In the Blogosphere: 8/9-8/13

“In the Blogosphere” is a series, which lists links to writing-related blogs I’ve stumbled upon throughout a given week (usually).

I’m admittedly behind with my Blogosphere posts—I have about 50 links saved, dating all the way back to May/June-ish (oh noes!)—but they are all still worth a look.  I’ll catch up eventually, right?

CONFERENCE GOODIES

You know how, when you go to some writers’ conferences, they give you a goodie bag?  Well, here are some links that are better than that!  Yes, they all are from kids’ lit conferences, but the skills are not just for kids’ lit writers.

Here, get soundbites from tons of industry professionals at the recent SCBWI L.A. conference—courtesy of the fabulous Michelle Schusterman of YA Highway.

The more I say "goodie bag," the more I want to giggle. #growup

In this post, over at Adventures in Children’s Publishing, the inimitable Martina Boone presents us with literary agent Elana Roth’s two cents about high concept (from the SCBWI ME/DE/WV conference).

Also, if you *weren’t* one of the thousands who attended this week’s free online writing conference, WriteOnCon, get out from under your rock and click here to check it out.  Most (if not all?) of the posts and vlogs are up there.  Such a fab event!

YA YA YA

Here *are* some things specific to YA writers.

This adorable post, by the equally-as-adorable Nathan-Bransford-repped Natalie Whipple teaches you how to Tweet and blog like a YA author.  Yes, I am guilty of all these things.

I’ve posted links on this subject before (mostly by Andrea Brown lit agent Mary Kole), but here is Deborah Halverson—The Editor’s—take on swearing in YA lit.

Also, over at his blogThe Book Deal—editor Alan Rinzler shares tips on writing YA from three Dystel & Goderich Literary Management agents, Stacey Glick, Michael Bourret, and Jim McCarthy.

ON KRAFT*

It’s all about the mission, baby.  The Storyfixer, Larry Brooks, discusses what makes a successful short story.

In this post at See Heather Write, freelancer/editor Heather Trese uses one of my favorite shows (How I Met Your Mother) to discuss character consistency.  Or lack thereof.

Why, yes - I *am* the cheesiest!

And while we’re on the subject of characters, Seth Frederiksen talks about how to make leading characters great at Fuel Your Writing.

As a little precursor to a “Pointers from the Pros” post I will be running soon, here’s The Donald (Donald Maass), over at Writer Unboxed, talking about creating tension.

*In case you missed my D.Maass/RWA10 post earlier this week, here it isPimping out her own blog? Why, yes, she is! (And talking about herself in third person, too—what a freak-a-zoid!)

I don't know what you hearrrrd about me . . . (What ever happened to 50 Cent anyway?)

HEHE

I heart these fellow Clevelanders and YA authors, Lisa and Laura RoeckerHere, they talk about how writing novels is a little like peeing your pants.

Oh—and this is why I love YA author John Green:

*See what I did there? 🙂

In the Blogosphere: 6/7-6/18

“In the Blogosphere” is a series, which lists links to writing-related blogs I’ve stumbled upon throughout a given week (usually).

THE NEXT STEP

I’ve focused a lot here on the blog about querying, but what about the next steps?

Here, QueryTracker’s Mary Lindsey asks Erin Murphy Literary Agency’s Joan Paquette about agent-requested revisions.

D4EO Literary Agency’s Mandy Hubbard also weighed in on this subject, both from the author’s perspective as well as from the agent’s perspective.

Over at the Guide to Literary Agents blog, guest blogger Felice Prager tells what to ask an agent when you’re lucky enough to be offered representation.

And, once you’ve signed and you’re working with an editor (and the revisions keep rolling in), here’s some advice from Greyhaus Literary Agency’s Scott Eagan on how to work (productively) with an editor.

Step one (one one): We can have some fun . . .

CHARACTER RELATIONSHIPS

One thing that deserves much attention when you’re plotting, writing, and revising is how characters relate to one another.  Curtis Brown, Ltd., agent Nathan Bransford discusses dynamic character relationships by referring to one of my YA author heroes, John Green Squee!

On her blog, Writing It Out, dystopian YA author Beth Revis talks about creating compelling love triangles, where something is at stake for all three characters—not just the third wheel.

Decisions, decisions . . .

TRENDY VS. TRUE

Over at Writer Unboxed, Ray Rhamey makes some important points about following industry trends as opposed to staying true to the stories you want to write—even if they aren’t “what’s hot” right now.

"He's so hot right now!"

GREAT NEWS

Dying to go to a writers’ conference but can’t afford it?  Write kids’ lit?  YA authors Elana Johnson, Lisa and Laura Roecker, Jamie Harrington, Casey McCormick, Shannon Messenger and Jen Stayrook have pooled their awesomeness to bring us a FREE, online writers’ conference—WriteOnCon—Aug. 10-12.  Canyoubelieveit??? Click here for details.

HILARIOUS AND A HALF

Since I’m always a fan of grammatical humor, here’s Allie of Hyperbole and a Half’s take on idiots people who write “a lot” as one word.

In the Blogosphere: 5/31-6/4

“In the Blogosphere” is a series, which lists links to writing-related blogs I’ve stumbled upon throughout a given week (usually).

CONGRATS ARE IN ORDER

A few weeks ago, lit agent Kate Schafer Testerman of kt literary hosted a picture prompt contest on her blog, and fellow SWO member Alicia Caldwell tied with another writer for first place.  Her entry was certainly memorable.  Click here to give it a read.  This earns Caldwell a 30-minute phone conversation with the agent extraordinaire—and, as Testerman is YA author and writing hero of mine Maureen Johnson‘s agent, color me jealous!   Congrats, Alicia!

The next person I’m opening virtual champagne bottles for is up-and-coming YA author Michelle Hodkin.  Not only did Hodkin score Fox Literary Agency‘s own Diana Fox as an agent a few short weeks ago, but last week, she also landed a two-book deal for her debut YA series, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer.  Truly awesome news, and I couldn’t be happier to have met her at a conference last fall or that all her hard work is coming to fruition like this!  Congrats, Michelle!

Dudes--don't forget I knew you when, when "everybody knows your name"!

HOW-TOs

This next post comes from YA authors Lisa and Laura Roecker, a sister duo, who are quickly becoming some of my favorite lit peeps out there.  I mean, not only are they from my humble homeland, Cleveland, but they also crack me up with just about every blog post—what’s not to love?  Here, they give suggestions on how to be perky like Kelly Ripa without becoming a cokehead or a caffeine pill addict like Saved by the Bell‘s Jessie Spano.  What’s not to love?  I, for one, could definitely use perkiness pointers!

Over at Adventures in Children’s Publishing, Martina Boone and Marissa Graff take a comprehensive look at how to craft successful scenes.  Definitely worth bookmarking.

She doesn't look very excited here!

CHILL, BABY, CHILL

I’m sure every writer has experienced the gut-wrenching awfulness when someone reads his/her book.  Will they like it?  What will they say?  Will this change how they view me?  If they don’t like it, does this mean it’s not publishable? In this post, the Rachelle Gardner-repped Jody Hedlund discusses this very thing and gives some insight as to the different perspectives of agents, publishers, and even your grandma as they read your book—and suggests with how much salt we need to take their reactions.

You really like me! I mean . . . do you??

RESTORING MY FAITH IN HUMANITY

Here, the Roeckers are at it again, making me even more of a fangirl with a mere post about how Sex and the City 2 sucked and how the unfortunate flick is a microcosm for why the rest of the world hates America.  I’m glad someone said it!

CONTESTS

In celebration of the awesomeness that is going on with her writing career, Michelle Hodkin is hosting a contest over at her blog.  Check it out!

As well, Inky Fresh Press is running a romance contest—don’t miss your chance to win some great (signed) books by Kate MacAlister and Cherry Adair!

In the Blogosphere: 3/29-4/2

“In the Blogosphere” is a weekly series, which lists links to writing-related blogs I’ve stumbled upon throughout a given week.  Most posts will be from that week, but if I find some “oldies but goodies,” I’ll throw those up here as well.

I never find as much time to read blogs as I want, but here are a few posts that struck me this week.

BAD WRITERLY HABITS

Science fiction writer Liana Brooks talks about a bad habit she has that I think most writers (myself included) also need help with: impatience.

If this post isn’t a kick in the pants, I don’t know what is.  On her blog, Between Fact and Fiction, upcoming young adult author Natalie Whipple explains “How to Wallow.”

Coffee has played a significant role in my days for the past several years—hell, I’ve been drinking the stuff since I was about nine years old!  Being that I’m genetically cursed when it comes to being anxious and being that the query stage of writing has kicked up those natural tendencies about 15 notches, I’m trying to cut back.  (I just bought decaf to mix with my fancy flavored coffees!)  But in honor of that bad habit, the drink I love—the drink that doesn’t always love me back—here’s The Oatmeal‘s 15(ish) Things Worth Knowing About Coffee.

From time to time, I have this bad habit, too! *doink*

INSPIRATION

This week, author and contributor to QueryTracker Elana Johnson had an awesome idea—paying it forward.  She and several other blogging authors interviewed 75 fellow authors who’ve “made it” (i.e., they’re agented, some have book deals).  Among the tons of inspirational stories these writers shared, I’m highlighting two:

Okay, so now that you’re totally inspired by those writers’ “pay it forward” interviews, what will you write?  Jonathan Morrow offers 10 tips on how to get your writing juices a’ flowing at Copyblogger.

THE CRAFT

On the Will Write For Cake blog, the Joanna Stampfel-Volpe repped kids’ lit author Lynne Kelly Hoenig lists some ways she injects characters’ feelings into her writing without “telling.”

APRIL FOOLED

Here, Jessie Kunhardt of The Huffington Post describes 11 great literary April Fools’ jokes.

FOR FUN

Ever wonder what those literary agents are really doing day-to-day?  FinePrint Literary‘s Suzie Townsend and Nancy Coffey Literary‘s Joanna Stampfel-Volpe fill us in on their secrets.

Finally, here’s some Venn Diagramming I can get behind.  The Great White Snark outlines the differences between the insults many of us grew up being called: nerd, dork, dweeb, and geek.

Venn Diagrams? Lucky.

In the Blogosphere: 1/18-1/22

“In the Blogosphere” is a weekly series, which lists links to writing-related blogs I’ve stumbled upon throughout a given week.  Most posts will be from that week, but if I find some “oldies but goodies,” I’ll throw those up here as well.

I never find as much time to read blogs as I want, but here are a few posts that struck me this week.

RESOURCES

Over at his blog, The Book Deal, editor extraordinaire Alan Rinzler shares some tips on hooking agents and editors.  He also gives examples of good hooks.  This blog is chock-full of all kinds of writing tips and just brimming with awesomeness, so check it out.

Over at WOW! Women on Writing, fellow Writer’s Digest contributor Kerrie Flanagan gives tips on how to pitch an agent.

The Oatmeal has become one of my favorite sites, with its hilarious lists on various subjects.  I mostly love it for its grammar and spelling tips—although, I’m a little biased, as its style is reminiscent of the approach I used when I taught grammar.  This post on spelling had me laughing out loud (ROTFL).  This is my favorite:

I wrote two posts this week, mentioning poetry and screenwriting.  If these areas are foreign to you, the folks over at Writer’s Relief can shed some light on them.  Learn some poetry lingo here, and get some screenwriting resources here.

At Editorial Anonymous, learn a thing or two about deciphering those rejection letters with this tongue-in-cheek post.

As I discussed earlier this week, when I came to the end of last week’s fight to finish my manuscript, I realized my original title no longer worked.  Desperate to be done with the thing and eager to apply the icing on my literary cupcake (what??), I, naturally, turned to the Internet for assistance with titles.  I found some help at Writing-World.com, Writer’s Digest, and eHow.

LIT AGENTS

Blogger sisters Lisa and Laura Roecker give some of Nancy Coffey Literary agent Joanna Stampfel-Volpe‘s tips on synopses.

WordServe Literary‘s Rachelle Gardner offers some advice on perfecting that elevator pitch.

As well, FinePrint Literary‘s Janet Reid details what a writer needs to have ready when looking for an agent for fiction, memoir, and nonfiction with this straightforward list on her blog.

Last but not least, The Last Will of Moira Leahy author Therese Walsh of Writer Unboxed asks her agent, Elisabeth Weed of Weed Literary, about voice—something not easily defined, yet something every agent seeks.

UP FOR DISCUSSION

Over at Fiction City, my writer buddy, Lisa Katzenberger, asks: How Soon Do You Start Critiques?

Here, Robert McCrum of The Observer talks plagiarism and lists some famous examples of authors’ works which have been accused of it.

In this guest post on Rachelle Gardner‘s Rants & Ramblings, editor Chuck Sambuchino asks, “Would you pay more for an agent?” And many weigh in…

CONCERNING A WRITER’S NEUROSES

I shall keep these three posts close by during this query (and, hopefully, submission) process:

Yes, that's "Monk."

OPPORTUNITIES

Like to read?  Like to blog?  Here, Thomas Nelson PublishersMichael Hyatt tells how to get your hands on free books and get your name out there by reviewing them.

Don’t forget to enter my contest here on the blog.  Click here for details on my easy-peasy contest, and see how you can win a brand-new 2010 Guide to Literary Agents!

JUST ‘CAUSE

I’m with COCO.