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, 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, July 3-9, 2022

Summer’s finally taking hold up here in northeastern Ontario. Take a refreshing break from your hot day with some informal writerly learnings.

K.M. Weiland shares a short post about capturing authentic human reactions in fiction. Helping Writers Become Authors

Why Stranger Things season 4 is better than ever. The Take

Yuvi Zalkow says most people don’t give a shit about your thing. Then, Susan DeFreitas explains what happens when story is medicine. Donald Maass reviews three modes of story imagination. Then, Sophie Masson considers tense and tension. David Corbett explores contradiction and character. Writer Unboxed

Um … let’s talk about The Princess. Jill Bearup

Karen DeBonis wonders, do you have a toxic productivity issue? Then, Joseph Lallo discusses the diamonds in the rough draft—writing scenes that matter. Julie Glover wonders, can a new location boost your writing productivity? Writers in the Storm

16 questions to ask while line editing. Shaelin Writes

Becca Puglisi says, if you need conflict, just let your characters talk. Then, Colleen M. Story helps you determine which is better for you—traditional or self-publishing? Writers Helping Writers

Colice Sanders is unpacking cultural appropriation. Then, Disha Walia covers trends in speculative fiction. Melissa Haas explains how to turn your indie book into an audiobook. DIY MFA

What hellhounds reveal about humans’ oldest companion. Monstrum | PBS Storied

Obligatory moments in story and genre. The action genre: how to tell an exciting life and death story. The genres of story: definition, examples, and reader expectations. Story Grid

Heather Davis poses seven questions to design a better arc of change for your protagonist. Jane Friedman

How do fairies see our world? Tale Foundry

Tiffany Yates Martin reveals how Katherine Center revises. Fox Print Editorial

Chris Winkle helps you understand character karma. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes six sloppy character arcs in popular stories. Mythcreants

Kat Rosenfield says that sensitivity readers are the new literary gate keepers. I want to clarify one thing: this article is about the misuse/abuse of sensitivity readers by the publishing industry. There are excellent sensitivity readers out there that will help you make your representation more respectful/effective. Reason

And that was tipsday.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you found something to support your current work in progress.

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

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Oct 17-23, 2021

Another week, another batch of informal writerly learnings 🙂 Enjoy!

Jan O’Hara receives a wake-up call. Then, Dave King is writing in both directions. Barbara Linn Probst reviews the three aspects of revision: reworking, refining, and revisioning. Later in the week, Desmond Hall drops some more bite-sized writerly learnings on us. Writer Unboxed

Angela Ackerman explains how to make your characters’ choices more difficult. Helping Writers Become Authors

Jill bearup wants to talk to you about your enemies to lovers fixation (see Jenna Moreci, below, for a little writerly how-to).

Jessica Conoley shows you how to use your analyzer switch to increase productivity. Then, Stephanie Bourbon shows you how to fly by the seat of your pants—and win NaNoWriMo. Lizbeth Meredith asks: does the idea of promoting your book make you queasy? Jane Friedman

Emily Zarka recounts the killer origins of the werewolf. Monstrum | PBS Storied

Becca Puglisi reveals how internal conflict fits into the character arc. Live, Write, Thrive

Then, Becca shifts blogs to further discuss failure, conflict, and character arc. Then, Lisa Norman covers publishing dilemmas, distribution, and disruption. Ellen Buikema touts the benefits of writing SMART goals. Writers in the Storm

Jessica Thompson is subverting expectations in satisfying ways. Elizabeth Spann Craig

Louise Harnby answers the question: what is narrative distance?

The “mean girl” trio – three types of bad female leaders. The Take

Nathan explains how to raise the stakes in a novel. Then, Lindsay Syhakhom declares that writing in the library is wonderful. Nathan Bransford

Jeanette the Writer helps you figure out where to put the comma. Tammy Lough: romantic gestures create heat waves. Gabriela Pereira interviews Stephanie Bwa Bwa about world building and the YA fantasy serial. Then, Jessica Vitalis is tackling heavy subjects with middle grade readers. Angela Yeh shares five fun ways to get your butt in the chair (and keep it there). DIY MFA

Jenna Moreci offers her top ten tips for writing enemies to lovers.

J.D. Edwin shares six helpful ways any writer can overcome burnout. The Write Practice

Piper Bayard explains that outside of Hollywood movies, not everything can be “silenced.” Kristen Lamb

Bonnie Randall offers a few foundations of fear in fiction. Fiction University

Chris Winkle explains the problem with multiple viewpoints. Then, Oren Ashkenazi tests how useful Elmore Leonard’s ten rules of writing are. Mythcreants

Shaelin critiques Leonard’s rules, too. It’s interesting to note the differences … Reedsy

Sudbury’s YES Theatre hopes to build new outdoor venue. I remember when this space was open for movie nights and poetry readings and all kinds of artistic events. CBC

A process for the transfer of energy and feeling: George Saunders on the key to great storytelling. Brain Pickings

Kinship: Ursula K. Le Guin’s love poem to trees, the interleaving of life and death, and the eternal flame of being. The Marginalian (formerly Brain Pickings)

Thank you for taking the time to visit, and I hope you found something to support your current work in progress.

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

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, July 18-24, 2021

It’s the last tipsday of July? Where the hell has the time gone? And so fast? Ah well, console yourselves with some informal writerly learnings.

Jan O’Hara shares what an unnatural book marketer learned while Marie Kondo-ing her house. Then, Dave King exposes the dangers of editing. Barbara Linn Probst explains what to do when you take a break from your work in progress. Heather Webb says, when the going gets tough, the though get going (in publishing). Late in the week, John J. Kelley offers some tips for when characters meet: close encounters of he initial kind. Writer Unboxed

What is Toph’s character arc? Hello, Future Me

K.M. Weiland: why everyone should write (even if you think you stink). Helping Writers Become Authors

Angela Ackerman promotes writing character descriptions that hook readers. Then, Sudha Balagopal encourages you to flavor your fiction with foreign expressions. Later in the week, Ellen Buikema encourages you to think about why you’ve chosen the road to writing. Writers in the Storm

Copyediting vs. proofreading. Reedsy

Bonnie Randall helps you access deep point of view via description (and a writing exercise). Fiction University

Nathan Brandford wants you to try to separate process from product (outcomes).

Is your book ready for an editor? Reedsy

E.J. Wenstrom shows you how to plan an online book launch. Then, Sara Farmer considers classic girl detectives. Gabriela Pereira interviews Brandie June about character dynamics in a fairy tale retelling. Later in the week, Kim Catanzarite shares five copyediting mistakes you’re probably making (and how to eradicate them). DIY MFA

El Silbón: The Deadly Whistler of the South American Grasslands. Monstrum | PBS Storied

Angie Hodapp shares four ways to create inter-character conflict. Pub Rants

Becca Puglisi helps you figure out whether fight, flight, or freeze is your character’s default response. Writers Helping Writers

Chris Winkle explains how to make large conflicts exciting. Mythcreants

Chimera: mythology’s magical multi-species monster. Tale Foundry

Kathleen Newman-Bremang: it isn’t just Gossip Girl—TV has a major colorism problem. Refinery 29

35 Canadian books to check out this summer. CBC Books

Phil Pirello introduces us to the version of Aliens we never saw. SyFy

Kim Stanley Robinson considers the novel solutions of utopian fiction. The Nation

Davide Tristan: one megahit later, we check in with the creator of Enola Holmes. ABC27

Vicky Qaio reports that Canadian authors C.L. Polk and Silvia Moreno-Garcia among World Fantasy Award finalists. CBC books

Neda Ulaby: when your book publishes in a pandemic. NPR

And that was tipsday. Thanks for taking the time to visit, and I hope you found something to support your current work in progress.

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

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Dec 1-5, 2020

Welcome to the first post-NaNo tipsday of 2020! Because I don’t watch YouTube during November, I have a lot of videos to catch up on. Expect a fair number of videos in the next two or three weeks 🙂

Black and Indigenous lives matter.

Wear your masks, maintain physical distance, wash your hands, and get your flu shot as soon as they’re available. I say this last because our local pharmacies ran out of flu vaccine almost as soon as they were stocked. We’re hoping to make our appointments, soonish, now that we’ve heard they have more in.

Leanne Sowul dubs 2020 the year of reflection. Then, Gabriela Pereira interviews Veena Rao: the unexpected female protagonist. Later in the week, Anita Ramirez lists five reasons you’re never too old to launch a writing career. DIY MFA

Princess Weekes explains why the cynical superhero isn’t that interesting (with philosophy). Melina Pendulum

Donald Mass: the beat goes on. Kathryn Magendie talks royalties: what this writer made, once upon one time. Then, Julianna Baggott nurturing the automatic writer. Writer Unboxed

John Peragine shares seven more plot structures for pantsers. Later in the week, James Preston helps you get past the black page. Writers in the Storm

Shaelin explains how to write a character arc. Reedsy

James Scott Bell wonders, do you have a sense of where you are? Writers Helping Writers

Allison K. Williams helps you move from first draft to second draft to publishable book. Jane Friedman

The spicy Latina trope, explained. The Take

Chris Winkle explains how and why you should consolidate your story. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes the climaxes of Marvel’s phase three (part 2). Mythcreants

Princess Weekes tackles the question, are graphic novels … novels? It’s Lit | PBS Storied

Nina Munteanu revisits Darwin’s Paradox: compassion and evolution.

Andrew Liptak: SFWA names Nalo Hopkinson the 37th Damon Knight Grand Master. Tor.com

The Torontonian roots of Doctor Who. The Toronto Dreams Project Historical Ephemera Blog

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

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe!

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, March 22-28, 2020

I hope you’re all keeping safe and well.

I’m now working from home and only leaving to walk the dog. Phil continues to be our designated shopper. We’re all remaining as isolated as possible given the circumstances.

While you’re at home, you might have the time to catch up on your informal writerly learnings.

Julianna Baggott is creating in the time of quarantine. Liz Michalski: sea glass. Heather Webb says, the beauty is in the words. John J Kelley: for the love of Moira—the arc of a memorable character. Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland touts the power of hopeful stories in a stressful time. Helping Writers Become Authors

E.J. Wenstrom explains how authors can build a true community of fans. Later in the week, Savannah Cordova lists five signs your story’s structure needs work. DIY MFA

Shaelin shares six ways to improve your craft. Reedsy

Barbara Linn Probst visit’s Jane Friedman’s blog to explain the when, why, and how of peer critique and professional editing.

Lisa Hall-Wilson explains how to write compelling emotional triggers. Ellen Buikema explores white space on the page. Writers in the Storm

The Take takes on the weird girl trope.

Chris Winkle helps you make the most of your narrative premise. Then, Oren Ashkenazi explains why zombies aren’t a good pandemic parallel. Mythcreants

Meg LaTorre shares ten fantasy tropes she loves. iWriterly

Jami Gold explains how point of view affects dialogue.

Nina Munteanu: dreams and perceptions and “the other.”

Robert Lee Brewer clarifies fable vs. parable vs. allegory. Writer’s Digest

Adrienne Westenfeld recommends the best books for distancing yourself from reality right now. Esquire

Open Culture introduces us to the world’s first author: the Sumerian High Priestess Enheduanna.

Thank you for visiting, and I hope you took away something to support your current work in progress.

Until Thursday, be well!

Tipsday2019

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Feb 23-29, 2020

March first was lamb-like. I’m hoping for a gentle month. How about you?

Now, it’s time to get your fill of informal writerly learnings.

Tiffany Yates Martin lists ten specific ways to encourage your reader to like your protagonist. Kris Maze shares five steps to becoming a superstar self-editor. Writers in the Storm

Julia Munroe Martin is not above spying … again. Barbara Linn Probst is taking it scene by scene: the “middle level” of writing. Heather Webb tackles the social media meltdown and burnout. Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland shares the professional resources she uses for all aspects of writing and publishing processes. Helping Writers Become Authors

Do you need to outline your book? Reedsy

Then, Shaelin recommends how to develop your best writing process. Reedsy

Joanna Penn interviews Barbara Poelle about finding and pitching a literary agent. The Creative Penn

Sarah Chauncey lists five flashback mistakes. Jane Friedman

Nathan Bransford: don’t release the tension.

Manuela Williams shares five tips for writing an author bio that stands out. DIY MFA

Jami Gold explains how to get advice from an editor. Later in the week, she wonders, do our stories have deeper meanings?

Chris Winkle lists the four essentials of an effective character arc. Then, Oren Ashkenazi explains how to use failure in your story. Mythcreants

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you took away something tasty that will support your current work in progress.

Until Thursday, be well!

Tipsday2019

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Sept 15-21, 2019

Here we are, officially in the fall. Take the time to enjoy the turning leaves and the delicious smells of the season. And, of course, spoil yourself with some informal writerly learnings.

Vaughn Roycroft is using theme to leverage revision. Julie Carrick Dalton hopes no one will notice. Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland critiques another brave writer to demonstrate ten ways to write excellent dialogue. Helping Writers Become Authors

Susan de Freitas points out three things you won’t learn from an MFA program. Jane Friedman

Joanna Penn interviews James Scott Bell about writing unforgettable endings. Then, Harrison Demchick offers you four ideas to help authors revise a first draft. The Creative Penn

Chris Winkle returns with the fourth aspect of goal-oriented storytelling: satisfaction. Writers Helping Writers

Jenna Moreci offers her top ten tips on character arcs.

Nathan Bransford offers six ways to build intimacy between characters. Later in the week, he asks, are you creating a mystery, or are you just being vague?

Jenn Walton shares three ways to find inspiration at a writing conference (or any work event). DIY MFA

Jenny Hansen wants you to find and share your story’s theme. Writers in the Storm

Chuck Wendig explains how to be a professional author and not die screaming and starving in a lightless abyss. Terribleminds

Jami Gold helps you figure out how to build your story with chapters, scenes, or both. Then, Kris Kennedy returns with part four of her avoid infodumping by making backstory essential series.

Bunny discusses choosing a follow-up strategy for a popular story. Then, Oren Ashkenazi shares five ways to handle parents without killing them. Mythcreants

Robert Lee Brewer advises writers regarding spacing between sentences. Writer’s Digest

Daniel Ross Goodman shows us the haunting magic of Maurice Sendak. National Review

Thank you for visiting. I hope you found something you need to move your work in progress forward.

Until Thursday, be well!

Tipsday2019