Monthly Link Share – Cliches and Chapter Breaks

Welcome to January’s Monthly Link Share. Today I’m going to be sharing links that have helped me this past month. 🙂

From when to use clichés to how to turn them on their head, this article is really interesting and helpful in dealing with clichés in your writing.

Since I never divide my rough draft into chapters, a question I have to answer when I go back and edit is where to put the chapter breaks. This article gives some great advice as to where those breaks should be!

This article gives 25 tips that are relatively quick and easy to help improve your writing. Number 15 has some great ideas that I’d like to try next time I’m stuck.

I love movie soundtracks, and one day, when I was looking a song from Pirates of the Caribbean, I came across Taylor Davis’s cover of it. It turns out she is a violinist who does covers of movie, TV, and video game soundtracks, and I recognized a lot of my favorite songs from the Legend of Zelda, Doctor Who, The Hobbit, and the Hunger Games. If you haven’t seen any of her videos, check her out! 😀

Thanks for reading and clicking! 😉

~ Kayla

Monthly Link Share – How to Narrate

Welcome to December’s monthly link share! Today I’m sharing some links I’ve found helpful this past month!

For me, narration is one of the hardest things to write. I tend to repeat myself a ton and also worry about keeping the reader’s interest. This article has some great advice for polishing your narration so it’s interesting and the best it can be!

Another thing I worry about is creating likeable characters. This article has some great tips to make sure your protagonist is relatable and not someone the readers hate!

In this article, mystery writer P.D. James gives ten tips for writing novels. Her advice is really good and touches on some points different than the advice that is usually given.

I’m not a huge Christmas music fan, but when one of my favorite artists, Chris August, released a brand new Christmas EP, I had to get it. The whole EP is a great mix of classic Christmas hymns and original songs. My favorite original Christmas song from the album is this incredibly funny and crazy song called, “Tell Me What You Want For Christmas.”

Thanks for clicking and reading!


Monthly Link Share – Inspiration Emergency

Welcome to October’s monthly link share! As I’m sure most of my readers know, next month is November a.k.a. NaNoWriMo month! *throws confetti* Of course, with NaNo right around the corner, I’ve been doing a ton of research trying to prepare for my novel. Today I’m sharing some of the links I dug up that have helped me.

I was going through some old NaNoWriMo blog posts and found this one from earlier this month. I almost went with a steampunk fairy tale idea for my NaNo novel, but changed it back to my current one. I thought this blog post would come in handy whenever I decide to tackle that steampunk idea!

As I mentioned in my character name post, I’ve been stuck between Gaelic names and more modern names for my characters. Thanks to this great list of Gaelic guy’s names from, I’ve decided on Taran for the guy. 😀

One of the hardest parts of writing a fantasy/sci-fi story for me is creating town names. Thanks to town and city name generators, I’ve been able to finally find some great names! This is one of my favorites as you can choose which country you want your names to be from, adding a touch of realism to the story.

As I’ve been editing Snow, I’ve been doing a lot of research into Arctic life. There’s a small town in the very upper north of Alaska called Barrow. I’ve loosely based Northolt, Snow’s hometown, off of Barrow. One of the things that has helped me in writing a more realistic town is seeing the weather forecast for Barrow. I’ve been having a lot of fun looking at it, and it’s helped me have a better sense of just how brutal the Arctic is. I thought I’d share the tip and the link to the forecast. 🙂

Thanks for reading and clicking!

~ Kayla

Monthly Link Share – How to Have a Scottish Accent

Welcome to September’s monthly link share! Today I’m sharing some links with you that have been helpful to me as a writer this month. 🙂

This first link is how to have a Scottish accent. I love these videos for writing accents and dialogues so that I can hear the accent and have a better understanding of the sounds in the accent. There are a bunch of accents in this series such as Irish, Australian, American, and British!

I mentioned on my Quote of the Week that I am participating in Go Teen Writer’s 100 for 100 contest where I have to write 100 words a day. This guest post is a really good reminder how important writing every day is and gives you ways to encourage yourself in that habit. 🙂

Character names are never easy. In case you’re stuck on creating a historically accurate Edwardian baby name, then have I got the link for you!

Speaking of character names, one of my favorite name-hunting websites is Nameberry. It’s not the typical baby name website, as they go in depth on naming trends, historical names, and up and coming names. They have a huge forum section as well, even including a Writer’s Corner. If you’re looking for character names, Nameberry is the place to go!

Thanks for clicking!

~ Kayla

Monthly Link Share – Writersroom

Welcome to August’s monthly link share! I’m sharing some links I found helpful this past month.

When I researched Steven Moffat for my Author Profile post, I stumbled upon a really neat interview he did about writing and his TV shows. That interview came from the BBC’s Writersroom. I poked around a bit on there and discovered it’s a website with all sorts of cool resources for writers! They even have a section where you can send them your script. Even if you’re not a script writer, the website still has inspiring interviews and a whole blog to explore.

This is from my favorite writing blog, Go Teen Writers. Here Ms. Williamson discusses how to create characters using dialect and dialogue. I’ve never actually used dialect for my novel characters since it’s always been a bit of a mystery to me as to how to write it correctly. This was a great post that helped to demystify dialect!

This article is about adding depth and layers to your characters by giving them strengths. It takes you through the processes in an in-depth and very helpful way.

Who knew I liked pumpkin so much? It started with pumpkin pancakes, which by the way are DELICIOUS. They’re even better covered in whipped cream and syrup. Here’s the recipe to amazing and easy pumpkin pancakes:

After pumpkin pancakes, we wanted to know if there was anything else you could do with pumpkin. Apparently, you can. These are the most delicious muffins. It’s a bit like eating a healthy cupcake. You really can’t beat that, can you?

Here’s the recipe we used:

Thanks for reading!

~ Kayla



Monthly Link Share: NaNoWriMo Addition!

In honor of Camp NaNoWriMo, I’m sharing a few links to help my fellow NaNo participants write their 50,000 words!

First up from is a list of NaNoWriMo novels that were actually published. I think this is encouraging to see because sometimes you feel that these 50,000 words won’t amount to anything. Here’s proof that NaNoWriMo novels can be successful, published novels!

While reading through some NaNoWriMo themed articles, I found one written by that bashed NaNoWriMo and the idea of writing a novel in a month. Well, the article below from LA Times Blog defends the idea of NaNoWriMo and dismantles’s argument. The LA Times article was not only an interesting read but a good encouragement to keep going and to keep writing.

If you’re writing a crime or spy novel, or if your character just needs to send a secret message, the page below is a list of cipher and code generators. You input a message, and it’s encoded for you.

My last link is to a new blog I found and have really been enjoying. Dreaming_Hobbit is a blog full of great writing tips and ideas! She also posts movie reviews from a writer’s perspective. If you’re looking for a great writer blog to follow, then check out the Dreaming_Hobbit!

Thanks for clicking! 😉

~ Kayla

Monthly Link Share – Creating Epic Heroes

Welcome to June’s link share! Today I’m going to share some links I’ve found helpful this past month.

This first link has tips on creating epic heroes gleaned from Tolkien’s works. I really enjoyed the article, and it gave me a lot to think about when I’m creating my characters. At the bottom of the page, there are links to other “Tolkien Tips.” You might want to check them out!

Last month, I wrote a post on how to use commas which you can find here. In that post, I linked to two TedEd videos I found really helpful. Well, those two videos are part of an entire writer series from TedEd. I’ve watched several of them and found their advice to be really great.

This is a Tumblr blog devoted to ways you can tell you’re a writer. I can relate to many of them, and it gave me a good laugh!

This was a fun story I found on YouTube about a teen writer who was published. I found it very encouraging!

Thanks for reading and clicking!

~ Kayla


Monthly Link Share – An Answer to “What’s Your Book About?”

Welcome to May’s link share! Today I’m sharing a couple of links that have been helpful to me in the past month or so!

“What’s your book about?” is probably the most terrifying question an author can be asked. One way to stop the answer from simply being “Ummm…” is by writing a logline. While there are plenty of articles floating out in internet-land about loglines, I liked this one because of the series of questions they asked.

A while ago, I played with the idea of having a pen name if I ever did get published. Here’s an article about how to pick a good one.

The final link is from Jennifer A. Nielsen, author of The False Prince. It’s a list of tips that she’s put together for writers. I thought the tips were well thought out, and while I was already aware of a few of them, there were a number of tips I’d never thought about checking my writing for. She also has an awesome blog where she posts writing tips and announcements.

I wrote a post about my favorite writing music on Monday. (You can find that post here.) Well, I love to listen to music even when I’m not writing. One of my favorite artists is Francesca Battistelli. She is a Christian artist who has released three previous albums, and last month she released her fourth, If We’re Honest. I first heard her single “This is the Stuff” on the radio and that led to buying the first album, and then the second, and now I have quite the collection! If you haven’t heard her music before, I definitely recommend it! You can find her website here:

And, of course, how could I not post one of her songs?

Thank you for reading and clicking! 🙂

~ Kayla

Monthly Link Share – How to Find Your Characters

Welcome to April’s link share! I don’t really have a theme for this link share, other than these are some pages that I’ve found helpful this month. So let’s get started!

The first link is actually a Pinterest board I follow from Melanie Wozniak. She has a Character Inspiration board where she pins pictures of people to inspire new characters. I’ve always wanted to find pictures of my characters, but wasn’t sure how to begin and slightly concerned of what the results would be in a search like that. Through her board, I’ve been able to put faces to many of my characters. I’ve found having a picture helps me visualize them in a scene better and have a better grasp of their character.

The next article is not so much about writing as it is about blogging. You may notice that I don’t post a lot of images on my blog, and that’s because I’m never sure about the copyright laws. Can I post that picture I found from Google or that gif from Pinterest? Well, this article from Go Teen Writers helped clear up some of my confusion, so I thought I’d share it with my fellow bloggers!

This is a post I found about what to do if you end up hating your novel half-way through. I’ve been struggling with going from loving to hating my Camp NaNo novel, and I found this article to be really helpful and encouraging.

One of the hobbies I enjoy (other than writing!) is painting my nails. It works out great, because I’ve learned I can type while my nails are drying. Makes for some great multitasking! 😉 Anyway, I follow several nail blogs and Oooh, Shinies is my favorite! She’s got some great tutorials on stamping, gradients, and more. Also, she loves cats and provides a foster home for some adorable kittens which she is gracious enough to post pictures of on occasion! So, if you’re looking for a great nail blog to follow, check her out! 🙂

Thanks for reading (or should I say clicking? XD )

~ Kayla





Monthly Link Share – How to Write a Thriller

Welcome to February’s link share! Following the John Grisham theme from Tuesday, one of these links is his writing advice, and the other is a list he found helpful. 🙂 Let’s get started!

In 1973, Writer’s Digest published an article by Brian Garfield that included 10 tips on writing suspense fiction. These are the tips John Grisham says he used to help him write The Firm. This article from Writer’s Digest lists the 10 tips from the original Garfield article. I’m sure these tips could be used for other genres as well. 🙂

Tony Vanderwarker had seven unpublished novels until his friend and neighbor John Grisham started to mentor him. With Mr. Grisham’s help, Mr. Vanderwarker wrote a thriller titled Sleeping Dogs. This list of “three must-haves of novel writing” are lessons learned from the great novelist.

Last week, I posted a rant about the large number of paranormal romances in the “Y” section of my library. Another concern I have with “Y” books is whether or not they are clean. I really don’t want to pick up a book and find that there’s a graphic love scene or strong language in there. There are some “Y” books I’ve heard about that I’d like to read but I wanted to make sure they were clean before I read them. Enter! Thank you for writing this blog, Ms. Giard! Ms. Kasey Giard reviews young adult, children, and adult books for language, sexual content, spiritual content, violence, and drug content. Through her blog, I’ve found some really cool “Y” books that are clean and great (and vampire-free). I’m reading one now, and it’s excellent. She reviews not only popular books, like Divergent or The Fault in Our Stars, but also some lesser-known ones. I can’t thank her enough for this resource! 🙂

I love music. I listen to it while writing novels, drawing, and blog writing (I’m listening to my Owl City playlist while editing this post). Well, I’m always on the hunt for good music, and when I found Citizen Way, I found some great music! Citizen Way is a Christian band with two sets of brothers: Josh and Ben Calhoun and David and Ben Blascoe. In April 2013 they released their first album, Love is the Evidence. I first heard their single, “It Should Have Been Me” on Youtube and fell in song love and bought the album off of Amazon. All the songs are great and have a terrific sound! My personal favorites are “How Sweet the Sound” and “All Things.” You can find their website here:

And you didn’t think I’d let you leave without sharing a Citizen Way song …

or two? 🙂

Thanks for reading!

~ Kayla