Posted in Anthologies/Novellas, Christian, Craft, Dystopian, Family life, 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…4/23/18

lions with little girl/teddy bear
lions with little girl/teddy bear


Writing Links…4/23/18

Traci Kenworth



  1. “Hold the presses on the regularly scheduled blog post for this! This is going to be the last Beautiful People for a while. Sadness. 😦 I’ve participated in every one for four years, so I have to finish off the series with this! If you’d like to participate too head on over to Paper Fury!”
  2. “Unlike most monsters, vampires have this strange habit of turning on each other.  It doesn’t happen in stories where you only have the one bloodsucker and maybe a few enslaved underlings.  This is when you get a society of vampires, which inevitably becomes riddled with classism, elitism, and a few other -isms.  Backstabbing and destroying each other is standard operating for these creatures, which can be a little disappointing.  On the other hand, predators tend to be territorial and have hierarchies, so maybe that’s where this comes from.”
  3. “In Greek Mythology, Icarus was the son of the genius inventor, Daedalus. Daedalus built a great labyrinth for King Minos of Crete. At some point, Daedalus and his son Icarus were imprisoned within the walls of the labyrinth.”


Romance/Women’s Fiction:

  1. “I was fascinated to learn whyAmerican spellings are different. Lexicographer Noah Webster (of Webster’s dictionary) started an effort to reform English spelling in the late 1700s. Webster’s legacy is apparent in the American spelling of words like color (from colour), honor (from honour), and labor (from labour). Webster dropped the letter u to make the spelling of these words match the pronunciation. Other Webster ideas failed, like a proposal to spell “women” as “wimmen”, and I can’t say I’m sorry.” I’ve sometimes unknowingly used UK spellings in my writing. I think I got them from one of my UK cps. I’m sure I’ve driven her crazy in the past with my corrections until she relayed the difference in the spellings. After that, I trusted her spellings, lol.
  2. “Each book as taught me a different lesson. These can be as big as ensuring my ‘emotional conflict’ is in place within my characters, or ensuring that my ‘black moment’ is powerful and equally balanced between the hero and heroine. Or the importance of doing research on your location, not just in terms of where buildings are or how long it takes to get from one place to another, but cultural rules and legalities of your chosen destination. Or they can be as small as making sure I find the lighter moments, the bits that will (hopefully!) make my reader laugh or remembering to describe my heroine! Sometimes these are hard won lessons – painful even – but ones that I cherish each and every time.” I’m going to try the highlighters to check the balance of my hero/heroine’s conflict and dialogue.
  3. “You’ve read them. I’ve read them. Those books in which you’re waiting for the real story to begin. Those books with pacing issues. RU contributor Chris Eboch offers tips on how to keep your story in the fast lane.” This is something I thought I had down once upon a time but I needed this lesson to revisit.



  1. “It wasn’t long ago that a reference to a Biblical character or a Bible verse would be widely understood without explanation. That is no longer true. Researcher George Gallup said “We revere the Bible, but we don’t read it.”” I read a verse or two a night in study but admittedly because of my bipolar, it’s hard for me to know it without repeatedly looking at it. There are verses from my teens memorized of course but I can’t quote verbatim from other passages.
  2. “I am no marketing genius, and though I’ve written fifty books, I still have much to learn about author and book publicity. But I nonetheless had a great time launching my book, The Bard and the Bible: A Shakespeare Devotional, a book of daily reflections drawn from a quote from Shakespeare and a verse from the King James Version of the Bible (which were both created in the same period, country, and city). I felt like I finally did some things right (quite uncharacteristic of me), and learned a few things, such as the following:” Some good ideas! Go where your readers may be.



  1. “The Big Trade, the big money-makers were very far from this romantic idealistic view. The smuggling gangs were little more than vicious thugs, especially when smuggling became organised by efficient gang leaders – an 1700-1800 Mafia equivalent.”



  1. “For a while it was available on the library’s blog, but since it’s gone inactive there I’m reprinting it here.”
  2. Awards!
  3. In this podcast Kristi DeMeester talks about growing up in a fundamentalist religious household, important life lessons growing up, and MFAs.



  1. “I know, I know – it seems as if I might be running out of things to blog about, now that we are approaching the midway point of the A-Z Blogging Challenge 2018.  You are probably thinking to yourselves, what the heck, SD has been reduced to writing about her dog’s spit.  And I would have to say, well yeah, I have.  This was my oldest son’s idea for a blog post.  And I will tell you how we came to this point.” I’m introducing this new category because I find myself wanting to put these pet stories somewhere and not finding a spot for them. So, hopefully, this is something readers want to read about!



  1. How she revises.
  2. “Danielle, over at Books, Vertigo and Tea blog recently wrote a post about her ten favourite book villians. You can read her fabulous post here: “My favorite children’s book villians are: the parents (cheating here as I can’t remember their names, the scientist and religious member) from Phillip Pullman’s Golden Compass series, Sydney from By A Charm and A Curse Jaime Questell, and Voldemort The Harry Potter series J.K. Rowling. Yes, Delores Umbridge is the second favorite villain in that series for her cruelty and nastiness but Voldemort tops her, I think.
  3. time I switched schools, to avoid getting teased for my backwater accent or my short pants, I’d pick a certain girl—the girl whose laugh could leave you bleeding, the one who moved other kids around like chess pieces, the one teachers let get away with murder. I couldn’t copy clothes, or the smell of clean scalp, or a hard little chin. But I’d get good at the cool rhythm of her speech, her shuffle walk, her nonchalance. Eventually, it wasn’t enough to be on the outside: I wanted in. So I decided things. I thought she might be a late sleeper. That she liked salty over sweet. She tanned easy, and had a stripe of white underneath the woven bracelet on her ankle. The lines around both of us dissolved until I was looking through her eyes, and those eyes were fierce slits. When one of Momma’s boyfriends would block my way, I’d push past him, sweeping my shoulder like he’d shed something bad. If Momma limped from a kidney punch, I spat into the boyfriend’s scrambled eggs and coolly watched him eat. Momma’s scams were just games, games that I played along with because I wanted to, and I could stop at any time.”



  1. “The world of social media has a unique language – words we didn’t grow up using. There are ever-changing platforms, ever-changing rules — and don’t forget all that advice. Everyone, it seems, wants to offer advice on how to be quicker, how to take shortcuts, how to make things easy.” I’m going to try this! Let me know how it turns out on twitter. Does it share more of my likes? @tracikenworth
  2. “As my first boss used to warn us green editorial assistants two decades ago, the type of submission that’s the toughest to spot—and the most essential to avoid—is the one that is skillful, competent, literate, and ultimately forgettable.” I hope I’m not a forgettable writer. That would be the worst, I think.
  3. “In 1939, John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrathwas first published. As you’ll know, this novel tells the story of the Joad family. When the dust storms of the Great Depression force the Joads to leave their home in Oklahoma, they head towards California, where they’ve heard there are well-paying jobs and a good life to be had. It’s a big risk for Tom Joad, because he’s recently been released from prison, and is on parole. That means he isn’t supposed to leave the state. But the Joads feel they have no choice. When they arrive in California, they discover that conditions are deplorable, and even those who can get jobs are given only the very barest of essentials in living quarters, if they even get that much. And they are paid as little as the farm owners can get away with paying. The situation is so bad that there is a great deal of activism and agitation for better pay and living conditions. There’s an attempt to create a union, and several workers go on strike. And that leads, as you can imagine, to violence, and to a murder. Tom Joad gets drawn into the incident and ends up having to go on the run.
  4. “More then 400 years after its first known production, Shakespeare’s Macbeth still plays an important role in theatre, literature, and in Western culture. There are, of course, many books, commentaries, and other pieces of writing that reflect on the play and its significance.”


Short Stories/Anthologies/Novella:

  1. The hourglass sand ticked off the minutes. If she didn’t figure out how to reverse the revenge magic spell, she would have to live out her life as a bat. Esmerelda spread her wings and circled the cauldron careful to avoid the searing steam.
  2. “Welcome back to the faery land of Thistledown.  It’s great to see you!  In this chapter, Bedlam relates the next part of the story as it was told to her.”
  3. “It’s time to wrap things up. I count today as part of my weekend, because it’s my flex day. I tried to keep my task list small, but items that made the list are large.”
  4. By month eight of the pregnancy, the original Rachel was totally bedridden. She slept most of the day, waking only for meals. She was catheterized and used a bed pan to relieve herself. She barely communicated with Ben, her nurse or the doctors when they visited her. This did not mean that she was totally non-communicative. She was one with the appliance that linked her to Rachel 2. Ben had even tried removing the headgear and Rachel writhed in pain as if he were hurting her by doing so. The only way she would settle down was if he reattached it and she resumed her connection to her digital alter-ego.



  1. What needs done.
  3. Time and health.
  4. Knowing just who to pick.
  5. Enjoy the moment.



  1. “Needless to say they have slowly improved as the last 12 mths progressed. People are happier with their service. I have just put up my first book to see what all the fuss is about and so I can give this presentation to you all.” 
  2. “In this case, “color” means the overall gray tone of tall column of type that constitutes almost all book pages.”
  3. “The idea is simple. For a modest membership fee of $5.00 US billed monthly or $50.00 US billed annually, you get full access to every Medium story. You don’t have to pay, but guests are limited to three articles per month, just enough to whet your appetite. When you read an article you like, clap for it. Each article is accompanied by a hand icon. Every time you click the hand, you’re giving an article a clap. Clap once or five times or fifty. It’s up to you. The more you enjoy an article, the more you can clap for it.” Anyone try this? Your thoughts?



  1. “In many ways, the opening scene is a scene just like every other. Like any proper scene, the opening scene must fulfill basic principles of structure—a beginning, a middle and an end. But the opening scene is also special in many ways. It takes the normal duties of a normal scene and amplifies them into a microcosm of the entire story to come.” Lot of info packed into this checklist!
  2. “In my newest book, The Business of Being a Writer, I devote an entire section to various ways you can earn money as a writer that don’t involve selling books. (If you didn’t know, most of my income is not related to book sales!)” Bonus: podcast on the business of writing.
  3. “A common place we might stall is when we reach a point we need to fact-check or research. To maintain momentum, my suggestion is to write a note and keep writing. For instance, I might be writing a story set in the jungle. It is tempting to halt, open a browser tab then spend the next three weeks researching jungles.” This is what I do. I do allow some research ahead of writing but then only fact-check after the second draft.
  4. “We writers want to manipulate our characters and our readers. We want to masterfully evoke emotion in our readers because, as Donald Maass says in The Emotional Craft of Fiction, readers don’t just read; they respond.” Ways to bring emotion across to your reader, sometimes with telling, sometimes with relating experiences of our own.
  5. Read this earlier on twitter. Nice suggestions.
  6. “I’m always looking for ways to be more productive (and organized, which for me, is a lot harder), so I’ll try just about anything that sounds interesting. But what has worked better than anything else I’ve ever done, is something anyone can do.” I don’t even look at email till late afternoon.
  7. “If you’re under the spell of workaholism, you may feel guilty when you’re not working, and tend to neglect your own well-being because you’re over-focused on work.” I have to pull myself back sometimes especially with this blog. I want to add more links than I do, and this causes me to run a bit ragged. Which, of course, is why I pulled back once again this year. I LOVE helping with these links, I really do, but I also LOVE my family and writing. I also need to make time for some health-related activities.
  8. “Of course each character is more, a LOT more, than just a personality core. But noticing what’s way deep down at their most fundamental layers is a handy way to know not only what’s making them tick…but also what’s creating problems for them in their relationships with other characters.” It isn’t until I write those lines from each character’s pov that I step into their skin and know them and what makes them tick. I can ask them questions all day, it’s this step that breaks through all that and gathers the pieces together.
  9. “So many people have a life story they wish to share. If it’s a winning idea, the only trick is getting it down on paper. Even if you are a professional writer, it still takes effort and thought – but you’ll have the writing part down.  What if you are ‘rich on living’ but new to the craft?”
  10. “Necessary Training: While there is no secondary education required for most personal training jobs, some employers would rather hire someone with a degree in the the fitness or health fields. It also helps to achieve certifications in the areas one would like to specialize in. And some additional training, such as in basic CPR and first aid, is required. The one universal requirement for this career is that the person be personally fit themselves.”



  1. “It’s also an industry that’s been grappling with a diversity problem. The RITA Award, the top honor for romance writers awarded by the Romance Writers of America, was awarded this week, and the organization acknowledged that in its 36-year history, no black author has ever won the prize. According to the RWA’s own research, black authors have written less than half of 1 percent of the total number of books considered as prize finalists.” This is sad.
  2. “Novelists are sculptors of real-life, but some have to be particularly sensitive to their raw materials. Especially when that material is events that have made headlines in the news – natural disasters, wars, or terrorist incidents.”
  3. This is cool!
  5. “The per-page rate is showing relative stability at the beginning of 2018.”
  7. “One of my best memories from summers when I was a child was of those days when I didn’t have to do anything. Work had not yet reared its head, chores were finished, and the weather was just right. It wasn’t too hot, and the humidity was low. The sky was filled with imagination-inducing legions of clouds.  On such days, I remember sitting under a tree, leaning back against it and reading a book—all day, with the exception of going in for lunch and supper. They were perfect days.” From this year, I would reread By a Charm & a Curse by Jaime Questell. From previous years, Lord of the Rings or Constance O’Banyon’s Joanna and Windhawk series, or Stephen King’s The Stand or Stand By Me or It, or Dean Koontz’s Lightning.
  8. “I have now discovered the perfect companion to KDP Rocket: Ubersuggest. As the name, well, suggests (Ueber being German for overor hyper), Ubersuggest is a free keyword tool that comes up with more keywords than you can shake your virtual, SEO-supercharged stick at. You can then use these keywords for your Amazon ads, your Google ads, etc.” Go for less competitive words.
  9. The New York Times leadership denied allegations of bias against conservative authors among the paper’s prestigious Best Sellers list when publicly confronted at the paper’s 2018 Annual Meeting of Stockholders at The New York Times Building on Thursday morning.
  10. “The LP, as they were in those days, was a collection of Delius’ short works for orchestra. I had no idea what to expect. Anything I suppose, except waves of unadulterated emotion effortlessly making the eyes mist and filling the heart with an irrepressible longing for the type of languid summer days found only in the idylls of imagination.” I had no idea the roadrunner was a cuckoo.
  11. Links for the week!
  12. If I couldn’t be a writer, I’d be a horse trainer. I actually went to college to pursue this, but I didn’t have the funds to finish. I’ve been obsessed with horses since childhood. My grandpa actually put me on horseback as a baby, I have a photo. Of course, he held me, and he was a horse trainer himself.
  13. “It is the job of the creative writer to believe impossible things…not only to believe them oneself, but to create a space within the imagination that invites the reader in to share that belief, if only while the words dance on the turning page. The best writers create a belief that changes our perception of reality, not just for the duration of the book we are reading, but beyond the monochrome landscape of print, adding colour and possibility to the world we walk each day.” I hope to do this for my readers.
  14. “If I were writing a novel, there are many things I would circle back to in this tale, loose ends to tie up, hints to conclude, Faery Namers to mention again.  I’ve often thought this was a story I should never have begun.  At an extremely challenging time in my life Thistledown does not take me to a world where I would escape.  Rather, it ties me to the darkness of the current time and place.  It seems like an odd thing to say about a tale of faeries, doesn’t it?” Delightful!
  15. “A few weeks ago, there was a big argument on Twitter on whether writers with little money should be kept out of publishing. There were those who wondered how writers not being able to pay the $20 PitchWars fee, how could they afford to be on the internet? Basically, they were saying that if you can’t afford to pay, you shouldn’t be trying to write a book or publish it. I’m on a fixed budget with mental health issues and I don’t think it’s fair that myself, or any other marginalized writer, should be blocked from publishing because of funds. I responded early when the post came up, not in negativity toward the PitchWars creators as they put up a voucher which I applied for, but then I heard about all that happened on Twitter as far as some writers arguing that $20 wasn’t much and if you couldn’t afford that why are you even trying?” I had to do a little promotion!


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

35 thoughts on “Writing Links…4/23/18

  1. Dear Traci thank you for including Fred and the Cuckoo. BUT for me the STAR read this week was your eloquently argued case as to why all writers should be judged on TALENT rather than their FINANCIAL ABILITY to Grease the Wheels. If any of you missed this strongly argued and thought-provoking piece then follow LINK No15 in OTHER above. It’s a damn good read and a heartfelt protest against elitism! You will not be disappointed!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.