Author Toolbox Blog Hop: A Year in Review

So, my planned post for this month’s blog hop isn’t quite finished so I thought there couldn’t be a better time to show just how amazing the Author Toolbox Blog Hop is! Here I have compiled every article I could find and categorized them.  If I missed one of yours please leave a comment with a link to the post and I will be sure to add it in. Thank you Raimey for this amazing resource and thanks to all the participants who have made this hop such a success. It is truly astounding the quantity and quality of articles we have written this year!

Be sure to check out Twitter every third Wednesday at #AuthorToolboxBlogHop to find other great articles each month. Or if you are interested in joining the hop find out the details at Author Toolbox Blog Hop Home.



girl lying in grass with mustache and glasses“What’s In A Name?” – Naming Your Characters by Charity Rau

Letters to explore character by Dianna Gunn

For Every Hero, a Shadow by Deborah Maroulis

Building Block: The Five Bones  by Vanessa Scott

Creating Characters that Walk off the Page by Joan Curtis

Backstories Matter by Katherine Barclay

What Does Backstory Do in Memoir or Fiction? by Victoria Marie Lees

Creating the Perfect Villian by M.L. Keller

5 Ways to Find Inspiration for the Next Great Villain  by Raimey Gallant

The Care and Feeding of Real Characters by Louise Foerster

Oh character! How thou meow? by Zaireen Lupa

How to Write Addiction in Fiction by Shah Wharton

Avoiding Perfection by Zaireen Lupa

What Exactly is the Origin Scene in Memoir or Fiction? by Victoria Marie Lees

girl with lava flow overlayed on jacketNames Have Power by Vanessa Scott

Using Character Motivations in Plot Chains by M.L. Keller

Creating a Character Web by Mica Scott Kole

The Fascinating Human Character Arc  by Erika Beebe

Writing Active Characters by Hoda Agharazi

From RPGs to Writing by E.M.A. Timar

Starting from Backstory by E.M.A. Timar

Beginning with Personality by E.M.A. Timar

Building from Clichés by E.M.A. Timar

From Meeple to People by E.M.A. Timar

Crystallizing Your Characters by E.M.A. Timar

people standing in hallway backlit by sunSetting

Settings is more than a Stage by Anna Simpson aka Emaginette

The Art of Landscaping in Fiction Writing by Zaireen Lupa

Emotional Impact of Setting by Kristina Stanley

Avoid Wobbly Settings by Shah Wharton



World-building: Why Sprinkles Don’t Work by M.L. Keller

Know Your World by Drew McVittie

The Wonders of World Building by JM Sullivan

Medieval Lipstick and the Devil in Cultural Details by Lauricia Matuska


9 Rules for Better Dialogue by Cheryl Sterling

Avoiding Stilted Dialogue by M.L. Keller

Said is NOT Dead by Vanessa Scott

Writing Great Dialogue by Leslie Hauser

two sheep facing each other with mouths openVoice, Perspective, and Tense

Choosing the Right POV Character by M.L. Keller

Find Your “First Draft” Voices by Katherine Barclay

Narrative Voice, Authorial Voice & POV (and the differences between them). by Shah Wharton

Tips for Writing Multiple POVs by Hoda Agharazi

Writing Scenes In Unique Perspectives  by Erika Beebe

Narrative Perspective by Hoda Agharazi

Narrative Perspective – Part 2 by Hoda Agharazi

Deep POV by K. Kazul Wolf

Get in Your Character’s Head by Megan Morgan

Head-hopping and Migraines by Zaireen Lupa

No Time Like the Present? What Tense to Write in? by Joan Curtis


a hand writing in a notebook with penCreating writing prompts by Caroliena Cabada

Let it Go by Katherine Barclay

3 Personal Fallacies of Writing a First Draft by JJ Burry

Drafting a Novel by Leslie Hauser

The Emotional Connection and Subtext by Anna Simpson aka Emaginette

Show, Don’t Tell by Iola Goulton

Shaping the Diamond (Showing, not Telling) by Iola Goulton

Finish Your Book. Write for Big Moments  by Erika Beebe

Learning How to Write by Caroliena Cabada

Tangled in Titles by Zaireen Lupa

stack of booksOn Writing

Developing Your Reading List: A Strategy for Authors by Raimey Gallant

On Youth and Inexperience by Caroliena Cabada

Knowing Your Limitations by Vanessa Scott

How Your Communication Affects Your Writing by Joan Curtis

Discussing Why We Like Stories (Part 1, The Unconscious) by Adam Gentry

Discussing Writing as as a Lifelong Education by Adam Gentry

An Evening Listening to Neil Gaiman by Adam Gentry

Nature vs. Nurture: can writing be taught? by Fanni Suto

Reading is Fundamental by Katherine Barclay

What’s Your Point in Fiction or Memoir?  by Victoria Marie Lees

Plotting and Planning

hand holding notebook with squares drawn on itPlotter Shmotter, Pantser Plantser by K. Kazul Wolf

‘What’s the Difference Between Plot and Story?’ by Shah Wharton

No Plot? No Pants? No Problem! by Lauricia Matuska

Is Planning a Novel Worth It? Comparing a Planned & Pantsed Project. by Louise Brady (Dragonspire)

Plotting, for Pantsers by S.E. White

Plotting, Sub-Plotting, and Series Threads by Anna Simpson aka Emaginette

Post of the Year, Plotting by the Seat of My Pants. by Deborah Maroulis

The Pantser Plots: 7 Things I Learned From Planning as a Pantser. by Louise Brady (Dragonspire)

Discover The Layers Of A Story by Anna Simpson aka Emaginette

Using Subplots to Deepen Your Story by Cheryl Sterling

Don’t Let Your Mind Derail Your Plot  by Erika Beebe

The 3 Mechanics of Plot Twists by Mica Scott Kole


15 Tips for Interviewing Experts for Your Novel by Raimey Gallant

Is Your Next Story Research Light or Intensive? by Raimey Gallant

Specific Genre

aerial shot of library stacksWhy Flash Fiction is my Cure for Brain Drain  by Erika Beebe

5 Lessons I’ve Learned About Writing Flash Fiction by JJ Burry

How to Write a Short Story by Cheryl Sterling

Bite-Sized Writing by D.R. Schoultz

3 Types of Book Reviews You Can Write and How to Write Them by JJ Burry

3 Questions about Epistolary Writing by JJ Burry

Elements of a Mystery by Anna Simpson aka Emaginette

How to write Creative Non-fiction (Pt.1) by Shah Wharton

Writing Creative Nonfiction (Pt. 2) by Shah Wharton

Memoir Made Easy: What to Remember When Starting Out  by Victoria Marie Lees

Are You Writing Memoir, Fiction, or Faction? by Iola Goulton

Flawed Characters in Memoir by Victoria Marie Lees

Sharing a World by Megan Morgan

Discussing the Role of Monsters by Adam Gentry

Poetry Writing Tips Part 1 by Shah Wharton


pen and crumpled paperStory Editing. Copyediting. Proofreading. What in the world are they? by Kristina Stanley

Why You Need to Hire a Freelancer to Get Your Novel from Meh to Marvellous  by Ronel Janse van Vuuren

What Is Your Editing Process? by Iola Goulton

Editing, Editing, and More Editing by Charity Rau

Editing Tips by Leslie Hauser

Editing by Lyndsey Frydman

Learn How To Self-Edit  by Kristina Stanley

Learn How To Self-Edit – Part 2 by Kristina Stanley

Self-Editing Tips by Kimberly Martin (Jera Self Publishing)

Tips for Turning Your Manuscript Upside Down by Joan Curtis

Tips for Making Your Books More Pleasurable to Your Readers by Joan Curtis

Killing your Darlings by Lyndsey Hall

four people joining handsDevelopmental Editing

Fixing implausibility issues in your fiction by Raimey Gallant

5 Ways to Temper the Preachy in Your Plot by Raimey Gallant

The Transformational Arc of the Protagonist in Fiction or Memoir by Victoria Marie Lees

In Memoir or Fiction: Story Is Internal  by Victoria Marie Lees

Structure and Tension

yellow suspension bridge across bayAvoid Sagging Middles and Lackluster Endings  by Cheryl Sterling

Scene and sequel by Cheryl Sterling

Opening A Scene by Kristina Stanley

Two Questions To Ask When Writing a Sequel by Kristina Stanley

Give Your Scenes a Purpose with Scene Goals by M.L. Keller

Purpose Of A Scene by Kristina Stanley

Grade Your Chapters by D.R. Schoultz

Tension and Conflict by Kristina Stanley

Cranking Up the Tension by Zaireen Lupa

Writing Dual Timelines by Lyndsey Hall

Line Editing

How to Freshen up Cliched Expressions  by Raimey Gallant

Is it Writing or Speaking to Your Reader?  by Erika Beebe

Nevermind “Necessary”. by Katherine Barclay

What’s the Deal with Passive Voice? by M.L. Keller

Copy Editing and Proofreading

Format Hanging Indents the Right Way by Kimberly Martin (Jera Self Publishing)

Let’s Talk About Typos by JM Sullivan

Tips for New Writers Part Three – Rules by Wendy Janes

Tips for New Writers Part Four – Consistency by Wendy Janes

 girl jumping with umbrella in front of yellow wallFirst Pages

How To Start A Novel by Megan Morgan

The Importance of the First Page by Deborah Maroulis

Writing a Strong First Chapter by Hoda Agharazi

Tips for Writing the Perfect Beginning by Joan Curtis

Lessons in Storytelling from TV and Film: First Episodes by Louise Brady (Dragonspire)

First Impressions by Zaireen Lupa


The ABCs of Alphas, Betas & Critique Partners by Lyndsey Hall

5 Things To Do Before You Beta Your Book  by JR Creaden

How to be a good beta reader or critique partner by Dianna Gunn

Feedback Makes Us Better Writers by Anna Simpson aka Emaginette

The Importance of an Earnest Beta Reader by Fanni Suto

Boundaries & Benefits: Crafting with Critique Partners by JR Creaden

How to Think Laterally about Editor Feedback by Raimey Gallant

Tools and Resources


Media Resources for Authors by S.E. White

Resources RoundUp By 

book on table with mug and flowersBooks

The diyMFA Book by Charity Rau

Story Genius Book Review by Cheryl Sterling

My Top New Manuscript Planning Resource by Erika Beebe

The Story Grid Product Review by Lauricia Matuska

The Emotional Connection by Lauricia Matuska

Samuel R. Delany on Plot Thickening by M.C. Frye


wood blocks in boxHow do I Find a Publisher?  by Iola Goulton

Understanding Vanity Publishing and Author Services  by Ronel Janse van Vuuren

Traditional Publishing FAQs by Lauricia Matuska

Marketing and Money by Louise Brady (Dragonspire)

Agents and Book Covers by Louise Brady (Dragonspire)

Submissions and Proofs by Louise Brady (Dragonspire)

Diversity and publishing — Interview with Jandra Sutton by Caroliena Cabada

The Logline by Anna Simpson aka Emaginette

Understanding Audiences through Blogging  by Adam Gentry

Release Day  by Chrys Fey

Expense and Earning Logs  by Chrys Fey

Making the Leap from Book One to Book Two by Mica Scott Kole

Two people having meetingPitching

Personal Lessons from #PITCHWARS 2017 by JR Creden


Getting Ready to Submit by Leslie Hauser

Tips for Writing a Query Letter by Hoda Agharazi

Best Advice from Agents to Get Them to Read Your First Pages by L.M. Durand

How to Structure a Query by Mica Scott Kole

How to Create the Perfect List of Who to Query by Fanni Suto

The Last Step Before You Query by Lyndsey Frydman

In the Query Trenches by Lyndsey Hall

Notebook with business plan written in itSelf Publishing

Understanding Wholesale Discounts When Self-Publishing a Book  by Kimberly Martin (Jera Self Publishing)

Crowdfunding by Dianna Gunn

Five Reasons to Create a Publishing Company to Self-Publish Under and Two Reasons Not To  by Kimberly Martin (Jera Self Publishing)

Choose Your Printer Based on Your Goal & Budget by Kimberly Martin (Jera Self Publishing)

Book Covers

Judging Books by Their Covers by Caroliena Cabada

Books Really Are Judged by Their Covers by Jennifer Harris


circle of arms and feet in grassCommunity Building

The limits of being an introvert by Caroliena Cabada

Ways to Give Back by Drew McVittie

We’re All In This Together by Katherine Barclay

On Podcasts, Cave Dwelling, and Studying the Art of Writing by Lauricia Matuska

Building Your Writerly Community

Using the internet to find beta readers & critique partners by Dianna Gunn

The Right Writer Group for You by Louise Foerster

Author Platform

Why Authors should have a Writing Platform by Ronel Janse van Vuuren

Author Platform Challenge by Ronel Janse van Vuuren

How to build your author platform on Google+ and get over 1,000,000 views  by Tony Riches

Building Your Author Platform: Do I Need an Email List? by Iola Goulton

Why Authors Need to Get a PO Box by Kimberly Martin (Jera Self Publishing)

Building Your Social Media Platform by JM Sullivan

Polaroids of different social media company logosTwitter

How Twitter Made Me a Better Writer by Deborah Maroulis

Ten Top Twitter Tips for Authors by Tony Riches

Using Twitter chats to connect with other writers by Dianna Gunn

What’s Changing at Twitter? by Iola Goulton

Twitter Chats by Leslie Hauser

9 Tips for Hosting a Hashtag Game by Mica Scott Kole


Blogging Every Day? by Cheryl Sterling

Secrets of Blogging by Leslie Hauser

Blogging for Writers: Keep Readers Engaged  by Ronel Janse van Vuuren

RSS Feeds and the Good They Can Do For Your Blog by Ronel Janse van Vuuren

Branching Out Your Blog by Drew McVittie

Grow Your Blog. Be You. by Erika Beebe

back of gesturing woman at conferenceEvents

Contesting the Contest Hype by K. Kazul Wolf

Contest! & #AuthorToolboxBlogHop by Zaireen Lupa

Writer Conferences

Writer’s Conferences: Are They Really Worth It? by Lauricia Matuska


NaNoWriMotwo pens crossed with nanowrimo participant 2017  by Vanessa Scott

Is NaNoWriMo right for you? by L.M. Durand

NaNoWriMo: How it Helped my Writing  by Ronel Janse van Vuuren

NaNoWriMo Prep by Charity Rau

Scrambling before NaNoWriMo… by JJ Burry

November, Novels, No Sleep by Fanni Suto

To NaNo or not to NaNo? by Katherine Barclay

Twitter Events

Pitch Wars Prep by Lindsey Frydman

Blog Events

Reflecting on the #AtoZChallenge2017 by Ronel Janse van Vuuren

Writer’s Life

Five Types of Writers by Leslie Hauser

A Dog Called Ego by Deborah Maroulis

Acceptance by Drew McVittie

two smilies stuffed toys sitting on benchSelf Care

Working When You’re Sick by Drew McVittie

The Balancing Act by Caroliena Cabada

Not Breaking Because You Need a Break by E.M.A. Timar

Self-care for Writers by Lyndsey Hall

Self-Care-Feeding Your Brain by Ann Shannon

Self-Care- Water is Life by Ann Shannon

Are You Sleeping Enough? by Ann Shannon

Comparison is the Thief of Joy by Lyndsey Hall

How to Make Healthy Comparisons by Dianna Gunn

How to Beat Comparisonitis by Dianna Gunn

Replenishing the Creative Stores by Lyndsey Hall

organization board with post its on itOrganization

Caring for Plot Bunnies by Lyndsey Hall

A Simple but Effective Method of Organization by Lauricia Matuska

Daily Planner Pages by Ann Shannon

Monthly Overview by Ann Shannon

Blog Planner by Ann Shannon

Adding To Word Count by Anna Simpson aka Emaginette

Evening Pages by Dianna Gunn

Writing Goals  by Chrys Fey

Making Time by Drew McVittie

motivation written over arrows pointing upMotivation and Inspiration

Inspiration for Authors by Leslie Hauser

Write in a Different Sandbox  by Louise Foerster

Your personalized definition of success by Dianna Gunn

Facing a Blank Page? Here’s How to Get Started by Lauricia Matuska

Setting Goals and Objectives by Ann Shannon

When Losing Feels Like Winning by JR Creaden

Begin to Write Again by Erika Beebe

How to Cut Through Writer’s Block? by Fanni Suto

The Mythical Existence of Writer’s Block by K. Kazul Wolf

Four Ways to Write Through the Fog by JR Creaden

So You Wanna be a Writer by JM Sullivan

Visual Inspiration by Vanessa Scott

Personal Stories

Writing for Reasons by JR Creaden

Looking back on 2017 by Drew McVittie

Playing Inside the Box  by Louise Foerster

Shed with Always room to crow and a flower painted on it

You can check out my Author Toolbox Articles.

Learn more about publishing and craft by checking out other blogs in the monthly Author Toolbox Blog Hop created by the indomitable Raimey Gallant. Toolbox filled with writing implements

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By |2018-03-29T22:56:05+00:00March 21st, 2018|Resources, Writing|18 Comments

About the Author:

Writer, Software Engineer, modern-day Renaissance woman and eternal student


  1. M. L. Keller March 21, 2018 at 7:42 pm - Reply

    Holy smacks!!! Thank you for putting this together

  2. J.J. Burry March 21, 2018 at 7:49 pm - Reply

    Oh my goodness! Such a great compilation of wonderful posts! Thank you!

  3. Kristina Stanley March 21, 2018 at 7:50 pm - Reply

    What a great idea to share this in one place. I’m honored.
    Thank you!

  4. Raimey Gallant March 21, 2018 at 9:01 pm - Reply

    Holy crap. I can’t believe you did this. As I mentioned on Twitter, I’m going to shout this out to the whole group next month when I email everyone. I am just so happy right now. Thank you THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!

  5. Louise March 22, 2018 at 5:17 am - Reply

    What an amazing list 😀
    Thanks for doing this!

  6. Dawn Byrne March 22, 2018 at 7:50 am - Reply

    Thank you for this comprehensive list.

  7. Shah Wharton March 22, 2018 at 10:18 am - Reply

    FlipMe! This must have taken some patience to put together but it’s well worth your efforts. Superb. I hope it’s okay but I’ve made a page of this (obviously making it clear it is your post and linked to this post, etc) and subbed it to my Writer Resources page. Feel free to tell me to take it down if you’d prefer. 🙂

    • Erika Timar March 22, 2018 at 8:17 pm - Reply

      I don’t mind at all.If it will help someone and credit is given, I have no problems with it. Just wanted to mention for some reason the Title sections on the page didn’t come through, so you are missing the Craft, Editing, Marketing, Publishing, and Writer’s Life headings.

  8. Victoria Marie Lees March 22, 2018 at 12:09 pm - Reply

    You are amazing, Erika! I’ve marked this page to be able to reference it often. Seriously, we can’t thank you enough for all of this work. You really are amazing.

  9. Erika Beebe March 23, 2018 at 6:12 am - Reply

    I love this! How creative and helpful. Thank you so much, Erika 🙂 I am marking it too.

  10. Jennifer March 23, 2018 at 9:17 am - Reply

    Wow! That’s an amazing list!

  11. Charity Rau March 23, 2018 at 9:52 am - Reply

    This is great! I loved the way you’ve categorized everything by topic. This will be so helpful. Thanks!

  12. Lupa April 1, 2018 at 3:06 am - Reply

    Woah! This is one heck of a compilation. I feel suddenly misty at how much we collectively accomplished. Thank you so much for this. I’m pinning and sharing it everywhere. <3

  13. […] are two great blog posts that stood out to me this month. E.M.A Timar listed every Author Toolbox Blog Hop post from the past year. These posts are not only inspirational, they provide many helpful tips for […]

  14. Louise Foerster April 12, 2018 at 10:11 am - Reply

    Happy stunned by this incredible compilation — thank you for gathering this information in such a useful way — am sharing with my writing group right now!

  15. Se White April 12, 2018 at 11:59 am - Reply

    Wow, I could spend days looking through all of these excellent resources. There’s no need to go anywhere else! Thanks for taking the time to get all of these together!

  16. D.R. Shoultz April 17, 2018 at 4:20 pm - Reply

    What an effort to put this together! Well done. This will be one of the most bookmarked posts of the year.

  17. Joan Curtis April 18, 2018 at 1:00 pm - Reply

    This is amazing! I can’t imagine how long it took you to pull this together. It gives us a great resource to see where we’ve covered lots of topics and where there are holes. I will definitely do like others and bookmark this! Now, I wonderer about pulling it all together into an e-book? Just saying…

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