Links for Writers 2008.12.16

* The New York Times says more women would give up sex than the internet. Dear Author wants to know if you would rather give up books or sex for two weeks? And we want to know if you would rather give up writing or sex?

* Jeff Vandermeer shows through photos the various stages of the manuscript in making a novel.

* Write to Done lists 10 Free Resources Every Writer Needs.

* Jaye Wells shares a typical day in the life of this urban fantasy author:

“6:55 Sit down with my first cup of the day and my laptop while Spawn eats and watches cartoons. Periodically give Spawn the countdown till we leave.”

* Pictures of Neil Gaiman’s writing space, circa August 1989:


neil-gaiman-aug-1989-nutley-sussex-2It’s cramped and cluttered and loaded with cool stuff, but there’s something charming and comfortable about being surrounded by all those books.

Wednesday Links for Writers 2008.11.26

* Are we stampeding lemmings suddenly? Agent Colleen Lindsay on why we shouldn’t panic about the HMH buying freeze.

* Agent Colleen Lindsay answers “When should you list your publishing credits in your query letter?”

* Agent Colleen Lindsay again [I think I love you! You’ve got great linkage!] on how to format your query for email.

* The Rejecter answers lots of questions about formatting your manuscript.

* Agent Jenny Rappaport gives up the proper email address for submitting your queries.

* Over at Tor, find out what happens after the book is written.

* Simply Stated: home & organizing has several posts about transitioning to a paperless office:

* Transitioning to a Paperless Office
* Organizing Files in Your Office
* Organizing Files & Folders on Your Computer

* Great bookshelves inspired by DNA & graphic art

Wednesday Links for Writers 2008.11.19

* via agent Colleen Lindsay, Stephen Barbara’s article on The Great American Query Letter. Barbara is an agent at the Donald Maass Agency. “The publishing industry holds few secrets. And so, the outré query letter is no longer the norm. Today we see the heavily work-shopped query letter, labored over, proofread, professionally edited, smart-looking, enticing you to read on to the writing sample. Where, miserably, that throwback, Washington Generals–style badness hits you straight between the eyes again.”

* bookshelves via Interior Design

* Cory Doctorow on why he copyfights. Important information for everyone. On the Internet, copying is automatic, massive, instantaneous, free, and constant.”

* grandfather clock bookshelves via Interior Design

* via Agent in the Middle: agent Jenny Rappaport is breaking away to start her own agency, The Rappaport Agency. Rappaport specializes in “science fiction and fantasy, as well as YA, and romance”.

Writing Links Wednesday

Kimi posted her notes from DragonCon. Hop on over and have a gander at all the happenings. Kimi also passed on some LKH gossip: “In her panel interview at DragonCon Laurel K. Hamilton admits to putting important plot points in her sex scenes now since many complain about the sex in her books and say they skip over them.” I wonder if we’ll be able to skip over whole books without losing too much. I’m also wondering if these “important plot points” will stick out like a sore, um, thumb. Yeah.


C.E. Murphy on the “Which to write first: short stories or novels?” debate.


Agent Colleen Lindsay is giving lessons on Pimpin’ Your Book.
The Economics of the Average Bookstore Event
The Economics of the Galley, or Why You Can’t Have a Zillion Copies, Thanks!
How To Effectively Work With Your Publicist
What is Publicity and Marketing Anyway?


Susan Lyons is talking about using Four Letter Words in your novel.


Agent Kristin gives us a list of Agents Who Should Be on Your Radar.


Write to Done has 5 Clever Ways to Keep Your Muse on Speed Dial.

Secrets of Writing

Urban fantasy author Jocelynn Drake has a three-part series of posts about the Secrets of Writing. Excellent advice here, folks.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Write to Done offers 7 Ways to Crucify Your Content. Though aimed at bloggers, this post delivers great advice to all writers in this age of being your own editor.

IO9 on Why We Deserve Better Villains and How To Get Them. Listen up, writers, and take notes ’cause it’s your villain that pushes your protagonist, therefore your protagonist is only good if your villain is better. In particular I loved the “How Villains Lose Their Shit” part of this post. Over-explaining loses every time. It is human nature to fear the unknown. Tap into that, use it to make your villain scary, memorable.

IO9 also gives us The Rules of Quick and Dirty Worldbuilding. Ignore the part about “Worldbuilding is the art of creating an alternate universe where the rules of present-day Earth life don’t apply” because we all know that even though urban fantasy is set in present-day Earth, there’s still worldbuilding to be done.

Maya Angelou has this to say about understanding character, but I think it serves well for creating characters:

I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he or she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.

Resources for Writers

The internet gods are smiling and all seems to be working again. I shall endeavour to put up a few posts before Yet Another Thunderstorm hits my area. It’s tough to work without power. ;o)

For Writers
Agent Colleen Lindsay dissects UF author (and client) Kelly Gay’s query letter. Ms Gay wrote an excellent query letter and it’s easy to see why she won over Ms Lindsay. The dissection is extremely helpful for anyone at the query stage. Bookmark it if you’re not there yet.

Lilith Saintcrow tells us the secret to writing— namely, there is no secret. This is an excellent bit of insight into what it takes to succeed at writing, in a rip-the-scab-off-quickly kind of way. No sugar-coating.

Meljean Brook discusses her writing process. It involves a lot of re-reading, but I suspect this method keeps her in touch with the story.

Need to include medications in your story? Check out for all the info. [via Writtenwyrd]

Over at SF Novelists, Kelly McCullough posted a list of indexes of writing resources. These are some very handy-dandy lists for writers and authors.

Special Video Bonus for Writers
Author Jackson Pearce made this hilarious video about how the writing/publishing process does NOT work: