You have to take advice before you can give it. If you’re trying to share an experience, knowledge, or story, you have to be well-versed in that world.
This goes for a lot of things. Read books before writing them, learn calculus before tutoring your neighbor, bake that iffy cupcake recipe before suggesting it to your coworkers, especially if they’re going to bring it in next week and you’ll have to smile and take a big bite, wondering why it’s so gritty (and if there’s real sand in there, not just unincorporated heaps of sugar).
Yeah, that spiraled to specificity pretty quickly. Moral of the metaphor is this: Research is important, especially if you want to give advice. And I do want to share advice and experiences and stories. So here’s some of the blogs and articles that have given me advice that I can, in turn, give to you!
3 Stages of Editing — This is a pretty brief article that covers the three basic stages of editing. I’ve talked about editing a bunch of times, but this article is very concise. I agree wholeheartedly with the process (even if I do some of the steps out of order occasionally—I’m looking at you, copyediting stage).
Analyzing the First 250 Words of Bestsellers — We all know a first page/chapter has to be polished. It’s important for getting agents, editors, and readers to commit to your book (kinda like a first date). Nicollete promises to go through the first page of several bestsellers and analyze what makes them great. I have high hopes for her analyses, and I think it could spawn really productive conversations.
New Leaf Literary’s Tumblr — Stepping aside from the fact that I signed with Pete Knapp at New Leaf and I’m now one of their clients, I’ve been following New Leaf’s blog for a very long time. A year, at least? Probably more? Either way, this blog’s shining point is that the staff at New Leaf (most often Suzie Townsend) answer questions about querying, publishing, representation, and more! Their blog is where I learned about Pitch Wars, the wonderful contest that resulted in me getting an agent.
Pete J. Knapp’s blog — While I’m being biased, here’s my agent’s blog. I highly suggest you follow the blogs of agents you admire (particularly those who answer questions about the whole process, like Pete), as you’ll learn an incredible amount of vital information about the querying process and the business. It really is invaluable to understand where agents are coming from, what type of people they are, and how they operate.
Authors on Tumblr (Victoria Aveyard, Maggie Steifvater, John Green, etc.)— Tumblr is one of the biggest platforms on the internet for blogging and interfacing with others (along with Twitter). It’s cooperative, user-friendly, and has the almighty Ask feature. More and more authors are responding to Asks and engaging with their audience in wonderful ways. Fan art, interviews, hilarity, and community abounds! So, find your favorite authors on Tumblr (and Twitter!), if they are there, and see how they interact with their fan base. It’s invaluable to see author’s insights, the way they present themselves on their public forums, and how they interact with others.