Best Tweets for Writers (week ending 2/19/10)

I watch Twitter, so you don’t have to. Visit each Sunday
for the week’s best Tweets. If I missed a great Tweet, leave it in the Comments. Always
welcome your suggestions on improving this weekly feature.

Best of Best

Trends in fiction from agent Chip MacGregor

Writers: If the phrase “dazzlingly brilliant hues” sounds good to you, read these tips from @moonrat

Trade secrets on getting your book noticed

Stand Alone

One more time ~ rhetorical questions not great in a Q. As soon as the answer to “have you ever…” is NO, you lose.

The protagonist should not be able to just walk away from the conflict

Before submitting a manuscript, put it away & write something else. Then reread–places that need work will stand out

Don’t say things like “my friends & family LOVED this.” I am sure they did, but I don’t want biased opinions from your pals.

Publishers don’t nurse you; they buy and sell you. P.D. JAMES

Writers should never query an agency that doesn’t list the agents by name.

Getting Published, Agents/Editors

Rather than query 1K of your favorite agents at once, try 5-7

Tips on pitching agents and editors in person

What makes lit agent @RachelleGardner say no after she’s requested your mss

Top reasons for rejection … and acceptance

Craft & Technique

What is ‘high concept’ in writing?

Realizing something is wrong with your manuscript

Don’t spoil the story with clumsy foreshadowing.

Basic Picture Book Construction
[for picture book writers]

Publishing News & Trends

Interesting article about blog-to-book deals, a trend apparently not slowing down (but fiction writers need not apply)

Twitter, Blogs & Social Media

10 reasons people aren’t commenting on your blog

Concise Answers to Your Top Beginner Blogging Questions

Twitter Chats For Writers: schedule, tips, tools

Marketing & Platform Building

Do authors really need to promote their own books?

Leverage Relationships to Sell More Books

Piracy vs Obscurity: Which Is Worse For Authors?

Self-Publishing and E-Publishing

Authorship in the Information Age
[long but very worthwhile]

Resources & Tools

23 Websites that Make Your Writing Stronger

8 More Free Toys And Downloads For Authors

The Writing Life & Fun Stuff

“My MFA Workshop Responds to My Twitter Status Updates.”

Linking to Writer’s Digest

21 tips to get out of the slush pile – tweaks for reviving a rejected story or writing |editing your 1st draft

More effort should be expended on your story’s 1st sentence than on any other line in your entire story.

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9 thoughts on “Best Tweets for Writers (week ending 2/19/10)

  1. Jane Friedman

    @Dana – You may want to check out some thoughtful books that we’ve published, lik:


    These are all very thoughtful titles along the lines of what you’re describing.

  2. Kate Gould

    Hi Jane,

    Just wondered if you would be interested in adding @finelineedit to your recommended tweets. I put up tweets with links to interesting articles from the Fine Line Editorial site by writers on how they write, tips and advice, authors and books explored by The Criticess, and competitions. I think they would be of interest and use to writers. Do feel free to take a look.

    Thanks for taking the time.



  3. Dana

    Alice Munro’s story Free Radicals:

    The protagonist is tired of reading books, nothing appeals to her. So she makes up a story and tells it to another person (a person who she may have imagined as well). She makes up this character and this story in order to satisfy some sort of narrative urge within her.

    Telling stories in conversation. Revising stories in conversation. These are under-explored aspects of the writing process.

    Thanks for listening,


  4. Dana

    I have searched the Internet for quite some time for a community that is focused on the artistry of writing. A community that is interested in how metaphor develops and expresses itself over time spent writing; a community that is interested in how to blend characteristics; a community that is comfortable with using source material in exercises much the same way painters stand in museums and sketch classic art; a community that uses models to write from–perhaps even uses role play among a couple of people in a group to create different scenarios just as a painter might arrange a vase of flowers to draw; a community that is interested in exploring the correlations between imaginary friends and character creation (don’t you think imaginary friends are a very pure form of character creation?); a community that is interested in discussing the hundreds of rhetorical devices that are available to writers; a community that is interested in the hows and whys of making writing that is satisfying to the self rather than satisfying to some other; a community that is interested in prose style, in idea movement within paragraphs; a community that is interested in exploring how the revision process is a representation of cultural narrative selection; a community that is interested in discussing how the different goals of writing practices lead to different exercises and expressions; etc.

    This would be my ideal writing community, but such a writing community does not exist. It seems the people who are more interested in process can be found in the visual arts and in the theater. Why aren’t writers more process oriented? I do enjoy reading some of the exercises suggested in the script-writing blog; they recently suggested copying an episode of a show you are interested in writing for. That’s an exercise I can get behind!

    You are right when you say there is not much quality information online on these topics. It’s rather frustrating. Your February issue does touch on some of these things, but I think in general, the online writing world is populated with product-oriented viewpoints rather than process-oriented viewpoints. I suppose that if a person lived in a city they could get some training in process, and perhaps some artist retreats could help, but it seems like people interested in process perhaps haven’t figured out how to get it online in a compelling way. As it is right now, a person has to pull together information from a bunch of different Internet locations in order to learn anything in this vein.

    Here’s a web site with some interesting ideas on moving from "real life" to "fiction":

  5. Jane Friedman

    Dana – Really appreciate the comment, thank you.

    I’d love any suggestions you have for sites/blogs (or Twitter users) who regularly share this information. I don’t find much quality information online on these topics.

  6. Dana

    I’m a little sad there isn’t more about ART and PROCESS. Even the articles under the Craft and Technique heading seem to be oriented towards getting published.

    Perhaps a link to a piece on artistic cross training, discussing the correlations between painting, musical performance, dramatic forms, and writing. Or something about the correlations between living and writing. Or something about the different purposes of art. Do you know how many different reasons people throughout history have had for making art? I think it would be worthwhile to publish an article that explores different reasons for writing. All this business about getting published gets tiresome to people who don’t care to be published. Thanks.


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