Monday, January 25, 2016

The Top Five: Best Writing-Related Articles from January 18-22

5. "Newsletter = Marketing Gold" on Romance University (Tonya Kappes)

Link: http://bit.ly/1OTOCwo

There's a lot of talk among writers and freelancers about the importance of a blog, but have you thought about putting together a newsletter for your readership, as well? When you want to reach a lot of people and keep them engaged in your work, and with how you can benefit them, an email newsletter may be just the thing. Check out this post for tips on what to incorporate into a newsletter and how to get one started.

Do you have a newsletter from your website or blog? How often do you send out updates? What's the most popular item in your newsletter from one to the next?

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4. "Setup and Payoff: The Two Equally Important Halves of Story Foreshadowing" on K.M. Weiland

Link: http://bit.ly/1OLdE3a

When writing a work of fiction, or a memoir, for that matter, foreshadowing is one item in your toolbox that, when used well, really ramps up the tension and causes the reader to keep turning pages, way past when he or she should have put your book down for the night. But for foreshadowing to be effective, it needs two things: not only a fantastic payoff at the end, but also a subtle but consistent setup from the beginning, so that readers have something to anticipate. Don't overlook this incredibly powerful writing tool.

What's the most important plot point you foreshadow in your current work-in-progress (WIP)? Find a way to subtly allude to the eventual payoff twice more in your manuscript, between the setup and the payoff as they now stand. Report back: how did it work?

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3. "The Difference Between Setting and World Building" on Fiction University (Janice Hardy)

Link: http://bit.ly/1QoEfU9

Maybe you've always wanted to write a fantasy or science fiction novel, but you're not sure where to start. Or perhaps you only write in sci-fi and fantasy, and now you're looking to create a story in the usual, modern-day world. Authors who work with fantasy and science fiction tend to be most familiar with world building, while authors of everything else are usually pretty good at establishing setting. What's really the difference? Find out here.

Are you world building or creating setting in your current WIP? How do you know? Was that your original intent?

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2. "11 Tricks and Mythbusters of Writing" on The Writer's Dig blog at WritersDigest.com (Renee Rosen, guest columnist)

Link: http://bit.ly/1lMd6iZ

How many times have you heard that writing is a solitary activity? Or that editing isn't really important as long as you have a good story? Ever wondered about the truths of those statements? This expert post puts to rest six myths about writing, including the aforementioned (whose answers may not be what you think) and then adds five writing tips to better your skills. Don't miss these points!

What's your least favorite writing myth? Which writing myth have you found to be false? What's a writing myth that has an exception (or two) to the stated rule?

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1. "How to Be a Successful Blogger: Follow These Two Major Tips" on The Write Life (Chuck Sambuchino, guest columnist)

Link: http://bit.ly/1SETQlQ

Author Chuck Sambuchino, on staff with Writer's Digest, knows a thing or two about marketing. He's the author of the user-friendly book Create Your Writer Platform, about which I cannot say enough good things. His expertise in the writing industry is legion, so when you see his byline, it's time to sit up and take notice. This post, intended to exponentially up your blogging game, is absolutely no exception.

Which of the two major tips had you heard before? Which will you begin to implement immediately? What one step will you take first to get started?

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BONUS: "The Single Biggest Mistake Self-Published Authors Make" on Fiction University (Marcy Kennedy)

Link: http://bit.ly/1ZOKX8o

Yes, two posts highlighted this week from Fiction University, and this one is a bonus to the usual five articles I list every week because it was way too good to leave out of the lineup. And frankly, I think the insight Kennedy provides here applies to all authors ... not just those who are self-published. What's the one thing you need to stop and fix before you move any further in your writing work and career? Read this post for the answer, and resolve the problem immediately!

What mistake did you think Kennedy was going to write about in this post? How did you react when you read her suggestion? What will you do now, in response?

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There's the lineup for last week, plus the extra article. Enjoy, all!

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