Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, May 13-19, 2018

Another week has passed and, look, you’ve survived Monday. Good on ya 🙂 Have some informal writerly learnings as a reward. You know you deserve it.

K.M. Weiland lists five lies writers believe that actually hold them back. Helping Writers Become Authors

Jenny Hansen shows you how to use the twelve stages of physical intimacy to build tension in your fiction. Writers in the Storm

Margie Lawson encourages you to go deeper than the cold, hard stare. Writers in the Storm

Scrivener guru Gwen Hernandez explains how to save every word using Scrivener’s snapshot feature. Writers in the Storm

Annie Neugebauer helps you find the best readers for your novel at every stage. Writer Unboxed

Porter Anderson watches the Canadian problem with Access Copyright with interest and alarm. Authors I know whose work was copied for academic packages used to get paid. Universities rebelled and now they get nothing. Advocacy and authors. Writer Unboxed.

Nina Munteanu: science fiction asks, are we worth saving?

Jami Gold helps you figure out if your writing is any good. Later in the week, she wonders how much of yourself in in your writing?

Brenda Joyce Patterson explains why your writing should invite readers in. DIY MFA

Gabriela Pereira interviews Dharma Kelleher about transgendered characters in literature. DIY MFA

Sara Letourneau offers some advice on conducting informal interviews for story research. Writers Helping Writers

Janice Hardy helps you take away elements to fix a problem scene. Fiction University

Mira Singer reviews three movies with the wrong main character. Then, Oren Ashkenazi says that “historical accuracy” isn’t a reason to exclude diversity. Arguments I wish I’d had when I tried to present my secondary world fantasy to my MFA class for critique. #mistakesnaivewritersmake Mythcreants

Joanna Penn explains how to monetize a creative podcast in her interview on the Podcraft podcast. The Creative Penn

John Koenig’s The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows (is back!): Silience.

 

And Pâro.

 

Anna Lovind discovered that in order to nurture her dream of writing, she had to give up something else: knowing when it’s time to let a dream die.

Anika Burgess reveals the artful imperfection of medieval manuscript repair. Atlas Obscura

Andres Liptak reports on the new documentary that will explore the life and legacy of Ursula K. Le Guin. I’m looking out for this one! The Verge

And that was Tipsday.

Be well until Thursday rolls around and then come back to get your weekly dose of thoughty 🙂

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, May 6-12, 2018

Here, once again, are your informal writerly learnings:

Jo Eberhardt: writers write, right? Writer Unboxed

Keith Cronin writes a thought-provoking post for Writer Unboxed: when a bad person makes good art. I’ve struggled with this issue myself and there are no easy answers, at least none that satisfy both my need for social justice and my need for quality art to consume.

Related: Another popular and powerful artist proves he can’t even be a decent human being. MIT to investigate allegations of bullying and unwanted sexual contact against Junot Diaz. MassLive

Juliet Marillier examines the angsty writer. Writer Unboxed

Kathryn Craft helps you compose your protagonist’s “I want” song. Writer Unboxed

Grace Wynter offers some tips for creating your novel’s soundtrack. Writer Unboxed

Nina Munteanu wonders, how do you know your story’s finished?

K.M. Weiland returns to her most common writing mistakes series with part 64: POV problems. Helping Writers Become Authors

Jenna Moreci reviews the pros and cons of traditional publishing (and busts a few myths).

 

Then, Jenna lists the biggest mistakes writers make.

 

Susan DeFreitas: what it really takes to break through with your first book deal. Jane Friedman

Penny Sansevieri offers six reasons to relaunch your book (in the age of the reboot). Jane Friedman

September C. Fawkes explains how to convey an established relationship quickly. Writers Helping Writers

Becca Puglisi is choosing the right details. Writers Helping Writers

Nathan Bransford shares everything writers need to know about pitching their books.

Emily Wenstrom explains what authors should know about Facebook’s “meaningful interactions” update. DIY MFA

Robin Lovett lists seven reasons why being unpublished is hard. You’re preaching to the choir, here, Robin 🙂 DIY MFA

Julie Glover explains when action isn’t a good thing in your novel. Writers in the Storm

Shawn Coyne gives us an insider’s look into the acquisition process: how literary agents target acquisitions editors. Steven Pressfield

Joanna Penn helps you manage stress, anxiety, and burnout. The Creative Penn

Chris Winkle discusses five types of disastrous reveals. Mythcreants

Kristen Lamb looks at a trademark issue that hit publishing news this week. Cocky blocked: how to nuke your brand from orbit.

Jami Gold: why we all need a writing community.

And that was Tipsday.

Be well until thoughty Thursday. *waves*

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, April 29-May 5, 2018

Another week has passed and here I am with another batch of informal writerly learnings 🙂

K.M. Weiland asks, what should your characters talk about? Helping Writers Become Authors

Julie Carrick Dalton says, it’s time cli-fi (climate fiction) became its own genre. I agree in part … The examples she cites are from a number of different genres, though. I don’t know if publishing in general or marketing in particular will be willing to get on board. Stranger things have happened. Writer Unboxed

Therese Walsh explains why you think your writing is brilliant one day and horrible the next. It’s a thing. Writer Unboxed

Donald Maass considers authenticity vs. outline. As with many other aspects of craft, it’s a matter of balance, not one over the other. Writer Unboxed

Julie Glover walks you through the five stages of editing grief. Writers in the Storm

Fae Rowan helps you world build using deep POV. Writers in the Storm

Christina Delay is living for the writing wins. Writers in the Storm

Gabriela Pereira helps you write by design using colour theory. Writers Helping Writers

Kristen Lamb: why every writing project needs a synopsis, even though you hate writing them.

Elisabeth Kauffman tells you how to raise the stakes. DIY MFA

Kharma Kelley explains all authors need to know about the new EU law.

Chris Winkle: storytelling’s terminology problem. Then, Oren Ashkenazi critiques six underdeveloped love interests. Mythcreants

Kim Fahner considers Canada’s 20th Bookmark to be a “love letter” to Sudbury. The Sudbury Star

And then watch the unveiling!

 

Emily Petsko lists 25 foreign words with hilarious literal meanings. Mental Floss

More fun with words: the Merriam-Webster time traveler. Check out what words entered the dictionary the year you were born … or any other year since 1828 🙂

And that was Tipsday for this week.

Be well until Thursday!

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The next chapter: April 2018 update

Hey, all you writerly people 🙂

Here we are in May, Cinco de Mayo, in fact, and it’s time for my next chapter update.

It’s been a weird few weeks since I made my decision to stop posting every weekend. I had one weekend that was fairly restful, caught a flu and was sick for a week, and have spent the last week frantically catching up at work and at home.

I still think it was a good decision, but I’ll likely have to give it more time before I see real results.

I have formally announced my intention to hand off responsibility for the Sudbury Writers’ Guild newsletter, but elections (newsletter-er isn’t an elected position, but volunteer positions are filled at the same time as elected ones are voted upon) aren’t until the May meeting at the end of the month. Also, whoever decides to take over for me won’t do so until the beginning of the new SWG year in September. We usually break for the summer, so the June newsletter would be my last.

I’m still on the program committee and one of its sub-committees for the Canadian Authors Association, but my obligations have not been too onerous there. For now. If that changes, I’ll have to bow out.

On another front that I haven’t discussed much, I’m sad to report that my critique group has imploded. Well I’m two parts sad to one part relieved. I’m sad because I had great hopes, and relieved because it’s one less commitment to fulfill.

Several members were in the process of moving (some internationally) in January and February and so we delayed the start of the critiquing year. One submission has been made and I’ve read and critiqued it, but I haven’t heard from anyone else in the group about an online conference to actually discuss the submission, or anything else moving forward. I’m going to read through the submission one more time, finalize my written comments, and return them to the author. And then I’m going to pull the plug.

I may check out the novel critique group that the SWG runs. I need something. Writing in a feedback void isn’t getting me anywhere. I can continue to write and revise, but unless I can get some other eyes on the work, my revisions will lack direction and I’ll take so much longer to get anything ready for an editor, or for submission to agents or small publishers.

I got my taxes wrangled and, for the first time in a number of years, I’ve has absolutely no income to report from my creative work. No workshops. No panelist honoraria. No prize money. No sales of short fiction or even contributor copies. It’s a bit distressing. I’ve never had much income to report, but I’ve generally had something. It just makes me feel like I’ve been falling back, that it’s not just been my burnout, but something more insidious going on with me.

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I have, however, made strides with regard to my writing practice. For April, I set (or reset) the modest goal of 5,000 words written on Playing with Fire. I managed to write more days than not, and wrote 7,568 words, or 151% of my goal.

I also adjusted my writing goal for the blog given that I’m not posting most weekends. Even though I adjusted my blogging goal to 3,600 words, I wrote only 3,086 words, or 86% of my goal.

My DIY MFA post came in at 1,359 words of my 1,000-word goal, or 136%, and the SWG newsletter was 5,333 words of my 4,000-word goal, or 133%. Admittedly, the newsletter is not all my writing. I have submissions from the membership and the contests and inspirational quotes are found online and copied. Still, I have to fill in gaps, edit, format, and cobble all the disparate parts of the newsletter together into a more or less cohesive whole.

Overall, I wrote 128% more in the month than I set out to, and that makes me happy.

Though it was May 1st, I was able to attend one literary event, the staged reading of the latest iteration of Kim Fahner’s play, “Sparrows Over Slag.”

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Here are the actors, Morgan St. Onge, Matthew Heiti, and Sarah Gartshore.

Kim also had an artist talk afterward during which she explained the impetus for the play and its development.

On the Torvi front, we’re one class away from graduating from the beginner obedience class at Skiplyn Kennels, only to jump right into the intermediate class. Torvi is still a challenge. The second biggest problem now is her propensity to get up on counters, tables, desks, grab whatever she can get her teeth on, and run. She also jumps on people. We’ve been persistent with telling her to get off, and pushing her off, but she still hasn’t gotten the message.

The biggest problem is that she’s started peeing in the house again. We thought we had this licked, but no. So now we’re pacing around the yard reciting “do your pee” until she complies. She’s still distracted by everything. Even if she asks to go out, she forgets what she’s there for once she sees a bird, or squirrel, or a truck or a motorcycle goes by.

She’s showing steady improvement in all other areas, but those are the two stubborn problems.

Here’s a comparison: Torvi at seven weeks and Torvi at seven months 🙂

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As for the orchids, it’s all the fuchsia phalaenopsis. The pink has dropped all its blooms now.

And that’s all I have to report for this month. It’s been mostly good and I’m looking forward to better yet to come.

Until Tipsday, be well, be kind, and stay strong. The world needs your stories!

The Next Chapter

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, April 22-28, 2018

Happy Beltane, y’all. It’s May Day!

Never worry, never fear, Underdog your informal writerly learnings are here!

K.M. Weiland continues her ultimate first chapter checklist series with part three: introducing the story. Helping Writers Become Authors

Kathryn Craft wonders if you’re emotionally ready for a developmental edit? Writers in the Storm

Catherine McKenzie: theft by finding. Writer Unboxed

Barbara O’Neal posts about the importance of a private writing habit. Writer Unboxed

Heather Webb is considering good advice, bad advice, and figuring out how to write through the “shoulds.” Writer Unboxed

Erika Liodice helps you find your way back to writing. Writer Unboxed

Dan Koboldt explains how you can level up as a writer with peer critique. Writer’s Digest

Sara Letourneau: how themes are presented in short fiction. DIY MFA

In my latest column for DIY MFA, I delve into the possibilities for future space travel.

Joanna Penn discusses comparisonitis, or “everyone else is better than me” syndrome. The Creative Penn

Nathan Bransford tells you everything you need to know about novel word counts. Later in the week, he explains why writers should perfect their first thirty pages.

Cyndy Etler drops by Jane Friedman’s blog to explain how to become a bestseller through money, luck, or work (mostly work).

Chris Winkle helps you distinguish between structured and unstructured advice. Mythcreants

Kristen Lamb offers some perspective on self-editing your dialogue and characters.

Chris Yogerst explores how Stan Lee became the man behind Marvel. Los Angeles Review of Books

Sarah Laskow invites you to go medieval by attaching a book to your belt. Atlas Obscura

Be well until Thoughty Thursday!

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, April 8-14, 2018

You may notice that your informal writerly learnings are on the small side this week. The vagaries of the interwebz 🙂

K.M. Weiland begins a new series! Your ultimate first chapter checklist, part 1: hooking readers. Helping Writers Become Authors

Joanna Penn interviews Jane Friedman: the business of being a writer. Later in the week, Joanna shares three techniques to write better settings. The Creative Penn

Then, over on Jane’s blog, Jane Anne Staw explains how to make your writing anxiety disappear by thinking small.

Sacha Black tells you how not to mess up your book series. Writers Helping Writers

A.K. Perry delves into another of James Scott Bell’s story signposts—the care package. DIY MFA

Elisabeth Kauffman continues her ask the editor series: how do you end a book? DIY MFA

Kim Bullock offers a mental health checkup for writers: when you’re not okay. Writer Unboxed

Robin LaFevers mines her characters’ wounds. Writer Unboxed

Chris Winkle explains why storytelling advice is such a mess. Mythcreants

Philip Horne: Paul Theroux, Susie Boyt, and Amit Chaudhuri let us look inside their writers’ notebooks. The Guardian

And that was Tipsday for this week.

Be well until Thursday!

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, April 1-7, 2018

Were you looking for these? Your informal writerly learnings are here!

K.M. Weiland helps you decide between plain prose and beautiful prose. Helping Writers Become Authors

Jane Friedman returns to Writer Unboxed: a smarter author platform for the digital era of publishing.

Nathan Bransford offers a guide to social media for authors. Later in the week he offers tips on how to regain your concentration.

Emily Wenstrom explains how to use Twitter hashtags for writers. DIY MFA

Porter Anderson delves into author pay and publishing profits. And then, he looks at the success of Canada Reads as PBS announces a similar competition.

Valerie Francis joins Joanna Penn on The Creative Penn to discuss how to write a scene the Story Grid way.

Donald Maass takes a non-linear approach to middle scenes. Writer Unboxed

Sonja Yeorg is resurrecting a shelved manuscript. Writer Unboxed

Jo Eberhardt talks art and social change. It’s a ripping awesome post. Writer Unboxed

Tamar Sloan is deepening character complexity with the help of psychology. Writers Helping Writers

Angela Ackerman examines the destructive power of the lie your character believes. Writers Helping Writers

Jami Gold offers some suggestions to help you create a compelling, but quiet, black moment.

Heather Webb shares a writer’s lessons in failure. Writers in the Storm

Do the thing? Chuck Wendig offers a helpful (and hilarious) FAQ. Terribleminds

Kristen Lamb brings the LOLZ with her post on diagnosing the real writer.

Dheolos and Worldbuilding Magazine are creating a mountain setting. Mythcreants

Nina Munteanu explores how the women of The Expanse are changing our worldview.

Dan Koboldt is putting the science in your fiction. Writer’s Digest

And some writerly news from the north:

My friend and vice-president of the Sudbury Writers’ Guild Vera Constantineau is interviewed for The Northern Life about her new short story collection Daisy Chained.

Another friend and SWG member Rosanna Micelotta Battigelli announces pre-orders for her first novel, La Brigantessa, forthcoming from Inanna Publications this September.

And that was Tipsday.

Be well until Thoughty Thursday comes around to herald the weekend 🙂

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, March 18-24, 2018

I give you … your informal writerly learnings for the week. What else?

K.M. Weiland shares five ways to take risks with your writing. Helping Writers Become Authors

Vaughn Roycroft asks, how deep the darkness? Writer Unboxed

Dave King is playing on trust. Writer Unboxed

Margaret Dilloway wonders, should your main character be likeable? Writer Unboxed

Heather Webb considers serendipity, zeitgeist, and the interconnectedness of all things (in writing). Writer Unboxed

Angela Ackerman shares three ways to help quieter protagonists steal the scene. Writers Helping Writers

Jennie Nash: characters in cars, thinking, or, how to deal with the passage of time. Writers Helping Writers

Nathan Bransford offers his take on how to edit your novel.

Gabriela Pereira guest posts on Writer’s Digest: four basic steps to start building your author blog.

Sara Letourneau provides a case study on isolation as a literary theme. DIY MFA

I plumb the depths of the Baba Yaga fairy tale. DIY MFA

Tamar Sloan lists five powerful strategies to build writer’s grit. DIY MFA

Margie Lawson helps you capture “cliché play” power. Writers in the Storm

Jami Gold explains how to create positive themes despite bittersweet endings. Later in the week, she answers the question, what is line editing and what should line editors do?

Nathan Bransford explains how writing changes the world.

Nina Munteanu: the gestalt nature of passion and success.

Oren Ashkenazi lists five common pitfalls of stories with deep ideas. Mythcreants

Farrah Penn tells the tale of Amy Daws, the first writer-in-residence of Tires, Tires, Tires. Buzzfeed

Emily Asher-Perrin looks at Trish Walker’s evolution in the second season of Jessica Jones: I don’t want to be with him; I want to be him. Tor.com

Michael Moreci: Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One is smarter and more insightful than you’ve been told. Tor.com

And that was Tipsday. Be well until Thursday!

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, March 11-17, 2018

Just a little informal writerly learning this week.

K.M. Weiland helps you spot and avoid self-indulgent writing. Helping Writers Become Authors

Writing partners Piper Bayard and Jay Holmes explain how to write the good fight. Writers in the Storm

Angel Ackerman says, if you want to push your protagonist over the edge, use emotional amplifiers. Writers in the Storm

Anna Elliott shares three tips to hook your readers’ emotions. Writer Unboxed

David Corbett is yearning to be evil. Writer Unboxed

Juliet Marillier answers the question, what is fantasy, exactly? Writer Unboxed

Tamar Sloan stops by DIY MFA to share five ways to build your success team.

Jami Gold: if you want to deepen your story, you gotta theme it like you mean it! Writers Helping Writers

Kristen Lamb breaks down the real odds of author success.

Eli Landes stops by Jane Friedman’s blog: there are only two types of stories—and why that matters.

Chris Winkle explains when to narrate a villain’s point of view. Mythcreants

Kelly Robson: The future we imagine is the future we get. Tor.com

And that was Tipsday.

Be well until thoughty Thursday!

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