Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sunday Links: November 27, 2011 Edition

So, Thanksgiving weekend is winding down as is November. Those still working on getting to their 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo have a few days left. Those not yet started on their Christmas shopping have under a month to go.

A quick plug before getting to the rest of the links -- I've kept entries open for the third round of my "Call and Response" Flash Fiction prompt contest through 5 PM EST Monday 11/28, so as I write this there are about 25 hours left to enter, if you're interested in doing so.

Without any further ado, plugging, or delaying, on to this week's links!

"6 Common Backstory Pitfalls" (Lynette Labelle) - Getting backstory into your fiction can be a tricky task. Lynette talks about several ways to make it as smooth as possible -- I especially liked point #4, "the leap."

"What Could Possibly Go Wrong?" (S. B. Stewart-Laing at Wicked & Tricksy) - A sure path to a boring story is one where the reader can see the whole path of the protagonist's trek laid out from the beginning and it just goes from point A to B to C without any surprises or complications. This can bore the writer, too! Most of us have probably heard the "torture your characters" saying, and this is a nice reminder of looking for ways to do that so your readers are not bored.

"Striking a Balance in a Cozy Mystery" (Elizabeth Spann Craig guest-posting on Margot Kinberg's Confessions of a Mystery Novelist) - I don't read a lot of cozies, but Elizabeth Craig always has interesting things to say about the writing of fiction, and she didn't disappoint here in this guest post. If this is a subgenre you're interested in exploring, I'd say you could do far worse than to read these tips and take them to heart.

"Finishing Your Draft? Don't Open It Again Until Christmas" (Roz Morris at Nail Your Novel) - Some advice on why diving right into editing your just-completed manuscript (NaNoWriMo or otherwise) might not be the best idea. I have already intended to devote a good chunk of December to some non-"Adrift" (working title of my NaNo project) activities, so getting some validation that this might actually be a good thing was nice to read. Though I know myself, and I know that I need to have some official plan to start on the 2nd pass through as part of my December goals. Even if it is just "start reading the first draft on December 26th and begin on 2nd draft planning." (Hmm... I like the sound of that...)

Additionally, here's a recap of the posts from this week on my blog:

"Carrie Cuinn Interview" - Author and publisher Carrie Cuinn and I talked about her short story "Call Center Blues," writing, publishing and more in a follow-up interview to my Dissecting the Short Story post.

"Thanksgiving Week Dissecting the Short Story Preview" - I announced this week's story for the Dissecting the Short Story series and wished everyone celebrating it a Happy Thanksgiving.

"'Call & Response' Flash Fiction Prompt Contest Deadline Extended" - A quick Thursday blurb to let everyone know that the deadline had been extended.

"Dissecting the Short Story: 'God Bless' by Barbara Westwood Diehl" - A holiday-themed story from the January 2012 issue of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine was this week's entry in the "Dissecting the Short Story" series.

Good luck to everyone with your plans for this week, writing or otherwise!


  1. Hi Michael! Thanks for sharing all these great links!

  2. Thanks, Cherie! Glad that you liked the links!