Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sunday Links: December 11, 2011 Edition

I got the second of my "Write 1/Sub 1" stories for the month out earlier this week. It was a short one, an entry into Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine's monthly "Mysterious Photograph" contest. I've been working on a couple of other stories this week, too, though so I've gotten quite a few new words written. I also went back and took a final pass through one of the stories I'd done preliminary drafts on pre-NaNo and got it out on submission.

A quick blog announcement, I'm planning to take a brief hiatus from posting over the Christmas weekend. So that will mean no Dissecting the Short Story post on 12/23, no Sunday Links on 12/25, and no Monday post on 12/26. I'll have Wednesday posts on both 12/21 (though it won't be a DtSS preview, naturally) and 12/28. And, of course, if I have a burning desire to share something between the 21st and 28th, I may pop on long enough to put up a quick post.

And now, on to the links...

"Slush Readers' Advice for Writers" (Sarah E. Olson) - Folks, I don't say this often. Heck, I don't think I've said it yet. But this is a must-read. The title pretty much says it all -- Sarah, a slush reader for Apex Magazine, talked to other slush readers and put together this fantastic list of tips for writers. If you haven't read this already, you owe it to yourself to read it.

"Why Your Book Sucks and How to Make it Not Suck" (Kendall Grey at Life Is But a Dream...) - Kendall talks about how to take a first draft and move it towards a non-sucky novel. It's also noted that revising a novel often takes as long (or longer) than writing the first draft. That was certainly the experience described in...

"20 Ways to Not Write Your First Book" (Shannon Whitney Messenger) - Shannon's post talks about her path from first draft to final (20th) draft. Yes, you read that right. 20th draft. This is a woman with amazing powers of persistence. Her book is coming out in 2012 from Simon & Schuster, the first of a projected series. I certainly wish her all the best -- she's earned it!

"Great Expectations" (Kristen Lamb's Blog) - Kristen talks about being an optimist. This is something near and dear to me -- by nature I'm a pessimist and I've worked very hard over the last ten years or so to try to have more of an optimistic attitude towards things. I don't always succeed, but I do much better than I used to. I think writers almost have to be optimists to not get burned out/bummed out by the early drumbeats of rejection.

"The 5 Biggest Mistakes in Writing Scenes" (Diane O'Connell at The Muffin) - Five things that can make your scenes fall flat and how to avoid/fix them.

"The Mysterious Short Story: Why Read It?" (Terrie Farley Moran at - This sort of ties in to the next link, my Monday blog post on mystery short fiction markets. Terrie talks about what makes short stories special.

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

"Why So Few Mystery Short Fiction Markets?" - Monday I talked about the discrepancy between the number of pro/semi-pro speculative fiction markets and mystery fiction markets. I posited several possible reasons for the difference. This led to an interesting discussion on Twitter with Matthew Bennardo and Alex Shvartsman.

"New Story Online and Dissecting the Short Story Preview" - Wednesday I announced a tweet-length fiction of mine had been purchased and posted on the Nanoism web site. I also announced the story for Friday's Dissecting the Short Story post.

"Dissecting the Short Story: 'Calculus for Blondes' by John H. Dirckx" - Friday's post was this week's short story dissection, for a story from the January/February 2012 Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine.

Lastly, a link back to my Seinfeld Chain blog post from August in honor of the fact that on Friday I hit 100 straight days of writing 500 or more new words.

Thanks for stopping by to check out these links. Have a great week!