Welcome to tipsday, your source for informal writerly learnings.
Angela Ackerman wonders, does your character’s behaviour make sense? Then, Lisa Hall-Wilson supplies one quick fix for telling in deep point of view. Writers in the Storm
Jan O’Hara explains what cows and writing competence have in common. Dave King had a solution to absent friends. Heather Webb is navigating an evolving writing process: writing on a boat, with a goat. Keith Cronin: on getting it and showing up. Writer Unboxed
K.M. Weiland examines the two different types of lie your character believes. Helping Writers Become Authors
Tim Hickson on writing first person. Hello, Future Me
Christina Kaye explains how to write a killer villain. Jane Friedman
Nathan Bransford shares nine ways to spice up your characters. Later in the week, he wonders, what does it mean to be your “real self” online?
Leanne Sowul wants you to use the power of habit to achieve your goals. Then, Bronwen Fleetwood wonders, should you use pop culture references in MG and YA fiction? Gabriela Pereira interviews Constance Sayers: stitching together multiple timelines. DIY MFA
Agents Sara Megibow wants you to make a list of personal influencers. Fiction University
Jami Gold considers how to make your protagonist more proactive.
How to introduce your characters, part 1. Reedsy
And part 2:
Chris Winkle examines six effective animal companions (including droids and baby Yoda). Then, Oren Ashkenazi critiques eight instances of sexism in The Witcher. Mythcreants
Robert Lee Brewer clarifies when to use canceled and when to use cancelled. Writer’s Digest
And that was tipsday. Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you took away something you need for your current work in progress.
Until Thursday, be well, my writerly friends 🙂
This week, I found lots of resources to get your mental corn popping.
Zwikar Oli reports for the Plaid Zebra: moss-growing concrete absorbs CO2, insulates, and serves as vertical garden.
Alex Landon considers similar installations in London: artificial trees absorb as much pollution as 275 regular trees. Secret London
Nathan Bahadursingh says that urban farming is the future of architecture. Architizer
Greta and George
Gosia Wozniacka warns about the dark side of compostable take-out containers. Eater
Alex Ross considers the past and future of the world’s oldest trees. The New Yorker
Five things ravens do. The Raven Diaries
Christian Cotroneo tells the tale of the astonished divers who encounter a massive jellyfish off the coast of England. Mother Nature Network
Chelsea Whyte explains how we can tell where a whale has travelled by the themes in its song. New Scientist
True facts about the ostrich. Ze Frank
Eben Disken: wombats are the improbable heroes of the Australian bushfires, hiding other animals in their burrows. Matador Network
Greg Hogben explains how we broke our promise to Harry. My Daughter’s Army
Melissa Pandika: why does my body jerk when I’m falling asleep? Mic
Joseph Stern shares his perspective on dying in the neurosurgical ICU. The New York Times
Kathrin Glösel: Finland ends homelessness and provides shelter for all in need. Scoop.Me
Anne Quito reviews a survey of 20,000 creatives that suggests group brainstorming is a giant waste of time. Quartz
John Pavlus: computers are learning to see in higher dimensions. Wired
Kelly Richman-Abdou shares five powerful paintings by underappreciated female artist Artemesia Gentileschi. My Modern Met
Thanks for stopping by. I hope you found something you can use to inspire your next creative project.
Until next tipsday, be well, be kind, and stay strong. The world needs your stories.
Welcome to tipsday, the place to load up on informal writerly learnings.
Barbara Linn Probst wants a place to write. Kris Maze gives you three reasons to consider readability before you publish. Writers in the Storm
Janice Hardy touts the freedom of writing without chapters. Diana Gabaldon does this too … think Imma try this some time. Then, she shares a simple trick to keep readers turning pages. Fiction University
It was question week on WU! Sophie Masson wonders, what do you save? Then, Jim Dempsey asks, do you really want to be a writer? Natalie Hart: what do people get wrong about you? Jeanne Cavelos extolls the compelling, emotional, complex sentence. Writer Unboxed
K.M. Weiland offers three life-changing rules for finding more writing inspiration this year. Helping Writers Become Authors
Sacha Black shares six steps to setting yourself up financially as a writer in 2020. Writers Helping Writers
Sara Letourneau assigns additional reading on the theme of man and the natural world. Pamela Taylor is celebrating the solstice (a little late, but hey, SOLSTICE). DIY MFA
The Take unpacks the tough woman trope.
Then, Shaelin looks at the manic pixie dream girl trope (which, it turns out, is not a trope at all). Reedsy
Chris Winkle outlines six important differences between filmed and narrated stories. Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five stories where the heroes lack agency. Mythcreants
Robert Lee Brewer considers when to use a while and when to use awhile. Writer’s Digest
Thank you for taking the time to visit and I hope you found it worthwhile 🙂
Until Thursday, be well!
It’s that time of the week again—time to pop your mental corn! Give yourself the gift of thoughty, and welcome a happy Friday with a satiated brain 🙂
How to capture a ghost particle. PBS Space Time
Alex Fox relates how nuns are converting their convent into a wetland to fight flooding in New Orleans. The Hill
Geology In shows us the incredible crystal caves of Naica, Mexico.
That time the Mediterranean Sea disappeared. PBS Eons
Zaria Gorvett: medications that change who we are. BBC
Markham Heid explains why you wake up at the same time every night. Medium
Why a strong immune system may mean more severe cold symptoms. SciShow
Elle prints an excerpt from Anna Wiener’s Uncanny Valley: dispatches from the front line of Silicon Valley sexism.
Jason Beaubien: with their land in flames, aboriginals warn fires show deeper problems in Australia. Indigenous land management practices could have mitigated the disaster. NPR
Graham Redfearn reports that the Australian bushfires have reached Kangaroo Island where several species of unique wildlife are threatened. The Guardian
Tim Sohn: how Tom Mustill became “The Whale Detective.” Outside online
Moon Child shares 33 photos of weird and rare flowers that look like something out of a fairy tale.
Ze Frank brings the awkward and hilarious with the mating dance of the ostrich.
Thank you for visiting and I hope you can take away something to inspire your next creative project. Or … maybe something amusing 🙂
Until next tipsday, be well, be kind, and stay strong. The world needs your stories.
It’s a lovely, sunny Sunday after 20 cm of snow. Please enjoy these informal writerly learnings!
Janice Hardy shares three things to remember when revising from a critique. Later in the week, Janice help you craft hook lines that draw readers in. Fiction University
Christopher Hoffmann: what your dialogue tags say about you. Then, Sangeeta Mehta interviews Jim McCarthy and Paula Munier about what it means to be a full-time author. Finally, Jane herself lists five common story openings you want to avoid—if you can help it. Jane Friedman
Tamar Sloan offers a writer’s roadmap to capturing an unhappy relationship. Writers Helping Writers
Jenna Moreci lists her favourite family tropes.
Nancy Johnson finds a new year brings fresh author envy. “But anticipatory angst is real, if a bit irrational, and I sometimes envy authors who make lists I’m not even eligible for, wondering if my own trajectory will be on par with theirs.” Juliet Marillier wants to be a light in the darkness. What will you use your writerly superpowers for this year? Kathryn Craft is bridging temporal story gaps. David Corbett: wherein we resume our discussion of evil. Writer Unboxed
Jenn Walton hopes you’ll use personality tests to enhance character development. Heather Viera shares five tips for creating a relaxing workspace. DIY MFA
Julie Glover: will your character fight, flee, or freeze? Writers in the Storm
Chris Winkle lists five masquerade explanations and why they’re bad. Then, Oren Ashkenazi points out six military blunders in speculative fiction. Mythcreants
Chuck Wendig blogs at clouds (to make a point about blogging). Terribleminds
Robert Lee Brewer distinguishes between heroes and heros. Writer’s Digest
Hélène Schumacher: is this the most powerful word in the English language? BBC
Georgie Hoole introduces us to Cecil Court: the secret alley full of curious old bookshops. Secret London
Thanks for your time and attention. I hope you came away with something you need for your current work in progress.
Until next time, be well, my writerly friends 🙂
It’s time to get your mental corn popping.
Jamie Carter offers a skywatcher’s guide to 2020. Forbes
Caleb Scharf wonders if we’re alone in a crowded Milky Way. Scientific American
Joe explains the benefits of launching rockets from the moon. It’s okay to be smart
Physics Girl shares part three of her visit to CERN.
Shayla Love: how long is right now? Fave bit: physics says “right now” may be an illusion … that’s not to say we should all become chrono-nihilists … Vice
The MIT Technology Review considers how a virtual version of da Vinci’s glass orb helps explain its weirdness.
Mike Cannon-Brookes: how to harness imposter syndrome for the greater good. TED Talks
James Hamblin says, your bedroom is too hot. Get your mind out of the gutter! The Atlantic
Darryl Fears: on land, Australia’s rising heat is “apocalyptic.” In the ocean, it’s worse. The Washington Post
Thanks for stopping by. I hope something here inspires your next creative project.
Until tipsday, be well, be kind, and stay strong. The world needs your stories!
It’s the first tipsday of 2020! Get yourself some informal writerly learnings here 🙂
Kris Maze offers some New Year’s reflections on wellness and this writer’s life. Eldred Bird says, let your characters tell the story. Writers in the Storm
Ten qualities an agent wants to see in a writer. Bookends Agency
Bess Cozby suggests five writing resolutions beyond “write every day.” Tammy Lough helps you ramp up your dialogue with help from Isaac Newton. Samantha Hanni shares five ways to aid your editor. DIY MFA
Donald Maass revisits the un-con a second time: emotional tipping points. Barbara Linn Probst shares a 2020 vision. Julianna Baggott wants you to set aside the planning and the pantsing and consider a land of your own invention. Writer Unboxed
Jenna Moreci lists ten things you should do before you write your novel. My favourite bit: Writing a book is hard. Books don’t just fall out of your mind vagina. 😀
Chuck Wendig says that in 2020 you should write with a knife to your back and the cliff’s edge at your feet. Terribleminds
Chris Winkle explains how The Rise of Skywalker finally made Kylo Ren worth redeeming. Mythcreants
Thank you for visiting and I hope you found something to fuel your current work in progress.
Until Thursday, be well!
Welcome to 2020!
Lots of videos today, but there’s still something in here that will pop your mental corn.
Veritasium looks into the science of resolutions (and why most of them fail).
The strange and unexpected reason ice is slippery. It’s okay to be smart
Nadia Drake reports that Betelgeuse is acting strangely, and astronomers think it might be going supernova. National Geographic
SciShow Space news shares their biggest, brightest, most (superlative) news of the year.
Matt O’Dowd answers the question, does life require a multiverse? PBS Space Time
Physics Girl considers how the large hadron collider (LHC) can help us identify dark matter.
Jessica Stewart shares Yaoyao Ma Van As’ heartwarming illustrations of the bond between a dog and their owner. My Modern Met
Thank you for stopping by. I hope you came away with something to inspire your next creative project.
Until the weekend (next chapter for December and year-end review), be well, be kind, and stay strong. The world needs your stories 🙂
The time from Solstice through New Year’s Eve is generally slow for informal writerly learnings. Everyone is (and rightly so) spending time with friends and family, celebrating. Thus, this week will be video heavy, but it’s all writerly goodness 🙂
Also, happy New Year and new decade, everyone! May it bring us hope and peace and all good things.
Tasha Seegmiller: reflecting and goal-setting for writers. Writers in the Storm
Joanna Penn and Orna Ross reflect on a decade of self-publishing. The Creative Penn
Helen J. Darling offers six tips on working with an editor (post-NaNoWriMo). DIY MFA
Shaelin talks about writing a great first line. Reedsy
Gabe explains how to write backstory. Bookishpixie
And here’s Tim Hickson’s take on flashbacks and backstory. Hello, Future Me
Chris Winkle wants you to tame your exposition. Then, Oren Ashkenazi explains how to tell a story within a story. Mythcreants
Thanks for visiting and I hope something in this mix has given you what you need to progress in your current work in progress.
Until next time, be well!
It’s Boxing Day! I got up early this morning to go shopping (my once annual spree) and am now ensconced for our family get together. Take some time to get your mental corn popping with these thought provoking (or just plain fun) links.
Juli Fraga wants to help you conquer your social anxiety over the holidays. NPR
Lisa Wood Shapiro recounts her quest for clean air. Wired
Andrea Romano explains how long you should take off work to feel productive again. Travel and Leisure
Matthew Gault: the best optical illusion of the year will mess with your head. Vice
Alexandra Ossola: can algae save the planet by changing the way we eat? Quartz
Jaymi Heimbuch shares macro photos of snowflakes that reveal impossibly perfect designs. Treehugger
PBS Space Time considers the validity of cosmological natural selection (i.e. that black holes create new universes).
The fuzzy origins of the giant panda. PBS Eons
Chris Baraniuk: corvids could be the smartest animals other than primates. BBC
Joshua Rapp Learn explains why birds sing to their eggs and how these songs might help their offspring survive climate change. Smithsonian Magazine
Find out all about Leonard, the mudskipper, with Ze Frank.
Thank you for taking time out of the holiday whirlwind to stop by and peruse the offerings.
Until next week, be well, be kind, and stay strong. The world needs your stories 🙂