All-time favorite posts/articles on Craft

Today in short order, I sent several different writers to my top three favorite/most useful blog posts about the craft of writing. And I realized that I have been sending writers to these same posts year after year after year, because they're just that great. So I figured, hey: Why not share them more widely? Thus without further ado, enjoy:

1.  Hot Dog, Katsa by Kristin Cashore (writing for The Horn Book): Six-plus years after it was first written, this remains one of the best things I've ever read about the intricacies and unspoken rules of being a builder of worlds, i.e. a fiction writer of any sort, but especially genre-style storytelling. I highly, highly recommend it.  

2.  The Backpack: Back before she was a household name (or even had a book deal!), Veronica Roth was writing smart, savvy blog posts that I suspect I'll be pointing writers to for years to come. "The Backpack" is one of the simplest and most well-articulated pieces of writing advice I've ever read, tackling one of the easiest mistakes to make as a novelist. It's especially relevant if you're writing fantasy or sci-fi or similar genres that give you enormous license to make up details, but it can really be applied to any kind of storytelling, even real-world contemporary stuff! 

3. "Thoughts on Universals": Last but definitely not least, once upon a time, before she became a stellar YA author, Hilary T. Smith wrote a blog called THE INTERN which explained all sorts of mysteries about the worlds of writing and publishing. INTERN's post about universality remains gold-standard in my mind in terms of unpacking what it means to write a story that is as resonant as possible for readers everywhere. (And then go check out the most up-voted quotes from Wild Awake on Goodreads, and see how excellent a job she did, sculpting her own universals!)

P.S. If you're so inclined, share links to your own all-time favorite posts/articles about craft in the comments or your preferred social media outlet . . . because it's a Monday, and we can all use inspiration on a Monday, no?