Wednesday links: Imagination, smart characters, query requests and pitch websites

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. Well, the past two weeks, this time around.

1. Are you letting your imagination starve?, from Laurel’s Leaves: You might think that using your imagination means you don’t need to do research. Well, you might be way off base in that assumption. Excerpt: “Research has become something of a dirty word among a certain breed of fiction writer. These folks consistently argue that they write what they know and therefore never need to do such a nerdy thing as check facts.”

2. Cheering on Smart Characters, from NA Alley: No, your character doesn’t need to be a genius. But they probably shouldn’t be entirely stupid, either. Excerpt: “I don’t want the suspense novel hero to triumph by accident.  Please, writers, make your characters smart.”

3. Why Aren’t I Getting Requests?, from QueryTracker Blog: There could be a lot of reasons why an agent didn’t choose to ask for pages after reading your query. This post is a good reminder of some of them. Excerpt: “Out of your list of dream agents, not a single one even asked for a partial. Why?”

4. Manuscript Pitch Websites: Do Literary Agents Use Them?, from Writer Beware: I’ve heard of manuscript pitch websites before, but I’ve never used one. Something just didn’t quite seem like a fit with them. Turns out, I’m not the only one who feels that way. Excerpt: “Manuscript pitch websites, a.k.a. manuscript display sites or electronic slushpiles, often present themselves as new! Revolutionary! Disruptive! Truth is, they’ve been around for as long as I’ve been doing Writer Beware (more than 15 years now–gulp).”

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