Link Feast For Writers, vol. 33 – Theme Special

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.

This week there is a special category for links about theme. According to writing teacher Larry Brooks (Storyfixer), theme is one of the six core competencies writers need to master to succeed.

“Theme is how a story touches you.  What and how it causes you to think about.  How the story mirrors and/or comments upon real life.  Theme says something worth saying, even when it’s obvious.” – Larry Brooks

Read on to find out how you can discover the theme of your book.


If You Have Time For Only One Thing

A Gift Created From Your Writer’s Heart by Kathy Steffen


On Writing

From Debut to Multi-Published: What I Have Learned In My First Year as a Published Author by Roni Loren

Measuring Success by Gabriela Pereira (thank you for the link, Gene Lempp)

How to Write Every Day – In Theory by Matt Bird

How to Write When You Don’t Want To by Ava Jae

Love Lists by Stephanie Perkins

10 Writing (and Life) Lessons I Learned From My Dog by Jenny Hansen

8 Signs That You Were Meant to Be a Writer by Henri Junttila

Is Every Hero a Luke or a Han? by Matt Bird

Heroes Should Run Into Unexpected Antagonism by Matt Bird

12 Tips on How To Write Antagonists by Karen Woodward

Writing Male and Female PoV by Rayne Hall

Kick Start Your Story With These Questions by Joe Moore

Key Story Elements: Lessons From the Nightmare Before Christmas Musical by Alexandra Sokoloff

Love Thy Neighbor by Donald Maass

Plot Fixer # 9 Plots That Rely On Coincidence and Contrivance by Kara Lennox

Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before You Write a Scene. Any Scene by Larry Brooks

Learn to Pace Yourself by Jennifer Rush

Connie Willis and 11 Ways to Write Great Dialogue by Karen Woodward

Spicing Up a Story with Similes and Metaphors by Jody Hedlund

A Simple Approach to Revisions by Cathy Yardley

Cutting the Fat From Your WIP by Gina Conroy

Freelance Editing: How to Hire an Editor For Your Book or Query Letter by Chuck Sambuchino

How to Survive a Critique by Marcy Kennedy

The Dark Art Of Critiquing, Part 1: What Makes A Story Good? by Karen Woodward

The Dark Art of Critiquing, Part 2: Formulating A Critique by Karen Woodward

How Do We Handle Rejection and Keep On Pressing by Kristen Lamb

Lessons From the Godfather on Sticking to Your Creative Vision by Dan Blank

Do You Read Like a Reader or a Writer? by Janice Hardy

Short Story Structures – Several Ways of Structuring Short Fiction by Karen Woodward

Lamp Lighters and Seed Sowers: Tomorrow’s YA by Beth Kephart (books that have meaning will be remembered)

Top 10 YA Tropes by A. E. Rought

Dear Agent — Write the Letter That Sells Your Book by Nicola Morgan


Theme Special

Do Stories Need a Theme? by Jami Gold

25 Things Writers Should Know About Theme by Chuck Wendig

Theme Me Up: How to Develop Your Theme by Janice Hardy

Theme Simplified by Larry Brooks

Beyond Good vs. Sucky: Theme by Matt Bird

Theme = Good vs. Good by Matt Bird

Audiences Are More Interested in Ethics Than Morals by Matt Bird

Dare to Confront the Great Hypocrisy by Matt Bird

Nothing Is Wrong Until You Make It Wrong by Matt Bird

Thematic Image Systems by Alexandra Sokoloff

Visual Image Systems by Alexandra Sokoloff

Visual Storytelling – Part 1 by Alexandra Sokoloff

Hand-Me-Down People – Writing and Activism by Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff

(What makes you really angry? What kind of a story could you write about it?)


Book Marketing

Why Marketing on the Power of Cool Just Isn’t Cutting It Anymore by Abby Kerr

The Art of Creating an Authentic Belief System (Otherwise Known as a ‘Brand’) For Fans, Friends + Followers by Justine Musk

Your Legacy is Written in the Thoughts, Attitudes and Actions of Others by Dan Blank

How to Keep Your Audience Interested by Writing Long-Term Story Arcs by Georgina Laidlaw

Copywriting And Making Money As A Writer With Mindy McHorse by Joanna Penn

How to Storyboard a Book For Marketing Purposes by Bob Mayer

Are Book Trailers Dead? by Laura Drake

5 Most Persuasive Words in the English Language by Gregory Ciotti



Self-Publishing or Traditional Publishing? Which is the Right First Step for YOU? Win a Free Book to Help You Decide by Anne R. Allen

The New World of Publishing: How to Get Started Selling Fiction in 2013 by Dean Wesley Smith

Writing on the Ether: Top Literary Agents Talk Author Management at FutureBook by Porter Anderson

Indie Publishing in 2013: Why We Can’t Party Like It’s 2009 by Anne R. Allen

Making Money From Indie Publishing – A Guide For the Hopeful, the Optimistic and the Doomed by Sarah A. Hoyt

All Six Mega-publishers Can Merge, and They Still Won’t Win Amazon’s Game by Sarah Lacy

Why It’s Time For More Transparency in Publishing by Joanna Penn



The Zen of Slow Blogging by Kristin Nador

How to Keep Your Right Readers Addicted to Your Blog (And You) by Justine Musk

Tap User Psychology to Build a Community Around Your Blog by Richard Millington

Blog Titles That Get Clicked by Kenra Daniels

Write Better Headlines With This 7 Step Google Reader Experiment by Demian Farnworth

How to Write a Mind Blowing Headline For Twitter So People Read Your Blog by Jeff Bullas

5 WordPress Mistakes Even Experts Can Make by Sherice Jacob

Make Money Blogging: The Provocative History of Professional Blogging by Ramsay at Blog Tyrant


Social Media

25 Ways to Make Social Media Work For You by Kathy Temean

How Can We Brag Without It Killing Our Online Credibility by Kristen Lamb

Social Media Scrooge by Talli Roland (Annoying practices)

How to Get Targeted Twitter Followers by Jeff Bullas

Hashtags Galore by Stacy Green

The State of Facebook: What’s Working Now? by Andrea Vahl

12 Ways to Optimize Your Facebook Marketing During the Holidays by Mari Smith

How to Verify Your Website on Pinterest and Why You Should Do It by Tehmina Zaman

5 Tips For Creating Pinterest Images People Love To Share by Mitt Ray

Goodreads Ad Campaigns… Should You Take the Plunge? by Monica Davis


Collected Wisdom

Blog Treasures by Gene Lempp

Twitterific by Elizabeth S. Craig

Friday Features by Yesenia Vargas


Deep Stuff

Motivation Like You’ve Never Seen It Before by Jenny Hansen

How To Put Fear in the Back Seat by James Chartrand

Give Yourself Permission to Be Happy by Lyn Midnight

10 New Year’s Resolutions For Writers by Keith Cronin

8 Ways Goofing Off Can Make You More Productive

The Secret Power of Introverts by Jenna Goudreau

Networking For Introverts by Meghan Casserly

Which Writers Are Asking the Hard Questions Today? by Eric Christensen (great SFF recommendations that are fun and make you think)


Fun Stuff

10 Most Unlikely Things Influeced by J.R.R. Tolkien by Amanda Yesilbas and Charlie Jane Anders

Top 10 Most Anticipated Fantasy Books of 2013 by Marc Aplin at Fantasy Faction

Season of Superstition: The Lost Rituals of Christmas by Erin McKean

Theories of Santa Claus by Anissa at Specnology

A Writer’s Night Before Christmas (poem)

16 Holiday Themed SFF Short Stories by Bryan Thomas Schmidt

Link Feast For Writers, vol. 32

It’s Wednesday again and time for your weekly dose of writing links.

This week you might notice that I have discovered a new writing blog crush, Matt Bird’s Cockeyed Caravan. He posts really frequently and pretty much every post is a gold nugget. There’s a lot of good material to share. I’m spacing out his posts for different weeks so expect more links from him.

What is it about screenwriters giving such stellar writing advice? Alexandra Sokoloff has been my go to girl for a long time and now I found talented Mr. Bird.

Anyway, on to the links.
If You Have Time For Only One Thing

NaNoWHAT Now? Small Steps For a Big Change by Kristen Lamb


On Writing

5 Writing Tips From Laini Taylor

Three Big Takeaways From My Book Therapy Storycrafters Retreat by Lindsay Harrel (great insights)

Must I Suffer For My Art? by Jennette M. Powell

Frazzled? Frustrated? Going Mental? 6 Ways to Beat the Breakdown  by Ruth Harris

Success In 90 Minute Increments by Rachelle Gardner

5 Ways Writers Can Cure Where-do-I-begin-itis by Krissy Brady

How Chuck Wendig Writes a Novel

Losing My Religion, Part 1: Misconceptions About Concept by Matt Bird

Wearing the Pants by Jana DeLeon

Losing My Religion, Part 2: Misconceptions About Character by Matt Bird

What I Learned Writing Dreamlander: 6 Types of Courageous Characters by K.M. Weiland

How to Create a Truly Frightening Villain by Marcy Kennedy

5 Tips For Developing Supporting Characters by Nancy Parker

Losing My Religion, Part 3: Misconceptions About Structure by Matt Bird

Do You Suffer From Nice Writer’s Syndrome? by Janice Hardy

Too Much of a Good Thing: Over Plotting Your Novel by Janice Hardy

Actions and Reactions: The End All Be All of Storytelling by Jami Gold

The Matrix: Act One Breakdown by Alexandra Sokoloff

Losing My Religion, Part 4: Misconceptions About Scenework by Matt Bird

Writing Tense Action Scenes by Jodie Renner

WriterStrong: Strong Details For Strong Reader Emotions by Sherry Thomas

Losing My Religion, Part 5: Misconceptions About Dialogue by Matt Bird

Losing My Religion, Part 6: Misconceptions About Theme by Matt Bird

Losing My Religion, Part 7, Misconceptions About Rewriting by Matt Bird

You’ve Finished NaNoWriMo: Now What? by Janice Hardy

NaNoWriMo Ends: Editing Begins by Karen Woodward

At First Draft: The 6 (Minimum) Steps to Revising Your Manuscript before Submission (Wise Ink)

11 Steps to Revise Your Manuscript. Edit Ruthlessly & Kill Your Darlings by Karen Woodward

Editing: Make Sure Your Story’s Bones Are Strong by Karen Woodward

11 Ways Writers Can Turn a To-Do List Into a To-Done List by Krissy Brady

6 Money Saving Tips For Writers by Krissy Brady

Writing Prompts: Defeat Writer’s Block And Generate Ideas by Karen Woodward

7 Ways Writing a Screenplay Is Different Than Writing a Novel by Michael Ferris (fascinating stuff)

Reading Is the Inhale, Writing Is the Exhale: Developing Writer’s Intuition by Justine Musk

How Acting Can Help Our Writing by William Alexander

Query Lines to Make an Agent Sigh by Rachelle Gardner

Have You Ever Dreamed of Your Novel Becoming a TV Series? by Laurie Scheer


Book Marketing & (Self-)Publishing

Do You Cringe When Authors Market Their Books? by Dan Blank

Top 5 Book Marketing Strategies by Dana Lynn Smith

How Readers Discovered a Debut Novel: A Case Study (Goodreads)

4 Elements of Voice {& Why You Should Notice Your Own & Other People’s} by Abby Kerr

Finding Your Voice: How Would You Answer These Questions? (by Abby Kerr)

3 Easy to Engage Your Customers by Patricia Redsicker

Why Aren’t People Falling All Over You (Yet)? by Abby Kerr

What to Do About Your Not Quite Right People? by Abby Kerr

The Creative Badass Manifesto by Justine Musk

Why Writing a Manifesto Can Help You Develop a Creative Vision and Ultimately Sell More Books by Justine Musk

How To Write a Creative Manifesto by Justine Musk

(What’s your creative manifesto?)

Solution For Your Lonely Inbox by Jan O’Hara at Writer Unboxed

(Brilliant way to get more email subscribers: Give them a teaser of what your next newletter contains. And hey, have you ever thought you could do a collaborative newsletter with other writers to give your fans even more good stuff?)

Role of the Literary Agent in a Changing Marketplace by Lori Devoti

Author Publisher Marketing Responsibilities by Janet Kobobel Grant

How Much Does Self-Publishing a Book Cost? by Lindsay Buroker

The Hidden Costs of the 0,99$ eBook by Sunita at Dear Author

KDP Select: Is It Worth It (6 Takeaways From My Experience) by Shannon at DuoLit

Top 10 Self Publishing Blogs 2012 Finalists – Like Your Favorites (and check out the best sites)



How To Start a Blog: 10 Tips for New Bloggers by Amy Lynn Andrews

The Storyteller’s Tale: How a Fiction Mindset Will Empower Your Blog by Larry Brooks

10 Ways to Build Long-Lasting Traffic to Your Author Website or Blog by Jane Friedman

How To Create Your Blog Community by Justine Musk

The Brad Pitt School of Blogging Superstardom by Johnny B. Truant

10 Year End Author Blog Post Ideas (Wise Ink)

10 Addictive Types of Content by Jeff Bullas

Writing Tips From Blackbeard the Pirate by Steffi Metal

8 Elements of Persuasive Writing by Yeremi Akpan

How To Stop Writing Boring Blog Posts by Demian Farnworth

David Sedaris’ Tricks to Great First Sentences by Demian Farnworth

3 Blog Design Tips for Your Prime Online Real Estate by Annabel Candy

Link Building Strategies: How to Get More Links to Your Content by Yeremi Akpan


Social Media

The First 7 Steps to a Successful Social Media Plan for Writers by Lori Lynn Smith

How Many Social Networks Is Enough? by Meghan Ward

5 Motivations For Sharing Content by Jeff Bullas

Facebook: Best Practices For Profiles, Pages, Groups and Posts by Darcy Pattison

How a Writer Could Get Close and Personal on Twitter and Facebook by Justine Musk

5 Tips For Power Tweeting by Jeff Bullas

(Hmm, he advices us to ask for ReTweets. I’ve heard some people say it annoys them and they’d never RT a Tweet asking for it. Naturally a Tweet needs to provide value to be shared. But does asking make sharing more compelling?)

4 Types of Successful Twitter Contests by Aaron Lee

10 Best Pinterest Practices by Sunny Rodriguez

10 Strategic Ways to Optimize Your Pinterest Page [Infographic] by Jeff Bullas

How to Schedule Your Pins on Pinterest by Tehmina Zaman


Collected Wisdom

Blog Treasuresby Gene Lempp

Twitterific by Elizabeth S. Craig

Friday Features by Yesenia Vargas


Deep Stuff

One Cool Way to Find Out What Your Badass Life Is About by Justine Musk

Why Ambition + Motherhood Go Hand in Hand by Justine Musk (*faints* She has twins and triplets! And here I thought I was challenged with ‘just’ twins :P)

Vogue Can Go to Hell – Can I Make Peace With My Thighs? by Kristen Lamb


Fun Stuff

Shooting Faster Than Legolas (4:58 min video)

The Mother of Bad Gifts: Baby Wee Wee (HaHas for HooHaas)

The Next Big YA Movie Franchises by Sara Gundell

The Queen’s Army by Marissa Meyer (Sci-fi short story: To be chosen is an honor. To decline is impossible.)

Fiction Affliction: Genre-Benders for December by Suzanne Johnson (Steampunk, dystopian novels etc.)

Fiction Affliction: December Releases in Fantasy by Suzanne Johnson

Fiction Affliction: December Releases in Urban Fantasy by Suzanne Johnson


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers