Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Oct 16-22, 2016

Just to let you know. I’m participating in #NaNoWriMo this year, but I wasn’t able to take much time off in November. So I’m working. And, I’ll be out of town, training for the day job, for the first week. And I’ll be at Wordstock Sudbury the weekend I get back. And I’ll be helping to launch the SWG anthology, Sudbury Ink. On the weekend of the 12th/13th (the day/date is yet to be determined).

So, it’s going to be a busy month.

As a result, I’m not going to be blogging at all in the month of November. I will be able to complete and schedule the curation posts for the first week (Tipsday on Nov 1st and Thoughty Thursday on Nov 3rd), but, after that, you won’t be seeing another post until December 3rd, when I’ll be doing a double monthly update for October and November.

I just wanted to let you know ahead of time, so you won’t be expecting posts, or wondering where the heck I am.

I’ll be well, and writing 🙂

Your #NaNoWriMo round up for the week:

K.M. Weiland reviews the WriteMind Planner (plus a chance to win!). Helping Writers Become Authors

Janice Hardy guest posts on Kate’s blog: three ways to instantly spot telling.

Chris Winkle shares five ways to hide your foreshadowing. Mythcreants

Vaughn Roycroft suggests the synopsis as a way to revision success. Writer Unboxed

Dave King helps you meet your characters on Writer Unboxed.

Janice Hardy asks, which character is the heart of your story? Fiction University

Writing a series: how much do you need to plan ahead? Jami Gold.

Alex Bloom makes a guest appearance on The Write Practice: what most writers don’t know about screenplay structure.

Steven Pressfield: what works and what doesn’t.

Gail Carriger discusses one of her literary influences, Mercedes Lackey.

Sabaa Tahir picks Patrick Rothfuss’s brain about writing sequels and impostor’s syndrome.

Sarah Gailey wants to see more mentally ill women protagonists.

Authors share their views on cultural appropriation. The Guardian

Marlon James: why I’m done talking about diversity. Literary Hub

Finally! An infographic that breaks down the big five and their imprints.

Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan reports on a gorgeous typeface that drove men mad and sparked a 100-year mystery. Gizmodo

Charles Dickens and profanity. Bryan Kozlowski for The Millions.

Azhar A. Alkazwini documents the influence of the Norman Conquest on the English language.

Five portmanteau words you want to start using. Sad and Useless

Hephzibah Anderson settles in with The Wide Sargasso Sea, the book that changed Jane Eyre forever. BBC

Looking forward to Guardians of the Galaxy, vol. 2? Check out this teaser trailer! Brian Raftery for Wired.

Women will direct every episode of Jessica Jones, season 2. Beth Elderkin for i09.

All the best until Thursday 🙂

See you then! *waves*


My favourite story archetype

QOTW 15: What’s Your Favorite Type of Story?

Now I want to know: what’s your favorite story archetype? If you need a refresher on these archetypes, look back at Chapter 11 to the section on conflict and power struggles. More importantly, I’d love to know why you chose that story type and whether you’re using it in your current work-in-progress (WIP).


In presenting her QotW, Gabriela mentioned how much she enjoys underdog, or comeback stories.

I have to confess a fondness for the same. I tend to appreciate these stories in the context of the bildungsroman, or the classic story of a character who moves from innocence to experience, in short, the coming of age story.

In terms of the classics, a lot of Dickens’ works are of this type (Oliver Twist, Great Expectations).

I read (and write) a lot of fantasy, though. So I’ll give you a couple of examples from the genre.

I recently read (and enjoyed—a lot) Brent Weeks’s The Way of Shadows. In this novel, Azoth, a young guild rat, begins the story as a homeless orphan whose only aspiration is to stop being afraid all the time. In the attempt to attain his goal, he apprentices to a magical assassin, plays the part of a young noble in the course of his education, and eventually becomes the Night Angel, not by doing what’s expected of him, or what his master tells him to, but by doing what’s right.

Very Oliver Twist-ish, non?

An old favourite of mine is Mary Brown’s The Unlikely Ones. In this lovely fable, the protagonist, known only as Thing, is servant (slave) to a witch. She’s forced to wear a mask all the time because her mistress tells her how ugly she is.

Thing’s lie is very literal. She behaves like the Thing she’s always been told she was. Magic begins to happen when she starts to challenge the lie, however. What I like most about this novel is that Thing manages her transformation through acts of kindness.

My own novels, though I’d very much agree that my protagonists are all protectors, follow similar development and themes. Though they may all have special talents that eventually help them become ‘bigger than life’ characters, my protagonists begin their stories disadvantaged in some way. They have to learn through struggle and loss what they might become.

If you want to find out more about story archetypes, or any of the other writerly goodness that is DIYMFA visit the DIYMFA page!

Tomorrow: I’ll be sharing my notes on the final Ad Astra session I attended.

Next week: I’ll be starting on the panels and presentations I attended at the Canadian Writers’ Summit.

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, December 6-12, 2015

It’s been another great week of Writerly Goodness.

Jane Friedman offers her thoughts on privilege and luxury with respect to her productivity. This is particularly interesting in light of my The next chapter update of last week.

Here’s one of the articles Jane links in her post (above): The writing class by Jaswinder Bolina for the Poetry Foundation. I actually shared one of the others last week . . .

Jane later tries to answer the question; do men receive bigger book advances than women?

Why I choose to write publicly about my anxiety. Kameron Hurley.

K.M. Weiland returns to her most common writing mistakes series with this entry: Anticlimactic endings.

David Corbett explores shame, guilt, and hope, referencing other excellent posts by Tom Bentley and Donald Maass, in this post for Writer Unboxed: The redemptive arc.

Lisa Cron continues her exploration of backstory on Writer Unboxed: What we’ve been taught about backstory and why it’s wrong. offers their list of the SFF characters they couldn’t stop talking about in 2015.

Sherman Alexie: How storytelling can create social change. The Take Away.

Elizabeth Gilbert discusses not getting an MFA on The MFA Project.

Open Culture shares 48 hours of Joseph Campbell lectures for free.

Mental Floss offers Edison’s footage of Mark Twain in his home.

Charles Dickens once created an entire library of fake books. He titled them all himself. Someone was wearing his clever trousers. Open Culture.

Karin Scheper wonders whether to conserve or not to conserve on the Medieval Books blog.

Ah, another lovely entry in the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. Kudoclasm:


And with that bit of poetry, I leave you.

Until Thursday, mes cheres!