I frequently do craft threads on Twitter, so I have gathered all of the links here to make them easier to find.
If you’d prefer to read these in article post format, head over here.
Please note that no writing advice is universal. If you find any of this advice helpful, please use it! If it does not apply to your materials or situation, feel free to disregard!
Writing An Effective, Enticing Query — If you’re struggling to get your query right, this strategy may work well for you.
[This thread has been endorsed and quoted by multiple literary agents.]
An Alternate Strategy for Writing Queries — Not every strategy is right for every writer. If the above method was not helpful for you, you might try this one instead.
[Endorsed by agents]
Using A:TLA to Outline a Query — EVERYTHING CHANGED WHEN THE FIRE NATION ATTACKED. [It’s silly, but it works.]
Quick Query Checklist — Take 5 minutes before you send out your query to make absolutely sure you have everything you need in it!
Follow the Sub Guidelines — Exactly what it says. So many querying authors shoot themselves in the foot by not following the submission guidelines. Follow directions, and you’ll put yourself ahead of 90% of querying authors.
[Heartily endorsed by literary agents]
POP QUIZ! Do You Know Your Query Etiquette? Round 1 and Round 2 — *announcer voice* Do you have what it takes to survive the query trenches? STEP RIGHT UP AND FIND OUT!
[Endorsed and taken by literary agents — also contains occasional agent commentary]
Not Everyone Likes Eggplant — Learning the difference between “I am a bad writer” and “my book did not suit this agent’s/editor’s tastes” will save you a lot of heartache and angst. (For follow-up, see So Much Comes Down To Taste)
Writing Engaging First Pages — You only get a few pages — sometimes only one — to impress a literary agent. Make sure yours are unique, grounded, and engaging!
How NOT to Query — Learn from the heinous mistakes I made as a baby querying author and save yourself some major humiliation.
[Yep! It’s also endorsed by agents!]
Handling Rejection in a Brutal Business — Every author faces rejection. That is just a fact of the industry and of being an artist in general. But rejection can also be channeled into positive progress.
[This thread has also been endorsed and quoted by literary agents. If you like gif posts better, try Keep Moving Forward.]
Italicized Thoughts vs Direct Narration — One of my biggest baby author sins was throwing in excessive italicized thoughts from the MC’s POV instead of smoothly integrating them into the narrative. This goes through why the latter can be more effective and provides examples of both.
[And, you guessed it, it has also been endorsed by literary agents.]
Filtering and Distancing Language — Don’t put a barrier between your main character and your reader if you’re trying to write close 1st person or 3rd person! Filters and distancing language are easy to remove (and cut down on your word count!), but make an incredible amount of difference.
[Yet again, endorsed by literary agents as well as Big Five editors.]
Don’t Throw the Baby Out With the Bathwater — Just because a scene isn’t working doesn’t mean you have to scrap the entire thing. A few well-placed words can change the tone of an entire scene!
Editing A Book to Death — How much editing is TOO much editing?
[Yep. It’s also endorsed.]
Don’t Be a Dick (especially to assistants) — Assistants do a LOT of the heavy lifting in publishing. Don’t be a dick to them. Seriously.
[Do you even need to guess with this one? YEP. Agents and Big 5 editors and — surprise! — MANY assistants to both]
Historical Research 101 — A basic guideline to doing historical research for books: Rae edition.
[Endorsed by fantastic histfic writers!]
How to Show Power When Writing Royalty and Nobility — Writing royalty and nobility is epic . . . but how do you SHOW how powerful they are?
[Endorsed by lit agents!]
Hope in Failure — On unexpected wake-up calls and how I went from terrible writer newbie with an equally terrible book to an agented author in only a few years.
The Glorification and Myth of the Tortured
Firebender Artist — Hollywood loves to tell stories about mentally ill artists and creators who are forced to choose between their mental health and their art. It’s a damaging and horrific myth that needs to be addressed at every possible opportunity.
What I Wish I’d Known, What I’m Glad I Didn’t –– Publishing is hard af. Some things are useful to know early on. Some can only be learned through experience.
The (Very Subjective) Process of Editing — Every writer has their own process for editing their manuscripts. I break mine down here step by step with examples.
Writing Lessons from the Kitchen — Food metaphors = best metaphors