Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sunday Links: June 3rd, 2012 Edition

I'm not going to include #storyeachnight comments this week since I haven't done a good job of keeping up with reading a new story on a regular basis the past two weeks. However, I'm looking to try to get back in the habit of doing so -- maybe that should have been one of my monthly goals! -- and I intend to add that back into the Sunday mix next week.

Below are links which I've come across since my most recent Sunday Links post (two weeks ago) which I think could be of use to fellow writers. Have you come across any particularly interesting links in the last week or so? I'd be interested to see them!

"The Super-Cool Magic Short-Story Formula" (Vylar Kaftan) - I'll admit, when I saw the title I was expecting it to be ironic rather than serious. However, it stands as an interesting insight into a very basic structure which can be used to create entertaining stories.

"You'll Look Like a Spammer If..." (Jami Gold) - I am convinced that author twitter-spam (and other similar social networking types of spam) is useless or worse. That's not to say that there's no room for a bit of BSP (Blatant Self Promotion) in these venues but the key words there are "a bit." I rarely mention a new blog post/story/eBook in more than three or four tweets. My experience has been by that third/fourth tweet that you're really not making yourself visible to many more people than you already had with the first one or two. And, as Jami notes, it's hard to expect people to want to follow/friend/whatever you if all you're doing is that BSP. Have conversations, get involved with things like #1ss or #1k1hr, make friends!

"Chasing the First Sale (Part 1): Wherever You're Standing"  (Steven R. Stewart) - This looks like it could be a fantastic sale about chasing -- not just the first "sale" but the first "pro sale" for a short fiction writer. I've got my first official pro sale under my belt and another pro-rate sale for a non-SFWA-qualifying market as well. But I expect I'll still be able to learn things from this series.

"Blast it to Flinders, Come Back Stronger: On Exciting Failures and Deleting Two Months Of Work" (Ferrett Steinmetz) - See, this sort of terrifies me. I think it's part of why I have a bit of a challenge and dealing with longer-length works. It's one thing to write a 1,000 or 3,000 word story and then decide it really wasn't working out. But to be 30,000 words into something? And to decide that it all had to go? I'm impressed at the confidence required to do that. (And, yes, in this case I think "confidence" is the right term since it seems like he's doing this because he's sure he knows a better way to proceed.)

"Facts are Friends: Writing What You Know" (Cassie Alexander writing at Shimmer) - An interesting blog post about using the things you know to create verisimilitude in your writing. It resonated with me in part because I've been working on a few projects recently which are set in real(ish) historical times. So I've had to actually do research instead of just being able to wing it. It's been a bit frustrating at times, but I think it's a good skill to be trying to start building. One of these stories has already been finished, run by a few fellow writers who were able to give input on the reality of the setting, and taken through revisions based on their feedback. It should be going out to market any day now.

"Five Ways to Make Decision-Making Easier" (Siri Paulson) - We all want to make good decisions but it's also possible to dither so much around the decision-making that by the time you make the decision you've lost some of the benefit of making a "good" decision in the first place. Siri talks about some ways to improve your ability to come to a decision quickly but not recklessly.

Quite a few blog posts over the last two weeks to add to this roundup, though I'm going to exclude some of the more minor "announcement" posts this time to shorten the overall list.

"Levels of Trust eBook Short Story Released" - I released my second eBook short story, my first in the crime genre, in late May. I posted a short excerpt from the story in this blog entry.

"My First Podcast! 'The Morandini Genie' is Live on Cast of Wonders" - A post with a link to my first podcasted story and with some background on how the story came to be written.

"May #writemotivation Wrap-Up and My June Goals" - A look back at May and a look forward to June. As has been true several months recently, I'm glad for what I've accomplished given all the life challenges thrown at me during the time.

"'Great-Uncle's Visit' - A One Sentence Story" - My entry in the #1ss challenge as described above. I loved the reader feedback on this one!

"Six More Time Management Tips for Writers" - A followup to a piece from last year which had eight time management tips.


  1. Excellent links, Michael - thanks! Haven't come across any myself this week, but will let you know if I do in the future! Love this part of your blog.

    1. Sounds like a plan! I'm glad you enjoy this feature.