Recommended reading

How to make a writer giddy:

“I was up until 1am finishing Twenty-Somewhere last night! I was so hooked into those characters.”


That was a completely unsolicited reaction from fellow writer Sherrie Petersen, who I only just “met” and don’t know in real life.

(Unrelated but true: her blog Write About Now is full of interviews, anecdotes, and other writing-related goodness. Case in point: it led me to Slush Pile Hell, which is hilarious, and a great pick-me-up for any writers who are worried that their queries suck. (Trust me, they don’t.))

Anyway, while Sherrie’s comment (!!!) fuels me through some more of the 20SW proposal and sample pages, I leave you with this recommended reading. Enjoy!

  • “Look at your feet” by Michelle Woo
    If you’re so busy staring at your goal in the distance, it’ll seem like you’ll never be able to get there.
  • “Structure” at Michael Hauge’s Screenplay Mastery
    Though writing a successful Hollywood movie is certainly not easy, the stories for mainstream Hollywood films are all built on only three basic components: character, desire and conflict.
  • “Alphabet Soup” by Susan Orlean
    As some great philosopher once said, it’s like déjà vu all over again.
  • “When anyone can be a published author” by Laura Miller
    What happens once the self-publishing revolution really gets going, when all of those previously rejected manuscripts hit the marketplace, en masse, in print and e-book form, swelling the ranks of 99-cent Kindle and iBook offerings by the millions? Is the public prepared to meet the slush pile?


  1. Todd Newton says:

    Great links, I am checking them out now!

  2. Shari says:

    Ah, is that not one of the best feelings EVER, when you know someone has found a connection like that with your work and characters? How can you not be giddy?!?

    Loving the links!

  3. Shari says:

    P.S. Is it okay if I link to your blog on mine? I love following along on your publishing journey and want to help you spread the word! :)

  4. Kristan says:

    HAHA, that is a most definite YES, no need to ask. Thank you!

  5. Sonja says:

    I wish I were in the mood for pick me up advice, but I think a list of “throw in the towel and give up already” links would have been more suited for me today.

    But now I’m smiling. The mere idea of you creating a list like that is quite funny. Never in a million years.

    (I dare you. ;) )

  6. Awesome links–I’ll have to try looking at my feet more often!

    I’m off to take a nap…trying to catch up since a certain author made me lose my beauty rest :)

  7. Kristan says:

    Heresy! (Although only the 1st one is really advice.)

    Normally I would be mad/jealous at you for taking a nap, but in this case I’m just going to grin contentedly. :)

  8. Sarah says:

    That’s super great! The English call that being “chuffed.” So glad you get to have a feel of your real potential as an author too. xx

  9. Les says:

    I’d be giddy too ;) congrats!

  10. Pseudo says:

    Good timing there Miss. I’m finally settling into a routine that leaves a space for my writing. (as opposed to graduations, birthdays, aging mothers, and teen fires that need to be put out).

  11. Kristan says:

    “Chuffed”? Hahaha, cool. I was chuffed!

    Awesome possum! I hope you’ll post some writing on your blog this summer. :)

  12. J. P. Cabit says:

    Awesome feedback, I can feel your giddiness! (It’s too bad I don’t usually get that kind of feedback…maybe there’s something wrong with me…or my feedbackers, lol) -j.p.

  13. Meghan says:

    Great entry (per usual)! Congratulations on the awesome feedback. It’s wonderful how one little good-hearted comment can brighten your day. :)

    I was just watching “Adaptation” last night, so it was fun to see Susan Orlean’s name pop up here. I’m on an obsessive Charlie Kaufman kick right now. :)

  14. Kristan says:

    All in good time, I’m sure. :)

    That movie is a hoot! And Kaufman is excellent. I think Eternal Sunshine is my fave of his, and one of my faves ever.

  15. Jon says:

    Great links. I love Slush Pile from Hell…now I know the snarky things going through agents’ heads when they reach my manuscripts.

  16. Bronnie says:

    ooh this is great idea!

    always after fun blogs to read :)

  17. I read that article by Laura Miller – it’s a theme that’s been talked about multiple times during this whole “death of publishing” thing that’s been going on, and largely I think it’s a very interesting and accurate point of view. I have a few other thoughts on that particular topic that I hope to share in a blog next week that are a little more nuanced, though.

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