Link Feast vol 64 – Helpful Writing Tips


If You Have Time For Only One Link

How to Know Which Parts of Your Story Readers Will Like Best (It Isn’t Always What You Think) by K.M. Weiland

On Writing Partners, Teams and Big Casts

How to Create Powerful Character Combos by Chris Winkle

18 Ways for Protagonists to Contribute by Chris Winkle

Five Underused Character Archetypes by Chris Winkle

Head, Heart, Gut (aka How to Create a Polarized Ensemble) – a collection of posts by Matt Bird, really worth checking out

Creating a Polarized Ensemble, Part 1: The Pros and Cons of Polarization by Matt Bird (the first post of the series)

On Writing

What Keeps You From Success? Are You a Prisoner of Unexamined Beliefs? by Anne R. Allen

How to Find Your Writing Purpose by Leanne Sowul

Resistance Wakes Up With Me by Steven Pressfield

Writing Tips: 6 Ways to Give Perfectionism the Boot by T. Thorn Coyle

A Prayer to the Muse by Steven Pressfield

For National Novel Writing Month, Two Vital Reminders by Chuck Wendig

3 Ways to Keep Writing When Times Are Tough by Chandler Bolt

When Your Writing Dreams Change by Julie Glover

The Benefits of Writing a Novel “Just For Fun” by Janice Hardy

How to Build a Long Term Writing Career by James Scott Bell

NaNoWriMo is coming… Are You Ready? By Jami Gold (how much do we need to prep for NaNo + resource links)

How Predictable Should a Story Be? By Chris Winkle

Five Archetypes That Can Steal the Hero’s Spotlight by Oren Ashkenazi

The Villain Has No Empathy by Steven Pressfield

The Villain Never Says He’s Sorry by Steven Pressfied

Six Ways to Make Your Villains Likable by Chris Winkle (what if the villain said he’s sorry. Or is he just sorry [not sorry]…)

Scene Layering With an Example by Rebecca Zanetti

Wow Your Fantasy Reader – 10 Tips For Writing Wonder by Yours Truly

Representing People of Color in Fantasy When Their Country/Continent Doesn’t Exist by Mod Lesya

10 Steps to Writing a Novella by Delilah S. Dawson

Book Marketing

Do I Need a Platform and If So, How High? by Anne Greenwood Brown

Book Blog Reviews and Bookstagram: How Influencers Help Authors Reach Agents, Publishers and Readers by Julie Valerie

Authors! Refresh, Rehab, Repair and Renovate: How to Rejuvenate Your Backlist by Ruth Harris

Deep Stuff

We Are the Weirdos, Mister: Power, Rage and Teenage Witches by Kate Racculia

If You Master This Listening Technique, You’ll Hear What People Don’t Say Out Loud by Cathy Salit

Fun Stuff

Episode 70: 2nd Annual Halloween Special Listener Edition – Part One (30 Halloween themed 500 word Flash Fiction stories read out loud)

Episode 71: 2nd Annual Halloween Special Listener Edition – Part Two (30 more Halloween themed 500 word Flash Fiction stories read out loud. My story, The Midnight Gamble, is read starting at 2:02:17)

Why I’m a horrible person by Ristay (a hilarious webcomic)

All the New Fantasy Books Coming Out in November at

All the New YA SFF Books Coming Out in November at

November’s New Releases by Amanda at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books (mostly romance book recs)

The Midnight Gamble – A Halloween Flash Fiction Story

Ten minutes to midnight”, the dealer reminds me.

A warning. At midnight the doors will close and if I’m still here, I will be trapped in this cursed place until next Halloween.

A calculated risk. Now is the time for the game I came here to win. “Deal me one more hand.”

“Sir, you have already lost your soul and your firstborn. What more do you have to offer to the house?”

“Call me Michael.”

“Michael”, she agrees with impatience. My heart sings at hearing my name again from her lips. “Your bet, please.”

“My creativity, my Muse. I’m a writer.”

She closes her eyes and seems to confer with the house through the twisted connection I’m here to end.

“The house accepts. And your prize?”

“You, Miriel, with your memories intact. And all the claims of this place and all connections to it severed.”

She blinks in surprise and opens her mouth but no sound comes out. Then the power takes her over again, and she shivers and whispers. “The house accepts.”

“Then deal.”

And she does. Her hands are steady even though she refuses to meet my eyes.

She reveals her hand, one card at a time. Ten of Hearts, Knight of Hearts, Queen of Hearts, King of Hearts. Sweat beads on my forehead and my hands tremble. Her last card, Three of Spades.

And I have a pair of Nines.

I won. I fucking won.

“Mikey”, she breathes and finally looks at me. A smile blooms on her face, and she is radiant, more beautiful than ever. She remembers. She’s my Miri again.

A deep gong sounds. And again at steady intervals. Fuck. It’s almost midnight. I grab her hand and we run for the door like our lives depend on it. The house trembles like the earth is shaking but our momentum keeps us upright.

We rush through the door and halfway to the gate. Only then I dare to look behind me. The house is there one moment, then it blinks away. It’s over. We’re safe.

Miri stops us and pulls my head down for a desperate kiss. I crush her to me and never intend to let go.

I hold and hold until she finally pulls away.

“I love an idiot”, she groans. “Your soul, Mikey. You should have left me there.”

“Never. I love you, baby.”

“You promised away our firstborn”, her voice breaks. “The whole reason why…”

“I’m so sorry”, I say quietly. “We will find a way.”

“No! No. It isn’t meant to be. We get your soul back, and that’s it.”

“New try next year?”, I ask, only half joking.

She gives me a withering glare. “Don’t be a total dumbass. But we’ll find a way.”

I take her hand. We walk away, together, and right this moment all is well in the world.

Thank you for reading. And Happy Halloween!

If you want to hear the story read out loud, listen to Rebecca Galardo’s and Holly Lisle’s Halloween episode for their podcast Alone In the Room With Invisible People. My story starts at 2:02:17. I highly recommend you to listen the other stories too. They’re stellar.

I’d love to hear from you in the comments. What did you think of the story? And how are you spending your Halloween? Do you dress up? What has been your favourite Halloween costume?

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. 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 For Writers, vol 52

Hello dear readers, this Link Feast’s alive. It’s alive!

I’m sorry for neglecting you. Work has been crazy since I shifted departments. Excuses, schmexcuses but I will get bi-weekly steady again.

I’ve been sitting on these links for a while so it’s time to push this baby out into the world. Luckily the best writing advice and good blog posts in general don’t have an expiration date.

But if you want the freshest writing tips, I recommend you to check out the other link mash-ups in the Collected Wisdom section.

Next Link Feast coming up in two weeks on Sunday. Wrote that down to my calendar even. Or I will when I find it under all the crap 😛 House work hasn’t exactly been steady either.

Anyway, enjoy the links. And please leave a comment 🙂


If You Have Time For Only One Thing

How to Create a Three-Phase Writing Ritual by Debra Eve


On Writing

Learning From the Masters by Gabriela Pereira (the 4 types of books writers should read)

168 Hours: Time and Productivity #1 by Gene Lempp

Time Managament Tip: “Yes Makes Less” by Jenny Hansen

What’s on Your “Why To Do It” List? by Carleen Brice

Dreaming Big by Sharon Bially

10 Steps to Finding Your Writing Voice by Jeff Goins

When Nothing Goes Right, Go Left by Robin LaFevers

Fear: The Uninvited Guest by Robin LaFevers

Writing Is Magic by Kristan Hoffman

How to Be an Author 24/7 by Bill Ferris

Fifty Lessons From Fifty Shades of Grey – Part I (Writer Unboxed)

Fifty Lessons From Fifty Shades of Grey – Part II (Writer Unboxed)

Fifty Lessons From Fifty Shades of Grey – Part III (Writer Unboxed)

Drive, Don’t Chase by Jael McHenry (On following writing trends)

Levels of Conflict by John Vorhaus

4 Big Pitfalls in Story Opening by K.M. Weiland

The First Ten Pages of a Sceenplay by Erik Bork (totally applicable to the first chapter of a novel)

Adapting Screenplay Structure to Genre Novels by James Preston

Avoiding Boring Character Biographies by David Corbett

5 Reasons Why Han Solo Is the Most Realistic Person in Star Wars by Ryan Britt and Emily Asher-Perrin

Clothing Your Characters by Liz Michalski

Letting Your Characters Go by Juliet Marillier

Baby Got Back…. Story by Tiffany Reisz

Doing Research by D.B. Jackson

4 Steps to Successful Revisions by Cathy Yardley

Self-Editing For Everyone, Part 4: The Weakeners by Bridget McKenna

Cliffhangers and Book Series by Kristi Cook

Blind Spots and Obsessions in Historical Fiction: What Were They Thinking? by Dave King


Book Marketing & Blogging

5 ways to write a blow-your-mind manifesto by Alexandra Franzen

What are you about? What’s the theme of your life? Make me care. Nay, inspire me.

Marketing: Finding and Selling to Non-Book Book Audiences by Peter McCarthy

The Importance of Knowing Our Audience by Elizabeth S. Craig

Release Activities For the Reluctant Promoter by Elizabeth S. Craig

Don’t know what to blog about? 88 pieces of fill-in-the-blank inspiration by Alexandra Franzen

The Shy Writer’s Cocktail Party Survival Guide by Anne Greenwood Brown


Traditional Publishing

5 Reasons to Turn to Traditional Publishers Rather Than Self-Publish by Meg Waite Clayton

5 Essential Elements For Pitching Romance by Marcy Kennedy

How to Maintain a Healthy Author/Agent Relationship by Elizabeth Weed


Social Media

Twitter: A Dangerous Sense of Entitlement by Annie Neugebauer

3 Tips on Cleaning Up Your Twitter Account by Jenny Hansen

What If You Hate Facebook? Are You DOOMED? by Lisa Hall-Wilson

The B.A.R.F. Score: How To Know if Social Media is Working For You by Dan Blank


Collected Wisdom

Twitterific by Elizabeth S. Craig

Writing Resources by Gene Lempp

Must-Read Monday by Yesenia Vargas


Deep Stuff

100 Questions to Inspire Rapid Self-Discovery by Alexandra Franzen

I Did Not Marry My One True Love by Lisa Hall-Wilson

Insomnia, Wizard Vans, and Why Modern Women Read “50 Shades of Grey” by Kristen Lamb


Fun Stuff

10 Funniest Lines in all of Star Wars (According to me) by Ryan Britt

He’s That Bad and That Likeable: Pitch Black by Theresa Delucci

The Chronicles of Riddick: What Happens When You Let Vin Diesel Be Your Dungeon Master by Theresa Delucci

Weird Reality: Reality TV Aimed At Your Inner Geek by Shoshana Kessock

Link Feast For Writers, vol. 50

Writing blogs are a great way to learn about writing and marketing our books. Here are some of the best links I’ve found in the past weeks. Enjoy!
If You Have Time For Only One Thing

How to Get a Book Published: A Step-by-Step Guide by Anne R. Allen

On Writing

10 Ways for an ADD Writer to be OOH! SHINY!…Productive by Kristen Lamb

Career Lessons From Susan Boyle’s Success by Penelope Trunk

Daniel Day-Lewis’ 4 Tips for Writers Who Aspire to Greatness by Jon Morrow

Organization: Why Scrivener Is a Great Writing Tool by Randy Ingermansson (scroll down a bit for the good stuff)

The Three Phases of the Storytelling Process by Larry Brooks

8 Promises You’re Making To Readers – And Then Breaking by K.M. Weiland

The Stuff of Legends – Creating a Character Apocalypse by Kristen Lamb

How to Base a Character On Someone Else’s by Victoria Grefer

How to Write Better Heroes and Villains: Archetypes by Victoria Lynn Schmidt

9 Tips For Creating a Great Antagonist by Debra Vega

Writers, Know Your Archetypes: The Trickster by Debra Vega

The Single Largest Cause of Writer’s Block – Might Not Be What You Believe by Kristen Lamb

It’s Not “What.” It’s “How” by Larry Brooks

A Pantser’s Guide to Beat Sheets by Jami Gold

8 Things You Need to Know About Character Arcs by Debra Vega

Pacing by Ann Voss Peterson

How to Include the Five Senses Without Falling into the Telling Trap by Marcy Kennedy

5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Editing Experience by Cressida Downing

Most Common Mistakes: Do’s and Dont’s Of Dialects by K.M. Weiland

The Fantasy Novelist’s Exam by David J. Parker

5 1/2 Steps For Making Feedback Work For Us by Jami Gold

Book Marketing

Seeking the Perfect Book Title by Debra Vega

Book Series: Should We Include a Teaser Excerpt? by Jami Gold

Maven, Connector, or Salesperson: What’s Your Archetype? by Charlie Gilkey

Indie Life: Taking Advantage of the Impulse Purchase by Laura Pauling (why do readers buy your book?)

101 Quick Actions You Can Take Today to Build the Writer Platform of Your Dreams by Kimberley Grabas

11 Must Have Elements For Your Author Website by Kimberley Grabas

How to Launch a Book in 3 Steps by Nick Thacker

How to Market a Book and Strengthen Your Author Platform with Goodreads by Kimberley Grabas

How an Introvert Became a Promoter by Kourtney Heintz

The Introvert’s Guide to Making Great Connections by Les McKeown


Fearless Pitching, Part 1 by Laura Drake

Fearless Pitching, Part 2 by Laura Drake

The Business Rusch: Dreams and Bestsellers by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Does Free Still Work? by C.J. Lyons

An Interview With ‘the Sluts’ by Larry Brooks (collaboration can really pay off)


Does Google Know Your Wrote That? by Randy Ingermansson (scroll down a bit to get to this piece of gold article)

Why Authors Should Be “Selfish” Bloggers: And How To Be One by Victoria Grefer

Fix a Mess of a Multi-Topic Blog by Natalie Webb

5 Signs You’re Having a Blog Identity Crisis and 8 Ways to Fix It by Roni Loren

8 Under-Used Blog Post Structures to Try Today – And 24 Inspiring Examples by Ali Luke

Content Marketing Zen: The 5-Step Process to Creating Remarkable Content by Gregory Ciotti

13 Blog Post Blunders You Should Avoid (And What to Do Instead) by Kimberley Grabas

8 Steps to Create Visually Appealing Blog Posts by Rebecca Belliston

Should We Use a Blog Commenting System? by Jami Gold

Social Media

Facing a Social Media Apocalypse? Sometimes We Need to Mend the Hearts We Hurt by Kristen Lamb

Social Media Strategies and Decisions by Laura Pauling

Slack, Fake and Egocentric Followers: How to Spot Them by Cate Russell-Cole

Collected Wisdom

Twitterific by Elizabeth S. Craig

Writing Resources by Gene Lempp

Monday Must Reads by Yesenia Vargas

Deep Stuff

Build a Small Fire and Sit Close To It by Charlie Gilkey

What’s The Best Advice Your Elders Ever Gave You? by Jenny Hansen

50+ Better Questions To Ask Than How To Be More Productive by Charlie Gilkey

Fun Stuff

10 Sources That Inspired Game of Thrones’ Dark Storytelling by Katharine Trendacosta and Charlie Jane Anders

What if The Simpsons was invaded by characters from Game of Thrones? by Meredith Woerner

All the Books Getting Turned Into Movies and TV Shows Over the Next Year by Meredith Woerner

15 Book Series To Read If You Enjoyed “The Hunger Games” by Arielle Calderon and Natalie Morin

30 Most Hilarious Auto Correct Struggles Ever by Jessica Misener

Nerd Nirvana: Top 10 Nerdiest Cities in America by Amanda Kooser


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