Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Jan 15-21, 2023

You survived Monday! Reward yourself with some informal writerly learnings.

And a picture of a cloud that looks like a phoenix. Do you see it?

Jan O’Hara says, if you’re not writing, you may have ego-trapped yourself. Dave King: is prologue past? Desmond Hall drops some writing wisdom on pacing this month. Then, Diana Giovinazzo is learning to love the synopsis—Honey, I shrunk the plot! Writer Unboxed

Angela Ackerman explains how to write a book from start to finish in 13 steps. Then, Lynette M. Burrows helps you make flat characters genuine in eight (sort of) easy steps. Eldred Brid: do you have a story? Answer these six questions to find out! Writers in the Storm

Bad writing habits to stop in 2023. Reedsy

K.M. Weiland shares six lessons from four years of writer’s block. Helping Writers Become Authors

Elizabeth Spann Craig: when you’re stuck as a writer. Anyone see a theme here? Anyone? Bueller?

What critics don’t recognize about Avatar: The Way of Water. Like Stories of Old

Marissa Graff shares five ways to approach your novel like a trial lawyer. Writers Helping Writers

Nathan Bransford wants you to infuse your character’s desires into their observations.

Popular writing methods I don’t use and alternatives to try. Shaelin Writes

Tiffany Yates Martin explains why we can’t look away from White Lotus. Fox Print Editorial

Lori Walker interviews Kendare Blake about rebooting a beloved series. Then, Regina Meyer shares five tips on running your own book public relations and marketing. Amy Wallen lists 12 steps to get your book written. DIY MFA

Chris Winkle explains how to describe characters. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five stories with strong ensemble casts. Mythcreants

Thank you for spending some time with me, and I hope you took away something to support your current work(s) in progress.

Until Thursday, keep staying safe and well.

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Jan 1-7, 2023

Welcome back to tipsday, your opportunity to get your fill of informal writerly learnings.

A heavily cloud-veiled moon above a winter naked tree.
A heavily veiled moon.

Chuck Wendig shares his writer’s resolution 2023: mounting an aggressive defense. Then, he declares, “Eat shit, robots!” (Or: No, the absolute intrusion of artificial intelligence is not inevitable.) Terribleminds

Lisa Hall-Wilson explains how to edit for deep point of view.

Visions of the future onscreen vs. reality—what came true? The Take

Greer Macallister considers choosing your habit, which reframes resolutions or goals in terms of habit-forming. Thought-provoking for this time of year. Then, Allyson Rice says, I’m sure I’ve landed on a federal list somewhere. Donald Maass discusses chaos and creating fiction. Then, Sarah Callender explains when good enough is good enough. Terah Shelton Harris discusses what we ask of our readers. Writer Unboxed

Elizabeth S. Craig offers some thoughts about writer self-care for the New Year.

Beatrix Potter: the secret life of a Victorian genius. Absolute History

Angela Ackerman wants you to force your character to make hard choices. Then, Colleen M. Story shares five reasons it’s still a good idea for a writer to have a blog. Writers Helping Writers

Ken Brosky reveals the biggest mistake even expert writers make. Then, Michael Evans presents the author-creator marketing playbook. Jane Friedman

How to set writing goals and actually achieve them. Reedsy

Karen DeBonis explains how to talk about your book. Then, J. Alexander Greenwood reveals how to get booked on a podcast by answering one question. Writers in the Storm

Tiffany Yates Martin finds out how Kyla Zhao revises by writing her way out of loneliness. Fox Print Editorial

Gabriela Pereira interviews Mary Robinette Kowal about writing diverse characters via nuanced shifts in language. Then, Manuela Williams talks about point of view in poetry. Stacy Frazer takes you from idea to drafting in five steps. Then, AK Nevermore shares how finding her tribe helped silence her self-doubt. DIY MFA

Chris Winkle analyzes five stories that crawl along. Then, Oren Ashkenazi says that the Willow series is a terrible sequel. Mythcreants

Hey! January 1st was public domain day 2023. Ever wanted to write something based on a property coming into the public domain? Duke Law

Another fabulous resource, courtesy of Jane Friedman: Dr. Mardy’s Dictionary of Metaphorical Quotations. Having trouble putting something to words? Find out how other writers and thinkers have done it. It really helps.

Thank you for visiting, and I hope you found something to support your current work(s) in progress.

Until Thursday, keep staying safe and well.

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Dec 1-3, 2022

A short week of informal writerly learnings to get back on track with curation. Enjoy!

Angela Ackerman explains how to write antagonists readers can’t help but like. Writers Helping Writers

Tiffany Yates Martin learns how Vaughn Roycroft revises by redefining success. Fox Print Editorial

Why “female entertainment” still gets written off. The Take

Grace Bialecki explains the power and necessity of sitting with your critiques. Then, Adele Annesi presents an argument for setting aside arc in story development. Jane Friedman

Liza Nash Taylor makes some notes to self on making room to move ahead. Henriette Lazaridis wants to linger, tinker, savor: taking the time to get it right. Writer Unboxed

We might never speak to aliens. Here’s why. Hello, Future Me

James R. Preston offers five tips to manage the book galley journey. Writers in the Storm

Chris Winkle shows you six places to trim slow prose. Then, Oren Ashkenazi shares what Legends and Lattes teaches us about light stories. Mythcreants

Three act structure: writing a strong first act. Reedsy

Three act structure: writing an engaging middle. Reedsy

A.H. Plotts presents show, don’t tell: your novel as a movie script. DIY MFA

Merriam-Webster’s word of the year 2022 is … gaslighting.

And that was tipsday. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you found something to support your current work(s) in progress, whatever stage they’re at.

Until Thursday, keep staying safe and well!

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Oct 9-15, 2022

Another week, another batch of informal writerly learnings!

LA Bourgeois says, imagination, engage! Then, Stephanie BwaBwa shares some marketing systems and automations to support your self-publishing career. Olivia Fisher is tapping into the hearts of kids: crafting authentic voice in middle grade. DIY MFA

Ann Marie Nieves answers your PR and marketing questions, part IX: do you twerk? Then, Jim Dempsey wonders, is your book any good? Kathleen McCleary is out of character. Kathryn Craft on story and death and life. Then, David Corbett is crafting an unforgettable villain with lessons from Louise Fletcher’s portrayal of Nurse Ratched. Writer Unboxed

How this became the sad girl era. The Take

K.M. Weiland shows you nine positive characters arcs in the Enneagram. Helping Writers Become Authors

Janice Hardy shares five fun ways to take advantage of your characters’ fears. Then, Ellen Buikema lists ten ways to start your story. Later in the week, Julie Glover discusses the hardest book she’s ever written. Writers in the Storm

Hank Quense helps you build your own digital planner with Scrintal. Elizabeth Spann Craig

Gaia, the mother of creation. Fate & Fabled | PBS Storied

Sue Coletta helps you construct the skeleton of your story. Then, Angela Ackerman says that the key to a successful NaNoWriMo is using October wisely. Later in the week, C.S. Lakin says less is more when it comes to describing setting. Writers Helping Writers

Jessica Bell points out the key elements of eye-catching book cover design. Joni B. Cole: you have a great idea for a story. Where do you start? Catherine Baab-Maguira explains why it’s better to write about money, not for money. Jane Friedman

Preptober tips! Do these ten things before NaNoWriMo. Reedsy

Nathan Bransford answers the question, “When should I stop sending query letters?”

Kristen Lamb considers motivation and how what drives us defines us.

Tiffany Yates Martin: how to speak as well as you write, part 1. Fox Print Editorial

Chris Winkle considers movement, the 2,300-year-old story principle. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five stories undermined by their epilogues. Mythcreants

Roz Morris: becoming you—how to develop confidence as a writer. Nail Your Novel

Overcoming perfectionism as a writer. Shaelin Writes

Sahar Arshad: from Never have I Ever to Bridgerton, the Desi girl era is here at last. Teen Vogue

Matthew Vogt: pantheon of superheroes. JSTOR Daily

Joyce Kinkead recounts the 5,000-year history of writer’s block. The Conversation

Jordan Pruett wonders, what counts as a bestseller? Public Books 

KC Hoard conducts a roundtable with designers: book cover confidential. The Walrus

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you found something to support your current work(s) in progress, whatever stage they’re at.

Until Thursday, keep staying safe and well.

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Sept 25-Oct 1, 2022

Welcome to October! Energize yourself for the rest of the week with some informal writerly learnings.

Tiffany Yates Martin explains why plots fail. Then, Amanda Miller shares five ways to use community marketing for your book. Jane Friedman

Jenny Hansen suggests a strength-based approach to writing. Then, Lisa Hall-Wilson explains why rhetorical questions help you go deeper with emotions. Eldred Bird is writing through life’s storms. Writers in the Storm

C.S. Lakin helps you show the world through your character’s senses. Live, Write, Thrive

Angela Ackerman says, if you want lifelike characters, create a character bible. Elizabeth Spann Craig

Sauron wasn’t always evil. What happened? The Philosophy of Tolkien. Hello, Future Me

Vaughn Roycroft talks turning points. Then, Kelsey Allagood shares decision trees, angry bees, and other writer brain hacks. Julia Whelan: I’ve heard such mixed things. Jeanne Kisacky wonders who are you reading now? Writer Unboxed

Becca Puglisi explains how to reveal a character’s inner conflict. Writers Helping Writers

Nathan Bransford encourages you to close off your protagonist’s easy off-ramps.

Richelle Lyn is designing a logo from scratch. Then, Melanie Bell offers five things to think about when writing a coming-of-age story. Barbara Rubin shares how she found balance between capturing joy, sorrow, humor, and rage in her writing. DIY MFA

Tiffany Yates Martin answers the question, how much should you plot your stories? Fox Print Editorial

Chris Winkle says storytellers must stop dehumanizing prisoners. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five overshadowed characters in popular stories. Mythcreants

How H.P. Lovecraft wrote the unimaginable. Tale Foundry

Nalo Hopkinson has won the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award. J. Wayne and Elsie M. Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction

Sean Wetselaar says Judy I. Lin’s recipe for success is fantasy and a cup of tea. The Walrus

Adrian Daub writes about losing oneself in the geography of fantasy worlds: here at the end of all things. Longreads

Guy Kawasaki interviews Min Kym about her book Gone: A Girl, a Violin, and a Life Unstrung. The Remarkable People Podcast

Jessica Winter explains how E. Nesbit used her grief, her politics, and her imagination to create a new kind of children’s book. The New Yorker

Check out Publishers Weekly’s annual publishing in Canada report. Interesting reading.

Thanks for taking the time to visit. I hope you took away something to support your current work(s) in progress.

Until Thursday, keep staying safe and well!

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Sept 4-10, 2022

So far, September has been an awesome month, weather-wise. We’ve even had to use the portable air conditioner here and there.

Without further ado, here are your informal writerly learnings for the week. Enjoy!

LA Bourgeois suggests you boost your creativity with a break. Then, F.E. Choe helps you overcome the preciousness of your prose. Lori Walker interview Khirsten Wierman about overcoming differences and the ability to change. Kyomi O’Connor explains how she uses writing as a healing tool. Later in the week, Ellen Barker shares five ways to use literary fiction to write about the pressing topics of today. DIY MFA

How we overcorrected the damsel in distress. The Take

Greer Macallister points out the second most important thing. Then, Tiffany Yates Martin wonders, are you telling yourself the wrong stories? Donald Maass considers novels that shouldn’t work, but do—and why. Then, Kathryn Craft is exposing inner conflict in non-POV characters. David Corbett checks out a new model for self-publishing—Emily Kimelman. Writer Unboxed

Janice Hardy helps you take the work out of writing a scene. Then, Angela Ackerman explains how to use conflict to show character development. Fiction University

Chinnamasta: the headless goddess of self-sacrifice. Fate & Fabled | PBS Storied

K.M. Weiland wonders, do you need personal experience to write about something? Helping Writers Become Authors

Angela Ackerman explains how to amp up your conflict. Elizabeth Spann Craig

Angela Ackerman says, if you want to build tension, encourage your reader to ask questions. Then, Tom Bentley explains why persistence pays the weary writer. Allison K. Williams reveals how to get published in Modern Love, McSweeney’s, or anywhere else you want.  Jane Friedman

Kris Maze offers more ways to fix filler words. Then, Piper Bayard is writing about robberies and burglaries. Writers in the Storm

How to stay creative as a writer. Reedsy

Nathan Bransford says, don’t criticize a book’s editing unless you saw the original manuscript.

Chris Winkle shares some lessons learned from the cursed writing of Vicious. Then, Oren Ashkenazi evaluates five tropes that sound cool but rarely work. Mythcreants

Tiffany Yates Martin offers a caveat scriptor: when creators become the customers. Fox Print Editorial

Lincoln Michel unpacks some of the stats emerging from the PRH/SS Merger trial: no, most books don’t sell only a dozen copies. It’s a substack newsletter, but you can read one article for free.

We added 370 new words to the dictionary for September 2022. Merriam-Webster

And that was tipsday.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you took away something to support your current work in progress, whatever stage it’s at.

Until Thursday, keep staying safe and well, my writerly friends!

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Aug 21-27, 2022

It’s the last tipsday of August 2022. Where has the time gone?! It was a week jam-packed with informal writerly learnings. Enjoy!

Sara Farmer investigates some celebrity sleuths. Then, Ambre Leffler recommends the right lighting for your writing life. Tammy Lough: and the Nobel Prize in Literature awarded to … artificial intelligence? Susanne Dunlap tells the tale of how she came to write a novel about Adélaïde Labille-Guiard. Later in the week, Dianne C. Braley shares five tips on character development when writing about starting over. DIY MFA

The real history of Partition in India and Pakistan in Ms. Marvel. Historian’s Take | PBS Origins

Vaughn Roycroft considers the power of generational storytelling. Then, Gwen Hernandez helps you create an epub in Scrivener 3. Kelsey Allagood shares some lessons from the climbing wall. Then, Donna Giovinazzo explains how learning another language turned her into a grammar nerd. Natalie Hart wonders, what if you have what you need? Writer Unboxed

How Cthulu transcended its creator H.P. Lovecraft. Monstrum | PBS Storied

K.M. Weiland shares nine signs your story may be too complicated. Helping Writers Become Authors

Tiffany Yates Martin explains how to let readers into your characters’ inner life. Then, Kris Maze helps you fix fluff words — 14 filler words to avoid. Jenny Hansen says your mess is your message (a writing tip). Writers in the Storm

Why kids’ stories should be darker. Tale Foundry

Jim C. Hines makes a point about historical accuracy (in the context of House of the Dragon).

Heidi Ulrichsen announces that works by Sudbury’s 6th poet laureate now up at airport. Sudbury.com

The history of fonts. Struthless

Joni B. Cole says don’t fall for these five writing myths that can set back your writing. Jane Friedman

Tiffany Yates Martin discusses handling rejection (and what rejection letters mean—and don’t mean). Fox Print Editorial

How Freaks and Geeks got geek culture and freak culture. The Take

Angela Ackerman explains how to use conflict to target a character’s soft spots. Writers Helping Writers

Chris Winkle explains why you should theme your world. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five stories with too many characters. Mythcreants

Six signs it’s time to shelve your book. Reedsy

Joshua Hammer wonder was King Arthur a real person? The Smithsonian Magazine

Ed Simon: Mary Sydney and the voice of God. JSTOR Daily

The story behind food names. Otherwords | PBS Storied

Industry news: Jenn Northington wonders what is going on with Barnes & Noble? Book Riot

Thank you for spending some time with me, and I hope you found something to support your current work(s) in progress.

Until Thursday, keep staying safe and well!

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Aug 14-20, 2022

Week four of August is here along with your weekly batch of informal writerly learnings! Enjoy!

K.M. Weiland explains how to write emotional scenes (without making them cringey). Helping Writers Become Authors

Lisa Norman reveals how to painlessly generate dozens of blog ideas. Then, Sandy Vaile digs into research: how far will fiction authors go for facts? Laurie Schnebly Campbell wonders how much does genre matter? Writers in the Storm

Joanna Penn interviews Becca Puglisi about writing conflict. The Creative Penn

How to write a plot summary and a synopsis. Reedsy

Roz Morris considers using real people in historical fiction—how much can you invent? Nail Your Novel

Barbara Linn Probst wonders what does “award-winning author” mean—and does it matter? Then, Marcie Geffner discusses aphantasia and writing fiction with no “mind’s eye.” Writer Unboxed

AJ Harper helps you get in front of your readers’ doubts and objections. Jane Friedman

Good characters are overrated. Tale Foundry

Christina Delay: small focus. Big creativity. Becca Puglisi wants you to use your character’s career to support your story’s theme. Writers Helping Writers

Nathan Bransford says don’t outsource your agent search.

Kris Hill considers fairy tales and once upon a time. Manuela Williams: what is the poetry of witness? Then, Daria White proposes an alternative to traditional time management for writers.  Abigail Cutter suggests five ways to get inside your historical characters’ heads. DIY MFA

This fight changed everything … Jill Bearup

Angela Ackerman: does conflict really belong on every page? Jami Gold

Tiffany Yates Martin explains how to write a query letter (without losing your mind). Fox Print Editorial

Kristen Lamb examines the priority parallax: what’s truly important?

Chris Winkle lists ten reasons your characters might stop communicating. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five stories with well-written families. Mythcreants

How to write your first novel. Reedsy

Chris Martin discusses poetry, autism, and the joy of working with neurodiverse writers. Literary Hub

Peter Kafka: the newsletter boom is over. What’s next? Vox

S.L. Huang investigates the ghost of workshops past: how communism, conservatism, and the Cold War still mold our paths to SFF writing. Outstanding essay! Tor.com

Thank you for spending some time with me. I hope you found something to support your current work in progress.

Until Thursday, keep staying safe and well!

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, July 17-23, 2022

Welcome to the last tipsday of July (!) Is summer really half over? I’ll call for a moment of silence … Half over. Really? Damn. All rightie, then. Console yourselves with some informal writerly learnings.

Disha Walia: ready … set … writing prompts! Richelle Lyn helps you build your brain power. Then, Patrice Gopo explains how the direct address and epistolary essay can energize your writing. Mason Engel provides a reconnaissance report on creativity’s six greatest enemies. Later in the week, Anson Leung shares five tips for writing an emotional piece. DIY MFA

The home that lives in you. Tale Foundry

Jan O’Hara says, I hear sizzling. Where’s the steak? Then, Dave King wonders, how long should your book be? John J. Kelley is getting back to basics—the character arc. Writer Unboxed

Donnie Darko’s meaning of life. The Take

K.M. Weiland shares seven tips for opening your story in medias res. Helping Writers Become Authors

Angela Ackerman explains how to avoid writer’s guilt this summer. Then, Lynette M. Burrows helps you create a compelling plot with what-but-therefore. Ellen Buikema shares satisfying ways to end a story. Writers in the Storm

Aztec mythology and the origins of humanity. Fate & Fabled | PBS Storied

Alexander Lewis shares the secret side careers of successful authors. Then, Sharon Oard Warner says, good scenes require specifics. Jane Friedman

Lisa Hall Wilson explains how to identify your character’s emotional triggers. Writers Helping Writers

Tips for discovery writers. Shaelin Writes

Nathan Bransford says, don’t count on agents and publishers to polish your diamond in the rough.

Tiffany Yates Martin: giving your all for the few. Fox Print Editorial

Genre conventions are the must-have elements of story. Worldbuilding in story: how to create a compelling alternate world. Character development: writing believable avatars that change. Story Grid

How to structure the third quarter. Ellen Brock

Kristen Lamb is experiencing optimism overdose: sometimes life stinks.

Chris Winkle cribs lessons from the appropriative writing of Gemma Doyle. Then, Oren Ashkenazi stages a three-way battle between The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett, and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Mythcreants

How to build a world building bible. Reedsy

V.M. Braganza lists ten women writing in the time of Shakespeare. Mental Floss

Mary Ann Sieghart asked Ian McEwen, Salman Rushdie, Richard Curtis, and others to recommend books by women every man should read. The Guardian

Silvia Moreno-Garcia shares her fascination with creation gone awry: on the build-a-humans of 19th-century literature. Literary Hub

And that was tipsday.

Thanks for taking the time to visit, and I hope you took away something too support your current work in progress.

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe, my writerly friends!

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, May 8-14, 2022

Ah, Tuesday. My favourite day of the week, when I get to share my favourite informal writerly learnings of the week with you 🙂 Enjoy!

K.M. Weiland explains the role of the antagonist in story structure (part 2 of 2). Helping Writers Become Authors

Sophie Masson: the hardworking magic of book design. Then, Jim Dempsey considers the creativity of emotions. Juliet Marillier wants a helping hand: supporting your fellow writers. Then, Kathryn Craft gives you six hall passes for grammar un-school. David Corbett is writing wrongs: the color of my low-down, dirty vote. Yuvi Zalkow: gatekeepers and creativity. Writer Unboxed

Does this make my hammer look big? Jill Bearup

Melinda VanLone continues her book cover 101: mystery/thriller. Then, Kathleen Baldwin shares five secret ingredients for writing a killer teen novel. Later in the week, William F. Wu wonders if you’re a plotter, pantser, or … roadster? Writers in the Storm

A quick tip for outliners. Elizabeth Spann Craig

Heather Davis explains the difference between plot and story and why you need both. Anne Carley: your journal as time machine. Jane Friedman

Reading like a writer. Reedsy

Roz Morris: writers, can you feel it? How to use gut feeling to guide your writing. Nail Your Novel

Richelle Lyn shares her insights on when to formalize your business entity. Then, Amanda Polick lists 25 tips for pitching, writing, and being published in magazines. Catherine Drake explains how setting can serve as a catalyst for story. Later in the week, EC Hanes shares five ways to tell enough without telling all. DIY MFA

Ember Randall: self-defense vs. martial arts. Then, Sarah J. Sover is making magic systems stronger with science. Dan Koboldt

How Beauty and the Beast’s Belle launched the bookworm princess hero. The Take

Angela Ackerman says, if you want readers to connect with your character, include this. Writers Helping Writers

Tiffany Yates Martin: prioritizing your life. Fox Print Editorial

The crime genre: justice and injustice; stories of mystery and intrigue. The structure genre: arch-plot, anti-plot, and mini-plot. Story Grid

Chris Winkle wants you to use your story’s premise to create novelty. Then, Oren Ashkenazi wonders how useful Pixar’s rules of storytelling are (part 1). Mythcreants

Gaslighting: narcissists and tampering with reality. Kristen Lamb

11 tips to take your short stories to the next level. Shaelin Writes

Bill Sanders: welcome to Greater Sudbury, where art comes to die. The Sudbury Star

Sudbury Theatre Centre not transparent with new direction, say critics. CBC

James Whitbrook announces that Ncuti Gatwa is Doctor Who’s new Doctor. Gizmodo

Thanks for stopping by and spending some time with me. I hope you found something to support you current work in progress.

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe!