Collected all in one place, the link post links on writing. (I am not accumulating the crime ones because most of those are news stories and therefore more transient.) These are through March 31st.
How to write about sex without being boring by Charlie Jane Anders
A pretty balanced view on swearing: Good Bad Language: a post about swearing by K.J. Charles
The Tyranny of Motive by David Corbett – giving depth to characters’ motives. This is a bit “chewy,” a lot of information to digest, but I think overall it’s useful.
The Spreadsheet of Shame. This Excel setup allows you to track your daily word counts and see when you’re getting ahead…or falling behind. I haven’t used it myself (although I did download it), but I know people who swear by it. (Instructions on its use at the link, including how to download the spreadsheet.)
From the creators of South Park…no, I’m not kidding…their Writing Rule #1. (It’s video; the swearing is bleeped.) Never thought you’d get a good storytelling tip from those people, did ya?
10 tips and tricks for creating more memorable characters by Charlie Jane Anders.
25 ways to write a real page-turner by Chuck Wendig. (He swears. You’ve been warned.)
The Benefits of Doing an Editorial Map (hat tip to frequent AMW attendee Fiona Skye for the link). If you’re done with the draft but having trouble going about your revisions, this may be something to try.
Things You Should Know When Writing About Guns by Chuck Wendig. Always good reminders for those of us who rely on these weapons in our writing. Also, there are some good additional notes in the comments section. (The usual warning for Chuck: he’s swear-y.)
Seriously, What’s So Bad About Adverbs? by Charlie Jane Anders. “Really, the advice should be: ‘Use adverbs sparingly. And don’t use any unnecessary words at all.’”
Lesson One: Burn It by Brian Staveley. Learning when (and how) to let go of writing and chapters that don’t really fit the story.
Polling Your Intestinal Flora: How a Writer Cultivates Instinct by Chuck Wendig (standard Wendig disclaimer: he’s swear-y)
The gap in your narrative– the things you may be summarizing that would be better as full scenes.
Worldbuilding the Real World by Anna Zabo. Worldbuilding is an essential part of science fiction and fantasy, but you also need it for real-world settings so your audience can get a feel for a place that they may never have been.
10 questions to ask your characters, for character development. There’s lots of this sort of thing around, but this is a good start.
The Promise of the Book, about first lines and passages.
Stirring higher emotions. (On getting your audience to invest in the story.)
Thoughts on writing/Being a writer/The book biz:
The Future of the Future of Books – thoughts on the predictions of the future of publishing and bookselling, and how some often-cited comparisons to other industries (i.e., music) get it wrong.
Reality Check: Canon’s See Impossible “Author” Ad. A nice breakdown of problems with this ad from a self-published author’s viewpoint.
For those looking at traditional publishing, Treat Querying Like a Job (although from reading the article, it’s more like a job search)
How To Promote Yourself And Your Books On Social Media Without Feeling Like A Soul-Selling, Sleaze-Sucking Slime-Glob by Chuck Wendig (Chuck is sometimes swear-y, but has lots of great advice)
The introvert’s guide to selling books at a convention. While this is fantasy-oriented (talking about DragonCon), the principles are the same for any type of book and venues like the Tucson Festival of Books, or Left Coast Crime (which will be in Phoenix in 2016).
Debut Author Lessons by Mary Robinette Kowal – This is actually a link to a tag on her blog, with a series of posts on everything from author photos to book signings. While she writes fantasy and is traditionally published, most of the information can be applied broadly.
Authors, Please Don’t Do This: Advice on approaching bookstores.
Yes That’s Spam, No Don’t Do It – how to avoid alienating readers on social media
Pitching your novel: Story hook vs. story heart.
For fun (with various definitions of fun):
The Care and Feeding of Writers by Julie Butcher-Fedynich
Cotard’s Delusion by Dr. Lindsey Fitzharris. Not really mystery-related, but might give someone some ideas. Cotard’s Delusion is a neurological disorder in which people who are alive think they are dead. The PET exam results are really interesting.
A portrait of the Freeman Ranch, the “body farm” in Texas.
Fingerprints may be able to be reproduced through photographs. Not a good thing for biometric security, if this is true. (The hacker said he did it, but doesn’t look like there’s much actual evidence.) Writing a futuristic thriller? This might be the info for you.
The next frontier of hacking: your car. Car systems are linking more and more to the internet, leaving space for hackers to get in. This has huge implications for self-driven cars, particularly. But you don’t have to look ahead to use this in a story – this article points out that those insurance company-provided plug-ins (that give them data to potentially lower your insurance bill) have no security, and have the potential to be hacked with the right know-how.
Cars not your thing? “Smart homes” are vulnerable too. The newest security measures listed in this article are interesting too. Could the “FakeTV” and other automated systems provide your suspect with an alibi?
The time a hacker remotely “bricked” cars in Texas. Granted, this guy had a reason to have a password and understand the software, but just goes to show it’s not impossible even now to remotely mess with cars.
If you missed this from a week or so ago, KGUN9 did a piece on an officer-involved shooting from the officer’s perspective (video).
Need your protagonist to be able to escape their captors? Here are three ways to escape zip ties.