Beth Hautala

Children's Author


Friday Five

1. Get to Work—Tips & Tricks for Writers.

Plotting in Layers. Last week I was really wrestling with some plot issues in my current work in process. My characters' motivations seemed shallow and half-hearted, certainly not enough to drive the plot, which was somehow growing a little fuzzy in my mind. I was even beginning to entertain thoughts of story dismissal, when I stumbled across Janice Hardy's Blog, The Other Side Of The Story, and in particular, her post on plotting. I've read a lot of material on plotting—developing the story background, intentions, and actions of your characters—but never anything that helped me answer some essential questions as effectively as this post did. Working on a story (novel or short story) that needs some help? Consider running it through Ms. Hardy's plotting questions. It might be the best thing you've ever done for your writing.

2. What to Read—Book Reviews and Recommendations.

What To Read Next. Ever finish a book you just adore only to find that you're hooked on the genera or the style, or the plot themes, or . . .   Me too. And it's so frustrating when you want something similar but can't find it! Like, something with magical realism, two characters who are also sisters, a touch of clean romance, and a food element—preferably cake. People just look at you a little strangely when you start listing off story elements like that. Solution: What to read next, a book title generator that allows you to select four story elements and search by preference. Want to read something beautiful, a little sad, set in a faraway place, about dogs? No problem.

3. Writing For Social Media—Blogging/Tweeting/Status Updates/And What's Worth Saying Online.

How to Grow Meaningful Traffic To Your Site/Blog. Ever wonder about the ins and outs of blog traffic and why it matters, or what to do about it? Check out Jane Friedman's post on this. Not only is it helpful and informative, but it puts some confusing concepts into easy-to-understand terms. A great piece, especially if you are a relatively new blogger, like me!

4. Media—Fun Publishing/Writing-related Videos and Music

5. Be Encouraged—Stories of Writing Success (from those who've been-there-done-that).

50 Iconic Writers Who Were Repeatedly Rejected. As a writer, it can be difficult to face rejection over and over and keep on keeping on. Believe me, I know. Good news: we are not alone! Every writer, even the best, has been rejected. Take a look at their stories and be encouraged. And keep writing.

Any of the above helpful or interesting? Share it! —Online information is only as good as the community that encourages others with what they’ve learned . . . Thanks to those who’ve taken the time to teach me a thing or two!