I know . . . don't rupture an aorta from the shock of me putting up two blog posts in as many days, but this seemed like a good add-on to what I blogged about yesterday. I mentioned there are several fantastic writing blogs and websites out there that provide a plethora of informative, insightful and amazing advice. And best of all, you don't need to change out of those grungy sweats you wouldn't dare be caught dead in, nor abandon your favorite writing chair or let your morning coffee grow cold on the counter. You can garner all this info., free of charge, right from your computer. So sit down, get your mouse clicker finger ready, and be prepared to be enlightened.
GOT GRAMMAR ISSUES?
First off, does your grammar suck? Are you like me and abandoned your basic grammar skills after 10th grade, only to have that come back and bite you in the butt when you decided to become a writer? Well, guess what. Have I got a lifesaver site for you! http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/ Grammar Girl is my new best friend. Unfortunately, we can't go have a latte together now and again or paint each other's nails, but she does give me the skinny on what I'm doing wrong and how to fix it. You can even subscribe to her newsletter and get great grammar tips daily. Another great grammar site is http://grammar.net Grammar.Net has a lot of the same stuff as Grammar Girl, as well as a section where you can actually cut and paste chunks of text to analyze it for errors. It catches things even my Word Grammar checker did not. They also have a newsletter you can subscribe to, and I find the tips in it very helpful.
WONDER HOW TO WRITE A QUERY? OR *shudder* A SYNOPSIS? AND HOW THE HECK SHOULD I FORMAT THIS DOCUMENT?
Glad you asked! There are soooo many great blogs out there, many run by agents or writers, that give the insider scoop on the way things should be done. Some will give you examples of great query letters, formatting tips, do's and dont's, and answers to just about every publishing question you can think of. Here are some of the best ones I've found:
Nathan Bransford is an ex-agent from Curtis Brown, Ltd., who is now a self-described publishing civilian working in the tech industry. He is also an author, and holds my current personal record for fastest rejection ever - a mere 43 minutes from query to pass, but I still love his blog anyway. To me, he is THE go-to source if I want answers.
Mary Kole from the Andrea Brown Literary Agency also provides an incredibly insightful blog, including resources for writers and information about upcoming events and conferences. Mary is a highly respected agent, a YA and middle grade author, has a strong web presence, and knows her stuff. She encourages readers to send her questions directly that she can address on the site. You can get lost for hours on there.
Chuck Sambuchino's Guide To Literary Agents blog features fantastic articles and interviews, as well as a platform for writers to share with other writers how they got their agents. He spotlights new agents, providing a great opportunity to approach someone new. You can spend hours going through the back archives and garnering great insight from industry professionals.
Jessica Faust at BookEnds LLC has probably answered more "when in doubt" questions for me than she knows. There are so many great entries here. The information is shared with humor and heart.
Rachelle Garner at WordServe Literary also has an amazing blog. Her information is spot-on, short and to-the-point. QueryTracker often includes links to her blog. She talks about everything from author platforms to query advice and beyond.
Sarah Davies at Greenhouse Literary offers up a wealth of advice on every topic under the sun. She is honest and forthright, and tells it like it is. She has a great sense of humor and I guarantee if you follow her tips, you will improve your writing.
Jenny Bent of the Bent Agency has a fantastic blog called Bent on Books. In fact, I was once writing back and forth with one of her clients and he told me, as I was describing my time in the trenches of query hell, to check out her blog, that it was one of the best he'd seen. I agree. She makes you laugh and offers up gems that are invaluable.
This is just a small sampling of what's out there, and should keep you busy for a while. There are also countless blogs written by authors from every genre, and often they will have links to other blogs you may enjoy in the same vein. We are fortunate to live in a time where so much knowledge is available to us with a simple click. Take advantage of it. And keep on writing!!!