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

Writing Links 3/12/18

under the foot of a god

Writing Links 3/12/18

Traci Kenworth



  1.“Everybody thought I was crazy. A writer, you know—he’s just a sort of crackpot. My wife would get some of my love scenes and read them aloud to me, and just laugh and laugh… And then, by golly, one day here’s check.”

—Lester Dent” 2.4 million words a year? Not something I could reach for, for sure, lol.

  2. “Under the right circumstances, any hero has the chance to become a villain. It’s all too easy for them to let selfish desires supersede the needs of others or even selfless desires drive the character into doing something bad to do something good but in the process evolves the character into a villain. However, one of the most powerful moments a character can have is when they have the chance to become a villain right in front of them and instead, they refuse.” Aragorn’s temptation with the ring is one of my favorite parts of LOTR.



Romance/Women’s Fiction:

  1. “There is a myth that a good writer doesn’t need an editor. I’d challenge that and then some. A good writer not only needs an editor but deserves a great ” Sounds like a list of good qualities to look for.
  2. “During the RWA national conference we heard from many writers looking for a CP.  I won’t spout hearts and rainbows here and say finding a compatible CP is easy.  It’s not.  It’s a relationship that develops over time and requires a lot of questions at the beginning and some honest conversations later on.  If you happen to be searching for a CP, here’s your chance to network.”
  3. “Events are instinctive. Every story’s power emerges in moments of collision. Characters collide as they confront obstacles and opponents in pursuit of happiness, and these intersections change everything. Each collision between your characters releases energy, much like nuclear fusion or fission, as they reveal their internal struggle in the face of external challenges. How much energy your story accesses depends entirely on your ability to tap their essential nature via actions and reactions.” Sounds like a good rule: keep events unfolding.



  1. “I think it is a huge mistake to reveal how much money you make as an author. The details of your royalty advance on your latest deal should not be shared with other authors. It is similar to finding out the salary of the co-worker in the office cubicle next to yours. When I was a retail store manager we had major problems when salaries were discovered…I had to stop a near fist-fight between two people who had been friends.” I think this makes sense. Your finances should be private. I know I talk about my finances at times, but I don’t reveal specifics.
  2. “Are you a writer who loves to write back cover copy? No?That’s what I thought. If you’re like me, you would rather have a root canal. So, when I read Sue Colletta’s excellent post about the subject over at the Killzone, I actually got excited. She has a 3-step formula! And she was excited for me to share it here at NovelRocket.” The hook is what I use for a lot of reading links usually unless it’s a review and someone gives their opinion of the story, then I go with that.
  3. “The writer’s job is to create a work that makes it easy for the needle (reader) to find the groove, the tone, the reason-for-the-book’s-existence, the musicality that will draw the reader closer rather than tempt the reader to plug his/her ears. And that’s not child’s play. Easy doesn’t mean simple, uncomplicated, or dumbed-down, in this instance. It means that the writer and the story have found the precise “lane” where music replaces distortion.” I can see this.



  1. com/2018/03/06/somewhere-in-france-2nd-april-1916/ “Henry Tod writes his parents about a mine blowing incident – that’s mine blowing not mind blowing, although the latter could also apply.” Trenches.
  2. “The search for a tangible King Arthur remains as inconclusive as ever due to lack of compelling, physical evidence, although some continue to try and convince us otherwise. There are many places in Britain that lay claim to have connections to a ‘real’ Arthur – Tintagel where he was said to have been conceived; Camalat (South Cadbury in Somerset), an impressive iron age citadel; Glastonbury Abbey where monks in 1190 claimed to have found his grave; Camelford – a village in Cornwall that claims to be the site of the Battle of Camlann, where Arthur was mortally wounded around the year 515 AD (a date arrived at through research by historian John Morris). Avalon, or The Island of Apples, where Arthur’s body was taken, is thought to be near Glastonbury – its proximity to Camelford lending support to the claims of this patch of the West country. There are other ‘Arthurian’ sites at various locations in Wales, at Birdoswald on Hadrian’s Wall, and north of the wall at Caledonian Wood.” A favorite subject for me.
  3. “Returning to a novel after a seven year absence is a challenge. Who are these characters? Why on earth did I write that chapter? What’s the story and where’s the plot? I’d learned a lot about writing and East Rising Sun definitely needed work.” I’ve tried to go back but I haven’t had any success.



  1. “In this podcast Nick Mamatas talks about Editing Clarkesworld, Common Story Mistakes, Writing a Novel in Eight Weeks, and much more.”
  2. “In this podcast Scott Nicolay goes behind the lens of They Remain, adapted from the story ‘–30–‘ by Laird Barron, with Director/Screenwriter Philip Gelatt, Cinematographer Sean Kirby, and Artist Jeanne D’Angelo. Plus special guest Bill Campbellof Rosarium Publishing on Sunspot Jungle and  an update on The Outer Dark Symposium on the Greater Weird



  1. “My road to publication has been of the long and hard variety—Blood Water Paintis the tenth book I wrote, and the fifth book to go on submission to editors. Of those nine books that came before, there’s one I might rework entirely. The others were what I needed to write to get where I am now. Which is not to say they were bad—I think several of them are publishable. But book deals require a bizarre alchemy of not only a good book, but a bunch of other factors as well. And now that I’ve written Blood Water Paint, I don’t really want to linger on the work that came before. I’m eager to move on to whatever’s next!” This gives me hope that someday I will see my stories out there! 
  2. “When you get rejection, don’t let it bring you down. Yes, it can feel very personal, but it’s not a personal attack. Change how you view rejections and how you take them.

Instead of seeing a rejection, see a badge of honor. All writers get them.” Good way to look at them. 

  1. “Ah, the dreaded synopsis. An agent or editor request for a synopsis can strike fear into the heart of seasoned and newbie writers alike. Today, we’re SO lucky to have NYT Bestselling Author, Pintip Dunn with us. She’s put together an incredible, step-by-step post sure to make writing a synopsis stress-free. Stay tuned after the post for a bit more info about Pintip and her books.” Tips for the synopsis. 
  2. “Before this book, I’d been very much a pantser. But with such an involved plot, I knew I needed to outline- and I ended up writing a super-detailed one too, at over 50 pages! That outline served me so well, I’ve decided I’m officially a plotter. :)” I used to be a pantster too but these days, I plot.
  3. “We’re so excited whenever one of our mentees gets an agent offer or a publishing deal. Celebrating these successes is one of our favorite parts of the Pitch Wars process. We hope you can join us in congratulating Erin Cotterand her mentor, Carlie Sorosiak. Erin signed with Hilary Harwell of KT Literary and we couldn’t be happier for them!”
  4. “Judging by the various critiques I’ve done over the years, point of view, it seems, trips a lotof writers up. It’s easy enough to understand why—when you come up with a great cast of characters, it can be tempting to think the more perspectives in the story, the more readers will connect with characters—and therefore, the story. Furthermore, exploring different character perspectives can be a great way to get to know the characters, which then makes it much easier to write them as fully realized people in your novel.” A gauge to tell.




  1. “In his painfully funny 2006 book, Famous Writing School, a Novel,Stephen Carter’s writing teacher-protagonist advises his students to seek character names in the obituaries. But although Carter’s bumbling protagonist offers mostly dubious advice, that tip is a keeper.” Some good suggestions. Bookmarked.
  2. “Because, really, most takes attempting to find and thereby sequester the proper territoryof art and its margins adds up to a bad take. Because art is not a thing. I mean, art exists, but it’s a squirmy, wiggly target on the best of days, and on the worst of days, the definition of art is often one that attempts to create a kind of hierarchy, where Good Art is put into Nice Boxes and all that other stuff is kicked into the trash bin. And that leads us down some troublesome roads — we pit genre fiction versus literary fiction, let’s say. Or we pit hard sci-fi (grr) against space opera (whee). High fantasy versus low fantasy. Romance versus, well, everything not romance. Marginalized creators versus non-marginalized creators. It is, simply put, a good way to make some art subterranean while other art gets to remain above ground, breathing the fresh air and staring up at the stars.”
  3. “There’s a lovely word that describes an object or idea that shows up again and again in a story: motif. To be a true motif, that object or idea should reinforce the story’s theme. But I confess that when we start to talk too long about things like stories’ themes my eyes tend to glaze over. So, I’m perfectly happy to expand the definition to anything that appears repeatedly.” I guess family is something I use from story to story.
  4. “My guest today is a fun guy, as well as a talented screenwriter and novelist. Steven, Jordan Dane, and I have a lot of laughs on Twitter. Our private chats are even funnier. They crack me up. Anyway, Steven includes humor in his horror stories, so when I discovered he had a new book out I couldn’t wait to share the good news. With one caveat: give us a behind-the-scenes look at Chainsaw Honeymoon.” Sounds like an interesting read.
  5. “We’re all done some interesting things for the sake of research, some pretty farfetched while others might be things we never thought we’d do.”
  6. “What to do? “Stop reading” and “stop patronizing libraries and bookstores” is NOT on the list. Just check the hollow backs of any books you borrow or buy going forward. If you peer down there (a flashlight helps) and if something waves back at you as you peer down the hollow then you have a problem. Stick the book in a ziplock bag, squeeze the air out, seal the bag and wait a few days.” Eek.


Short Stories/Anthologies/Novella:

  1. Mickey never imagined her life would turn out this way. But she learned the hard way that life holds many surprises. Seeking solace on the skating rink, she discovers that life’s changes hold hope for new beginnings—if only she knows where to look.

“Skating in Time,” by New York Times bestselling 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. “I have all four characters on the page now. Addressed some women’s issues from a historical (Or not so historical) perspective. This was mostly stage setting. She’ll round out her story later on after she gets comfortable with the other characters. My characters blew up a building, stole some gold, and one is carving a turnip/yam kind of thing for some reason. The main guy has made some heavy remarks about his father, which sets up something nice down the road.”
  2. Top of Form
  • Bottom of Form

The stars above were glittering in the park’s night sky. Ben lay back on a blanket on the grass, looked up at them, absorbed the scene. He took a deep breath and inhaled the air. Then exhaled. He looked over and saw his fiance Liam lying on the blanket beside him, looked down at their entwined hands, their hands fitting together perfectly, their rings tipping off each other’s.

4. I need you.

  1. He liked to watch the world change. Today it was snowy, the little tree purged of leaves by winter, the land beyond carpeted white.
  2. “My flex schedule leaves me with a two day weekend. I won’t get a flex day again until next Friday. This is the worst part of the schedule, and the 10 hour days kind of suck at this point. Then I’ll get a couple of three day weekends. To make the suckage worse, North America changes to Daylight Savings Time this weekend. That means I get to wake up an hour earlier for the next seven months or so.” Hits snooze button again. Ergh. Daylight Savings Time.



  1. A purpose.
  2. ““I tend to have a very nice demeanor, and so when I meet people and start talking to them, a lot of people would assume that I didn’t know things simply because I came from a Catholic background,” she said. “That made me want to show what the inside of my brain was like in a poetic fashion.”
  4. Empty lands.
  5. Immense strength.
  6. Right way.
  8. A lifelong process.



  1. “The best book covers are more than just attractive adornments to the books we love. They also offer ideas and inspiration we can use to guide our own work.”
  2. “But unlike a road race, you’re not done. The success of your book depends on approaching people, companies and groups and asking for their help to publicize, promote and sell it. This is called pitching.” I’m not sure about these except for the last two. Radio and journalists might be a hard sell. Although, I do have a couple friends who went that route. It brought them some exposure.
  3. “Making choices self-publishing choices can feel like throwing darts blindfolded. With all the changes to publishing in the last decade or so it gets even more confusing. For instance, now there are opportunities with hybrid publishers which can open more doors for authors and leave them more perplexed than ever.” Some things to consider.
  4. “Our retailer accounts contain the information necessary for us to receive our payments for book sales. If those accounts are hacked, the hacker can change the bank account information so that our money ends up in their bank. Not only that, but we instantly lose access to all our books and we can’t upload new ones. That alone can be disastrous for an indie author.” This is a scary thought.
  5. fact, if you do that, it’s unlikely that anyone will read it. Because people want a character they can empathize with and a narrative arc that follows a transformation, as well as immersive setting and emotion that help them live within the story.” More on memoirs.
  6. “When I went wide for the second time, I went direct to the retailers, apart from Barnes & Noble for whom I used a different aggregator. The difference was astounding. Many authors say that it’s too much effort to go direct to several retailers, but the difference in my sales when direct and through the original aggregator was chalk and cheese. It’s definitely worth the five extra minutes per book to gain the significant extra income.” Have any of you used this method?
  7. “But as I watched, indie publishing changed both authors and readers, a huge fraction of whom were female. Mostly-female romance readers snapped up the new abundance of stories as fast as mostly-female authors could write them. In the SF realm, I joined with my fellow female SF authors to create an all-female anthology of science fiction—Dark Beyond the Starsnot only killed it on the charts but spawned a series, all with covers by Hugo-award-winning artist Julie Dillon. Before, traditional publishers treated all-female SF anthologies like something in the zoo—a curiosity to be petted then relegated to obscurity. Beyond the Stars took female SF authors seriously and sold a ton of books—we didn’t need permission or pats on the head; we simply did it.” Sounds promising.
  8. “Our society has become so fast-paced that you have to write content that is quickly absorbed.

Even though there is a time and place for in-depth articles, many readers just want to get straight to the facts. One great way to do this is to write listicles.”




  1. “I’m not doing a regular blog post today, since I’m spending this week visiting my adorable niece and nephew. Just so you don’t miss me toomuch while I’m gone, here are some goodies to keep you busy!”
  2. “In the latest Glimmer Train bulletin, writer Jane Delury discusses the importance of showing up and writing regardless of the conditions you find yourself in, no matter how you feel. She writes:” There are some circumstances that I feel you must make allowances for. I can understand grief and depression, a child’s illness, something serious for sure. You can’t always bring the words. I’ve been through some of these and sometimes things can’t be helped. Be kind to yourself. Write when you can. You’ll make up for it.
  3. “Right. So you’re memoir-motivated. You’ve lived through something intense, something different, and readers will find it fascinating. You’re off to a great start with that hella-interesting story, but you’ve got to keepyour readers riveted with your writing style. How you gonna do that?”
  4. “Have you ever read a book that you just couldn’t put down? The whole time you were turning pages, you were probably desperate to discover the answer to a burning question. That’s the essence of suspense, and it makes readers devour your book. So how do you build suspense in your novel? Start by avoiding these four suspense-destroying mistakes.” Some good tips here!
  5. ““If you cannot write a compelling opening scene, from the opening sentence, I’m not going to finish your proposal.”– Agent, speaking at a recent writer’s conference” Some things to look for.
  6. “Maybe its purpose is to foreshadowthe novel’s larger drama. Foreshadowing is a fairly common device in fiction and especially in novels. Sometimes it can be subtle, as in this bit of foreshadowing that comes in the first line of A Farewell to Arms:” First page critique.
  7. “I was chatting with a fellow author recently, and we were commiserating over manuscripts that drove us crazy and were hard to write. I’m in the middle of rewriting one of those manuscripts right now, but this time around, the writing is going really  It made me think about what changed, why some books are harder to write than others, and what we can do when we’re faced with a book that makes us want to yank out our hair and throw away our keyboards.” I think we can all identify with these. I had to do this with my first story idea that I loved and recently tried to rewrite but it just didn’t work out. Funny, that I wrote four books in that series before I realized it just wasn’t meant to be.
  8. “Do you know anyone who was sorry to see 2017 end? Me, neither.Thanks goodness 2018 is already shaping up to be a different kind of year. It’s important to remember not to personalize what happens to you this year. Instead, honor your own rhythms to promote right brain/left brain alignment. This connection between your analyzing, patterning brain and your creative brain will enhance your writing. There are possibilities for great projects for all of us this year.” It’s been an okay year so far. I’ve been keeping up with my goals. I wish some other things were better but time.
  9. “March is Women’s History Month, and we at BRP are honoring prominent women both historical and present-day. When I began to consider this topic, several names came to mind. I whittled the list down to three, but I couldn’t in good conscience eliminate any of those because of their impact on history.”
  10. “See, in late 2012, I said goodbye to blogging. I even wrote about it in a bold way here at Jane’s place. But, just this week, I started blogging again.

To the outside eye, this makes no sense.

After all, I’m still that “experienced writer” I advised should leave the blogging world. What’s changed?

For one, blogging itself.” I enjoy blogging. I meet people. I learn things. It’s good all around.

  1. “This week JJ and Kelly talk reviews, publishing’s necessary evil. Bottom line? Reviews are not for authors. Repeat: REVIEWS ARE NOT FOR AUTHORS.”
  2. “Do you write nonfiction? Or want to? How about a conference you can attend in your PJs and slippers while sitting on your couch?”
  3. “Compelling novels have many different ingredients that make them fascinating to read, but one standard components is a healthy, continual dose of ACTION. The protagonist is always doing something: weighing alternatives, choosing options, making decisions and then acting on them, good or bad.”
  4. all the moving parts of a story together can be rough. One detail gets forgotten or remembered incorrectly, and it can throw off an entire story arc. Luckily, Damon Suede visits the lecture hall today to share some tips and insights and keeping your characters and your stories in perfect alignment.” Stacking the story in the right order.
  5. “It can be shocking to discover how much time you’ll spend editing versus writing. But those who dig deep and revise their manuscripts with chainsaws, Ginsu knives, and scalpels — as needed — find the result is well worth the effort.” I know I go through a lot of revisions.



  1. “If you’re a blogger, writer, or speaker, whatever your art might be, the odds are you want to attract an audience and create an avid fan base around your work.

So why don’t you? Why isn’t it working? We’re going to talk about that and how to turn it around!” I wonder if some of these tips work? Maybe if you’re a big Indie writer and have a following.

  1. “My friends aren’t trying to upset me, I know that. And they’re not trying to be funny. But the pervasiveness of this question shows how little people understand what authors make. We hear about the Nora Roberts of the world, the Stephen Kings. The vast majority of authors don’t even come close to those types of incomes. According to one survey(admittedly a few years old, but I doubt the numbers have changed that much), only 53.9% of traditionally published make $1,000 or more per year.” Wow, this really gets to the point.
  2. Back when Superman used to change into his outfit in a phone booth, the question was: where does he put Clark’s shoes? Because even if he could compress them with his super strength, they’d be ruined.
  3. “However, when it comes to authors, the question of what name to put on the front of the book becomes an important question. Do you go with your own name or do you make up a name? If you make up a name, what should you go with?”
  4. “When it comes to creating your author persona, some refer to this as your “author brand.” Understand that you aren’t branding your book – you’re branding YOU. Simply put, your author brand is about connecting with your readers on a person-to-person level.” Some good tips.
  5. “How do we create fictional people who feel just as real as our closest friends? How do we build layers of complexity that will bewitch a reader and keep them hooked for several hundred pages? Ingram Spark noticed I had a book about characters (here)invited me to their blog to write my six strongest tips on the subject. The first tip will cheer anybody who’s had feedback that said ‘I don’t believe your protagonist would do that.”
  7. “I have a few questions. How many of you regularly listen to meteorologists on the weather channel, or to local and national newscasters? Did they ever predict huge amounts of heavy wet snow, extreme cold, visibility reduced to mere feet, hurricane force winds, massive power outages affecting millions of people, and utter destruction, on a scale not seen for decades? Did these warnings of impending disaster continue for days, and lead to panic, fear, desperation and untold horror? Did you then get off work or school, spend the day in relative warmth and comfort, watch hours of TV, catch up on your reading list, and eat multiple slices of takeout pizza? Do you reside in more temperate climates? If so, were you ever warned by weather experts of approaching category five hurricanes, tropical deluges, dangerous lightning, tornadoes, or hail the size of golf balls? How many times were the meteorologists wrong?” We were supposed to get light snow in northeast Ohio. It’s been falling heavy all day. Not as bad as Maine probably but enough to make road travel tricky.
  8. “Author pages created via Amazon’s Author Central now automatically feed into (an Amazon company for audio books).”
  9. “Check out this most excellent post from Shayla on writing a memoir. Number One is a most important point. I always wanted to write a memoir but I stopped writing the drafts and deleted the sneak peeks I’d shared with my email list (so embarrassing lol) and decided to start over. I’ve learned so much since then with one of the major things being the difference between a memoir and autobiography.” Writing a memoir?
  10. “So, one thing I’ve learned as a writer… I can’t just read for enjoyment anymore. Being a writer has permanently wrecked reading for me.” I can still read. I pick books by authors I think I’ll like. Sometimes, the story isn’t that great but more often than not, I’m happy.
  11. “I try to be more original, especially when I’m writing the first of a series.  With my inspirations ranging from movies to television shows to books, I probably hit on what readers want more often than I realize.  Now, if we’re talking about taking specific suggestions then I take that on a case-by-case basis.  It’s rare that I deviate from my plan because of a request, but I will listen to what people like and hate.  For example, a character that people want to learn more about may get extra scenes in a future volume.  I don’t change the overall plot, but I will increase their exposure as much as I can.” Interview with Charles.
  12. “I came home ravenous Friday night. The Mister said I was hangry. I was supposed to make salmon patties and a wedge salad, but honest to goodness, I just wanted to not cook but also not to be hungry. Sassy had a thing, and we had to wait to take her to the thing before we could go, which did not help my hanger. By the time we got her to the thing, it was prime time and everything was crowded of wait.” Love Jolene’s stories.
  13. “For hundreds of years guano was collected from rugged barren islands hosting sea bird colonies, to be used as a garden fertilizer and in the making of explosives. But these days you don’t need to row out during an Atlantic gale, you can buy it pelleted and sanitized in big plastic buckets quite cheeply (sorry, cheaply).” Good to know.
  14. “Based on the number of these questions I’m getting, there likely will be another book but not as part of the core trilogy that is currently out. I know that I left the door open for another book or two and that was somewhat by design. I understand that, while I’ve wrapped up the series nicely, there are fans who want more. Honestly, the request for a sequel cropped up from my daughter who also asked for a prequel series. So, I left the saga with a bit of an opening to move toward a sequel as opportunity allowed.”
  15. “If we wish to make a voyage into the self, we need a set of tools, with which to:
  16. a) Investigate, as objectively as possible, what this ‘me’ is doing.
  17. b) Create a space; a different part of us, that our growing and real consciousness can ‘live in’.” Interesting!
  18. Independent filmmakers vs. Amazon.
  19. “I don’t often write about the painting. To be fair, these days, I don’t do it often… and definitely not often enough. There is something entirely sensual about the smell of oils and the feel of canvas beneath the brush… something I love…though nine times out of ten I will end up painting with my hands instead. It gets personal. Today, while the electricity has been off and the workmen in, I lost myself in the multihued fairy dust of pastels, working on the design for a private commission.” Quite beautiful.
  20. “The question will come up for every indie author. It isn’t “Should I advertise?”, but “How should I go about advertising?” Anyone have some ideas on good sites for advertising?
  21. “Everyone talks about the benefits of social media marketing. And, without doubt, it’s really important to any enterprise. But unless you’re harnessing your social media pages to meet your ultimate objectives, you’re wasting a lot of time and energy posting on them.

Nevertheless, if your aim is to direct traffic to your blog, there are plenty of ways to achieve this. Here we look at one of the most popular social media platforms, Facebook, and discuss seven ways to direct traffic from Facebook to your blog.”

  1. “A jolt of pain.



  1. what stays behind.
  2. “The ‘photo is of a few of a collection of poems and short stories inspired by natural settings. This special anthology was created by a group of young people I was privileged to meet when a colleague and I presented a workshop on writing in nature” I had a mentor when I started pursuing writing professionally. He read my work and encouraged me. That gave me hope. I wish I hadn’t let the years get away from me.
  3. “I don’t usually celebrate a goal/finishing a short story, but I do celebrate when I finish a novel by having a milkshake. And when I place a short story, I get a Funko Pop villain/monster. I’ve just recently added Carrie, Jack from The Shining, and Norman Bates, all there on the top next to Pennywise and Cthulhu.” I need to do this. 







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

47 thoughts on “Writing Links 3/12/18

    1. You’re welcome, Teagan. I’m not sure which story it reminds me of, but I like the idea of some god or giant ready to step down into a character’s life and make mayhem for them. Hm, story there?


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