Thursday, January 27, 2011

Changes, They Are A'Coming

Just a heads up that I'm in major re-vamp mode for the blog right now. You may notice some little changes as I update labels and titles in preparation for the big reveal. Why am I doing this? Because there are over 500 articles about writing on this blog now, and I want to make it a lot easier for folks to find what they're looking for.

In the next few weeks, you'll see a big change. Things like...

A comprehensive outline and index to more easily find posts on the topics you need
Easy links to often-searched posts
A cleaner, more professional look
Links to more writing resources
More search-able headlines

This last one is a bit of a bummer to me, because y'all know how much I love my tongue and cheek headline. But I really want this blog to be as helpful as possible, and someone looking for help finding an agent will naturally type "how to find an agent" into their search engine. My post on finding an agent is called "The Hunt is On!" and it would never show up in that search. And it's a good post, too. Some of my titles are also pretty long, and that makes it hard to really see what the post is all about at first glance. Pretty important in an RSS feed or Twitter post. So I'm making a sacrifice so folks can find what they need with as little hassle as possible. I can be cute any time, right?

If you have any suggestions on things that would make the blog more helpful or easier to manage, just let me know.


  1. I'm looking forward to see how you can possibly improve on awesome, hee hee ;D

    And, meh. I appreciate your sacrifice for us, but I'll be sad to see the clever titles go, too =(

  2. I have no particular suggestions, but I just wanted to thank you for all the effort you put into this blog. It's consistently helpful and insightful. You're wonderful.

  3. This is so exciting! Don't worry, we'll still find you charming for the rest of the post. ;)

  4. Unless they're especially long, you don't have to scrap your titles entirely. You could try something like this - "The Hunt is On: Finding An Agent."

  5. Wow. Over five hundred articles on writing? I have no idea how you do it, Janice. I can't even think of five hundred writing related subjects. I do love this blog!

  6. It's pretty clean and professional-looking as it is, so I'm intrigued by what that improvement could be! The outline and index sound like a lot of work, but would be ideal. I have the same dilemma with post titles, but I might feel differently at 500..! I second Elisabeth's suggestion, although it might mean they run into two lines in certain lists.

  7. your blog rocks in any shape or form. i just wish i'd found you sooner! i have pretty much every post starred in my google reader. thank you so much for all of your helpful advice.

    AND, i'm happy to report, i picked up THE SHIFTER from the library today. can't wait to dive in!

  8. Yeah, I am with Kelly on this one. It's going to be interesting to see how you improve on awesome.

    You could always use subheadings for your clever titles. I think that would actually help, because your titles are part of what drew me in. I've read tons of "How to Find an Agent" but "The Hunt is On!" strikes my overabundant curiosity.

    So maybe you could have a "normal" title, but then in the first line of the post, have "The Hunt is On!".

    Again, thank you so very much for this blog. You are a princess among women.

  9. How exciting to get a bloglift. Your articles are so helpful. I agree with the others, you can have your easy to find titles and keep the fun stuff as sub-titles or first lines.

    I'm leading my bookclub in reading THE SHIFTER next month. I don't know if you've thought about putting up discussion questions or not. I can see the pros and cons of it. I just know you thought a lot about ethics and choices while writing them.

    Also, you could post a link to FoxTale so people could purchase autographed copies. And perhaps have a link of appearances, when you'll be where. People do love you. And at some point, if you're willing to oblige, we may need a picture of that eel.

  10. Kelly: Aw, shucks :) Thanks! I'm still trying to find a way to use them, so maybe they'll get to stay.

    Corinne: Thanks, I'm really happy so many find it helpful. I love doing it.

    Mallory: LOL, good to know!

    Elisabeth: I've been doing that the last few weeks, and some of them got REALLY long due to that. Especially the feature posts like Re-Write Wednesdays. There's got to be a way to make it work.

    Wen: I am surprised at how rarely I'm stumped for a topic. I think a lot of it has to do with how specific I get on most posts. So I can do 20 posts on POV and touch on different aspects. And you guys are great about suggesting things.

    Porky: The outline has been work, but it's good to go through them all and remember what I've done. And it gives me a chance to spruce up some old posts, fix typos, be a tad more consistent about how I lay out things.

    Abby: Thanks! I hope you like it ;) And you are most welcome.

    Elizabeth: That's good to know. Maybe I will do subheads or something along those lines. Or a combo where I do what Elisabeth (with an S!) said and for the shorter ones, do The Hunt is On: Finding An Agent. See if I can get the best of both worlds.

    Shauna: That's great, thanks :) Hope everyone likes it. There's a reading guide on my website (which I just noticed somehow got moved to the contact page, gotta fix that). Here's the link:

    I'll get the appearances up soon as I know dates, and get the signed books address up there. I really should be better about that stuff but I always seem to get distracted by writing :) Here's the info on FoxTale. Right now you need to call to get signed books. They don't have it set up over the website.

    FoxTale Book Shoppe
    105 E. Main St., #138
    Woodstock, GA 30188

    I'll see if I can get a good shot of Eelbert. :)

  11. I think Shauna's idea to post your appearances here is a good one. Probably making it easier to search for back topics would be helpful.

    I've been thinking about this lately. Have you ever thought of writing a book on the craft of writing geared toward MG and YA authors? You analyse it all so well and have great examples. You might want to think about it.

  12. Natalie: I have indeed, and I'm actually working on a book on POV now. My plan (if there's enough interest) is to do a series of books on specific topics, using the blog posts as a base and then fleshing it out with exercises, diagnostic tools, examples and whatnot. The workshop I'll be doing at FoxTale Books will be on writing MG/YA.

  13. Janice, that sounds great. You have such a great handle on these topics, I know it'll be great.

  14. Thanks Natalie! I'm really excited about it, so I hope everyone else likes it. It's a pretty different look, but MUCH easier to navigate now.