Link Feast, vol 62 – Writing Advice For Authors


The Seductive Power of a New Book Idea: When to Give in to the Romance? by Ruth Harris

On Writing

Adulthood 2.0: After Your Dream Comes True by Bryn Greenwood

The Blank Page Is Not Neutral by Steven Pressfield

Writers, Remember. The Wand Chooses the Wizard by Michelle Barker (Always sound like yourself. Only you can be you. When you try to be someone else, you are only a weak copy.)

On Getting Feedback by Elizabeth S. Craig

Lessons Learned From a Decade in Publishing by Janice Hardy

Stories vs Situations: How to Tell If a Story Will Work by Jeff Lyons

Story Development Tools & Techniques: The Whistles and Bells Test by Jeff Lyons

How to Tell If Your Story Has Too Much Plot, Not Enough Character by K.M. Weiland

Pulp Heroes by Steven Pressfield

The Secret to Writing Fascinating Villains by Laurence MacNaughton

12 Signs You’re Afraid of Your WIP by Kathryn Craft

Writing Tips: Unforgettable Endings With James Scott Bell by Joanna Penn

Endings Are Not Stoppings: On Game Of Thrones and How We Conclude Our Stories by Chuck Wending (warning: language and spoilers of the final episode of the series) 

Tearing Down the Throne: Interrogating Power Structures in Western Epic Fantasy by Jenn Lyons

Writing a Future in Which You Choose Your Own Nation by Ada Palmer

Manuscript Evaluations: What They Are and What to Expect by Sarah Chauncey

Collaborative Writing In a Shared World by David Mark Brown

Jerry Seinfeld’s 5 Step Comedy Writing Process by Jess Zafarris

The Publishing World

How Reese Witherspoon became the new high priestess of book clubs by Constance Grady

7 ways book publishing will change over the next few years by Mike Shatzkin

People In Publishing I Learn From by Jane Friedman (The Who is Who in the Publishing news and blogging world)

Book Marketing & Blogging

To Sell More Books, Change the Story You Tell to Yourself About Marketing by Sue Campbell

Book Promotion: Do This, Not That – August 2019 by Amy Collins

Please shut up: Why self promotion as an author doesn’t work by Delilah S. Dawson

How to Improve Your Amazon Book Descriptions by Penny Sansevieri

5 Simple Ways to Open Your Blog Post With a Bang by Brian Clark

Deep Stuff

The Benefits of Optimism Are Real by Emily Esfahani Smith

The Inuit don’t shout at their children – so why do we? By Will Coldwell

Why Routines Are So Important to INFPs (Even Though We Hate Them) by Darcy Ritt (you can replace INFPs with Creatives or Spontaneous People)

How to Create a Chain Reaction of Good Habits by James Clear

The biggest lie tech people tell themselves – and the rest of us by Rose Eveleth

Fun Stuff

Watch the First Trailer For Robert Downey Jr’s Doctor Doolittle Reboot by Stubby the Rocket

7 Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books to Curl Up With This Fall by S.W. Sondheimer

Hot Girl Summer Is Over, Long Live Hot Nerd Fall by Stubby the Rocket (The Doctor, Q, Joan Watson, Aziraphale, Henry Jones Sr., Rupert Giles… so many cool ones)

12 Popular Movies With Introverted Main Characters by Savanna Roberts

Link Feast, vol 61 – A Buffet of Juicy Writing Advice


The Anti-Arc by Donald Maass

On Writing

Writing’s Secret Formula: How to Write Stories That Matter by Daryl Rothman

Business Musings: Expect Failure by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (You fail by not trying and failing. We fail forward to success, and learn along the way)

In Six Words, These Writers Tell You an Entire Story by Sara Roncero-Menendez

How Do You Visualize Stories by Emily Asher-Perrin

A Practical Way to Overcome Imposter Syndrome by Darious Foroux

A Pessimist’s Collection of (Inspiring) Writing Quotes by Julie Glover

Displeasure Reading by Dave King

Narratology, Or Why We Need Stories to Make Sense by Arkady Martine (a bit academic but has an important message that explains why people have wildly different beliefs that fit their personal experiences and world views)

How to Develop High-Concept Book Ideas to Find More Success With Your Writing by Robert Lee Brewer

Write Better: The 7 Qualities of High Concept Stories by Jeff Lyons

The Making of a Hero or Heroine by Donald Maass

Characters: Audiences Read Stories, but Great Stories Read the Audience by Kristen Lamb

Motive: The Key to Writing Stories Readers Can’t Put Down by Kristen Lamb

Why Your Character (And You) Should Be Expert In Something by Alyssa Hollingsworth

Are You the One? Exploring the Chosen One Trope in SFF by Katy Rose Pool

9 Characters I Love Because They Are Hurting (And So Am I) by Emily Asher-Perrin

The Good Guy/Bad Guy Myth by Catherine Nichols

When the Ends Justify the Means: Five Villains Who See Themselves as Heroes by Jeff Lyons

Finding Your Story’s Theme by Jenny Hansen

Fate Versus Free-Will: Using Theme to Leverage Revision by Vaughn Roycroft

The Challenge of Sensational Story Openings by Peter Selgin

Don’t Be Afraid to Go There In Your Writing by James Scott Bell

Maybe No One Will Notice by Julie Carrick Dalton

“Showing” Through Exposition: A Study by Kathryn Craft

Effective Repetition In Writing As Demonstrated by A Song of Fire and Ice by Gavin Hurley

How and Why I Use Online Alpha Readers While Writing Novels by Mary Robinette Kowal (She shares her super simple ABCD feedback format)

How to Give Useful Criticism by Jim Dempsey

Tolkien’s Elves: Married with Eldar Children by Jeff LaSala (explores one aspect of the culture building of THE master, Tolkien)

Could Multimedia Storytelling Work For You? by Anna Thu Nguyenova (shorter format, especially works for YA audiences)

Book Marketing & Your Publishing Path

The Business Rusch: What Is Discoverability? by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

The Business Rusch: Word of Mouth by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

The Business Rusch: The Helpful Reader (Discoverability 2) by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (more advice about Word of Mouth)

The Business Rusch: Marketing and Readers by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (the different kind of reader types)

The Business Rusch: Surprise! by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (and how it relates to discoverability and book marketing)

The Business Rusch:  What Kind of Writer Are You? by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (and how does this affect your marketing)

The Business Rusch: Branding (Discoverability 6) by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

I Hate Self-Promotion by Tim Grahl

How to Be a Professional Author And Not Die Screaming and Starving In a Lightless Abyss by Chuck Wendig (Survival guide for a Traditionally Published Author and how the biz works)

Here’s the Pitch – It’s a Hit! Crafting Your Novel’s Pitch Line by Janice Hardy

(Even if you self-publish, this is handy knowledge. You can use the pitch as your back cover blurb. And when you have a pitchline, you never draw a blank and give a boring or rambling answer when someone asks you what your book is about)

How Literary Agents Agree and Differ: Lessons From the Annual Writer’s Digest Conference by Robert Lee Brewer

How to Write Successful Query Letters For Any Genre of Writing by Robert Lee Brewer

How to Hook a Literary Agent to Represent Your Writing and Get Published by Robert Lee Brewer

Evan Winter Explains How His Self-Published Book Was Picked Up by Orbit Books by Stubby the Rocket

Writers on Show: Publicity and the Introvert by Juliet Marillier

Deep Stuff

The Problem With the Hack Culture by Brad Stulberg

“It’s not that some of these ideas aren’t important. Diets. Routines. Habits. Exercises. They all matter, but the context is what we miss. We are seeking the silver bullet when the reality is we need to nail the basics before we even consider the final 2 percent.”

“The only shortcut is hacking it every day.”  -Ryan Holiday

The Scientist Persuading Terrorists to Spill Their Secrets by Ian Leslie

(Rapport is the key. Put your own ego aside. A must read for every mystery writer, gives great insight on how police interviews really work. A useful read for anyone on how to get your message through in a conversation with a person you really disagree with… like your teenager who comes home late)

Fun Stuff

“That’s My Secret Cap. I’m Always Angry” Why I Love Prickly Heroines by Adele Buck

Dive Into October’s Harvest of New Sci-fi and Fantasy Books by Cheryl Eddy

The Crack Squad of Librarians Who Track Down Half Forgotten Books by Jessica Leigh Hester

Link Feast, vol. 60


Things I Forget to Remember: Writing a Novel Is an Act of Faith by Sarah Callender

On Writing

The Door by Elizabeth McCleary (a cool Flash Fiction story, less than 1000 words long)

Did You Know That Writing Books Is Hard by Chuck Wendig

4 Challenges of Writing For a Modern Audience by K.M. Weiland

12 Quotes on the Craft and Business of Writing From the 2019 Writer’s Digest Annual Conference by Robert Lee Brewer

Resolutions Don’t Work. How to Set Goals and Follow Through by Elizabeth McCleary

How to Get Out of Writing Doldrums by Mathina Calliope

6 Tips For Reading Like a Writer by Mark Beaver

5 Ways to Ensure Readers Don’t Abandon Your Book by H.R. D’Costa (about story stakes)

Tips For Writing a Great Love Story by Heather Webb 

(Important Notice: if you are writing a romance and don’t give your readers a HEA, your reviews will be shitty because you broke an essential promise of that genre. THAT is the difference between Romance and a Love Story, a HEA ending, Happy Ever After, or at least HFN, Happy For Now)

What Makes You Love Your Main Character by Julia Monroe Martin

The Values of Good Fiction by Kathleen McCleary

Persuation by Donald Maass (about moral antagonists)

The Wonders of Your Character’s World View by Jim Dempsey

Focus On the Heart of Writing by Tasha Seegmiller (and the heart is our characters)

Good Story Endings: Happy or Sad, or Something Else? By Vaughn Roycroft

Writing Emotional Truth – What Gets Us There? By Bonnie Randall

Masterful Wordsmithing with Metaphor and Imagery by C.S. Lakin

Give Your Reader an Experience by Kathryn Craft

Negotiating Social Priviledge as a Writer by Rheea Mukherjee

The Editor’s Clinic: Take a Break by Dave King

Get and Interpret a Reader’s “Thought Map” of Your Book by Dawn Field (lots of good editing tips and techniques in this post)

How Hollywood is Rekindling the Rom Com – With the Help of Romance Novels by Maureen Lee Lenker

Anna Smith Spark Talks Grimdark In Her Fantasy AMA by Stubby the Rocket (how the misogyny in grimdark can be political and other topics)

Trad Publiblishing, Self-publishing, Book Marketing, Pitching, & Making Our Stories the Product (not just our books)

Establishing a Long Term [Trad] Writing Career: Insight From Two Literary Agents by Sangeeta Mehta

Becoming a Rogue Planet (When You Lose Your Publisher) by Kathryn Magendie

Branding 101: Defining Our Brand by Jami Gold

Pitching Our Story: Insights From Movie Trailers by Jami Gold 

10 Things I Learned Indie Publishing My First Book by Tari Lynn Jewett

Business Musings: The Decision Tree (Rethinking the Writing Business Part 8) by Kristine Kathryn Rusch [if you haven’t read the previous parts of this series, I highly recommend you to do so]

Business Musings: Time Management Again (Rethinking the Writing Business Part 9) by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Deep Stuff

People Don’t Know Themselves Very Well by Adam Grant (others can see things about us more easily than we do)

Good News at Last: The World Isn’t as Horrific as You Think by Hans Rosling

Opinion: What ‘Good’ Dads Get Away With by Darcy Lockman

The History of Boredom by Linda Rodriquez McRobbie

(Curious fact: Word boredom didn’t even exist until 1852. Before that, the term used was the French word for boredom, ennui. Ennui was first used in the 1660s and nativized by 1758.)

Love isn’t what it was By Sophus Helle (Disney is subverting its own romantic ideals)

Fun Stuff

How to Sell Your Friends and Family on Genre Fiction by Drew Williams

Fall Movie Guide: 49 Horror, Scifi and Fantasy Movies to Look Out For by Germain Lussier (lots of trailers)

All the New and Returning Scifi, Fantasy and Superhero, and Otherwise Geeky TV Shows Coming This Fall by Cheryl Eddy and Beth Elderkin

Link Feast vol. 59

Welcome to Link Feast. Hopefully this week’s offering nourishes your mind and endless curiosity. Next Link Feast shall be posted on Sunday 26th of May (in 3 weeks).


If You Have Time For Only One Thing


Business Musings: Critical Voice by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Business Musings: Critical Voice


On Writing


Business Musings: Fun by Kristine Kathryn Rusch


Look After Yourself: Self-Care For Writers by Ellen Bard

Look After Yourself: Self Care For Writers


Writing Prompts: Helpful? Or a Waste of Time? by Savannah Gordova


Revise vs. Start New: Which Is Better For the Learning Curve by Jami Gold

Revise vs. Start New: Which Is Better When We’re Stuck?


50 Romance Plot Ideas by Bryn Donovan

50 Romance Plot Ideas!


Hobbies For Romance Heroines by Laura Diaz de Arce


Writing Realistic Teenagers in YA by Jodi Turchin


How to Write a Travel Story by Chris Winkle

How to Write a Travel Story


Six Types of Turning Points For Climaxes by Chris Winkle

Six Types of Turning Points for Climaxes


Five Tricks to Invigorate Your Ending by Chris Winkle


The Legacy of Character in Avenger’s Endgame by Chuck Wendig (beware the spoilers if you haven’t seen the movie yet)

The Legacy Of Character in Avengers: Endgame


6 Tips on Making Similar Scenes Feel Different by Janice Hardy


Let’s Talk About Sex Scenes in Fiction, Baby by Dana Staves


How to Pitch Your Book For TV and Film with DJ Williams by Joanna Penn

How To Pitch Your Book For TV and Film With DJ Williams


Ritas So White… Again by Jessica Pryde (Ritas are the yearly Romance genre Awards)


On Writing Flash Fiction (500 -1500 word long short stories)


Why write flash fiction?


  • You can practice quickly beginnings, middles and endings – lots of them and different variations
  • You can test story ideas, different styles, genres and voices
  • You learn how to write lean and to edit ruthlessly
  • You can put together an anthology of short stories fast (and self-publish it)
  • Flash fiction is fun content to share with your readers on your blog or newsletter


13 Tips For Writing Flash Fiction by Denise Ganley


21 Flash Fiction Stories to Read While You Wait Anywhere by Corin Balkovek


Words in your pocket: How to write flash fiction by David Gaffney


3 Things You Need to Know to Write Great Flash Fiction by Ben Wolf


How to Write Flash Fiction: 15 Short Story Cliches That Need to Die

How to Write Flash Fiction: 15 Short Story Cliches That Need To Die


Free flash fiction stories to read


Book Marketing, Agents & Blogging


5 Unfair Advantages of an Author Platform by Tim Grahl (what book marketing can do at it’s best for your book’s success)

5 Unfair Advantages of an Author Platform


11 Authors Discuss the Road to Getting a Literary Agent by Stephanie Elliot


What’s Your Non-Fiction Voice by Jami Gold

What’s Your Non-Fiction Voice?


25 Ideas For Your Author Blog by Bryn Donovan


Deep Stuff


From Gloom to Gratitude: 8 Skills to Cultivate Joy by Allison Aubrey


Here’s a way better question to ask yourself than “What do I want” by Mark Manson


Four Ways to Figure Out What You Really Want to Do With Your Life by Thorin Klosowski


The Art of Blooming Late by Kevin Evers


10 Practical Answers to 10 Powerful Questions by Darius Foroux


The History of the Influencer From Shakespeare to Instagram by Laurence Scott


There Are No True Rebels by JoAnn Greco


Fun Stuff


Game of Phones hotline (hilarious video)


The Most Marvelous Moments in the MCU by Stubby the Rocket


Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow) and Chris Hemsworth (Thor!) Insult Each Others For 5 Minutes Straight by ToolFab Staff


Scifi & Fantasy Recommendations Based on Your Favourite SFF Heroine by Jessie Mihalik

Sci-Fi & Fantasy Book Recommendations Based on Your Favorite SFF Heroine


Spring 2019’s Must Read Scifi & Fantasy Reads by Myfanwy Collins


Spring 2019’s Must Read Romance Novels According to Romance Authors by The Bookish Editors

2019’s Must-Read Romance Novels According to Romance Authors


5 Witchy Books For Fans of Baba Yaga by Ann Foster


Since all of those 5 recommendations above are from a white, Western point of view, here are some more diverse fantasy recommendations:


Literal Black Girl Magic: Books With Witches, Orisha and More by Mya Nunnally


And then some cheery book recommendations, dystopias 😀


The World Is Falling Apart: Timely Dystopias That Reflect Our Fears by Steph Auteri


Crime Fiction’s New Favourite Private Eyes by Matthew Turbeville


Diplomats and Aliens: Why You Should Pair Spy Novels With Science Fiction by Arkady Martine


Seeing Like a State: Arkady Martine’s Favourite Books About the Mechanisms of Government by Arkady Martine

Seeing Like A State: Arkady Martine’s Favorite Books About the Mechanisms of Government

Link Feast vol. 58

Welcome to Link Feast. I hope you’ll find something that sparks interest and eureka for you. Next Link Feast will be served on Sunday 28th of April.


If You Have Time For Only One Thing


So You Think You Can Write? by Sarah Callender

So You Think You Can Write?


On Writing


The Myth of the Natural Writer by Jane Friedman

The Myth of the Natural Writer


Wired For Display by Jan O´Hara


How Do You Find the Time to Write by Joanna Penn

How Do You Find The Time To Write?


New Research Discovers a Formula For Creativity by Ruth Harris

New Research Discovers a Formula for Creativity


Writing Rules: Should You Always “Write What You Know”? By E.J. Runyon

Writing Rules: Should You Always “Write What You Know”?


How Writing Faster Can Vastly Improve Your Storytelling by Kristen Lamb

How Writing Faster Can Vastly Improve Your Storytelling


Get Organized: The Art of a Flow Board by Dawn Field


In Defense of “Unlikable” Heroines: A Case Study of Three Heroines From Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling Series by Aarya Marsden


Discover Your Character’s Goals by Jim Dempsey


What’s the Problem? The Four Classic Conflict Types by Janice Hardy


Why Is Conflict So Hard to Create in Romance? by Janice Hardy


How to Write a Memoir: Have a Skewed Point of View by Matt Bird

*points above* This post is really about how to write a fascinating character with a unique way to look at a world and a unique voice. So the it’s applicable to any genre, not just memoirs


5 Ways to Use Theme to Create Character Arc (And Vice Versa) by K.M. Weiland


What Is the Relationship Between Plot and Theme by K.M. Weiland


How to Use Your Outline When Writing Your First Draft by K.M. Weiland


Smell Your Story by James Scott Bell


The Bi-Cultural Writer by Rheea Mukherjee


World Building: Why Writers Need to Be Sneaky When Building Worlds by William L. Hahn


Worldbuilding: Your Story World’s 101 History by Jami Gold


Worldbuilding a Series: Writing Without a Plan by Jami Gold


What Are Your Readers Thinking by Dawn Field


First Page Critique: The Secret of Thieves by Elaine Viets


First Page Critique: Unearthed by Clare Langley-Hawthorne


Take Five: Susan Spann and Claws of the Cat: a Hiro Hattori Mystery

A 16th century Japanese Ninja and a Portugese Jesuit as historical Sherlock and Holmes. Sold! A fascinating story about a fascinating story


Book Marketing


How to Build an Author Platform by Daniel Gaughran


Saying No to Twitter by Daniel Berkowitz


Juggling Two Author Platforms, Is It Worth It? by Charity Bradford


Why Don’t Publishers Believe in Author Websites by Jane Friedman

This is an old blog post (from 2013) but it highlights the potential problems of an author website. The question asked is: is it better to have no author website at all than a bad author website?

Of course the best thing is to have a GOOD author website that is regularly updated. But not all authors are tech people and can’t maintain their own sites, or pay for someone else to do it. What should they do then? That question the article doesn’t answer but it’s something to ponder about your own website (or if you don’t have one, whether to have one). For example my website needs a new WordPress theme and I need to figure out how to switch to it.


Why Authors Should Believe in Their Websites by Darcy Pattison


Author Website Content: First Blog Posts by Darcy Pattison


20 Ways to Generate Article Ideas in 20 Minutes or Less by Mridu Krullar Relph

(Totally applicable to blog posts)


Deep Stuff


I trained myself to be less busy – and it dramatically improved my life by David Sbarra


Who Wins in the Name Game by Cody C. Delistraty


The Sea Was Never Blue by Maria Michela Sassi (how the Ancient Greek saw the colours of the world)


The Moral Peril of Meritocracy by David Brooks (He talks about how people can find a higher cause and become committed to it and serving others)


This Is How Human Extinction Could Play Out by Bill McKibben


Fun Stuff


Shazam! Review: Shameless mining of Spielberg, Big pays off for DC comics by Sam Machkovech (I saw the movie and it was really fun. I highly recommend it if you like superhero movies that don’t take themselves too seriously)


How the Dragon Prince Replaced Game of Thrones as My Favourite Fantasy Show by Ilana C. Myer


‘Game of Thrones’ Returned – and Returned to Its Roots  by Alison Herman


The ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 8 Premiere Exit Survey by The Ringer Staff (7 people share their squee moments and feelings)


Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 2 Trailer by Krystie Lee Yandoli


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