Five Links 11/30/19
1. https://megdowell.com/2019/11/24/the-things-we-give-up/ “According to my Fitbit app, I haven’t gone for a run in almost three weeks.
As I am writing this, that means the last time I laced up was November 3. And that has nothing to do with the weather, which has been unfavorably wet and cold and awful for most of the month.
It turns out that despite other stressors that have led to my temporarily putting workouts on hold — to be fair, I do walk my Husky every day, and by walk, I mostly mean sprint — I actually stopped running every day when I started working on my NaNoWriMo novel.
Suddenly, I had a daily choice: Write 1,667 words, or run three miles?
I’m the type of person that would normally say “do both! You just have to make time.” This is a fair assumption. I probably could make time for both if I really needed to, and in the past, I have.
But this year I decided I was going to let myself choose between one or the other. And it just so happens that I have chosen to write.
Because sometimes, if you want to succeed in writing, there are things you have to give up. This is, after all, the way. Of things.”
2. https://ryanlanz.com/2019/11/26/4-quick-tips-to-improve-your-stories/ “What is lacking in my story? – The more you write, the more you’ll be asking yourself this question, and if you aren’t careful, it probably means that you’re not getting any improvement.
It’s really important for any professional try getting better at what it is they do, to improve themselves and the quality of their work. As a writer, you sometimes need to stop and really try to analyze your work and find some points where definitely have room to improvement.
Sure, this is not an easy task, but I can give you some tips that might help you through it.
1. Read your favorite authors.
Read your favorite books and authors again, and again, and try to find out what made those works some of your favorite. What made you want to read it in first place? What kept you reading that particular piece? What’s your favorite part? Why? Why does that story seem so good, at least for the reader, and maybe even the author in you?”
3. https://www.thecreativepenn.com/2019/11/27/writing-tips-common-mistakes-in-police-procedurals/ “Accuracy and authenticity are important in every kind of story but this is particularly true in crime, thriller and police procedural novels that involve law enforcement. Author and police officer, Patrick O’Donnell, walks us through the most common mistakes he sees in books and television that involve police forces.”
4. https://jamigold.com/2019/11/the-best-reason-to-blog-2019-edition/ “Today is Thanksgiving in the U.S. The day we eat too much food, roll our eyes at the antics of our extended family, and think about all the things we’re grateful for. Or in my case, try not to worry about my pathetic NaNoWriMo word count while I grab a second serving of
dessert something healthy. *cough*
This Thanksgiving post—where I express what I’m grateful for when it comes to my blog—is now an annual tradition on my blog:
- Nine years ago, I revealed that the best reason for me to blog is all of you.
- Eight years ago reiterated that point with my gratitude for all the friends I’ve made via blogging and social media.
- Seven years ago, I confessed my love of the blogging format because of the connections possible.
- Six years ago, I revealed that blogging for you pushes me—in a good way.
- Five years ago, I expressed my gratitude for the connections we make despite meeting only online.
- Four years ago, I noted how much sharing those connections added meaning to my life.
- Three years ago, I talked about how our connections with online friends can help fill in the holes left when real-life family or friends don’t understand us or stand divided from us.” I’ve thankful for surgeries that partially helped my HS. I may face future surgeries but not as heavy as the former ones.
5. https://megdowell.com/2019/11/27/14-midweek-reminders-for-writers-who-havent-taken-a-break-in-a-while/ “1. You aren’t going to want to listen to this advice. Maybe it’s because you’re afraid of losing your momentum, or that you will never start again once you stop. Whatever your reason, know this: There are no true rewards for pushing yourself so hard you break. No one who wants you to succeed wants to see you broken.
2. A break doesn’t have to last long. It can be an hour, an afternoon, a day. Sometimes people take weekends off, or the occasional Sunday. Sometimes week long vacations suffice. The length of your break is really up to you, and really depends on what you prefer, what you can afford, and what you can personally handle.
3. You should take a break even if you don’t feel like you “need” to take a break. If we are talking about burnout here, the most dangerous part about the condition for creators is that you often do not notice it is happening to you until it’s too late.”
Research & Fun Bits:
1. https://mjmallon.com/2019/11/24/7-psychological-tricks-for-book-promotion/ “Book marketing has come a long way since Medieval scribes advertised their services in the Middle Ages. For one thing, there is an entire branch of psychology that deals specifically with marketing. I recently came across a great post by a marketing student with 7 psychological tricks you can use in marketing. That post formed the basis of this one, only this one deals with book promotion in particular instead of marketing in general. I hope you find it useful!
1. Your Book Needs To Fit Your Genre
It’s important to understand your readers and what they expect from you. Every genre has some common traits. And you need to respect that.
Everything about your book, from your title to the book cover, needs to fit your genre.
Let’s take YA fiction, for example. Your readers will probably be 15-to-25-years-old. The most…”
2. https://allaboutwritingandmore.com/2019/11/24/ideas-come-from-experiences/ “Where do ideas come from? A lot of people would say things like “the imagination” or “from contemplation”. While slightly accurate, these aren’t really answers. Instead of directly addressing the question, they skirt around the edges of the issue without taking it on. It’s sort of like when a little kid asks “Where do babies come from?” and you answer “from love”. While that answer is somewhat true, these kinds of dodgy responses don’t have a lot of meat on their bones idea-wise. So, going back to the original question, where DO ideas come from?
The answer is as simple as it is elegant. Ideas come from experiences. What you do, see, read, hear, taste and touch all form the raw materials out of which great, and not so great, ideas are born. What this means is that ideas are not born in a vacuum. No one came up with a great idea after spending all their time surrounded by the same four walls. Ideas are like seeds. Seeds need water and light and warmth to germinate, grow and bear fruit. Ideas also need water, in the form of experience, and light, in the form of events, and warmth, in the form of encounters, in order to germinate, grow and bear their own special fruit. In other words, if you want to come up with great, game changing ideas, you need to get out and experience life.”
5. https://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com/2019/11/26/redneck-thanksgiving/ “He is my son’s dog. My oldest is having one of those Thanksgivings where he had to go to the in-laws’ s house. Opie doesn’t do well at the boarding kennel, and none of them really do. Guess where he is spending his Thanksgiving.
He’s well mannered and trained, unlike my heathens. He plays ball like a pro, and is not allowed on the furniture.
Don’t tell my son, but he might be developing some bad habits.”
Some Things More Serious:
2. https://mybipolarmind.com/2019/11/24/maniaaa/ “If you couldn’t already tell by the title and picture of this post, I am feeling pretty manic today. My mind is going a million miles a minute and my fingers and mouth can’t seem to keep up. I keep making so many typing errors already just because I am trying to type as fast as humanly possible since my mind is going so fast.
I was in a very, very happy/euphoric mood since I first woke up at 1 a.m. But since it was so early, I was told to go back to bed. So I did; until about 6 a.m. After that, I was up for the day. However, that happiness is already starting to fade and get replaced by agitation and frustration.
I am utilizing my main coping mechanism by writing this blog post; which some of you already know that mechanism is writing. I love to write. It helps calm me down and refocuses me. Even my sponsor agreed that writing should be my main goal today.”
3. https://www.thecreativepenn.com/2019/11/25/writing-with-a-family-productivity-andrea-pearson/ “How do you find the time to write when you have a busy family life? How do you stay creative while still managing to run a successful business? Andrea Pearson shares her productivity tips in today’s show.”
Teaser Fiction & Poetry:
Book Reviews, Cover Reveals, & Author Interviews:
1. https://mariacatalinaegan.com/2019/11/25/canticle-caster-prophecy-book-1-by-laverne-lewis-genre-urban-fantasy/ “She’s a human with a busted ticker. He’s an ancient warlock. The only thing they have in common are birthmarks that flare to the point of pain when they’re together. But fate has other ideas…
Studying abroad despite her advancing heart disease, Leilani Gibson squeezes all the joy she can out of life. Literally bumping into the most handsome guy she’s ever seen while Christmas shopping should be the best thing that’s happened to her in quite some time, but she knows he’ll disappear when he discovers her secret.
Born into a family of Casters, Stellan Kierkegaard lives his life away from the reminder that he alone is the only one un-mated in his coven. When he collides with Leilani at a Montreal mall, his gallant attempt to get her to the hospital when she succumbs to congestive heart failure takes an unexpected turn. Now he’s forced to withhold some secrets of his own.
Stellan poses as Leilani’s fiancé until she gets the medical care she needs, but the more time they spend together, the more intense their feelings become as their birthmarks flare. If Caster prophecy is to be believed, and this reaction is only triggered in true soul mates, they must hide this fact from a trio of zealous Caster royals who have been tricked once.
The Caster couple who bears the foretold birthmark is prophesied to knit dark and light covens to lead the Caster World. Yet how can this be when Leilani is by every indication, mortal?”
2. https://amytruebloodauthor.com/dear-debut-author-stop-and-enjoy-it-by-laura-heffernan/ “Dear Debut Author,
Congratulations! You’ve entered a very exciting time of your life, the time immediately before your publishing dream finally (finally!) becomes a reality. That’s amazing! It’s also very busy and very stressful, so I’m here to remind you to stop and enjoy it.
Publishing your book is a journey, not a destination. It can also be a rather bumpy ride, with a few potholes, some lane changes, detours, and possibly thunderstorms. That’s all normal. Deal with things as they come up, but also appreciate the rainbows.
One of the best things I ever did for myself is join a debut author group. I made a lot of friends there. We shared knowledge, we supported each other. But it’s also very, very difficult not to compare yourself to the other people in that group. Some of them got bigger advances. Some of them are signed with the dream agent who rejected you. Some are being published with a bigger house, or your dream editor. Many of them will sell more copies than you. They’ll have bigger launch parties, better covers, higher Amazon rankings. None of that matters.
There is so much in traditional publishing that is beyond our control as authors. It can be frustrating. But the thing is you wrote a book. You wrote a book that someone liked enough to want to publish it for you. Follow your own path, live your own journey. Don’t worry about what other people are doing.
That’s easier said than done. What helped me is to make a list of publishing milestones that I would like to achieve. These aren’t goals, because there’s largely nothing I can do to make them happen (other than writing a fabulous book, but you already did that, didn’t you?) They’re just things that it would be cool to experience, and I put them in list form so that when one happens, I can smile and check it off. When I’m feeling down, I can pull out the list and look at it to see how far I’ve come.”
3. https://www.thisishorror.co.uk/book-review-bone-china-by-laura-purcell/ “What’s clear from this book and its two predecessors is that Laura Purcell is a master of her craft. She is steadily building a body of original work, within a specific subgenre, yet with each release distinctive and original from the last.”
4. http://www.fantasyliterature.com/reviews/moonlight-and-ashes/ “This is one of three fairy tale retellings by Sophie Masson that are only tangentially based on a traditional tale, the others being The Crystal Heart (Rapunzel) and Scarlet in the Snow (Beauty and the Beast). Moonlight and Ashes (2012) tackles Cinderella, and is quite possibly the best of the three. Incorporating elements of the story that are usually forgotten in retellings (such as the magical hazel tree) and Masson’s own imagination, it’s a fun and unpredictable fantasy adventure.”