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 2/26/18


Writing Links…2/26/18

Traci Kenworth



  1. “Anna Haber is a homeschool graduate and University of New Hampshire genetics major/plant nerd. She is the kind of person who tries to do everything at once. In her small amounts of spare time, she enjoys devouring books, writing speculative fiction, researching rice biochemistry, doing stained glass, and people-watching. Her two goals in life are to have a PhD and a published novel.”
  2. “And six weeks later? No actual work on that novel at all. I’ve worked on other stuff—poetry, short stories, etc., but six weeks after this full-throated declaration, no work on the “work in progress.” It’s not you, it’s the book, he says. I agree. If you don’t feel the least inspired, let go, and move on to another story.
  3. “Today I’m over at Writers Helping Writers to share a recent writing-related experiment: I created a map for an important location in my manuscript’s setting. It turned out to be a fun exercise that exercised a different part of my creativity – and best of all, it was immensely useful for the story I’m working on. So what are some the benefits of mapping your story’s setting? How do you go about creating your own setting map? Find out at the link below. Plus, there might be a photo of the map I drew.” I attempt maps but I’m dreadful at them. I understand what I need to about them though. 


Romance/Women’s Fiction:

  1. “All this “political correctness” may feel like a burden to some authors, but it is simply a matter of being in tune with your readers and modern society. It’s also an opportunity to influence that society, today and in the future. We can make the world a better place by giving our readers examples of what’s really romantic (consent, respect, and mutual support), and by showing healthy relationships.” She makes a good point. We need to include all sizes and types in our writing because, well, life is full of beautiful people.



  1. “It’s one of those questions that plague me when I fall into the trap of believing I’m not doing enough for the Lord. Have I shown enough love to those around me? After all, it is number one on Jesus’ list of things we must do. Paul calls it “the most excellent way” (1 Cor.12:31), and tells us that without it nothing we do matters.” A simple thing to extend a little hope.
  2. “I long to see Christian writers learn, grow, and succeed in their craft. As part of that desire, I am excited to tell you of a chance to win a Super Bundle Giveawayworth about $400 – the biggest giveaway in the history of the Christian Writers Institute!” Wow. This sounds interesting!
  3. “An author should be able to open up his or her files and find a bunch of information. These files are typically stored in a filing cabinet or scanned in to a computer. PLEASE back up your files remotely and don’t trust that your filing cabinet is fire proof. They aren’t. Even my friends with fireproof safes lost everything in their safes during the California wildfires. The fires were hot and the safes weren’t fireproof enough.” Tax advice.



  1. “A novel doesn’t write itself, I said to my mother the other day. Of course not, you say. But there’s more to this sentiment than the obvious. A novel needs its author to sit down almost every day and put words on the page, fingers to keyboard or whatever. And there are times when this is the last thing you want to do.” You just have to do it!
  2. “Being an executioner has never been a career choice to endear you to your neighbours. While our ancestors may have liked to witness a good hanging or two, they were wary of bonding with the man responsible for this gruesome entertainment. After all, one never knew if, someday, it would be you on the receiving end of the brutal justice dispensed by the executioner.” Did he spill royal blood?
  3. “Today we know little about Ælfflæd, except that kings wanted to her to marry their sons.

    She was the daughter of deposed Mercian King Ceolwulf, who claimed to descend from the legendary Penda’s brother. Apparently, that pedigree made her a desirable bride.” Was the legend true? 



  1. “Here’s a small selection of the horror and genre news that caught our eye during the last week.” 



  1. “We like to call ourselves “Team Lost Causes,” and we’re awfully proud of the nickname. Back in our grad school days, when we first discovered our common interest in the Wild West and dark fantasy, we talked a lot about what it would mean to collaborate on a series, and one of the things that excited us the most was the idea of constructing a giant world together as a team. We both understood that some partnerships often result in personality clashes, heated exchanges, unsatisfying drafts; but we also knew that the story in our hands was too exciting not to try. So we shook hands, turned our hats around, and got to work.” On collaboration.
  2. “What is a synopsis, why do so many writers hate it, and why in the world would I write one *before* the first draft? Today I’m sharing the plotting tool I never expected to like.” I do this too. I find it easier to do the synopsis beforehand and use it as a guide. Of course, sometimes it needs tweaked a bit in the end before sending it out on a query.
  3. “I can’t believe it. I’ve been nominated by at least three people for The Author’s Show 2018 Top Female Authors award for my book, In the Shadow of the Dragon King. I knew two people had said they nominated me but until I actually received the nominee badge, it wasn’t official. Now, it’s here and I’m in shock. I’ve never been nominated for something so big.” Congrats, Jenny!
  4. “Follow your curiosity and dive deep into a subject you can’t get out of your mind. Journal, by hand, a lot. Listen to and trust the characters. If you’re stuck, close your eyes and let your characters just live their lives in front of you, then write what you saw. Do more thorough world building than you think you need. Get. Outside. Of. Yourself. Artists mustsurround themselves with—and get close to—people who think differently than they do so they can write a range of characters, not just multiple dimensions of themselves. And go for long walks without your phone. There is such a clean and beautiful world out there ready to speak to us and tell us its stories.” I agree. The more you interact with others, the wider your world gets. Even if you can’t get out, you can still talk to people online and learn from others different from yourself. There are some beautiful people out there, and no, I’m not talking about looks but personality.
  5. “Wild & wacky science is all around us. One of the best examples I’ve ever personally encountered is the Titan arum, or corpse flower, that went full bloom last summer at the university where I work. Beautiful in its perfect weirdness. And, if you’ve never had the pleasure of a blooming corpse flower experience, its smell is just as wonderfully horrific as the name suggests. Think one hundred dead mice in a 90°F humidity chamber and you’re getting really close…” Ech. Can’t imagine a blooming corpse but great description!
  6. “I don’t recall having any difficulties learning how to write. If fact, I don’t remember it being a highlight in my school career at all. It was just something that happened; I learned how to write. Reading on the other hand was amazing. I can remember, at age four, sitting with a small reader and trying to sound out the words. I persisted, and I learned how to read. My Grannie Joan was very encouraging and used to show me words and read to me when I went to stay with her. By the time I started school, I was already quite a good reader and I never looked back.” My mom always had books in the house and regularly went to the library where I could get as many books as I could carry. I read everything! There was no YA back then other than Judy Blume.



  1. Author Blog is still one of the best ways to build platform.” I agree. At the very least, you’ll meet a lot of people with the same interests.
  2. “When Chuck generously agreed to host another guest post from me on his blog, he suggested something other than a FIVE THINGS post. Which is fine with me. I’ve told you ten things about my books already, and I’d be hard-pressed to come up with more. Instead, as I wrap up my series with Harper Voyager, I thought I’d share some of the lessons I’ve learned since I started writing fiction.” Bonus: Chuck Wendig on Questions and Answers.
  3. “I’m traveling today through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey…wait a minute. Let me begin again. I kind of feel the way that I did the first time I walked into a Rocket Fizz store a couple of years ago and saw all sorts of different brands of candy that I hadn’t seen the 1960s.  I’m not talking about candy, however. I’m talking about books. To be more precise, I’m talking about buying books through the mail, long before something called “Amazon” became a business.” I belonged to the MG and BOMC once upon a time. There too expensive nowadays for me.
  4. “Fictional police officers and PIs come from all sorts of different backgrounds. Not all of them come from steady, stable homes where the law is respected (although there are plenty of fictional police detectives whose parents were also police officers). In fact, it’s interesting to see how many of them started out as juvenile delinquents, or close to it. In some ways, it doesn’t make sense for someone who’s used to flouting the law to enforce it.” Interesting, I would think this would be a background that would be difficult to join the police force or become PIs from.


Short Stories/Anthologies/Novella:

  1. cope with his wife’s death, Petras must come to terms with the reality of it. He needs to see her body, visit the place where she died…understand whyshe died.

But the closer Petras gets to the place Hedie died, the more questions he faces—questions that might destabilize everything Petras thinks he knows.

“The City’s Edge,” by Hugo Award-winning author Kristine Kathryn Rusch, is free on this website for one week only. The story’s also available as an ebook through various online retailers here.”

  1. “Today was my one chance to work on things I wanted. I spent the early hours assembling some upcoming guest posts. Then there were the inevitable bulldog needs. My back started bothering me again, but just slightly. I moved the doggie bed out to the foot of my chair in hopes of avoiding some of the cuddles today. — Didn’t work. I’m fine, but there was a certain amount of twisting and adjusting so I could type.” Things looking up!
  2. “As authors, we are always looking for new ways to reach our readers. I was contacted by these two lovely ladies, through friends made on Lisa Burton Radio, to promote their startup on YouTube. Check out what they have to offer, and there are some pretty decent prizes available here too.”
  3. As an archeologist, I spent hours looking for the bony remains of ancient creatures. Today, my frustration mounted. The land yielded nothing. If I didn’t find something valuable soon my funding would end.
  4. “I’m in Nevada at my parents’ house. They have WiFi, but cannot find the password. My iPad is a useless brick now.

Limited to my phone on the cell network. I can no longer pigtail my iPad in. ATT wants me to upgrade. This is a new situation.”

  1. “When we last met, Bedlam Thunder had met friends among the “scarey” faeries of the colorless world in Episode 24 The Other Seer.  Yes, she landed in that bleak world again, and who knows how she’ll get back to Thistledown.  Meanwhile her friends and the crochet circle are still trying to rescue her.  Let’s go back to Thistledown and see how their efforts are going.”





  1. Challenge words “Breakthrough and movement.”
  2. Sickness is the biggest enemy
  3. Time drips down my window pane.
  4. Of loves secret thoughts
  5. Conversant
  6. more powerful
  7. moving forward
  8. the earth’s noise



  1. “Let me go through my personal process here on what changed for me and give you my ten reasons. Now granted, each reason opens up its own can of worms. But for this article, I just sort of went light over each of them.” Advice.
  2. “I’ve written before about “impossible books,” the books that will not work out the way you are imagining they will, once you get farther down the path toward publication in Are You Trying to Create an “Impossible” Book?” Advice.
  3. “Sharing personal stories can be a way to heal ourselves and also help others on a similar journey. In today’s show, I talk to Rachael Herron about writing memoir.”
  5. Worth it?
  6. “It’s time to do a revisit to something you wrote a year ago or five years ago. If you have been blogging for a year … that’s 52 blogs ago. That’s over 250 if you’ve been at it for five years—a lot of material that’s begging for you to come back and say hello to it.” Do you re-blog old posts?
  7. “The words ‘About The Author’ necessitate writing your bio in the third person. While this may feel all manner of weird, it can actually make the whole process easier. By taking a less personal approach you’ll feel less of a braggart when you list all of your relevant accomplishments.” Some tips.



  1. “I tell writers often they are failing to “advance their plot.” What does that mean, and why does it matter?

I keep seeing novels that “land on my desk” that start off with a great situation but then veer off into the hinterlands. Other novels don’t even get out the gate. The opening scenes seem to have nothing to do with the premise of their story. I’ll go back and reread a synopsis and shake my head. Where is the premise setup? Who exactly is the protagonist?” I can see this sometimes in my own work when I fail to make a scene and just write something to get to the next chapter. I’m recognizing this more and more. It’s good to learn.

  1. “My current work in progress is one I keep going back to. It’s been written, revised, and redrafted more times than I care to count, and as I’m doing yet another pass on it, I realized I approach it differently depending on what “stage” it’s in.” This is what I’m working with on LO right now. Sigh.
  2. “Let me mention the one I’ve been struggling with today: you need a great cover for your sub-genre to sell your book, not a reflection of yourself as a classy or sophisticated or hip person. Ideally, a cover should be the fulfillment of the reader’s wish, and is much more about metaphor and sub-genre than it is about specifics of the plot or tastefulness or how you want to present yourself in public. He or she doesn’t care about you—well, not yet anyhow; she doesn’t even know you yet. She has to be converted, a sales term that’s pretty literal in online publishing. She’s just looking for some cheery chick lit or scary horror or twisty mystery. Your cover has to sell that concept, not you as an attractive human being.” Does your cover target your genre?
  3. “One of the biggest problems you may run into is file size. Many services will block large files from being emailed or uploaded. So, I’m going to discuss ways to shrink your file.” Good to know.
  4. “Brene’ Brown said “If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.” This makes a lot of sense. Bonus: on shame and the power of vulnerability. You are worthy of joy and loving!
  5. “Partnering with another writer has crossed my mind a number of times over the years, but I never seriously pursued the idea with anyone. It has been said we should write what we know. In lieu of first-hand knowledge, however, we may want to venture into unfamiliar situations and locations requiring extensive research.” Anyone thinking of bringing a partner into their writing?
  6. “Problems are the essential ingredient for all All forms of dramatic writing balance on the fulcrum of problems. The more problems, the better. Small problems, big problems, complicated problems, imagined problems, ignored problems all make the human heart beat faster.”
  7. New feature.
  8. “Last month, I wrote about the Internet Archive’s Open Library project, which has been scanning donated print books, creating PDFs and EPUBs from the scans, and placing the scans and the digitized versions online for public borrowing–all without seeking permission from authors.”
  9. “Overview: An architect is responsible for designing physical structures, such as homes, office buildings, shopping centers, religious buildings, factories, and bridges. They design not only for function and safety but with an eye for design, as well.”




  1. “There are two different geographies to look at for this. In the US and UK, the ebook market is about 20% of the total book market, everywhere else it is 5%-7% because in these places the prices never went down to such a level that the ebook market would get significant traction. I think the plateau, or rather slight decline, that we’re seeing in the US and UK is not going to reverse. It’s the limit of the ebook format. The ebook is a stupid product. It is exactly the same as print, except it’s electronic. There is no creativity, no enhancement, no real digital experience. We, as publishers, have not done a great job going digital. We’ve tried. We’ve tried enhanced or enriched ebooks – didn’t work. We’ve tried apps, websites with our content – we have one or two successes among a hundred failures. I’m talking about the entire industry. We’ve not done very well.” Thoughts?
  3. “Keeping notes for your story is important. A list of the characters that appear, and how they are related to the protagonist and antagonist will help keep you from getting confused as the story progresses. If you have a lot of minor characters, these notes are important. The information in these notes can contain a few important details, or you can write up a complete dossier for each one. Remember, keep the back story of the characters to a minimum in your story. If something doesn’t relate to the plot or why a character acts a certain way in a certain situation, don’t add it to the story.” I keep bibles for most of this. I do have post-its though that I stick in there as well as ideas occur to me.
  4. “You may remember Jack Milgramof Custom Writing from his Infographic, 28 Boring Words and What to Use Instead. He has now shared with us his latest creation: 20 Quirks & Strange Habits of Famous Writers.”
  5. a Picture Paints a Thousand Words

Imagine how much more effective a GIF is…”

  1. “Quite why I have to be up at ridiculous o’clock, I don’t know. Well, I probably do, but even for me it is a bit early in the day to start calling myself an idiot. I wouldn’t mind if I’d managed to get to bed before half past midnight, but after tossing and turning for a while, waking from a particularly unpleasant dream, I gave in and got up. Sleep was not happening.” I sometimes wonder about taking different paths but as Sue explains, I wouldn’t be me. And I like me.
  2. “Of all the human senses, I find smellthe hardest to use in writing. And yet, it’s one of the most powerful, as a number of studies have shown it’s hard-wired into our brain, and a shortcut to all sorts of strong emotions. So why is it so hard to find the right word for a smell?” I think it’s because things smell differently to each of us, imo.
  3. “Willie James Howard was born on July 13, 1928, in Live Oak Florida. At fifteen years old he was in the 10th grade and worked at the Van Priest Five and Dime Store downtown. According to the story, Willie sent Christmas cards to employees of the store for the Christmas Holiday.” So sad.
  4. “As a child, I took every opportunity to write: sending letters and short stories to newspapers, creating comics which I sold to my parents, writing stories for my own pleasure and a detective novel inspired by Agatha Christie. But as with many people, as childhood faded, so did my confidence.” I can identify. My confidence has been shaken by the years but I’m still trying to hang in there.
  5. Do it right.
  6. “Why have loneliness narratives hit such a nerve? As we hunch over smart phones using emoticons to express our feelings, are we drawn for catharsis to protagonists articulating their isolation on our behalf? Society doesn’t understand them, they don’t understand society – does this express our own lack of connection?” I haven’t read any of these yet but I would think it may be because social media is becoming a big time-consumer for a lot of people and maybe these type of protagonists are more relatable now.
  7. “Monday was another holiday my employer doesn’t grant us, so I went to work while my family lay snug in their beds. Hard to leave. I had a good day, and my evening was even better because The Mister did the grocery shopping, heated up goat cheese pizza to put in my belly, and then he surprised me with a pint of Culver’s chocolate covered strawberry ice cream. I do so love the way he cares for me.” A nice day.
  8. Awards!
  9. “Maybe you’re saying, “I don’t know! How will I know when it’s finished?” Here’s one way to tell…

Remember when your book was so cute and tiny? You loved it and couldn’t wait to spend every minute with it. Thoughts of it filled your days and nights. Every new achievement was cause for celebration—“It’s now 20,000 words!” or “I’m halfway done writing the first draft!” If you’re in this stage, your book is still an infant. It’s not finished.” This has been difficult for me. I always fear it’s not finished.






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

37 thoughts on “Writing Links 2/26/18

  1. Hugs to you Traci, and all of your inspirational thoughts. Take the pressure off. Write your book and get an editor. That has made a huge difference in my writing. I don’t feel the pressure as much. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True, Robbie! A lot of my problem has been rewriting the story over and over because it failed to please someone. I need to remember it’s my vision. Yes, critiques are useful but they’re not meant to get us to write the story in a way that’s not ours. I tended to take every note to heart and ignore the way the story was meant to go.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Traci another brilliant round up and thanks for including the gif for Shey’s work.. she is such a great writer she deserves to be more widely recognised. Luv Px

    Liked by 1 person

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