The Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide: Writer Edition

GiftGuideWriterEditionAlas, it is that time of year once more. The season of giving, or otherwise known as my favorite time of year. However, while I rejoice in the presence of family and butcher various Christmas carols, I’m confronted with a unique dilemma. What about gift giving? I have a few writers in my extended family, and seeking out gifts for them is tough. I know you guys must experience the same problem. Maybe you need a little help with extending your Christmas wish list. If either of these problems plague you, never fear, for I have scoured the depths of the interwebs for your convenience. See, I’ve always got your back.

Oh, and if you just want to drool over some awesome writer stuff, I understand. You may proceed as well.

Now, on to the gifts.

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Introducing the Writer’s Link Party!

writer'slinkpartyAre you a writer? Do you have your own blog? I suppose you share writing tips on that blog as well. Do you want to know a secret? There’s a place for you to share all that writing goodness, right here on Writing Abby. Because what better place exists, am I right?

Today, I’m announcing the upcoming (and recurring monthly) Saturday Link Party for Writers. If you have a blog, and post about writing, you want to jump on board. This Saturday, there’s going to be a party on Writing Abby.

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Are Your Minor Characters REALLY Necessary?

As you read through your work-in-progress, are you subconsciously wondering if you could thin out your cast? Are there too many folks cluttering your book? Are you worried that you have so many characters that your novel will rival the length of Gone with the Wind? Search the search engines no further, because on Writing Abby, learn how to analyze your minor characters' necessity. Are Your Minor Characters REALLY Necessary // Writing AbbyAre your minor characters REALLY necessary?

I know, it’s a loaded question. You’re probably attached to your cast by now, if you’re out of the planning stages. That’s why it’s so important to analyze your character crew before you start writing that first draft. What’s the use of writing, and fleshing out, several minor characters if they’re of no use in the first place?

That’s what we’re going to discuss today.

As student writers, we can’t afford to waste our time. Minor characters that add little to the plot are time-wasters. Minor characters that add nothing to the development of major characters are time-wasters. So, what can we do to make sure we don’t waste our time?


Analysis of our minor characters can determine whether they deserve to stay, or if they should be tossed with the Tuesday garbage. It’s easy to analyze our characters, especially minor ones.

You can start by doing something very simple.

Ask yourself the following questions when you’re questioning your minor character’s usefulness. (Oh, I crack myself up sometimes.)

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Book Review: What Color is Your Parachute — For Teens by Carol Christen

(*Disclaimer: I RECEIVED this book for free as part of the Blogging for Books program, in exchange for an honest review. No other form of compensation was given, and all opinions expressed in this review are my own.)

Basic Information:

Paperback, 192 pages

Published April 21st 2015 by Ten Speed Press (first published April 7th 2015)

Back Cover Blurb:

This updated career guide for teens draws on the principles of What Color Is Your Parachute? to help high school and college students zero in on their favorite skills and find their perfect major or career.

No idea what you want to be? No worries! This fun, rewarding guide draws on the time-tested principles of the career classic What Color Is Your Parachute? to help you discover your passions, skills, and potential college majors and dream jobs.

Why now? Because when you identify your interests and passions early, you can make informed decisions on what additional schooling (and tuition debt) makes sense for your chosen field.

With fresh updates on the specific challenges of today’s job-market, this new edition features activities and advice on information interviewing, social media, internships, and more. Most importantly, it’s packed with big-picture advice that will set you up to land the job that’s perfect for who you are—and who you want to be.


I love science. I love computers, making them bend to my will programming them, and technology. That all adds up to Computer Science, of which I will major in. However, that decision hasn’t always been concrete. In order to major in the sciences, one had to possess an inordinate amount of intelligence, I thought. I ain’t that smart, I thought. So, I took personality tests, major quizzes, everything I could get my hands on. Still Computer Science. Still, I wasn’t sure. I scoured the sites of colleges I was interested in, but they didn’t answer my question: Am I really qualified for this?

Then, I started read books like WHAT COLOR IS YOUR PARACHUTE?

Cue light-bulb moment.

I got the skillz, and I can totally pursue my major. With confidence, ya’ll.

Many of us are at that stage of life when deciding a career path is, well, stressful. So, I had high hopes for this book. Now, at first, I thought WHAT COLOR IS YOUR PARACHUTE was going to be one of the “follow your dreams” kind. While I’m all for my dreams, they’re a little impractical. So, I typically avoid books like that.

Thankfully, this book surprised me. The author knows what she’s talking about, and even this Google addict learned a whole lot about careers — and college majors. It’s easy to pick a college major once you discover what jobs you’re interested in. This book is an excellent resource, written to help you do just that. The author of this book knows how to talk us youngsters. Her language is simple, and any technical jargon is explained.

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Five Things Friday: Writing Blogs

Need some new writing blogs to subscribe to? Looking for some great information on writing? Check out this post on Writing Abby for some interesting blogs on writing. Five Things Friday: Five Fav Writing Blogs // Writing AbbyThis Friday, I’d like to write about my five favorite writing blogs. Whenever I read a post on one of these sites, I know that I’m in for an informative treat. That’s what makes them my favorites.

In all honesty, the candid nature of these blogs are what drew me to them. They don’t pull any punches. You’re in, you’re out, and you’ve learned something new to boot.

So, here they are. I hope you check these guys out. They’re pretty neat.

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Guest Post: Time Management as a Teen Writer

TimeManagementforTeenWriters You’re confused, I know. You’re probably thinking, “Abby’s posting on Thursday? What’s up with that?” Well, today, I’ve got the awesome privilege of posting over at Inklined Writers, which is run by the more awesome Sarah Faulkner.

Today, I wrote about time management as a teen writer. Here’s a snippet:

Attending high school is hard. Writing as a serious hobby is even harder. When you combine the two of them, it becomes downright ridiculous. Are you studying Calculus and attempting to write the next Tolkien epic? You’re in the right place.

As teen writers, we have several aspects to our lives: our education, our families, and our writing. There are four main problems we face when we try to manage the three at once.

  1. We lose track of time.
  2. We suffer from burn-out.
  3. We procrastinate.
  4. We don’t get our work done.

Those are some big problems, so we need some big solutions. If we want to get stuff done, we need to manage our time. “Time management” is a complicated term, but in this post, we’ll break it down into a series of five steps…

Liked what you read? Catch the full post.

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