Good morning! Welcome to the second weekly link round-up here at the Renegade Word. Here’s all the thought-provoking and inspiring articles I wish I’d written in the past week.

Image credit: Pedro Ribeiro Simões

Image credit: Pedro Ribeiro Simões

Improve Your Writing Craft

First up, Chris Andrews shares the Top 10 Hidden Elements of Novels. Some of these you’ve probably heard of before, but I guarantee there will be something new in this list.

From The Creative Penn: 5 Quick Tips for Better Dialogue. On that note, if you’re not following this blog…you should be.

Karen Jordan from Wordserve Water Cooler talks about how changing just one word can completely change the meaning of your writing.

Here’s one from io9 for genre fiction writers: how to create an alien world from scratch. Related: this post from Mary Sutton on the importance of world-building.

Finding Inspiration

Meanwhile, the site Unspeakableness is a must for any wordsmith. First up – untranslatable words, including a chart of emotions which have no names in the English language at all (but have names in Dutch, Hebrew, Chinese…).

Over at io9, the plots of popular movies have been summarized in pictograms! Could this be a new way to plot out your next story?

Over at Writer Unboxed, Cathy Marie Buchanan discusses why you should write about your obsessions.

In a related piece, Peter Ortner discusses writing about subjects that haunt us for the New York Times.

Not making the progress you’d like on your writing and don’t know what to do about it? This troubleshooting guide from Time to Write might be just the thing.

Writing for Fun and Profit

From Techcrunch: 10 reasons to quit your “day job” this year. Remember, writers are entrepreneurs, too!

If you’re trying to sell your writing or land an agent, this how-to guide to writing query letters from Writer’s Relief is a must.

Wow! Women on Writing has put together this seriously helpful guide to entering writing contests — and actually winning cash prizes.

Okay, I know this is the last thing anyone wants to think about right now…but Carol Topp has put together a cheat sheet of tax tips specifically for writers. So you might want to check it out if you’ve sold any writing in the past year – or are hoping to sell your writing this year!

Just For Fun

Did you know the Library of Congress is archiving all of your tweets for posterity?

And finally, if your life has felt strangely devoid of formal education lately (or you just wish your college taught courses on genre fiction), here’s a free 11-week online course from the University of Michigan on the psychology of fantasy and science fiction. You’re welcome.

Did you read any great articles about writing this week? Did you write something really cool you want the world to see? We want links! Share them in the comments.