Posted in Anthologies/Novellas, blogs, 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 3/5/18

naval battle
naval battle

Writing Links…3/5/18

Traci Kenworth



Bonus: Advice on morality for your characters in differing cultures.

  1. Classic music suggestions for the zone.
  2. “I feel conflicted about dyslexia. School can be extremely frustrating and pointless at times. But then I smile when I realize that likely the reason why I am gifted with music and writing is because of dyslexia. I believe that people who are dyslexic are rather gifted at storytelling.” Remarkable girl.
  3. “Full Moons for March 2018 ~ The Full Worm Moon & Full Sap Moon (also a Blue Moon). When is the next Full Moon? Moon phases, best days, and more from The Old Farmer’s Almanac.” Interesting.


Romance/Women’s Fiction:

  1. the years, I’ve heard great things about the Coastal Magic Convention. As it says at their website, Coastal Magic is “a super casual, urban fantasy, paranormal, and romance focused convention in Daytona Beach, Florida.”
  2. “When a friend introduced me to Kindle Worlds, I had a lot of questions. I didn’t know anything about the process. It occurred to me that I might not be the only one, so I asked the super-generous Susan Stoker (the world I write in) if she’d answer some general questions for us. And she agreed! The Q&A that follows should clear up any confusion you might have. I know it helped me…” This is interesting. Has anyone tried writing in another author’s world? Does it work out?
  3. “Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Some people battle the messy middle, others struggle to close. Personally, I’m a person who writes and rewrites her beginnings. Sometimes dozensof times. It’s imperative that I hook the reader in the beginning, and if I’m not feeling it, I’ll do it over and over until I’m satisfied that I do.” I like how she ends with the line that it’s not just the hook but the story that has to interest a reader to keep going.



  1. “What should a client expect from you as an agent?” Important questions and answers.
  2.“The worst thing you can do is beat yourself. By that I mean not function to your level of competency because you didn’t put out your full effort in all ways.” I think this is a good way to live. Do your best. That’s what counts, that’s what others will remember about you.
  3. “Have you ever had one of those days when you were supposed to be writing but you found yourself staring at the screen, whining, “But I don’t feel like writing!” Sometimes. Sometimes, all you can do is do something else and come back to it.



  1. “When I did the research for Now I’m Found, which was set in Oregon and California between 1848 and 1850, I was careful not to expand beyond the timeline of that novel—I didn’t want to waste my time on research I couldn’t use for that book. Therefore, I know very little at the moment about what happened in Oregon after 1850. I’m starting almost from scratch with my research now.” Research sometimes deviates from what we originally thought.
  2. “Victorian séances were almost always performed in darkness, which provided the perfect conditions in which unscrupulous mediums could produce convincing illusions.” I almost went to a séance once, but I heard things that chilled me. Namely, something with the Ouija board. Not sure how much was true, but I get spooked easily.
  3. “Historical hoaxes crop up from time to time. Examples ranging from the Piltdown Man in England (here) to Francis Drake’s Plate (here) in the US and others abound. Some are found to be pranks, some deliberate hoaxes. Then there are stories about people and personal relationships. They start with whispers, then printed hints and finally, hey presto! We now have full blown “history”. Gossip? Undoubtedly. True? No one really knows. Sometimes there simply aren’t enough known facts to determine the answer. A case in point is the story of Hannah Lightfoot and the very young Prince of Wales who became George III.”



  1. “If you’ve listened to this episodeand this episode of The Horror Show with Brian Keene, then you know what state I was in not so long ago, and what grief can do to a person, and how nice it is to get out from under that weight.” He describes it just right. A weight.
  2. In this podcast Jon Padgett and Matt Cardin talks about Vastarien, Thomas Ligotti, The Creative Self, and much more.
  3. Crystal Lake, Gene O’Neill, and Splish, Splash.



  1. “Today we’re interviewing Sarah Albeewho wrote this month’s featured wild and wacky science book, POISON: Deadly Deeds, Perilous Professions, and Murderous Medicines.” A handy book to have for writers, perhaps depending on the genres you deal with.
  2. “Do you need to take writing classes to get published? Are they even helpful? Today I’m sharing my experience with creative writing in academia.” I’ve often wondered this. I’ve learned from doing, craft books, podcasts, interviews, blogs, and many more.
  3. “I started writing far too concerned with doing everything correctly: punctuation, formatting, grammar – all the stuff that would make my English teachers proud. And while the plots were good, my writing was flat and predictable. Then one day, I threw it all out and decided to write something I wouldn’t submit anywhere, something that was just for me. So, I ignored all the rules and simply wrote from my heart. In doing so, I found my voice as a writer. The story I wrote became the work that so far, I’m best known for: THE FALSE PRINCE.” Maybe there’s something to that.
  4. “To wrap up our swoon-worthy month, a couple YAtopians so kindly gave us a peak into what makes their characters swoon-worthy.” Good qualities.
  5. “Michael, Gregory and I are all visiting Hugh’s Views and News today to share my favourite song from the ’80’s. You can visit us other there by clicking on this link:
  6. “And, as we have learned from podcasts such as Serial and the TV series Making of A Murderer, even when it’s pretty clear that an innocent person has been wrongfully imprisoned, our system doesn’t offer many allowances to rectify those mistakes. I can’t think of many things more heinous than being wrongfully imprisoned. It’s an issue I feel very passionate about. And you can expect to see more stories surrounding this issue from me.” This would be a tragic situation.



  1. “We all come face to face with them, those pesky glitches, oopsies, OMGs and WTFs that ruin a story, turn a reader off, guarantee a slew of one-star reviews—and kill sales.” I think we’ve all been guilty of these. Hopefully, editing catches them.
  2. “Is it possible to have a truly ‘no strings attached’ sort of relationship? Plenty of people say ‘yes;’ and plenty of those have had them. Many other people disagree. To those people, there’s always some connection, even if it was just a one-night stand.” What do you think?
  3. “Eventually, all living things die. Our ecosystems need the death to occur in order to breathe new life into something else. This cycle is called the Carbon Cycle, and you and I are part of it.” I saved this for research purposes. Might come in handy.
  4. discussion – What advice would you give your younger writing self when you were first starting out? Knowing what you do now, please give your top 3 tips.” Stay in school. 2. Don’t worry so much about peer pressure. 3. Trust your instincts.
  5. “As this is posted, it’s 57 years since the establishment of the Peace Corps. As you’ll know, Peace Corps volunteers do grassroots-level work (teaching, medical assistance, agriculture, and more) in remote areas and areas of extreme poverty. You may know someone who’s been in the Peace Corps. Perhaps you were a volunteer, yourself.”
  6. “Writing only gets done by getting it done.

The work is the way forward.

But what that means is…” I like how he says every story has its own personality. I find this true as well. What works for one, doesn’t always work for another. It’s just how you get the progress made. Ten minutes or five hours. What works for you.



Short Stories/Anthologies/Novella:

  1. “Story Empire was named as one of the top fifty writing blogs of 2018! Needless to say, the six of us are super excited about the award. But we know that we wouldn’t have been named if it hadn’t been for our readers.” Congrats to all six!
  2. “Yeah, didn’t quite work that way. All three of them decided to share my chair and workspace. Otto is the one with his back to the camera. Oh, and cats like to type – who knew? I suppose I should be impressed, I can’t even get the dogs to read my books. This cat wants to write one.” My cats do this, lol.
  3. The house is silent.
  4. Welcome to the Mushroom Mart . . . Okay, so it’s more of a forest, but Fungus Forest was already taken by a podiatrist down the road.  We are very serious about the pigs though because they can ruin our entire crop.  If you try to sneak one on then we’ll have to confiscate it and all you get is invited to a totally unrelated bacon breakfast the following weekend.  Now, what are you looking for?
  5. He pirouetted through oceanic whiteness, leaving ripples of himself. Drifting through these, she gasped at the softness of his touch. A touch bursting with promise: that dance he’d promised her but she’d always been too busy to accept. Back then. Back there. Where cares were weighty. Where duty outweighed sin. Where their love went unrecognised. Because of him. Because…
  6. The following is the opening section of a short story entitled, For No Reason. I hope to include this story in an anthology in several months. The main character, Dax, is stuck in a magical rut that’s not headed toward a good ending…



  1. The truth of who you are.
  3. Winter’s end.
  5. Conscious immortality.
  6. Lingers
  7. Born from the light.
  8. A safe haven.



  1. Some good-looking covers here.
  2. “Amazon is no longer listing books supplied from IngramSpark as “in stock.” In the past, Amazon would list IngramSpark sourced books as “in stock” because they knew that they could order the book and get them in a day. In the last few months, Amazon has changed this practice. They will only order enough POD IngramSpark sourced books to fill existing orders. Occasionally, they will order a few more when demand shows that they will sell them. Books that previously were listed as “in stock” are no longer and it is dramatically affecting sales.

Books that are also listed with CreateSpace (owned by Amazon) are not affected and shown as “in stock”. (Draw your own conclusions.)”

  1. “Our Indie Spotlight shines today on Barstons Child’s Play,in McLean, Virginia.”
  2. podcast
  3. My advice is to write the synopsis before you write your book. It’s easier that way.
  4. Interview with Kevin J. Anderson.
  5. Washington Post’slists are probably the first to accurately reflect what people are reading, and not what some New York book editor thinks is worth reading.

It is still not a perfect view of the market, obviously; Amazon only accounts for 75% of the ebook market, which means this new list is still missing a small fraction of the overall book market.

But it is still better than a kick in the teeth.” Do you follow lists.

  1. in a series helps you write faster, satisfy more readers and make more money as an author – whether you write fiction or non-fiction.

In this video and article, I’ll go into detail on why writing a series will make you more money as a writer.”






  1. “When you think about it, the transformative power of the written word is no less phenomenal than the technological miracles of computers, televisions, and smarts phones. Both are alchemy. Technology uses wires and circuits to turn code into the wonder of light and color. Writing does exactly the same thing. Little black squiggles on the page have the power to reach another human being’s mind and light it up with imagery just as vivid as anything that person might experience in the real world.” I’ve been brainstorming for HA this past weekend, well, over a week or two now. Flashes of scenes come to me. I hope when I’m ready to write this story, all of it comes with me.
  2. “Once I figured out how to get writing jobs, I was working longer hours, seeking more clients, and somehow still getting paid next to nothing. I was missing something on the business side of things. An essential piece of the puzzle.” I, too, think it is a lot about mindset. If you think you will fail, most likely you will. I try to focus on success and keep on. And I think helping others is a plus for both sides.
  3. don’t always know where a story is going to go, and what you set out to write isn’t always what you end up with.” Very true. Re-imagining is part of storytelling sometimes.
  4. “Today’s post is by regular contributor Peter Selgin, the award-winning author of Your First Page.He offers first-page critiques to show just how much useful critical commentary and helpful feedback can be extracted from a single page—the first page—of a work-in-progress. Learn more about getting a first-page critique.” “Since I first saw Sunset Boulevard, in which (speaking of drowning) it comes to pass that the man lying face down in a pool turns out to be none other than William Holden, whose voiceover narrates his story and who is indeed dead, I have had mixed feelings about ghost narrators. As narrative sleights-of-hand go, it strikes me as a little too easy, a bit too glib. It also requires suspension of all four laws of thermodynamics.” I don’t have a problem with dead narrators, but their story has to be compelling.
  5. “Every story begins with an idea. Alas, stories can only be createdwhen at least two vastly different ideas collide. The place where they meet is the BOOM, much like the weather. Storms erupt because two very different bodies of air meet…and don’t get along.” This is sound advice.
  6. “The setting is a powerful force. Not only does it evoke moodcreate tension and conflict, allow you to share critical backstoryin a non-dumpy way, and draw readers deeper into the story through powerful sensory detail…it can also steer your plot.” Great reminder of how roadblocks and obstacles in the setting can help or hinder us.
  7. “There’s always plenty of debate (sometimes heated) about whether to indie or traditionally publish. Growing numbers of authors are going hybrid, which is using both platforms to build their readership. When originally broached on writing about this subject I was a bit hesitant. So many authors are firmly entrenched in one of the two camps. What I’ve written here is only MY experiences and opinions. You are perfectly welcome to feel differently. Of course!” I’m leaning toward hybrid.
  8. “Overview: a corrections officer works in a prison, guarding inmates serving out their sentences, ensuring they are afforded their legal rights while obeying facility rules and local laws. They rotate through different assignments, staffing different areas including the gatehouse, observation towers, unit deployments (accommodation wings, infirmary, recreation area, etc.). Some positions are very hands-on (such as new prisoner intakes, which require pat downs and inmate paperwork, escorting prisoners, and monitoring pod areas as prisoners engage in daily activities such as card-playing and TV watching). Other assignments include monitoring controls, running headcounts, room checks for contraband, and overseeing paperwork. They also may assist with vocational training for prisoners, helping them to make the best time of their incarceration both for personal wellness and to help them integrate with society upon release, and help inmates address behavioral issues that are tied to their offenses.”
  9. “For a long time, too long a time, the elephant in the room—the thing almost everyone never talked about—was sexual harassment in the [fill in the blank] industry. That has begun to change, most notably in Hollywood with women speaking up about years of abuse from producer Harvey Weinstein and a growing list of others. This month, the scandals finally reached another corner of the entertainment industry: children’s book publishing.” I’m glad changes are being made.
  10. “This is hard to answer because “too many” is subjective. An epic high fantasy is likely to have more characters than a personal contemporary story. Even making a list of your characters isn’t always helpful, because many will be walk-on or throwaway characters, and knowing that, they carry less “weight” in a list. You might not even list them because they’re so unimportant, yet they take up valuable room in the reader’s memory.” Hmm. Might use this. I think I have just enough characters but maybe I should check. 
  11. “One aspect of writing in Deep POVthat’s often overlooked or downplayed is the importance of filtering setting and description through your point of view character (POVC). Remember, in Deep POV you want to avoid drawing conclusions for readers. Don’t tell readers what to think, give them your POVCs raw data and let readers come to their own verdict about how the POVC feels, what they’re observing, and the world they live in. This puts the reader IN the story and keeps them out of the theater seats.” Some good pointers here.
  12. “A protagonist cannot become a hero/heroine without triumphingover a big problem, despite all we (as Author God) will throw at them. Once we know the problem, it’s far easier to have a sense of the ending.” I usually know the end though sometimes it changes depending on the story.
  13. “When it comes to partners in fiction, there are all types, including love birds, best buds, and sidekicks of all kinds (for some great advice on sidekicks and how to develop them, check out Diana’s postfrom Feb. 1). Another flavor of fictional partner, which could overlap with the above in certain cases, could be termed the “frenemy.” This type could be used to push the conflict to overload.
  14. “I want to share a bit from Colum McCann’s personal remarks at the back of his award-winning novel Let the Great World Spin, my hands-down favorite novel for showing masterful “stream of consciousness” character voice.” Very powerful.
  15. “We sometimes worry so much that readers might miss something, we end up shoving the story right down their throats.” Nice to know.



  1. “Look away, bookstore lovers.

Barnes & Noble has just released its latest quarterly results, and they do not make for a pretty read.”

  1. Clarity of purpose.
  2. Goals so far this year. I’ve read nine books this year so far! More than usual for me. Writing is going good too, although I’ve slowed a little.
  3. “Authors using Amazon’sself-publishing service have more on their minds than selling books: Reports have surfaced that some have become the target of cybercriminals.” Oh, this is so scary!
  4. Wrap around.
  5. “Find what works for you and invest the bulk of your time there. For me it’s blogging, Twitter, and Tribber. To a lesser degree, I think I’m going to find Creator Collabs highly useful. It’s a sharing platform two of my fellow SE authors recommended, and I’ve found it works well in conjunction with Twitter, my preferred social media program.” I stick with twitter mostly although I do check FB and post to pinterest.
  6. “These are some of things I have been reliably informed, are essential if we want to make a success of our writing. In retrospect, there is possibly too much information out there, and all of it supposedly the right way to write, that it can be downright confusing. At least I have found it to be so.” I’m self-taught too. I use craft books, podcasts, blogs, etc. to learn more.
  7. “They say it’s the ones with the dirtiest hands pointing the finger. That the world is fake on social media, where we hold our masks together long enough to log off. People pointing fingers and laughing at their neighbors while they pretend to be someone else…until no one’s looking. We forget that integrity is less about what you post and more about your heart. Is it in sync? What of our actions behind each other’s backs?” A thought-provoking question.
  8. “Street Photography is all about the story—explicit or implicit (in your face or subdued within the scene). But then that could be said about most photographic genres I think. You need the story.” I personally think even public figures should have the right to privacy. If they’re on set, maybe allowances could be made but off set?
  9. “The sun rose, casting a rose-gold glow across a frozen world. I watched the daily miracle soften the sky, grateful that my home faces east that every day brings a reminder of renwa, and every dawn reminds me that now is a new beginning I can embrace if I choose. The sun also rose on a small black dog. The morning was bitterly cold and, as always, I stood at the door and watched as Ani made her first foray into the garden. You could see her disappointment in every line of her body. There was not the snowfall she had hoped for… no drifts in which to bounce, no snowflakes to chase… barely enough play with. And, judging from the look she gave me, it was quite obvious who she was holding responsible for the situation.” We’re getting a storm tonight. The internet keeps going off and on.
  10. “Welcome to the next post in the series Letters from America 1985 -1987. In retrospect I have managed to find some of our photographs taken during the two years that I would have shared with my parents later. They came out for a month in the November of 1985 which was wonderful.” These were my last years of high school, beginning of college.
  11. “I am enjoying being educated about this ancient form of storytelling. I will admit to finding some modern poets difficult to engage with. I tend to read poetry out loud, but it seems that some poets have not done so themselves. Tonality, timbre and breath bring poetry alive, as with the travelling bards of long ago, reciting the epic poems of heroism and adventure. They were plays with a cast of many uttered by one.” I’m guilty of not reading poetry aloud, but I will rectify that.
  12. “But still the spectre of the novel kept raising its head, and so in the run up to last November, I purchased Scrivener (A novelist’s necessity apparently), got my notebook out and began planning my novel. Now before this, I had written 20k words towards what I thought would be my first novel, but when I got the new software and some new ideas, I shifted my focus to the new novel.” I go through this too, worrying I’m not good enough. I think it’s part of the writer’s lot. The truth is, there will always be better writers. We can’t worry about that. We have to be the best writer WE can be. Because that’s our competition, not others. We have to improve each time we put a story out. That’s what will make us last.
  13. “We at Story Empire have a writing prompt to share today. The following short story is inspired by the Story Empire Friday Fiction Prompt: Limited and Focused Views. I’ll give this fiction piece full attention today by moving my regular Friday feature to tomorrow. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the tale I came up with based on the prompt.

Oh, one more thing. This one probably isn’t appropriate for kids.”

  1. “ Thanks to Die Erste Eslarner Zeitung for this info on 5 things a publisher looks for:” “So, let’s start with the big picture. What is a publisher really looking for? What is going to make the difference between your book showing up on shelves versus them saying no to something you worked incredibly hard on.” Good to know!

  1. “Long time followers know what this is all about, but I’m going to write about it for the new folks out there. I use my original character, Lisa Burton, to host an imaginary radio show on this blog. Lisa Burton Radio interviews the fictional characters from your books.” Need to advertise your book/s? Guest at Craig’s!
  2. “I’m happy to see you here, in the faery land of Thistledown.  It’s already March.  Time continues to fly for us, but in Thistledown, they still haven’t managed to get to their biggest midsummer party.  However, the story wings toward a conclusion… eventually.” Have you visited Thistledown yet?
  3. “We’ve listened, and we’ve acted. We’re pleased to announce that we’ve extended the deadline for entries to this year’s Bloggers Bash Blog Post competition. The deadline for entries is now 23:59on Thursday 22nd March 2018.” Anyone entering? The theme is royalty.
  4. “Another week, come and gone. This week, my post is a day late because yesterday was my turn to write and post a story for Story Empire’s Monthly Writing Prompt. I wanted to give that post and this post their own respective days, so I moved my regular feature to Saturday. And I do have a lot of links for you. But first, the quote.”
  5. “My son spoke of his intention to portray the imperfections of the apparently perfect. The conversation moved from the technical side of the photograph to the art of it… the vision of the artist as opposed to the unwritten rules about what does, or does not make a good picture. The image in question is good by any standard, in my opinion, but everyone reacts differently to any artistic interpretation. It may, or may not, be to someone’s taste. It may speak to something deep within, but what it says is a personal thing and may be different from the intent of the artist.” An interesting take on art. I agree, we must push our boundaries if we’re to discover what we’re capable of.
  6. “This past summer, my son was diagnosed with ADHD. And the more I learned about ADHD—the more I unlearned what I thought I knew about ADHD—the more I understood my own brain’s struggles with trying hard things, getting started, and following projects through to the end.

It’s not laziness. It’s not a lack of intelligence. It’s not a matter of not knowing what to do.

It’s a gift (curiosity! humor! creativity! intelligence! fervor!) … and a curse.” I couldn’t say it better.

  1. “Congratulations! You’ve published your first novel (or maybe your second or your third) and now you’re ready to market it.” It seems to be all luck as with getting your book out there in the first place. Eye-opening.
  2. “Pen to paper, fingers to keyboard, my need to write is innate. When I was ten years old my mother gave me a beautiful red diary with a small gold lock. To me, it was quite magical. I kept it in my drawer and began to write in it most days. When it was full, I continued to buy diaries – none ever as lovely as that one – but it didn’t really matter as long as I could write. I continued to fill my diaries for the next twenty years.” I still use notebooks and journals. I saw some lovely journals that weren’t too pricey at WalMart the other day I intend to pick up.
  3. Some good ones here.
  4. “Finances are a big deal when it comes to Indie Book Publishing. For those who want to do it right, it pays in more ways than one to have a budget for every book you intend to publish. Check out this article from Angela Ford on ways to break it down and later, I’ll publish a separate post on how I break down the costs for my very own books. Until then, enjoy:” Sadly, not at this total. Even half would be out of my budget.








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

43 thoughts on “Writing Links 3/5/18

  1. Another great selection. I particularly liked the idea of free writing–i.e. writing something that won’t get published but will allow you to break the rules and find your voice. I think I’ll do just that with my next book.

    Liked by 1 person

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