Here are some of my favorite blog sites where I find useful info about writing craft, the publishing industry, staying sane (more or less), and more, as I go through the journey toward publication.
First of all, the wonderfully helpful Lydia Kang, whose blog is The Word is My Oyster (http://lydiakang.blogspot.com/). Lydia is a doctor, and on Mondays she answers specific medical questions from writers. If you are writing a story that includes a medical situation that you're not absolutely sure about, Lydia has your answer. I emailed her Monday this week with a question, and got my answer Tuesday. Here's the correspondence:
I have a character who is the victim of an attempted murder. He's hit on the back of his head (base of skull), with a hard-swung rifle butt. In my story, hours go by before he's found and taken to the hospital, where surgery is performed to remove some cranial bone and relieve the pressure. I have them having to drain the hematoma three times in two days, and his life hanging in the balance. Is this a realistic scenario, and would the diagnosis be subdural hematoma?
Yes your set up for this situation is mostly accurate. Most of the time, if a surgeon has to do a craniotomy and remove the blood clot for a subdural, he/she will find the broken blood vessel and repair it (cauterize or tie it off) and decrease the chance of it rebleeding. But it is possible it might rebleed. Three times would be very bad luck, indeed.
Hope that helps!
She's published answers to far more complicated questions that include in-depth, time-consuming research to provide medical accuracy. This kind of support is invaluable. Thank you, Lydia!
Other terrific blogs that offer help and needed information:
Lindsey Edwards, The Write Words (http://thewritewords-lindsey.blogspot.com/). Lindsey offers a HUGE list of worthwhile links on Tuesdays, called Top Links for Writers. She covers industry news, the craft of writing, author promotion, and if that's not enough, miscellaneous (and more!).
Heather McCorkle, (yup, that's CSC's very own Heather) at her other blog, Heather's Odyssey (http://heathermccorkle.blogspot.com/). Heather does Twitter Tuesdays, where she provides links for the best tweets of the week regarding industry info., agents, author development, etc. It's a great way to follow the valuable stuff on Twitter without spending hours every day on it. Amazing.
Stina Lindblatt, Seeing Creative (http://www.stinalindenblatt.com/). Stina does Cool Link Fridays, where she lists links to valuable writing craft and other information she's found on other blogs during the week. A great way to find blogs to follow, as well as get information that you can use. I found the following two blogs through Stina:
L. B. Diamond, Diamond-Yup, Like the Stone (http://lbdiamond.wordpress.com/). Laura is a psychiatrist who covers pressing life topics, and does Mental Health Monday posts on issues we have to deal with as people and as writers.
Sarah Fine, The Strangest Situation (http://thestrangestsituation.blogspot.com/). Sarah is a child psychologist who is writing YA. Her blog is devoted to psychology and YA lit, but is useful even beyond that to any of us wanting to write the raw stuff of things like bullying, one of the topics she recently covered in depth.
Two publishing industry professionals I enjoy: Nathan Bransford (http://blog.nathanbransford.com/), author and previous literary agent. Who doesn't love Nathan? He offers a wide range of great info and insight and laughs. And Jessica Faust (http://bookendslitagency.blogspot.com/), a literary agent who is thoughtful, knowledgeable and realistic.
Other faves for encouragement and sharing the journey and great links: Michael DiGesu at In Time (http://writing-art-and-design.blogspot.com/), and Erica and Christy at erica and christy (http://www.lynneawest.blogspot.com/). And a new fun find from Karlene: Nicole Durbin, Immersed in the World (http://www.immersedintheworld.com/) Life, travel, food, mmmm.
There are so many more, I wish there was room for them all!
I'll just close by adding that a week from today Heather will post an entry here at CSC that we hope will be helpful to all of you who are looking for a critique group. Hint: it involves a questionnaire to help people find the right critique group for them. Be sure to come back and check it out!
So, do you have a favorite helpful blog you can share here with us? We'd love to add to our list. (Personally, I'm especially interested in great bloggers in the mystery/suspense or historical fiction fields. Any you have to share would be appreciated.) Thank you!