I do, but only in an academic way. Even as a kid—even at my daughter’s age—I wanted to share my writing. I’d shove three or four 3-ring binders of stories at you if you showed even the slightest inkling of interest. You could be a teacher, a friend’s parent, a fellow ten year old kid, some random adult—I wanted to tell you a story.

But what I’ve realized over the years is that there’s also a lot of pleasure in writing for ourselves. I have to remind myself of this. Sometimes I’ll be at writing conferences and a writer approaches me to talk about writing. I’ll ask what avenues they’re pursuing for publication—magazines? Literary journals? Are they querying agents? Publishers? Going the e-publishing route?

And sometimes—they just blink at me. They’re totally happy, completely satisfied artistically, by just writing. They just wanted to talk to me about the writing craft.

Honestly, sometimes I think they’re the lucky ones. There’s so much non-artistic work that goes with publishing— promo, figuring out platforms, considering what will sell. It’s easy to lose the joy of it.

Occasionally, I’ve run into writers (or they’ve emailed me) who’ve written for themselves for years…and are now thinking about sharing their work. They’ve asked me where they should start out.

I think, if someone is considering sharing their work, they should start sharing in a limited way. Maybe look into critique groups (in-person or online) and just get used to hearing feedback. And, if that group doesn’t work out, try another one.

Are you happy writing for yourself or are there other artistic things you’d rather keep private (playing an instrument, drawing?) Do you write some things for publication and some things for yourself?

And, if you’re looking for a quick and easy chicken recipe, join me at Terry’s Place this morning. I’m sharing a recipe for Apricot Chicken. :)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Setting Goals

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

aafieldtrip 061aIt’s getting close to the end of the year again…and I really don’t know where the year went.

One thing that I’m usually good at is setting goals and deadlines for myself. It’s really how I stay on track with the different projects I’ve got going on.

My problem tends to be long-term planning. My agent usually will kick me in the rear a little, trying to see what big picture ideas I have. But I’ve found when I’m really busy, I’m just trying to keep afloat ...not setting big goals.

The September issue of Writer’s Digest had an article by Elizabeth Sims entitled “10 Things for Every Writer’s Bucket List.” She included things like publishing a short story, taking a writing retreat, and freelancing.

I found the idea of a writing bucket list very appealing. It makes my head hurt to try to set definitive deadlines for specific long-term goals. But I sure as heck can make a list of things I’d like to do before I die.

I think the best way to make these kinds of goals is to not factor in any of the stuff we ordinarily would factor in. Don’t think about the logistics, the money, the time away from the kids. Just make a list.

What would be on my bucket list? Off the top of my head, I’m thinking that I’d like to try writing different genres and subgenres. I’d write a historical saga, a police procedural, and maybe dabble in lit fic. Oh, and maybe some noir.

I’d like to go on a literary-themed tour.

I’d like to try to narrate an audio book.

I’d like to go on a long writer’s retreat…the kind where I can be as antisocial as I need to be.

I’m going ahead and making my list. Because the way time is flying, I have a feeling the next ten years are going to pass by like a second.

What kinds of things would you like to do or try as a writer?

Sunday, December 4, 2011


by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

Below are the writing-related links I tweeted last week. The Writer’s Knowledge Base search engine, designed by software engineer and writer Mike Fleming, makes all these links (now over 12,000) searchable. Sign up for the free monthly WKB newsletter for the web's best links and interviews: . Hiveword

In recent news, my writing and computer programming friend Mike Fleming has launched his Hiveword Novel Writing Software. To check out what it’s all about,just click here.

Craig A DYEING SHAME copy (2)I’ve also released another backlist Myrtle Clover title to ebook. A Dyeing Shame is available on Kindle for $2.99(still in the process of uploading to other platforms.)

Pricing strategies for ebooks: @MarkCoker

How To Make Sure Your Book Is The Best It Can Be: @TheCreativePenn

Self-Publishing: Carnival of the Indies: @JFBookman

Confessions of a Big Six Editor: The Triumph of the Slush Pile: @AnneRAllen

Book Design Basics Part 1: Margins and Leading: @daveBricker via @JFBookman

Another nice roundup of links for historical writers: @2nerdyhistgirls

Zen and the Art of Withholding Information: @TheReviewReview

Science fiction, legal reality: @latimeshiltzik

Moral ambiguity in fantasy: @jameslsutter

Publishing more women writers: @PoetryDivas

Review--Kindle Touch: @DearAuthor

The Twitter Retweeting Policy of @Scalzi:

The yearning for secret writing: @lisa_rivero

Action/Reaction - The Pistons Powering Your Story: @KMWeiland

Finishing your NaNo draft? Don't open it again until Christmas. @Dirtywhitecandy

The best role model might be someone who reinvents his career: @LAGilman

How to Read a Book Contract – Non-Competition: @PassiveVoiceBlg

Goal setting for writers: @annegreenawalt

If you suspect your agent wants to drop you: @literaticat

Appeal is ageless:

5 Ways to Never Run Out of Blog Post Ideas: @Non_Toxic_Kids

Leading lines: @RavenRequiem13

Creativity Tweets of the Week — 11/28/11: @on_creativity

How to prep before interviewing: @GLeeBurgett

Secondary characters can add dimension and tension: @JulietteWade

Antagonists–The Alpha and the Omega of the Story: @KristenLambTX

Increasing tension in our novel: @luciennediver

Hero's Journey--Thor: @PAShortt

Why Our Characters Must Fail: @jillkemerer

5 Reasons To Sign Up For A Writers' Conference: @writeitsideways

23 Inevitable Questions to Ask Yourself at the End of NaNoWriMo: @VictoriaMixon

Essential Elements of a Bestselling Thriller: @JodieRennerEd

Have passion for your writing: @jamieraintree

8 ways to find your writing groove: @authorterryo

How and where to begin a story: @JulietteWade

Give your writing some physical therapy: @JHansenWrites

When You Need To Write FAST (And Procrastination Is Not An Option): @NovelRocket

Choose your own adventure: @FantasyFaction

Even Though Free is IN, Don't Forget to Buy Books Too: @JodyHedlund

Using QR Code to Promote Work: @luannschindler

Turn Your WordPress Blog Into a Book: @JaneFriedman

Solidifying Your Identity As a Writer: @krissybrady

Author Blogging 101: Where Are the Readers? @JFBookman

Why authors disappear: @kirstenhubbard

5 ways to generate blog post ideas: @problogger

What We Should Learn from the Collapse of Borders: @JosephJEsposito for @scholarlykitchn

Arguments against publishers' use of DRM: @antipopeRSS

Reasons Not to Self-Publish in 2011-2012: A List: @EdanL

What if famous authors from the past wrote recipes? RT @bittman @LimerickMan1

Explore the Onomatopoeia Dictionary: @GalleyCat

What Fantasy Does Best: @tordotcom

5 Tips for Cleaning Up Your Writing Right Now:

How and Why to Write With Power: @storyfix

Notes From the Field: One Beginner's Book Tour: @SolomonAnna for @BTMargins

How Relying on Numbers Can Get You Into Trouble: @VictoriaStrauss

Tips for Creating Secondary Characters: @Marie_Lu for @Janice_Hardy

Turning a NaNo draft into a novel: @DeeScribe

How To Gift An eBook: @Ebooknewser

2 Tips for Punctuating Interrupted Dialogue: @keligwyn

Writing a Realistic Superhero Story:

Why publishers should build direct sales channels: @jwikert

Thoughts On The Future Of Book Marketing: @FacundoV

11 Frequently Asked Questions About Book Royalties, Advances & Money: @ChuckSambuchino

Worldbuilding with Horses: Infrastructure:

Cutting For Pace:

On Kindlegraph (software that alllows you to autograph ebooks): @BryanThomasS

The Frustrated Writer's Guide To Generating New Ideas–All The Time: @ollinmorales

Does Christian Fiction Require a Warning Label? @cerebralgrump for @NovelRocket

40 French Expressions "En Tout":

Embracing the Scary Project--Why Bravery on Demand Can Help Your :

Rediscovering Inspiration: @Eliz_Humphrey

What Writers Can Learn by Watching Football: @BookEmDonna

Crucial Series Elements: (Site has a warning, but there's no adult content in post) @JoanSwan

Tips for picking up the pace when your story starts to drag:

Lessons from NaNoWriMo: @p2p_editor

Hook--the 1st line: @artzicarol

Tips for Creating Thematic Resonance: @KMWeiland

College-Aged YA Protagonists: @Kid_Lit

When the case works on the sleuth in crime fiction: @mkinberg

1 writer's free ebook experiment & results: @authorterryo

Top 3 Reasons Why You Should Try Freelancing:

Parents and children in fantasy: @FantasyFaction

Marketing strategies for traditional vs self publishing – is there a difference? @LauraPauling

The agent game:

Freelance Writing 101: Tired of Being Tired: @krissybrady

How Hashtags Can Win Friends and Influence Enemies: @KristenLambTX

The No. 1 Overlooked Skill for Every Author: @JaneFriedman

Writer's Block: The 12-Step Cure: @TheCreativePenn

5 Reasons Starving Artists Stay Starving: @GeoffreyCubbage

10 Ways to Make Our Characters Stronger: @KeliGwyn

Libraries & ebooks, Amazon,media overload: @Porter_Anderson with an astute industry news analysis for @JaneFriedman :

How Is Consuming Itself? Lack of Team-Building: @bob_mayer

The editorial-business divide at scholarly presses: @kanderson

10 Mistakes SFF Writers Make With Research: @BryanThomasS

Music is a trigger: @TeresaFrohock for @byRozMorris

Ports of Call in @GeneLempp 's blog series that connects archaeology with :

Remembering Mark Twain's Gifts to @TheAtlantic: @b_resnick

Cracking a Cold Case: Scandinavian Crime Fiction's Mainstream Success:

Alive and Kicking: Series That Hold Up: @crimehq

Make December Your NaNoWriMo Revision Month: @storyfix

From the 1st draft to the last:

4 Ways to End Your Writing Year Right: @WritersLeague

Making setting active: @junglereds

The Occupational Hazards of Writing Subtext: @BTMargins

Why you still need to be able to speak publisher: @annerooney

Some thoughts on more realistic violence for writers:

The dark side of creativity: @sbkaufman

What is Your Novel Missing? Strong Verbs, Unique Words:

10 Things You Need To Know About Writing Conflict: @ajackwriting

6 Tips To Make the Learning of Fiction Techniques Less Painful: @JodyHedlund

How to keep writing when it all seems pointless: @jammer0501

Cool tools to track platform growth: @WritersDigest

Dreamers Vs. Goalers: Writers Need to Be Both: @writeitsideways

What Writers Can Learn From Politicians: @greyhausagency

A Planner tackles NaNoWriMo:

Top links this week for writers from @4KidLit:

Check out your competition:

10 blog posts that will command attention: @SeanPlatt

Screenwriters--translating Hollywood speak: @scriptmag #screenwriting

Audiobooks--a cautionary tale: @neilhimself

Writing To Sell: Sucker's Game Or Not? @jenna_blum

What to write: @bob_mayer

A writer's plea: @kmcriddle

Swimming to find your characters. @p2p_editor

Body Language: An Artistic Writing Tool: @SharlaWrites

Monday Musing: Are You Building Your World, Or Limiting It? #writiing

5 reasons for agent rejections:

A picture book illustrator's process: @WheelerStudio

Real Life Diagnostics: A Question of POV and Voice: @Janice_Hardy

An agent's day: @RachelleGardner

Rethinking the Familiar Book Tour: @PassiveVoiceBlg

1 writer's top 5 writing tips: @kayedacus

What's your writing path: @lisagailgreen

What Authors Need to Know About Virtual Book Tours: @BookMarketer for @JFBookman

Why you can't afford to take your eye off your Amazon sales: @rule17

Stationary vs. Stationery:

The Book Signing Monologues: @krissybrady

10 Lessons Learned in 10 Months Blogging:

On Being the Writer You Are:

Why You Should Write 20 Posts Before You Launch Your Blog: @Problogger

Pen Names and Pseudonyms :

Genre in the Mainstream: How Ray Bradbury Crossed Over: @RyancBritt

The Next Phase of NaNoWriMo: Editing:

Understanding royalties: @ChuckSambuchino

3 Tips for Curing "Someday Syndrome" : @JulieMusil

Slow Writer Reform School: @RoniLoren