Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sunday Links: February 5, 2012 Edition

Before getting to the rest of the links, I wanted to call out Rachael Harrie's post from a couple of weeks back announcing a mini-Campaign for writers starting tomorrow, February 6th. Her Fall 2011 Campaign was a big part of my own success as a writer last year, providing me with a lot of new friends in the writing/blogging world and giving me a lot of encouragement. I plan to sign up for this month's activities and I hope they're as much fun as last fall's.

Now for this week's links...

"Scene and Structure: Make Something Happen" AND "Find Your Writing Tribe" (Daniel Swensen at Surly Muse) - Normally, I only link to one post per blogger per week. But Daniel hit it out of the park with both of these, and I couldn't decide which one to pick, so I'm breaking my "rule." In the first link, Daniel reminds us to make sure that each scene has meaning and keeps the story moving forward. In the second, he talks about the importance of having fellow writers to learn from, celebrate with and, when necessary, commiserate with. Two excellent posts from a fine blogger.

"Tips for Writing a Traditional Murder Mystery" (Elizabeth Craig guest-posting on Nicole Basaraba's Uni-Verse-City) - I thought that this post made for a nice primer on writing mysteries for those who've never tackled the genre and it also provides good reminders for those who have worked with mysteries in the past.

"Craft Thursday: Stupid Writer Tricks" (Jaye Wells) - Jaye talks about several different tricks that she uses to make sentences and paragraphs keep pulling the reader along. A nice set of tips for when you're fine-tuning your prose.

"Kind is Sometimes Cruel" (KT Hanna) - KT talks about the fact that giving a writer "kind" or "pleasant" feedback not only isn't helpful, but is actively harmful. It keeps the writer from hearing what they have to hear to move forward. And it's so easy for a writer to hear someone saying "You're doing great" and believe it, even when it isn't true. (Of course, it's also easy for a writer to hear someone saying "You're doing lousy" and believe it, even when it isn't true.) The best thing you can do is find people who will give you honest (but tactful) feedback. KT talks about some of the techniques that go into this.

"The PEST Method" (Alex Shvartsman's Speculative Fiction) - Alex talks about the four elements he takes into account when deciding where to submit his short fiction: Prestige, Exposure, Speed, and Terms. Well worth reading, especially if you're looking to submit short stories for the first time or haven't ever given much thought to how you pick where to send your stories.

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

"Final January #writemotivation wrapup" - The #writemotivation activity for January wrapped up this week and I posted a final review of where I stood with my goals for the month. I ended things on a high note by adding 2000 words to a short story in the final two days of January.

"Using a Routine" - Inspired by a blog post by Eric J. Krause I talked about writing routines and what they can do for you.

I appreciate you stopping by to check out the links. Are there any writing-related articles/blog posts you've read this week which really inspired you?


  1. I'm really glad you enjoyed the post, Michael. Thanks for linking to it :D

    Also - I'm so glad you mentioned Rachel's post. I'm looking forward to it too!

  2. Thanks for the links. I especially liked the Surly Muse. The name alone made me grin.

  3. KT, somehow I wasn't even aware if it until this weekend. I'm glad I didn't manage to miss it.

    Christine, you're welcome! His blog has a lot of good entries.

  4. Michael, thank you for including me in your blog. It made my day. And I also ended up discovering your blog, which was an extra treat. I don't know how I missed it before. Subscribed!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Daniel! I hope you find some posts here that you enjoy as much as I've enjoyed yours.

  5. Thanks so much for including Elizabeth's guest post in your mash up. :)

  6. enjoyed the post and am visiting to say hi from rachaels campaign