Posted in Anthologies/Novellas, Christian, Craft, Dystopian, fantasy, Historicals, horror, Indie, MG & YA, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense, Paranormal, Romance, SF, Short stories, traditional, Urban Fantasy, Women's Fiction, writers, Writing and Poetry

Writing Links 1/22/18

Night, evening sky
Night, Sunset

Writing Links 1/22/18

Traci Kenworth



  1. “I’ll admit I’m still nervous since this is going to be a fantasy vampire adventure.  That middle part is tough because everyone has their own thoughts on what a vampire should and should not be.” True, the vampire story is a tough one but then, there’s always room for a new twist. 
  2. “Yes, I’ll admit it, I was the guy in the D&D group who was not just willing to play the cleric, but volunteered for the job. I loved the concept, which was basically this: What if religion actually, y’know… worked? What if the gods weren’t just real but actually interacted with you and granted you magical powers? How do you not play that character?” Do you create religions in your stories? I do. I think religion is an important part of every culture, whatever religion that may be.
  3. “I’m back, peeps! I didn’t plan on doing this post, but I’ve seen a bunch of people doing goals posts and so I kinda want to do one, so I am. I covered some of these things in my Monthly Summary/Year End post, but I tried to keep my points brief or else that post will be more monstrous than it already is, so I’m dedicating my first post of the year to the goals I have for the year.” She’s got a lot of great goals! I love all the cosplays she does! I’d never have the nerve to do these but I remember the days when I collected a lot of Star Trek: TNG stuff, lol.


Romance/Women’s Fiction:

  1. “In a perfect world, I suppose I’d have had an agent when I made my first sale, but things didn’t work out that way.   When I signed with Jessica Faust of Bookends, LLC, I had my second two-book contract on the table–and in some ways, this was a good thing.  I wasn’t focused on selling, but on finding a person to help me manage my career, and I’d spent a year working with a New York publisher and observing with keen interest–since I knew I would need an agent soon–how my newly and not so newly published pals interacted with their agents.” I’ve been busy researching agents. I don’t want to be afraid of my agent either. I want someone who’ll be good to work with, have an editorial eye, and champion my work.
  2. many times have you scrambled to come up with a new way of describing something that happens a lot? You don’t want anything too exotic, just…a little different. Ginger Monette joins us today to expand our vocabulary when it comes to laughter.” I like these kind of lists.
  3. “You know that feeling, when you’re in the zone and the words are flowing and something a little bit magical happens, when it feels like the story takes over and you’re just the vessel it flows through?  Your awareness of your body fades away.” So, that’s what happens!



  1. “And God has a sense of humor. The fun thing was that both of those words started with P as well, but they were Patienceand Production.” Sometimes, we just have to hang in there.
  2. “When it comes to book contracts many faith-based publishers have included a “Moral Turpitude” clause for decades. In case you don’t know what “Moral Turpitude” means, it is well defined in this post on Wikipedia. It is understood in the legal community as actions or activities that can get you fired from your jobdeportedif you are a foreigner in the U.S. on a visa, or have your contract cancelled if you are an author.” I didn’t know about these clauses but I can understand why they would have them.
  3. “I’d like to share some encouraging statistics today! In 2017, Books & Such helped eight writers sell their debut projects!” It seems a small number. I wonder how to not get swallowed in such an enormous pond. I do hold hope though. Someday.



  1. “I was fortunate enough, after a couple of days there, to be sent on a course of machine gun instruction some seven miles behind the line. Here I have been for nearly a week, the course finishing tomorrow with an exam. It has been interesting work and I can take the gun to bits and put it together again in quick time.” Life in the trenches. WWII.
  2. “Ælfflæd’s life was decided in her father’s battle against the Mercians in 655. Northumbrian King Oswiu made a promise: if God granted him victory, he would give land and his 1-year-old daughter to the Church. Ælfflæd would never be a queen, but she wielded royal power.” Wow. An amazing life. 
  3. “I enjoy hearing from readers around the world, particularly when they tell me my books have inspired them to look deeper into medieval history. The least enjoyable aspect of writing as a career is reading reviews where there is no right of reply, (such as the reader who recently said my book OWEN was too short – it is a perfectly respectable 320 pages and is the first book of a trilogy!)” I’ve been drawn to writing historical lately.



  1. “Released through PS Publishing Australia, Phantom Limbs is the new short story collection from Australian author Margo Lanagan. Already garnering praise from a variety of reviewers, including in The Times, Fantasy Magazine and Strange Horizons, the collection includes twisted fairy tales, ghost stories and visions of a dystopic future.” News for the week.
  2. “In this podcast The Outer Dark presents ‘A Strange and Darksome Night: Readings from Nightscript III’ from Night Time Logic Reading Series, hosted by Daniel Braumand featuring authors Inna EffressJulia Rust, and David Surface, plus an exclusive interview with Daniel Braum and CM Muller, editor of Nightscript III. The panel and readings were recorded live at Lovecraft Bar in New York City on Monday November 27, 2017.” How do you feel about this new category “Weird Fiction?”
  3. “In this podcast Orrin Grey talks about old school monster movies, how to make and write about believable monsters, tips for freelance writers, and much more.” I like the old monsters with a new twist but I also like newer monsters.



  1. “My journey began a long time ago. I’ve always wanted to be a writer, it’s only thing I ever wanted to be, except, you know, when I was five and desperately wanted to be Wonder Woman, which didn’t happen which was probably fine. But I’ve just always wanted to be a writer, and I always knew I wanted to write fantasy.” I do the follow through to the end thing as well, just getting the story down in first draft is key for me then I can go in and do the work.
  2. She’s right it is tougher to write these types of characters. I see the need for sensitivity readers more and more.
  3. This has helped me get an idea of where I’m flailing at the moment.
  4. “ The month for making resolutions. At STEM Tuesday, it’s also the month for exploration.Why not resolve to explore creative ways to bring middle grade, STEM-themed books into the lives of young readers?” Bringing science into the classroom through books.
  5. Should you hire a freelance editor? Some thoughts, especially for Indies.
  6. “ I think critiquing work is huge for writers because I feel like when you’re critiquing things you notice things and it’s like, “Oh, yeah, I do that too.” You notice the things that people do, and I feel like critiquing people is good and it sharpens you.” I agree.


Bonus: Okorafor is an international award-winning novelist of African-based science fiction, fantasy and magical realism for both children and adults. She’s most recognized for weaving African culture into creative evocative settings and memorable characters. Some of the titles she has authored are “Who Fears Death“, the “Akata” series, the “Binti” novella trilogy, “Zahrah the Windseeker“, and many more.” I love her process of writing! I like to stay focused on one project at a time as well but lately, I’ve come to think that I can separate my works much like the books I read. I read many at a time and keep their plots and characters straight.




  1. “I never have as much time to read as I think I will, and my trusty old Kindle is pretty loaded up. So, I’m a picky book-buyer. Unfortunately, there are a lot of readers like me out here, and you don’t want to lose us.” I hate to admit it, but I’m getting like this as well. It makes me afraid for the day that I put my book out there. There’s SO many books, not enough time!
  2.  “Surely at least once a week, in some critique group somewhere, someone is uttering, as if citing stone tablets, that you must never begin a novel with a dream.” I’ve used prophetic dreams in two of my series. I think if you can make it part of the story, like visions it works best. 
  3. “It’s interesting how legends, if that’s what you want to call them, are built up around certain places. The reality seldom lives up to the promise of the legend, and most people know that intellectually.” The Stepford Wives still gives me chills thinking about it today.
  4. “To me, it doesn’t matter what a writer writes. Nonfiction, fiction. Literary or genre. Poetry. Blog post… It’s all literature, and it all exists because an author had a message to share with the world. Why not publish that message, all messages, by being urgent, prolific, clear, and empathetic authors?” Literary work is something I couldn’t see myself as writing. I think it’s because I spent so much of my married life hearing that I didn’t have anything important to say. I do hope my stories inspire others don’t get me wrong. I just feel myself teetering on unfamiliar ground when it comes to literary. Maybe the future will change my mind.
  5. “There’s something about frontiers. I’m not talking here of actual borders between countries. Some of those are urban areas with strong infrastructures. Rather, I’m talking of another meaning of the word: the limits of settlement beyond which is wilderness. Those outposts really do have a different sort of culture. There’s usually not much infrastructure, so people have to make do. And they often have to depend on each other if they’re going to survive.” I love reading about frontiers. Especially, the old west.
  6. “I know a bit about each character thanks to that introduction, but because they had minor roles, I hadn’t thoroughly examined what makes them tick. I know some background information on each, even detailed family genealogy, but the shift from B-players to A-players has me wanting to know more. Sure, I know what roles they’re going to play in the new novel, End of Day,but I want to delve into their heads.” Ah, those secondary characters. They often move into the spotlight and then you have to discover more about them!



Short Stories/Anthologies/Novella:

  1. “This year the Ape has encouraged me in my idea of writing monthly Flash Fiction based on one of Danielle English’s illustrations.” The story reminds me of Tolkien’s work.
  2. “The algorithms are strange in that if I sell 10 copies in one hour, the numbers will soar. If I sell those same ten books in one day, they don’t budge at all. Algorithms are fickle. This is a good reason to hold a pre-sale. All of the advance sales will download at once and stack the deck for an hour or two. It wasn’t that big of a deal to me, so I didn’t this time. If it matters to you, it’s a decent trick.” Advice on self-publishing and marketing. I like that there are authors out there willing to let you promote on their blog. I think it’s a smart move. You can always return the favor for them.
  3. “The New Year’s celebration is finally wrapping up, here at Jazz Age Wednesdays.  Chris Graham, the Story Reading Ape!collaborated on a story with me that started here.  I couldn’t resist keeping the tale going for a few episodes.  However, today I present my conclusion.

Part-1 (here) began with Chris’ character, Artie — a genius time traveler chimpanzee determined to meet up with Pip again.  In Part-2 (here) we left Artie and Mona being pursued by the police.  Now, the conclusion.” What fun!

  1. “She sat working on her laptop in the dark. The power was of and she had a deadline to deliver on. The lights suddenly came back on and she looked up. Perched on top of her screen was a huge Parktown Prawn. She shrieked and jumped backwards. The enormous bug jumped to the floor and scuttled towards the doorway. She grabbed a heavy book and brought it down on the creature. When she lifted the book, she saw it was dead. A viscous black substance oozed out of its crushed body. It looked like it was leaking wet ink.” I’m not one for bugs. This one looks creepy, lol.
  2. “The rumble of collapsing stone faded to groans and squeals from the mass of surrounding rock. Ath half-gagged, half-coughed dust and grit from his throat. “Hello?” His hoarse whisper echoed ahead. An open passage. He checked his limbs by feel. Cuts and bruises, but nothing broken.”
  3. “The Future was moving on, and he was being dragged into it inch by inch. The Future tugged on him by the collar, almost pulling his shirt over his head. Now and then, if he twisted and squirmed with persistence, he broke free of the Future’s grip and slide back into the Past by a year or two.” Ah, the past. I would rather live in the future, lol.
  4. “This week finds Dr. Haybrook (Mitchell) and Gini racing against the clock to test a theory that may help disable the technology. We also catch up with Joyce and her slide away from humanity.” Too good not to share!



  1. “Recognize your light” Like this!
  2. “Leaves in a tempest,” He has a way with words!
  3. “Most people go through life thinking God never speaks to them when in fact, he’s always speaking to us.” So, so true! Had I listened sooner, I might’ve saved myself some heartache.
  4. com/2018/01/17/theres-a-place/ “There’s a place to hold in my thoughts, my place,” It would be nice to find a spot in nature like this.
  5. “Good poetry should provoke thoughts and feelings in the reader by speaking to some kind of thought or idea that you aren’t afraid to talk about. Pay attention to the sounds your words make through diction and syntax. Use your word choice to create strong images. Always use clear, memorable words to get your point across.” I write poetry when I’m inspired. It’s my most personal of my writing and I haven’t shown it to anyone. I have written some for some books though, though those stories got set aside.
  6. “My touch would kill you” This reminds me of that episode of Smallville where Lana is riddled with kryptonite and becomes lethal to Superman/Clark Kent.




  1. “Good reviews take your work seriously, amplify your message by reaching thousands of readers, and give you a credibility you just can’t get any other way.” This is why I do reviews when I can.
  2. “I wrote after my Oregon trip about the stabilisation of the indie author business modelin 2017, and the need to position for the next phase of growth. It’s unclear whether that next phase of growth will happen in 2018 or later on, but here are some macro trends that might impact authors in the coming year, and some suggestions for what you might do to position yourself.” Lots of advice for self-publishing and even those with publishers.
  3. was I thinking when I thought (and told everyone) I could write a book?

… it can be a scary thought. When you are taking on the role of publisher, it could be your Holy Moly moment.” I’m grateful to have some great cps at YAFF. They keep me on the publication road even when I feel it might be hopeless. I also have my family’s support. That helps tremendously. Although, I’m sure they wonder when I’m going to actually have something to show for all the hard work I do, lol.

  1. “Opinion: Overcoming Perfection Paralysis – When Good Enough is Good Enough

Do you have trouble letting go of your finished book? Can’t quite bring yourself to release your baby into the world until you’ve had one more last read-through – and another, and another, and another?” I had this trouble for years. I spent a lot of time revising the same stories over and over hoping to finally get them published. There has to be a point you come to when enough is enough.


Let me stress that at this point, we have no concrete information beyond the brief appearance of the 50% option. We can only speculate on possible explanations, a few of which appear below.” Interesting. What are your thoughts on the 50% royalty rate, if it happens?

  1. “Writing is fantastic for creative expression, helping others, or even building a business, but there are always days when we can feel like it’s too much, when we get discouraged, when we need a boost to continue along the author journey.” 




  1. “Good stories bring us face to face with ourselves. They are a mirror of our faults, our strengths, our quirks, and our experiences.” These verses stuck out to me. I think it’s the truest of the reasons. It allows us through our characters to fight the Big Bad that we can’t always in life, and survive.
  2. “Tice’s is one of many publishing roundups that survey the coming year in terms of industry change and trends. Over at The Hot Sheet(my paid newsletter written with Porter Anderson), we rounded up some of the more notable pieces authors should look at, including:” Smaller print runs?
  3. There’s an old joke about dying is easy, but comedy is hard, and Jack Lemmon knew what he was talking about. If you’re struggling with the funny, Chris von Halle visits the lecture hall today to share some tips on writing humor.” Humor can add a lot to your work. I find it mostly happens with my sidekicks but sometimes it can be a major player as well. I try not to do odd humor like making fun of strange beings on a planet. That humor can fall flat. Mostly, I try good-natured stuff.
  4. Our own writing coach Gabriel Periera is coming off the high of her recent TED talk (yes, she’s done an actual TED talk) with some new ideas on how to stay motivated and move forward with our writing goals. If you’re looking for ways to maximize your results and productivity in the next few months, read on for some helpful tips.” In college, I was put in a low reading class even though I got straight As in English. I think because I don’t test well. Many of my teachers in school told me to stick with the writing when I chose to write stories instead of essays for class. The college class made me think my dreams of writing were far away. I’m glad I didn’t listen.
  5. “Silence—the sort of silence that sucked movement, breath, life, out of a room—descended. A presence behind her sent out a chill. It wriggled down her spine and she shivered. Mum stilled three teenage boys, a man, and a girl, just by entering a room. Her brothers were named after superheroes, but her mother owned the power.”
  6. “Today we’re going to have a talk about LIES. Deception, half-truths, misinformation, and twisted realities. In my post about the success paradoxwe discussed how thoughts impact us in very real and tangible ways.” Food for thought.
  7. “After another unplanned hiatus, JJ and Kelly are back once again! (We’ll never be gone forever, don’t worry.) This week they continue their series on characterization, this time focusing on STRENGTHS & WEAKNESSES or personality traits.” From two with over fifteen years experience.
  8. “First, it can be painful to dig into our memories and hearts and face our fears and failures, yet being brutally honest is what will cause readers to not only empathize but draw inspiration and courage for their own situation.” Anyone out there writing a memoir?
  9. “It seems like every weekend, there’s another convention, comic con, writer’s workshop, or book festival somewhere. I should know, I’m either prepping for one or recovering from one right now. I have over thirty convention appearances schedule for this year, and we haven’t hit January 10th yet! So obviously I find value in attending conventions as both an author and a small press publisher, but if you’re just getting started going to cons, it can be a daunting prospect. So here are ten things (out of hundreds!) that I wish I knew before I booked my first convention.” Have you visited a con yet?
  10. “If you are looking for a critique group or want to form one, a local conference is a good place to meet potential groups or members.”
  11. “Not to mention, I think it’s so easy for us, as writers as creative people to just go go go all the time without stopping. We have all of these goals and ambitions and living the creative life is hard enough as is, so many times we work so hard because our output is often the only factor we can control. Before I knew it my anxiety was off the charts.” I’ve been learning to take the weekends off. It’s helping me come back more energized and ready to tackle the week’s work.
  12. “Camp. Hike. Stick your toes in the sand, run in the ocean. Go sledding. Grab time for yourself under the trees. Do not get hypothermia, and don’t drink lake water or bring bad dogs with you.

Be quiet. Be still. Listen. Notice colors and the weather, birds and ducks, the wind and the silence.” I want to do this more. Just getting out there. I’ve discovered plot twists in the woods.

  1. “Book-Art Press’s website dangles the carrot of free publishing (“Why spend thousands when you can publish your book for free?”), but this is less a yummy vegetable than a poison pill. BAP’s publishing packages are really just a way to steer writers toward a smorgasbord of junk marketing services(book trailers, paid review packages, press releases), questionable editing services (“A thorough editing…is applied for the material to be professional written, yet retaining the author’s voice”), and add-on services of dubious value (illustrations, data entry, and more).” Writer, beware!
  2. “If you love doing something, you’ll find the time to do it.

Of course you will, but that doesn’t mean you have to find the time everyday. Doesn’t even mean that you have to find the time every week. All it means is that you find time to do it somehow.” True, if it’s important to you, you’ll discover the time.

  1. “New year. New beginnings. And a whole new lifestyle for me. I am moving from the place where I have lived for the past 16 years. The last home I shared with my husband.” Change is something I’m working on with my newest protagonist. He’s lived on the outskirts of a town, forbidden to enter. Now, at last, he’s found a home.




  1. “The PATHthat TURNS” We can all use some hope these days.
  2. It’s hard to wonder if we made the right decisions. Based on my knowledge at the time and what I know for sure now, I think I did pretty good with who I turned out to be. Better. Wiser. Stronger.
  3. “The symbolism is timely; it was at CES this week that Amazon became the new Microsoft.” Alexa is making Amazon the new leader in audio.
  4. open note to Google

To the gmail team,” Anyone affected by this?

  1. “So, a few weeks back I did a couple threads on impostor syndrome, which is a very common thing that writers of all experience and comfort levels seem to experience — I certainly do, and you probably do, too. If you don’t, you might be a monster, maybe some kind of Yeti, so get that checked out. I figured I should grab these tweets and pop them somewhere, like, say, at this little blog, to share with those who maybe missed the threads on Twitter when they first appeared.” I experience this as well. I sometimes wonder if someone will point at me and shout, “Poser.”
  2. “Our journeys are rarely a straight path. I know, for sure, mine hasn’t been. Though I’ve written stories as long as I can remember, it never occurred to me that I could do this writing thing growing up.” I got to guest at Chris the Story Reading Ape’s blog!
  3. “The NEW YEAR is upon us, and that means we get a fresh start! Now is the time to ditch old habits and create new ones, habits that will keep us motivated all throughout the year. It’s easy to get discouraged, especially in later months, but if you keep these five new habits in mind, chances are you’ll accomplish things you didn’t even know you could do.” The only thing I don’t agree with is the writing every day. I used to and I suppose it’s good when you start out to keep in the habit but as I said above, there comes a time to take a few days off to give things a rest. You’ll come back more refreshed!
  4. “Ghostwriters aren’t quite ghosts, sadly. But they’re still more or less supernatural in their capabilities! They’re the undercover secret agents of the writing world. The trained, the elite, the you-never-saw-it-coming – the ghostwriters” I could see giving the ghostwriters credit on the books they write as well as the author behind it.
  5. “It’s hard to write a 100% original story, but not impossible. As for delivering what readers want, I may write a scene and have a few people read it. If all of them say they hate it, I’m definitely going to put that scene aside and rework it, even if I like it. I want my readers to have a good experience while reading, so if the majority dislike any part of my book, then I’m going to figure out how I can rework it.” Great interview!
  6. “There’s nothin like walkin around a neighborhood, tra-la-la, look at all the old houses.” I like looking at these old houses. I wish today’s houses, or at least the one I live in, had more character.
  7. “So how do you know what to grow and how to extend the variety of plants in your garden?
    Here is a table of plant hardiness zones based on minimum winter temperatures.” I’m interested to see these posts. I’m not much of a gardener. I don’t have the patience. However, I’d like to try my hand again this summer with flower, veggies, and herbs with the help of my daughter.
  8. “My husband always reckons that I have been blessed with a third eye.  It’s quite strange, but I never really need to set an alarm clock.  If I need to get up early for work or some other event, I tell myself the day before that I need waking up at a certain time.” Me? I’m lucky if I get up when my daughter shakes me awake, lol. I so sleep through an alarm clock.
  9. “What I want to address are three elements you should be adding to every image:
    Image Title
    Alt (or alternate) Text
    Image Description” Help for spiders and bots and screen readers.
  10. “Who you are is light.” Erika always has such beautiful words to share.
  11. “ Ebooks have changed the publishing landscape, which is why I’m writing this small blog series, just so I can understand what happened in 2017, and move into 2018.

But writers were wrong as well. A large number (you know who you are) predicted the death of print. An even larger number predicted the death of traditional publishing.” Always a fascinating read! She knows her stuff!





I write YA as Traci Kenworth. I also write romance as Loleta Abi.

42 thoughts on “Writing Links 1/22/18

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