Link Feast for Writers, vol. 29

Writing blogs are a great way to learn about the craft and marketing our work. Enjoy the posts I’ve hoarded, some older, some recent.

If You Have Time For Only One Thing

Want To Be Read 100 Years From Now? Here’s How by Kristine Kathryn Rusch


On Writing

“We are more afraid of our light than our darkness”
– Marianne Williamson

10 Tips to Help You Finish Your Novel and/or ‘Win’ NaNoWriMo by Jenny Hansen

What’s Your Writing Personality by K.M. Weiland

Build Your Reading List by Gabriela Pereira

Use These 2 Crazy Notions and Never Lose Your Motivation to Write by Krissy Brady

(What is your dream goal as a writer? What do you want to achieve during your author career? Does it fire you up?)

The Biggest Problem Facing the Beginning Novelist – And 6 Tips for Avoiding It by Anne R. Allen

Music as Writing Inspiration by Fae Rowan

The Risk and Reward of “Writing What You Know” by Natalie Sypolt

Is Your Idea Good Enough? by Jacob Krueger

Combine Many Awesome Ideas Into One Brilliant Novel by Carrie Vaughn

When Bad Ideas Sabotage Killer Concepts by Larry Brooks

Wait – That Can Happen?? by Katie Mills

(Be careful about how much information you share online about a partially done manuscript, especially blurbs and queries)

Transformational Journeys: Working With Archetypes by Robin LaFevers

Creating the Perfect Villain by Jacob Kruger (5 min video)

Using Pinch Points to Increase Narrative Drive by Karen Woodward

Flirting 101: Bust a Move by Angela Ackerman

Writer’s Roadmap: Using Excel to Keep Your Novel Organized by Laura Drake

2 Ways Your Brain Is Wired to Undermine Your Story and What To Do About It by Lisa Cron

What Type of Edit Does Your Book Need by Marcy Kennedy

Checklist For a Good and Helpful Critique by Kathy Steffen

Series vs. Stand-Alone: What Should We Work On Next by Jami Gold

Series or a Stand-Alone? How To Decide by Deborah Raney

How To Write a Kick Ass Series by Carrie Vaughn

What’s the Difference Between Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy by Karen Woodward

The Kids Are All Right: Greg van Eekhout and Carrie Vaughn on YA and MG by Myke Cole

Bacon, Booze and Books: What Kings Ate and Wizards Drank by Krista D. Ball (a writers’ guide, a cookbook, and a history of food all rolled into one)


Your Author Platform

Do You Really Need To Brand Yourself to Sell Stuff? by Mars Dorian

Why Settle For Your Reader’s Wallet When You Can Get Into Her PANTS by Kristen Lamb (hilarious post)

Using Technology to Sell Books: Quick Response Codes (QR Codes) by Karen Woodward

Micromoney As a Much-Needed Pat on the Back by Carrie Vaughn

How To Earn a Living As a Self-Published Author by Karen Woodward

The Gangnam Style to Becoming a Writing Rockstar by Carol Tice

(You don’t have to be outrageous but you need to do something special and different to be memorable. What’s your thing?)

Which Is the Best Social Media For Connecting With Readers by Jody Hedlund

A Painless Way To Use Social Media to Build an Evangelist Filled Fan Base by Tracy Atkins at Duolit

The Perfect Landing Page: Inside the Mind Episode 6 by Tommy Walker (7:17 min video)

Are Blog Tours Losing Their Promotional Power? by Katie Mills

10 Marketing Techniques That Annoy Readers by Jon Gibbs

7 Ways Authors Can Market Without Internet by Jody Hedlund

Being Influencer Isn’t Just About Getting a Free Book by Jody Hedlund

How Bestseller Lists Work by Tim Ferriss

D. D. Scott’s Indie Epublishing Strategic Planning – Part One

A Business Plan For Self-Published Authors – Part 1 by Denise Grover Swank

A Business Plan For Self-Published Authors – Part 2 by Denise Grover Swank

A Business Plan For Self-Published Authors – Part 3 by Denise Grover Swank

Start Your eBook Promotion on Your Amazon Book Page by Gordon Kessler

Many successful authors like Joanna Penn and C.J. Lyons also offer writing courses or guides. Have you ever considered turning your knowledge into a product? (Like a course, an eBook or a podcast) If so, this might help.

The Teaching Sells 20-Step Process for Building an Online Business (PFD) [Available this week only]



High Concept Blogging: Achieving Bloggy Goodness In Record Time by Jenny Hansen

How To Prevent Content Creation Burnout by Brancica Underwood

The Problem With Blogging Only When You Have Something To Say by Sarah Arrow

The Death of the How To Article by Tommy Walker

3 Great Ways To Say Thank You to Your Blog Community by Danny Brown

3 Things Bloggers Should Do To Promote Their Posts But Don’t by Alice Elliott

Why Your Blog Commenting Has No Results by Brancica Underwood


Social Media

When Social Media Becomes a Time Suck by Jody Hedlund

The 3 Phases of Social Media Strategy by Srini Rao (I’ve posted the link before but this is worth re-reading)

Social Media and (Self-Imposed) Guidelines by Elana Johnson

Adding Your eBook to Goodreads by Tamara Ward

Facebook vs. Twitter: Where the Readers Are by Roni Loren

How To Tweet So People Will Listen by Nina Badzin

Simple Tricks to Improve Your Facebook Engagement [Infograpgic] by Francisco Rosales


Collected Wisdom

Blog Treasures by Gene Lempp

Twitterific by Elizabeth S. Craig

Friday Features by Yesenia Vargas


Deep Stuff

Lazy and Found by Shannon Lell (I can totally relate save for the pot part)

“With this much horse crap, there’s bound to be a pony around here somewhere!”
– Naomi at Ittybiz

Is This the End of the Story? by Naomi at Ittybiz (an inspiring pep talk no matter what you are doing)

Strong Evidence That Humanity Is Capable of Preventing Global Environmental Disaster by Annalee Newitz

(really interesting article on how humanity eradicated slavery and has greatly reduced wars)


Fun Stuff

Happy 10th Anniversary Firefly! “No Power In The Verse Can Stop Me” Music Video

Designing From Bones: The Underworld by Gene Lempp

Designing From Bones: Unearthing Merlin’s Bones by Gene Lempp

Doctor Kitty Solves All Your Love Problems by Carrie Vaughn (Urban Fantasy short story)

Link Feast Vol. 3

Writing blogs are a great way to learn about the craft and marketing our work. Enjoy the posts I’ve hoarded, some older, some recent.

On Writing

Ira Glass on Storytelling
– What nobody tells the beginners…

Lynn Viehl’s freebies for writers. Just wow what great resources. Grab her novel writing diagrams and the workshops she’s sharing.

Beyond the Cliché: How To Create Characters That Fascinate by Becca Puglisi

Scene building 101 by Lynn Viehl

Find the right balance of dialogue and description at Write It Sideways

Shape up flabby writing by using stronger words at Write It Sideways

What makes a great villain? by Alexandra Sokoloff

How to find your story’s archetype and similar stories to study by Alexandra Sokoloff

Fairy tale structure by Alexandra Sokoloff

Lynn Viehl busts 4 first chapter mistakes

What tone does your first line set? Lynn Viehl

How to dissect a story by Laura Pauling

Plot Busters: Dissecting How To Train Your Dragon (the movie) by Laura Pauling. Serious spoiler warning. Don’t read if you haven’t seen the movie and want to do so without knowing things in advance.

Three stages of research by Laura Pauling

How to find rather than make writing time by Jessica Strawser at Writer’s Digest

Stacy Green sheds light on the difference between suspense novels and thrillers

Rhian Bowley shares some do’s and dont’s on writing sci-fi and fantasy. This line made me laugh: “Don’t be a [literary] snob, be a slut.”

12 myths about being a writer by Anne R. Allen

Brilliant post from Rob Preece about writing male and female characters: Women are from Venus and men are annoying

Laura Paulig shares her revision method

Janice Hardy’s tips on staying organized during revision


Writer Wellness

Kick the sugar crack habit by Sandra Brougher

How to make the Chocolate Diet work by K.B. Owen


Your Author Platform

Identify your novel’s genre by Rachelle Gardner

Are you riding waves or creating them? by Jonathan Mead

Will you like my books? by Emily Casey (a useful excercise for all writers)

11 keys to Self Publishing success by Bob Mayer

Choosing the right pen name by Talli Roland

11 things I wish someone had told me about blogging by Victoria Mixon

12 things that will kill your blog post every time by SEOmoz

Clear phlegm from your blog posts by Carol Tice

How to pick the right stock photo for your blog posts by Caitlin Muir at Author Media

April Platform Challenge: Day 7 by Robert Lee Brewer (How to add Share Buttons to your blog)

12 steps to blog tour success by Joel Friedlander

What authors and publishers can learn from the Hunger Games movie marketing campaign by Rachel Stark

Social Media (Facebook special)

6 reasons authors should love Facebook Timeline by Lisa Hall-Wilson

How to set up Facebook timeline by BookBaby

Facebook Timeline Mashup by Lisa Hall-Wilson

How to increase your readership by using Facebook Timeline by BookBaby

How to set up an author page at Facebook by BookBaby

Jenny Hansen gives a primer on recent Triberr changes


Collected Wisdom

Gene Lempp’s Blog Treasures (April 7th)

Twitterific by Elizabeth S. Craig (April 8th)

Writing on the Ether by Porter Anderson (April 7th)

Fill me in Friday by Roni Loren (April 6th)

Kait Nolan’s link mashup (April 3rd)


Deep Stuff

Could you be an evil person? by Marcy Kennedy

Superheroes and ethics

Heroine Quest, or The Fairytale Problem by A.C. Wise (lack of proactivity in story heroines)

Are you wearing the Orc mask or the Marilyn mask? by Lisa Hall-Wilson

13 characteristics of children from emotionally barren families by Louise Behiel


Fun Stuff

If baby animals make you go aww, this Pinterest board is for you.

Hilarious plot fixes by Lynn Viehl

Back to the 80s with Shah Warton

Game of Thrones, Season 2’s first episode is out. Warning: Spoilers

Ten Things Generated by Online Generators by Lynn Viehl (comes with links to the generators so you can have your own fun)

Weird Name Generator by Lynn Viehl (she has gotten story ideas out of these)

Jeri Westerson talks about her Medieval Noir novel Troubled Bones (Medieval Noir is such a cool concept that I was instantly sold)


P.S. I just realized I didn’t include any male hotness this week. Please fill the vacuum by sharing your favourite links (male related or anything else) in the comments 🙂

Link Feast Vol. 2

Writing blogs are a great way to learn about the craft and marketing our work. Enjoy the posts I’ve hoarded, some older, some recent.


On Writing

Pantsing writer Gini Koch shares her writing process.

Story Structure 101 – The Index Card Method by Alexandra Sokoloff

Diane Chamberlain’s photos of her index card wall

Story Elements Checklist by Alexandra Sokoloff (seriously, I could have filled this post with just her stuff)

Hence, I highly recommend Alexandra Sokoloff’s Screenwriting Tricks For Authors (Kindle version) that costs only 2,99$. It’s a collection of her blog posts and has a huge page count. Some information is repeated but all of it is good. There are also lots of examples from movies.

Are you asking and answering the right story questions? by Janice Hardy

13 screenwriting tips from Sherlock Holmes (the first movie)

10 tips to bypass cliche and melodrama by Peter Selgin

3 ways to keep the book’s tone consistent by Brian A. Klems

Anger: 5 Shades of Seeing Red by Lisa Hall-Wilson

Naming your characters by Carra Copelin

Finding your writing style by Brad Beauregard

How to build your support network by Cathy at Rock Your Writing

Marcy Kennedy nails down one of the most important themes of The Hunger Games.


Your Author Platform

We read (insert your name here) because… by Larry Brooks

April Platform Challenge by Robert Lee Brewer (Define yourself. Who you are now, what are you currently doing and have done)

22 Ways To Create Compelling Content When You Don’t Have a Clue (fun infograph)

5 Ways To Write A Blog Post Without A Number In It’s Title by Judy Dunn

Goodreads Advertising results and tips by Lindsay Buroker

Why won’t men read books written by women? by Tess Gerritsen

 Gender issues in publishing. Using initials as a female thriller author by Joanna Penn

If you are a woman, have you ever considered using your initials instead of your first name?


Social Media – Pinterest special

13 Pinterest Things Writers Should Know by Rachelle Gardner (she was sceptic at first)

Marcia Richards gives 16 reasons why Pinterest is worth your time.

10 Tips For Authors Using Pinterest by Rachelle Gardner

Mom Creative’s 10 Tips For Using Pinterest Well

Facts & figures about how popular Pinterest really is & how to get your Pin It button for your browser

Copyblogger’s advice on Pinterest

What do you think of Pinterest? If you’re there, please share your user name in the comments and I’ll follow you 🙂 You can find my Pinterest boards here.


Collected Wisdom

Blog Treasures  (31st of March) by Gene Lempp

Twitterific (1st of April) by Elizabeth S. Craig

Writing on the Ether (29th of March) by Porter Anderson (Pottermore is the big topic this time)

Advice for writers by Robert Lee Brewer

Jenny Hansen’s CrackleSauce, links that rocked her March


Fun Stuff

Best April Fool’s Day Hoaxes by Colin Falconer

 If famous authors had written Twilight

Boyfriend of a week: Alexander Skarsgard/Eric Northman by Roni Loren

Chrush of the month: Chris Hemsworth/Thor by Tameri Etherton

Let The Music Carry You Away

Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” -Berthold Auerbach

If I had to choose which of the five senses I’d lose, sight and hearing would be the last to go.

I listen to music mostly for background ambience when I write or do something on the computer. Classic music and movie soundtracks are perfect for that purpose.  Soundtrack music can be especially powerful since it was composed to bring the listened to a certain mood and to enchance the scene it ties to. And many classic music pieces were supposed to create a whole ‘movie’ in the listener’s mind. No wonder that Disney based it’s film Fantasia (1940) on classical pieces like Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony and Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker ballet.

One of my favourite movie composers is Thomas Newman who has done the scores of Meet Joe Black, The American Beauty and Road To Perdition among others. The American Beauty soundtrack is perfect chill out music but I picked Whisper of a Thrill from Joe Black because I loved the movie.


Wojciech Kilar did wonderful job with the soundtrack for the Dracula movie. Love Remembered reflects the melancholy of the scene where Mina refuses to meet Count Dracula at the restaurant.



I meant to choose something more upbeat for the last piece but in the end I had to go with Tango Roxanne from Baz Luhrman’s musical Moulin Rouge. It’s melodramatic but so are jealousy and lost love.



How about you? Which songs touch you? When do you listen to music? Do you find the lyrics or the tune more powerful?

Tramp Stamps & Armor Exposing It All

Friday is the fantasy day so this post comes a little late. My apologies. My internet connection was acting up so I couldn’t put the post up until now.

In Wednesday’s mashup I offered some male eyecandy and today we’ll take a brief look at how women are portrayed in recent fantasy and urban fantasy book covers and gaming culture and where the trend begun.

Red Sonja by Maroto Adams

Maroto Adams' Red Sonja

Chainmail bikini babes have been a phenomenon of the fantasy genre since Marvel’s Red Sonja comic in the 70s. A good example of the phenomenon is work of profilic artist Larry Elmore. Many of his 80s and 90s pieces show women in scanty armor and even if most body parts are covered, the boobs are always displayed. Elmore has done illustrations for Dungeons & Dragons roleplayin game a lot of fantasy book covers, including the early Dragonlance novels.

The trend of showing off the curves is still rampant in computer games and many illustrations in roleplaying games. Both being male dominated hobbies likely has a lot to do with the fact. With outrageous armors like these, it’s no wonder that some ladies don’t feel welcome in the MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games) circles.

While I was playing World of Warcraft, the biggest online game with over 10 million players all over the world, the big difference between the male and female versions of the same armor really annoyed me. Armor’s purpose is to protect, dammit, not display you. And pretty much all the available female avatars were much shorter and daintier than the beefy male avatars of the same fantasy race.

As for current fantasy covers, my biggest issue with many female cover characters is their weird poses. The women are supposed to look strong and menacing with weapons bared but the way they stand sends the opposite message. Jim Hines demonstrates the trend by assuming some of the poses. And here’s Anna at Genre Reviews showing a female version of the same poses and some male poses for contrast.

Also, have you ever heard the term tramp stamp? If you’re an urban fantasy or paranormal romance fan, you are likely very familiar with the ‘back pose, butt display’ trend. Here’s a very illuminative video by Scifi Guy in which he has collected tens of tramp stamp covers together.

The similarities between the covers are staggering. I like to admire female beauty portrayed with taste but with so many urban fantasy covers looking the same, no one stands out anymore. All the flaunting has lost its shock value and could be toned down. It makes simple elegance, like these Holly Black covers, pop out all the more.

Have you noticed the phenomenon? Is it present at other genres than fantasy and urban fantasy? Have you read a book lately that had a cover you loved? And how much does a cover affect which books you pick up? I’d love to hear your thoughts.


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