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, Oct 2-8, 2022

Fall is in the (very chilly) air! Hope all my Canadian friends had marvelous Thanksgiving weekends, but now, it’s back to the grind. Hello, Tuesday-that-feels-like-a-Monday. It’s time to reward yourself with some informal writerly learnings 🙂

K.M. Weiland explains (very briefly) how to pull off a plot twist. Helping Writers Become Authors

Karen DeBonis recommends you celebrate every writing milestone. Lisa Norman: welcome to the future, part 2. Stefan Emunds shares three principles to make your story experience as real-to-life as possible. Writers in the Storm

Tikbálang, the Filipino nightmare shapeshifter. Monstrum | PBS Storied

Elizabeth Spann Craig shares five tips to make your life easier as a writer.

Greer Macallister: knowing your no. Donald Maass returns with more novels that shouldn’t work but do, and why. Then, Sarah Callender is stealing style, structure, and subject from other writers: imitation and emulation. Susan DeFreitas: I’ll feel what she’s feeling.  Yuvi Zalkow is rewriting the bookstore event. Writer Unboxed

Jill Bearup gets creative: the fantasy heroine vs. the writer.

Joe Ponepinto is writing small for a bigger impact. Then, Allison K. Williams says motivation doesn’t finish books. Allison also starts her “Ask an Editor” series answering this question: when should writers stand their ground rather than defer to an editor? Jane Friedman

Tim Hickson fixes the final season of Legend of Korra. Hello, Future Me

E.J. Wenstrom helps you overcome the book promotion scaries. Then, Sara Farmer presents her favourite Jane Austen mysteries. Lori Walker interviews Carol Van Den Hende about finding inspiration and writing purpose-driven fiction. Then, Mason Engel reveals the secret to maintaining the motivation—and discipline—to write: writeforce. Rita Zoey Chin shares five tips for writing dynamic characters. DIY MFA

How to brainstorm effectively. Reedsy

Janice Hardy explains why “the worst that can happen” is terrible writing advice. Fiction University

Becca Puglisi says themes and symbols go together like peas and carrots. Writers Helping Writers

Tiffany Yates Martin discovers how Emi Nietfeld revises: writing and real life. Fox Print Editorial

How to structure a short story. Shaelin Writes

Chris Winkle explains when to kill a hero—or not. Then, Oren Ashkenazi hosts another three-way ANTS death match between Three Parts Dead, House of Blood and Earth, and A Master of Djinn. Mythcreants

Emily Zarevich wonders if Mary Wollstonecraft’s Letters Written During a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark was the original Eat, Pray, Love. JSTOR Daily

Justyna Pawlak and Simon Johnson announce that the scrutiniser of self, France’s Annie Ernaux, beats long path to Nobel literature prize. Reuters

And that was tipsday. Thanks for spending some time with me, 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, my writerly friends.

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, July 31-Aug 6, 2022

Welcome to tipsday, your opportunity to fill up on informal writerly learnings for the week!

Also, I’m super excited for the launch of Pirating Pups at When Words Collide this coming Friday, August 12, at 3 pm MT, 5 pm EDT. WWC is virtual again this year and registration is FREE. Find out more on their website.

LA Bourgeois: stalk your curiosity. Stephanie BwaBwa suggests some more tools for your self-publishing toolbox. Then, Olivia Fisher is all about middle-grade fiction. Kris Calvin shows you how to use shared themes in your favorite childhood books to write as an adult. Later in the week, Gilbert Bassey lists five must-haves for a great ending. DIY MFA

Multiverses, nihilism, and how it feels to be alive right now. Like Stories of Old

Greer Macallister: the power of surprise. Donald Maass helps you write elusive inner moments. Then, Sarah Penner provides a writer’s guide to breaking the rules. Rheea Mukherjee shares three things she learned going on submission with her first book. Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland shares 13 rules to becoming a better beta reader. Helping Writers Become Authors

Characters who never lived. Tale Foundry

Diana Stout points out the relation between the law of abundance and you as a writer. Then, Janice Hardy helps you create stronger characters by giving them roles. Stefan Emunds explains the yin and yang relationship between psychology and storytelling. Writers in the Storm

Elizabeth Spann Craig offers five tips for getting through a tough spot in a project.

Neil Chase pits antagonist vs. villain: what’s the difference? Writers Helping Writers

Shaelin explains why telling and exposition are actually good. Shaelin Writes

Joanna Penn interviews Sacha Black about lessons learned from three years as a full-time author. The Creative Penn

Nathan Bransford: try to make each scene do more than one thing.

Tiffany Yates Martin explains how Joanna Penn revises by measuring what she creates. Fox Print Editorial

Writing exercises for poets. Reedsy

Chris Winkle reveals how to give social justice feedback (in a way that won’t upset the author). Then, Oren Ashkenazi lists the five reasons prequel stories are so difficult. Mythcreants

Hillel Italie says antitrust trial puts publishing industry in the dock. Associated Press

Vittoria Traverso interviews Pablo Olbi about keeping the centuries-old tradition of Venetian bookbinding alive. Atlas Obscura

Ellen Gutoskey lists nine dirty words with appropriate secondary definitions. Mental Floss

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

Until Thursday, keep staying safe and well!

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, June 26-July 2, 2022

Another week, another batch of informal writerly learnings. And so it goes …

Vaughn Roycroft is living an artist’s life with lessons from Kate Bush. Then, Erika Liodice is finding inspiration in unexpected places. Tessa Barbosa shares some easy tricks for crafting memorable characters. Then, Sarah Callender is writing (and living) in the midst of fear. Barbara O’Neal considers the practice. Writer Unboxed

Tim fixes Legend of Korra season 2. Hello, Future Me

K.M. Weiland offers eight ways to avoid cardboard characters and plot contrivances. Helping Writers Become Authors

Susan DeFreitas explains how (and how not) to write queer characters: a primer. Then, Tiffany Yates Martin reveals how to improve your storytelling by studying other people’s. Jane Friedman

That … could have gone better? (Analysis of Luke vs. Vader in Empire Strikes Back.) Jill Bearup

Kris Maze says re-gear your writing career—take risks to revitalize. Then, Jenny Hansen shares Kurt Vonnegut’s ten tips for successful writing. L.A. Mitchell is opening the top-secret client vault on ghostwriting (and how you can find your first). Writers in the Storm

Teresa Conner shares three design secrets for captivating book adds. Hyacinthe M. Miller helps you avoid writing stereotypes of people of color. Writers Helping Writers

Death by misadventure—Passing and the nature of identity. Princess Weekes

LA Bourgeois is battling the guilt monster. Then, F.E. Choe offers a few, humble thoughts on voice. Michael Bourne lists five ways to turn your setting into a fully realized character. DIY MFA

Tiffany Yates Martin points out the main writing skill you may be neglecting. Fox Print Editorial

Moiya McTier—Trickster gods and the mortals who love them. Fate & Fabled | PBS Storied

Chuck Wendig says sometimes writing is finding a place to put all your rage, sorrow, and even joy. Terribleminds

Chris Winkle explains how to write a first-person retelling. Then, Oren Ashkenazi reveals the myth of conflict-free story structures. Mythcreants

Kristen Lamb: writing to formula vs. formulaic writing.

Thank you for visiting with me 🙂 I hope you took away something to support your current work in progress.

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

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, April 24-30, 2022

Welcome to May! Start off the month right with some informal writerly learnings 🙂

Vaughn Roycroft: the applicability of … zombies? Elizabeth Huergo discusses social psychology and the novel. Then, Kelsey Allagood explains why you should embrace the fallow times. Diana Giovinazzo wants us to embrace our literary influences. Kristan Hoffman: revising the stories we tell ourselves. Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland lists ten pros and cons to writing every day. Do you have to? (Hint: maybe not.) Helping Writers Become Authors

Princess Weekes discusses Beloved, Toni Morrison’s magnum opus about confronting a terrible past. It’s Lit | PBS Storied

Kris Maze shares six ways to fix manuscript problems with an outline. Then, Laura Baker is discovering story magic: the x-factor. Eldred Bird poses ten questions to ask your characters. Writers in the Storm

Jim Denney shares the fast-writing secrets of C.S. Lewis. Live, Write, Thrive

Andrea A. Firth explains how the literary journal landscape is and isn’t changing. Allison K. Williams: writers, stop using social media (like that). Anne Carley wonders is journaling a waste of writing time? Jane Friedman

The hungry goddess. Tale Foundry

Melissa Haas offers some leisure learning for April 2022. Then, Colice Sanders is unpacking racism and colorism in character descriptions. Disha Walia shows you how to create your world with six questions. Then, Krystal N. Craiker provides a copyediting checklist: a recipe for clean, clear writing. Finally, Jeneva Rose goes through the five stages of dealing with rejection. DIY MFA

Becca Puglisi wants to know what’s your character hiding? Angela Ackerman: you wrote a killer love story … but did you romance the reader? Writers Helping Writers

The one thing every antihero fears … The Take

Tiffany Yates Martin explains how to transition into a flashback. Fox Print Editorial

The style genre: set the experience for the reader. The reality genre: realism or science fiction/fantasy. The time genre: how the reader experiences time in your story. Story Grid

The ten worst magic tropes. Jenna Moreci

Chris Winkle provides five tips for avoiding disorientation in your opening hook. Then, Oren Ashkenazi hosts a head-to-head-to-head competition between Antz, A Bug’s Life, and Ant-Man. Mythcreants

Kristen Lamb says that lies, deception, and betrayal are the deepest wounds.

Tajja Isen explains how the book industry turns its racism into a marketable product. Literary Hub

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: Informal writerly learnings, Feb 27-March 5, 2022

Welcome to tipsday, your opportunity to fill up on informal writerly learnings, every Tuesday (if you want more—moar—check out the archives). Enjoy!

Melissa Haas shares leisure learning links for February 2022. Then, Richelle Lyn shares tales of a solopreneur. Gabriela Pereira interviews Gillian McDunn about neurodiversity, family dynamics and cooking in contemporary middle grade fiction. Dana De Greff helps you open doors in your writing. DIY MFA

Tim Hickson focuses on the most important moment in any story. Hello, Future Me

Kim Bullock introduces us to the little library banned book project. Then, Tiffany Yates Martin reviews some words you’re probably using wrong. Donald Maass: theme vs. meaning. Liza Nash Taylor shares the arc of one author and two book launches in five acts: Freytag’s pandemic. Yuvi Zalkow: storytelling and the Hero’s Journey. Writer Unboxed

The myth of heroic masculine purpose. Like Stories of Old

K.M. Weiland shares five red flags that indicate you might need a break from writing. Helping Writers Become Authors

Tiffany Yates Martin wants you to dig deeper than description for more nuanced characters. Then, James R. Preston wants you to get out from behind the keyboard. Writers in the Storm

How to write your novel’s first chapter. Reedsy

Joanna Penn interviews Johnny B. Truant about pivoting on the creative journey. The Creative Penn

Lisa Poisso recommends best practices for working with an independent editor. Then, Becca Puglisi shares some tips for landing a guest-posting gig. Writers Helping Writers

Nathan Bransford wants you to show your characters getting from point a to point b.

Finding your writing process. Shaelin Writes

Jessica Conoley reveals what your writing is training you for. When you change alongside your book: Q&A with Mansi Shah. Jane Friedman

Chris Winkle explains how to write an unhappy ending. Then, Oren Ashkenazi reveals why sequels don’t erase errors in the first book. Mythcreants

Adze: the shapeshifting firefly from West Africa. Monstrum | PBS Storied

Kristen Lamb is creating dimensional characters with personality traits.

Ashawnta Jackson reveals the short but influential run of Ebony and Topaz. JSTOR Daily

Angelarium: The Book of Angels. Tale Foundry

George Saunders helps you overcome uncertainty in writing. Literary Hub

Priya Sidhar wonders, was Brandon Sanderson’s video about burnout relatable? Medium

Unreliable narrators: why we love to be lied to. The Take

Jonathan Thornton provides a readers’ guide to the Finnish weird in translation. More for my TBR list! Tor.com

Leigh Haber interviews Diana Gabaldon about season six of Outlander. Droughtlander ENDED Sunday! Yay! Oprah Daily online

Thank you for taking the time to visit. 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, Jan 16-22, 2022

It’s the last tipsday of January 2022. Get your informal writerly learnings to see you through the week.

Disha Walia is debunking myths about speculative fiction. Then, Ambre Dawn Leffler suggests you bring coziness to winter writing with hygge. Pamela Taylor shows you where to start with historical fiction. Then, Barb Geiger says, no really. Show. Don’t tell. DIY MFA

The pretty girl trope. The Take

Katey Schultz is getting off the hamster wheel. Then, Jan O’Hara shares what her pup taught her about writing. Dave King reveals how to learn to write. Then, Barbara Linn Probst is finding the path to authenticity. Porter Anderson explores the inevitable näiveté of the past. Writer Unboxed

10 tips for writing strong dialogue. Reedsy

Harrison Demchick explains the roles of causality and plot structure in literary fiction. Then, Jane shows you how to plan and host worthwhile online events. Jane Friedman

Ellen Brock explains how to write the status quo in your novel.

Lisa Hall-Wilson reveals how to use physical pain to show a character’s past trauma. Then, Michelle Barker shows you how self-editing can take your novel to the next stage. Writers Helping Writers

Is there any hope for the Netflix adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender? Hello, Future Me

Angela Ackerman says that if you want your characters to stand out, give them a skill. Then, Lynette M. Burrows shares the things she wishes she knew before she published (part 1). Jenny Hansen shares two aha-moments that boosted her writing confidence. Writers in the Storm

Erica Brozovsky asks, is swearing good for your brain? Otherwords | PBS Storied

Chris Winkle helps you outline a short story in seven steps. Then, Oren Ashkenazi explains how Sanderson bungled culture in Way of Kings. Mythcreants

Dune: why do people even like this book? Tale Foundry

Kristen Lamb examines the relation between branding and attention: busy brains in a busy world.

Angie Hodapp discusses kishōtenketsu and non-western story structures. Pub Rants

The gaslit Disney Princess. The Take

Nina Munteanu: when we burn books

Natalie Zutter says that there are no heroes or villains in Station Eleven, just fans. Tor.com

Reeves Wiedeman delves into the mystery of the spine collector. Vulture

Thank you for visiting, and I hope you took away 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, Aug 22-28, 2021

And here it is, the last day of August (!) How did that happen? Get your informal writerly learnings now, before summer disappears!

Susan DeFreitas lists the three strengths and three challenges of starting your novel with theme. Then, Carol J. Michel explains how to market your book without social media. Jane Friedman

Tiffany Yates Martin shares the one tool that transforms your writing. Then, Tasha Seegmiller composes a letter to a writer: keep learning. Laurie Schnebly Campbell is tremendous, terrible, triumphant. Writers in the Storm

Elizabeth S. Craig is regaining confidence.

C.S. Lakin lists seven sensory elements that writers ignore. Live, Write, Thrive

To kill … To Kill a Mockingbird? It’s Lit | PBS Storied

C.S. Lakin explains how to nail the purpose of your novel’s scenes. Then, Lisa Hall-Wilson shows you how to use trauma strategically to create an emotional arc. Writers Helping Writers

David Corbett: the people we think we know (and the characters they inspire). Then, Diana Giovinazzo helps you utilize video games in your writing. Heather Webb says, if you want to be a career author, you have to avoid pitfalls (and a few trips, too). Then, Natalie Hart touts the gift of hunger. Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland shares the main reason your story’s premise is important. Helping Writers Become Authors

Studio Ghibli’s Ponyo: a love letter to the natural world. The Take

Savannah Cordova provides an honest appraisal of Amazon exclusivity for first-time authors. Then, Marina Barakatt considers the merits of The Wicked + the Divine. Leora Krygier considers multigenerational trauma in memoir. DIY MFA

Ann Harth offers a layered method for creating consistent characters. Fiction University

Kristen Lamb considers writer’s block: is it laziness, or a critical part of being a long-time author?

Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five stories that neglect tension. Mythcreants

Why super heroine movies don’t empower us all. The Take

K.W. Colyard explains why authors can’t get enough of this little-known fairy tale. Bustle

Vida Cruz declares, we are the mountain: a look at the inactive protagonist. Fantasy Magazine

Clive Thompson explains how data science pinpointed the creepiest word in Macbeth. OneZero

Steve Edwards is misunderstanding Thoreau: reading neurodiversity in literature and in life. Literary Hub

Sebastian Leck reports that a unique literary festival focuses solely on Haudenosaunee storytelling and publishing. CBC

Peter Knegt: the first piece of queer Mauritian literature ever published is by Montreal’s Kama La Mackerel. CBC

Thanks for taking the time to visit. 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, Aug 15-21, 2021

You’ve made it through Monday! Reward yourself with some informal writerly learnings 🙂

Vaughn Roycroft is living with unpublished characters. Then, Barbara O’Neal is finding the particular. Barbara Linn Probst considers writing: is it an art, identity, or profession? Why not all three? Later in the week, Porter Anderson gets provocative about flights of self-censorship. Then, Kelsey Allagood explains how creation myths affect character motivation. Writer Unboxed

Princess Weekes explains how true crime reveals the corruption and failures of the legal system. Melina Pendulum

K.M. Weiland explains why you should always identify your characters, pronto. Helping Writers Become Authors

Jane (herself) says, the value of book distribution is often misunderstood by authors. Then, Tiffany Yates Martin shares the secret to a tight, propulsive plot: the want, the action, the shift. Sangeeta Mehta interviews agents Michelle Brower and Jennifer Chen Tran about whether you should publish with a small press. Jane Friedman

Related: E.J. Wenstrom shares what she’s learned in six years of small press publishing. Elizabeth Spann Craig

Story structures: In medias res. Reedsy

Melinda VanLone offers some advice for branding a series. Then, Lisa Norman lists seven things every author website needs. Miffie Seideman offers some helpful advice on writing about drugs: Fentanyl 101. Writers in the Storm

Andrea Turrentine shares two key factors in successfully outlining stories. Live, Write, Thrive

Rayne Hall lists 11 reasons you should submit your short stories to anthologies. Then, Janice Hardy wonders, why ask why? Because your readers will. Bonnie Randall considers the risks and rewards of uncommon narrative structures. Fiction University

Nathan Bransford advises what to cut when your book is too long. Nathan Bransford

Seven-point story structure. Reedsy

Ambre Dawn Lefler wants you to be a conference guru. Then, Susan Francis Morris explains how writing helped her live life after trauma. Later in the week, LA Bourgeois offers five ways to trick yourself into writing. DIY MFA

E.J. Wenstrom explains why we need ADHD representation in fiction. Terribleminds

Christina Delay is breaking free. Writers Helping Writers

Chris Winkle: what do writers need to describe? Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five characters with the wrong skill set. Mythcreants

Why it’s time to write out the nag. The Take

Angie Hodapp introduces us to the trinity of premise, plot, and prose. What happens when one is missing? Then, Kristin Nelson shares 14 reasons why agenting is harder now than it was 20 years ago. Pub Rants

Nina Munteanu: to boldly go where no human has gone before ….

Rebecca Thomas explores Mi’kmaw language in poetry collection: I Place you into the Fire. CBC’s The Next Chapter

Vicky Qiao reports that Ojibway journalist and author Tanya Talaga to write three new nonfiction books. The first will be published in 2023. CBC

Thank you for taking the time to visit. I hope you took away 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, June 13-19, 2021

Welcome back to tipsday, your chance to peruse all the informal writerly learnings 🙂

K.M. Weiland covers the flat archetype of the ruler in part 19 of her archetypal character arcs series. Helping Writers Become Authors

Sue Campbell offers a guide for how to be a great podcast guest. Jane Friedman

Shaelin shares her long journey with confidence as a writer. Shaelin Writes

Elizabeth S. Craig is checking in on goals half-way through the year.

Dave King is managing a motif. Then, Barbara Linn Probst is pausing at the border of fiction. Later in the week, Kristan Hoffman posts on not letting ambition take over. Writer Unboxed

What people get wrong about African American English. Otherwords | PBS Storied

Becca Puglisi has some advice for revising your plot after the first draft. Fiction University

Lucy V. Hay shares eight ways to write your novel’s outline. Then, Jessica Conoley returns to complete your writing support triangle with part 3: accountability. Writers Helping Writers

Nathan Bransford: writers are storytellers, not theme-tellers.

Jane Eyre: why we keep reading it (featuring Princess Weekes). It’s Lit | PBS Storied

Anita Ramirez shares the life of a writer—episode 2: the unthinkable. Then, Angela Yeh is discovering ekphrastic poetry. Later in the week, Marissa Levien says, focus on the story, not the word count. Then, Kate Allen shares five tips for balancing writing and your full-time job. DIY MFA

Barbara Linn Probst is bringing a character to life. Jenny Hansen shares five “rules” that may change your writing future. Writers in the Storm

Kristine Kathryn Rusch continues her fear-based decision-making series with part 6: FOMO and the indie writer.

Chris Winkle shares six ways to add stakes to a mystery. Oren Ashkenazi: what a panic on Twitter revealed about writers today. Mythcreants

Why we need the manic pixie dream boy. The Take

Colleen Romaniuk peruses Painted Voices: Sudbury writers publish chapbook about St. Joseph’s Hospital. The Sudbury Star

Claire Cock-Starkey: a star is born (on the history of the asterisk). Lapham’s Quarterly

Ashawnta Jackson: James Baldwin and the FBI. JSTOR Daily

Open Culture shares a never-televised profile of James Baldwin.

Keyaira Boone compiles this list of 18 books to celebrate Juneteenth. Essence

How Jane Austen’s writing reveals her spiritual side. CBC’s “Tapestry”

Kevin Griffin reports that English Bay’s Berkeley Tower to be covered with Douglas Coupland’s murals. Vancouver Sun

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

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