Wednesday links: Submission mistakes, quiet scenes and strong female characters

I love regularly reading tips and advice articles in certain subjects — particularly writing and publishing. I don’t always need the information right then, but I know that it’ll eventually come in handy. Or at least, I hope it will.

I know there are a lot of other people out there who feel the same way I do, but sometimes it can be difficult to find every useful advice article that’s out there. So I thought I’d bring you a few. Here are the tips and advice articles that jumped out at me the most over the past week.

1. Fatal Submission Mistakes, from Books & Such Literary Management: If you’re like most writers, you probably worry at least a little bit about making a fatal submission mistake. In this post, Wendy Lawton has supplied a short quiz to help you figure out what mistakes you may be making. Excerpt: “I sense much submission angst out there in writer land. I think a quiz is in order to help you identify some of the fatal submission mistakes a writer might inadvertently make.”

2. 5 Amazingly Simple Ways to Transform Quiet Scenes into Exciting Scenes, from Fiction Notes: Writing scenes that don’t have enough (or any, to be honest) tension is one of my own biggest hurdles. It’s something that I’m constantly trying to fix or improve, which is why I found this post to be so helpful. Excerpt: “Today, I worked on a difficult scene. It wasn’t a big action-packed scene; those are easy. Instead, it was a transition scene that moved the story along a week and had the potential to lose the reader with it’s lack of tension.”

3. How “Strong Female Characters” Still End Up Weak and Powerless (Or, “Do They Pass the Action Figure Test?”), from TerribleMinds: Writing a strong female character means more than giving her physical strength. It’s a lot more complicated than that, but the first step is fairly easy: make her human. Excerpt: “Strong is a word with an often male connotation — it carries with it a lot of baggage. And what we end up with are female characters who are physically strong and little else.”

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