Writers’ Toolbox: Links of the Week #20

Writers’ Toolbox: Links of the Week #20

S.J. Maylee

Happy Saturday! What? It’s Memorial weekend? OMG, what am I doing inside. I have weeding to do, plants to put in the garden, roses to train, books to read, a MS to edit…and more blogs to read 🙂 I have a pretty collection for you today and don’t forget to listen to Jeff’s music selection today. You won’t regret this listen, it’s powerful.

Writer Business

Suzanne Rock at Romance on a Budget shares a tip Do you have Business Cards?

Plots

Darcy Pattison at Fiction Notes had some great reminders 5 Plot Fixes for Peace Makers

Alan Chin posted this week Writing Tip #36 Story Starter Questions. Very interesting collection of 12-questions. A quick test to see if your plot is missing something.

Janice Hardy at The Other Side of the Story had a brilliant line at the beginning of her post on plots this week: “The house is story. Decorating is plot.”…

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Writers’ Toolbox: Deciphering Blurbs & Reviews – Romance Fiction

Deciphering Blurbs & Reviews – Romance Fiction is more amusing than it is informative, but if you’re in the process of writing your blurb, synopsis, pitch, or query letter, this article is a must-read. It’s not a how-to guide, but it does point out words that are overused in book proposals, and the negative connotations they have attached to them.

Writers’ Toolbox: Mastering the Dreaded Synopsis

I cringe when I see the word synopsis. It’s a dreaded task that makes rewriting look easy. So much rides on those few pages, it impossibleto not be intimidated. However, thanks to the web, writers now have access to endless guides and examples. Two articles that I recommend are Mastering the Dreaded Synopsis and A Few Winning Synopses. The first gives pointers, while the second article is a collection of synopses’ of sold manuscripts.

Writers’ Toolbox: Bookends, LLC — A Literary Agency

Much like Pub RantsBookends, LLC — A Literary Agency is a blog written to help aspiring authors land an agent. These agents know it’s not easy, because they’re the ones that reject hundreds of queries every week. Believe it or not, they are not out to get you, and they enjoy giving rejection about as much as you enjoy receiving it. So do yourself a favor and keep and eye on these blogs and others like them.

Writers’ Toolbox: SlushPile Hell

When it comes to writing query letters, I cannot tell you what to do. I can explain format and what agents/publishers expect, but there is no secret formula that I know of–if you have one please share the wealth :). What I can offer you is SlushPile Hell, a blog that will tell you things you shouldn’t do.

It might not be a secret formula, but it’s a start.

Writers’ Toolbox: The Association of Authors’ Representation

We have discussed Writer Beware and Predators & Editors. Both are invaluable websites when you’re trying to decide who to query. Another great resource for checking the credibility of an agency is The Association of Authors’ Representatives(AAR). AAR is a nonprofit organization dedicated to setting a standard for agents. In order for agents to gain an AAR membership, they must met certain requirements and agree to the a code of ethics. It’s kind of like a Better Business Bureau for literary agents.

Remember, not all reputable literary agents belong to this organization, and the ones who do aren’t monitored at all times. Make sure to use all resources available to make sure you’re not being scammed.

Writers’ Toolbox: Predators & Editors

Predators & Editors is the place to go when you’re in search of an agent. There are a lot of websites out there that keep a running list of agents, and even searchable databases, but those websites are not always aware of how trustworthy those agents are. Predators & Editors is great about keeping their website up-to-date on which agents are reputable and which aren’t. So, before you send out that query make sure to the check the credibility of the agent your querying.

Writers’ Toolbox: Duotrope’s Digest

I have to thank Caszie for introducing me to Duotrope’s Digest. It’s the go to place if you’re looking to get published in the fiction or poetry market. They have the most comprehensive list of publishers that I’ve come across, and they have a detailed search engine. You just type in all the details of your manuscript, and tada, you have a suitable list of publishers to submit to. Better yet, they have response time stats and acceptance rate stats, and they gather this information through their submission tracker; which could be highly beneficial to you if you’re looking for a way to keep up with all of your outgoing submissions, and publishers you’re interested in.

Writers’ Toolbox: Absolute Write & Romance Divas

Writing is networking. If no one reads your material, then what is the point of writing it? The best way to put yourself out there and make connections, is to join a writers’ community. They are the perfect places to meet like-minded individuals, potential beta readers/critique partners, and keep up with the current industry news. My favorites are Absolute Write and Romance Divas.

Take my advice register for an account with at least one of them, today. You won’t regret it.

The Blurb

It’s sounds like a bad horror film, and if you’ve ever written you’ve one, then you know that’s not such a bad comparison. Blurbs are hard work. You have to sum up the concept of the plot, introduce the characters, and engage your readers in two paragraphs or less.  It’s enough to make any writer consider a career change. I wish I knew of some secret formula to make writing blurbs easy, but there just isn’t one. The best advice I can give you is to familiarize yourself with as many blurbs as possible. Writing is a “watch and learn” process, so browse your local bookstore and pay close attention to the blurbs. Which ones catch your attention? Why? Which ones didn’t?

A blurb that caught my attention today was Vivian Arend’s Black Gold. It’s short, funny, and intriguing.

Their wolves are howling at the moon. Their human halves are on different planets.

Takhini Wolves, Book 1

Lone wolf Shaun Stevens’s automatic response to the words “happily ever after”? Kill me now. Yet with all his friends settling down he’s begun to think there may actually be something to this love-and-roses crap.

One thing’s for sure: his dream mate will have to out-cuss, out-spit and out-hike him. So he never expected the one to push his forever button would be a blue-blooded Southern debutante with a voice as dark and velvety as her skin.

When Gemmita Jacobs steps off the plane in Whitehorse, Yukon, it’s about more than her caribou research project. It’s her declaration of independence from an overprotected upbringing. Except there’s something in the air she can’t quite define—something that unexpectedly rouses her mating instincts.

Moments after their eyes lock, the deed is done—and done thoroughly. When the pheromone dust settles, though, all the reasons they don’t belong together become painfully clear.

It’s enough to make a wolf learn a whole new set of cuss words…


Product Warnings

Two strong wolves getting exactly what they deserve. Includes wilderness nookie, shifters being naughty in public places, the Midnight Sun as a canopy for seduction and grizzly shifters on the loose. Oh, and don’t forget the sarcasm.