What I Read, Part 1: Blogs

In On Writing, Reading, Writing Tools by BronwenLeave a Comment

There’s been a bunch of talk in my spheres lately about what folks are reading to learn about their craft. I found a bunch of new things to explore, and I figure I should share. This week I’ll post about the blogs I follow, and later I’ll go into the books I love.

RSS Feeds and Readers

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication (how cool is that?) and basically it’s the tech that makes it possible to alert people when new content goes up. You use a feed reader application to translate the code into something readable, and get notified of that new content as it appears. The symbol is that little orange square with the white radiating lines. This blog has one at bronwenfleetwood.com/feed

For a long while I was a devoted user of Google Reader. Mostly I used it to keep up with webcomics. But then college got busy and eventually Google shut Reader down, and I was bereft. Recently a decent alternative has appeared in the form of Feedly. Accounts start at Free and you can follow 100 feeds.

Unfortunately, unlike the rest of the internet which is obsessed with sharing, Feedly only lets paying members share their lists. So I’m going to do it manually.

My Writing Feeds

Janet Reid, Literary Agent — Janet is also known as the Query Shark. QS doesn’t get updated too frequently anymore, but Janet still answers several questions a week from readers. She WILL tell it to you straight, whether or not you like the answer.

Neil Gaiman’s Tumblr — Because Neil Gaiman. Also answers questions from readers, often about writing.

Tor.com — Tor is a publisher of sci fi and fantasy, and Tor.com not only publishes its own line of fiction, online and in dead tree format, they also do a ton of other cool shit like re-examining popular sci fi and fantasy, talking about current events, and writing.

Whatever, by John Scalzi — This is a newer one on my list, since I’m not a Scalzi reader myself.  But, he’s something of a powerhouse in the realm of sci fi, and so he’s often cited in community discussions. Worth keeping an eye on.

Writer Unboxed — A group blog about writing, with some luminary contributors. Thoughtful pieces.

Flogging the Quill — Discovered via Writer Unboxed, where they do Flog a Pro. Take the first page of a bestseller and ask yourself, if it weren’t famous, would you keep reading? Same concept.

Writers in the Storm — Another group blog on a variety of writing topics.

Writer’sDigest.com — The big kahuna. Often features things like ‘What I learned doing XYZ’.

Brenda Drake — The mastermind behind a bunch of writing contests, and a writer herself. Good way to stay appraised of deadlines and such, plus they do general craft articles.

Carly Watters, Literary Agent — Another new one for me, based on recc’s from others. Doesn’t update too frequently.

diyMFA — Lots of great information, and a reminder to keep working hard on learning. (Plus I have to keep up with Robin Lovett’s posts!)

Goodreads Blog — Good to keep an eye on what this massive community is up to. The blog seems to mostly be fluffier things and promotions.

Jane Friedman — A writing guru. Industry news as well as craft.

KidLit.com — Mary Kole is a former literary agent turned book coach whose blog about writing for kids has won Writer’s Digest top sites for writers awards multiple times. She also has a book out that I love, and like the blog it’s mostly about general craft.

NaNoWriMo.org Blog — Gotta keep up with these folks beyond November!

SFWA — The Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America. A lot of craft and some industry goodness.

TerribleMinds — Chuck Wendig’s blog. How I love this man. He swears like nobody else, making him both hilarious and wise. Lotta craft. Basically the best thing in my inbox.

Writer Beware — An offshoot project under the SFWA umbrella, Writer Beware keeps tabs on all those shady publishers, shmagents, and contests you wonder about.

Also worth checking out

io9 — All things sciencey, which includes science fiction. Often has entries all about craft, and examines sci fi with seriousness. They post about other cool stuff, too. It is primarily a news blog, not for writers.

Bronwen Fleetwood — Because duh!

Photo: Robert Scoble‘s RSS hats in China

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