Happy Sunday! Every Sunday, I feature some helpful links from around the blogging world/Internet. We have a lot of links this week, so I could ramble a bit like I usually do, but I think it would be better to just get down to it! Here are some of the best links I found this week. (Feel free to add your own in the comments!)
So you all might know my friend Jessica Love. She describes herself as tall, blond, and pretty sarcastic. All of which are totally accurate. She is also awesome. Here is a picture of Jessica and I at SCBWI-LA.
If you met me there, chances are good that you met her, too, because we were doing the "stick together like clueless noobs" routine. Well Jessica started a writing blog, which is awesome because now in addition to stalking her on Twitter, sending her 12 emails a day, and reading her fabulous YA review blog, I can now also read her writing blog. And you should too.
Amna from Girl in Between is working on a collaborative project about WHY WE WRITE. She is awesome and has entertained me on multiple occasions. So you should help her out.
Wondering how to start a novel? Maggie Stiefvater shares her 7 Super Sekrit Steps. (OK, they're not really secret, but I thought that sounded fun.)
Kate Hart, in a follow-up to her awesome agent story, talks about some of the things you should ask an agent.
Writer Ian Hocking discloses why, after years of working with his agent and sending multiple novels out on sub, he's decided to retire from writing. (Not really an inspiring post, but certainly enlightening.)
Literary agent Mary Kole, who runs the awesome blog KidLit, talks about mature/sarcastic/snarky voice in YA - and when not to use it.
Speaking of KidLit...ever wonder about Slush Pile fatigue? Do agents just pull out some queries because the other queries around them suck so much that the queries they pulled are better by comparison? Find out here.
Your minor characters are just as important as your major characters, but sometimes - especially in the first draft - they fall flat. Wondering how to make your minor characters shine? Check out these 5 steps to creating dazzling minor characters, from WordPlay.
Working on your final polish and seeing a lot of the same words? How about taking a look at this list of synonyms for commonly used words and seeing if you can replace a few of those repeats.
There are two great posts on writer envy this week. One, from author Steph Bowe, (in a truly beautiful post) talks about how she doesn't really understand the envy. Another, a guest post over at Pimp My Novel, discusses how writer-envy is normal, and how even though we help each other we can all only go through the gate one at a time. Hm...
Having some plot troubles? Janice Hardy helps you figure them out by asking a few simple questions.
It might seem like, in the grand scheme of your huge novel, one sentence doesn't make a difference. But YA Highway sees it otherwise. (And it seems like these sentence strengthening posts are going to be a series, so, yay!)
And finally...an epic contest from Emilia Plater! She's giving away critiques from agents, signed books, candy, and more! Check it out here. Or don't. Because I really want to win this one. So I think no one else should enter and that will just make me the winner. Done and done.
Hope everyone has a great week!
Can you believe how early in the day I posted this week? Get this - I actually scheduled this post in advance! It's a Sunday Funday miracle!