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, Dec 25-31, 2022

Welcome to 2023, y’all! The week between Christmas and New Year’s is always a little quiet. I still managed to curate some informal writerly learnings for you 🙂

Jeanette the Writer answers the question: when should I start editing? Then, Lori Walker interviews Amy Christine Parker about maximizing your first chapter with great opening lines and characterization. Stephanie Dethlefs shares five things Pixar teaches about cause and effect. DIY MFA

Eldred Bird wonders what separates a good writer from a great writer. Writers in the Storm

Why fantasy isn’t just for kids. Tale Foundry

Tiffany Yates Martin helps you figure out if an editor is worth the money. Then, Susan DeFreitas poses three questions to ask yourself before you draft (or revise) a novel. Jane Friedman

Tiffany Yates Martin discusses rejecting “bests” and resolutions. Fox Print Editorial

Chris Winkle: what is a throughline in writing? Mythcreants

50 words you’ll want to start using. The List Show | Mental Floss

Katrya Bolger engages with textual healing: the novel world of bibliotherapy. The Walrus

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

Until Thursday, keep staying safe and well, my writerly friends.

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Sept 25-Oct 1, 2022

Welcome to October! Energize yourself for the rest of the week with some informal writerly learnings.

Tiffany Yates Martin explains why plots fail. Then, Amanda Miller shares five ways to use community marketing for your book. Jane Friedman

Jenny Hansen suggests a strength-based approach to writing. Then, Lisa Hall-Wilson explains why rhetorical questions help you go deeper with emotions. Eldred Bird is writing through life’s storms. Writers in the Storm

C.S. Lakin helps you show the world through your character’s senses. Live, Write, Thrive

Angela Ackerman says, if you want lifelike characters, create a character bible. Elizabeth Spann Craig

Sauron wasn’t always evil. What happened? The Philosophy of Tolkien. Hello, Future Me

Vaughn Roycroft talks turning points. Then, Kelsey Allagood shares decision trees, angry bees, and other writer brain hacks. Julia Whelan: I’ve heard such mixed things. Jeanne Kisacky wonders who are you reading now? Writer Unboxed

Becca Puglisi explains how to reveal a character’s inner conflict. Writers Helping Writers

Nathan Bransford encourages you to close off your protagonist’s easy off-ramps.

Richelle Lyn is designing a logo from scratch. Then, Melanie Bell offers five things to think about when writing a coming-of-age story. Barbara Rubin shares how she found balance between capturing joy, sorrow, humor, and rage in her writing. DIY MFA

Tiffany Yates Martin answers the question, how much should you plot your stories? Fox Print Editorial

Chris Winkle says storytellers must stop dehumanizing prisoners. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five overshadowed characters in popular stories. Mythcreants

How H.P. Lovecraft wrote the unimaginable. Tale Foundry

Nalo Hopkinson has won the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award. J. Wayne and Elsie M. Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction

Sean Wetselaar says Judy I. Lin’s recipe for success is fantasy and a cup of tea. The Walrus

Adrian Daub writes about losing oneself in the geography of fantasy worlds: here at the end of all things. Longreads

Guy Kawasaki interviews Min Kym about her book Gone: A Girl, a Violin, and a Life Unstrung. The Remarkable People Podcast

Jessica Winter explains how E. Nesbit used her grief, her politics, and her imagination to create a new kind of children’s book. The New Yorker

Check out Publishers Weekly’s annual publishing in Canada report. Interesting reading.

Thanks for taking the time to visit. 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, Aug 28-Sept 3, 2022

Well, hello, Tuesday-that-feels-like-a-Monday! Launch yourself into this short week with some informal writerly learnings 🙂

K.M. Weiland shares seven tips for adding complexity to your story. Helping Writers Become Authors

Eldred Bird explains what blogging has taught him about writing. Then, James Preston warns of three common traps that can hurt your story (and how to avoid them). Writers in the Storm

Elizabeth Spann Craig helps you finish writing-related tasks quickly.

The secret to a well-paced plot (and it’s ridiculously easy). Shaelin Writes

Janice Hardy explains how writing a novel is like gardening. Fiction University

Alexander Lewis helps you grow your writing business by stepping away from your computer. Jane Friedman

Nathan Bransford: what is the “narrative voice”?

How to find time to write. Reedsy

Abigail K. Perry analyses the first chapter of Red, White, and Royal Blue. Then, Angela Yeh interviews Leslie Wheeler about how to take poetry personally. Mason Engel explains how to beat your writer’s burnout: a seven-step guide to tuning up your creative engine. Later in the week, Jennifer Craven shares five tips for writing multi-POV stories. DIY MFA

Yasmin Angoe relates the trials and tribulations of writing the second novel. Then, Kasey LeBlanc considers ebb and flow: a season for writing … and forgiveness. Liza Nash Taylor says, writer, edit thyself! Writer Unboxed

When the monster is hiding in plain sight. Tale Foundry

Tiffany Yates Martin explains how Elisa Lorello revises: rediscovering joy. Fox Print Editorial

Jordan Kantey lists seven ways to ensure you reach your writing goals. Writers Helping Writers

Chris Winkle wonders, can framing devices be better than terrible? Then, Oren Ashkenazi explains how Simmons scattered his world: building Hyperion. Mythcreants

Plot armour is good (sometimes). Hello, Future Me

Tavi Gevinson waxes on not being afraid to change up your process. The Creative Independent

Leanne Ogasawara is reassessing the workshop in light of culture shock. The Millions

Thanks for taking the time to visit, 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, July 10-16, 2022

This week promises to be a hot, humid one up here in northeastern Ontario. Stay cool. Stay well. And use some of your downtime productively perusing these informal writerly learnings.

Barbara Linn Probst takes a closer look at a place to write. Then, Jim Dempsey considers the right decisions to write. Kathryn Craft is seeing through a character’s eyes, literally. The Desmond Hall drops some writerly wisdom on us: lessons from The New Actors Workshop. Writer Unboxed

Sexy schoolgirl scale mail: an armour tier list. Jill Bearup

K.M. Weiland is clearing up some misconceptions about in medias res. Helping Writers Become Authors

Lisa Norman explains how to succeed as an author. Eldred Bird: it’s a mystery to me. Then, Jenny Hansen wonders, are writers born, or made? Writers in the Storm

Sue Coletta presents a back cover copy formula. Writers Helping Writers

The seven elements of a strong story. Reedsy

Your world building can captivate readers and never let them go. Kristen Lamb

Nathan Bransford: what happens on and off the page in your novel?

Lauren J. Sharkey says writing is about connecting. Adam Burgess considers Magic’s Pawn a classic LGBTQ+ high fantasy. Then, Lori Walker interviews Natalka Burian about flashbacks, time travel, and multiple mysteries. Later in the week, Lee Bukowski shares five tips for writing about sensitive subjects. DIY MFA

The Handmaid’s Tale—what’s come true and what hasn’t. The Take

The eastern/western genre: stories of subjugation and freedom. Story Grid

Sharon Oard Warner: the building blocks of scene. Jane Friedman

Tiffany Yates Martin goes beyond character goal and motivation—the longing and the lack. Fox Print Editorial

Chris Winkle shows how you can tell Kamala Kahn has ADHD. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five stories with clashing choices. Mythcreants

Writing 2nd person—the forgotten POV. Shaelin Writes

Brahmjot Kaur explains how Ms. Marvel went from “woke” and “cringe” to the franchise’s highest-rated. NBC News

Emily Zarevich tells the tale of Michael Field: one name, two (women) authors. JSTOR Daily

Nicole Chung interviews Pia Owens about negotiation tips for writers and creatives. The Atlantic

Writing advice from Rachel Yoder: take a break, hug a tree. Literary Hub

Thank you for spending some of your valuable time with me. I hope you found something to support your current work in process.

Until Thursday, be well and stay (cool and) safe!

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, June 19-25, 2022

Welcome to the final tipsday of June! Fill up on informal writerly learnings for the last time this month.

Sara Farmer lists more of her favourite Sherlock Holmsian mystery series. Then, Abigail K. Perry analyzes the first chapter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Angela Yeh explains why all writers should play with poetry. Then Angela unlocks writer’s block sideways. Later in the week, Lewis Jorstad lists five reasons your novel’s premise is a powerful writing tool. DIY MFA

Nathan Bransford provides a novel revision checklist.

How to write a non-fiction book proposal. Reedsy

Matthew Norman explains how his career in advertising helped shape him as a novelist. Dave King: when worlds collide. Kelsey Allagood wants you to let your words grow wild. Then, Deanna Cabinian wonders, when is obsession a good thing? Victoria Strauss warn about the predatory contracts of serial reading/writing apps. Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland helps you understand the new normal world of a story’s resolution. Helping Writers Become Authors

Erica Brosovsky suggests some foreign words we need in English. Otherwords | PBS Storied

Lisa Norman explains why you want people to hate your website. Then, Megan Ganesh promotes diversity and inclusion in writing. Eldred Bird says Chekov’s gun is a double-edged writing sword. Writers in the Storm

Nina Amir reveals how to quickly develop a writing habit. Live, Write, Thrive

Elizabeth Spann Craig points out yet another use for outlines.

Allison K. Williams reveals why agents don’t give feedback—and where to get it instead. Jane Friedman

The curse of creativity. Tale Foundry

Becca Puglisi wants you to go beyond the superficial character talents and skills. Jami Gold

Cheryl Rainfield helps you avoid writing mental health stereotypes. Writers Helping Writers

Tiffany Yates Martin asks, are you writing safe or risking your readers? Fox Print Editorial

Chris Winkle explains how to make your character novel. Then, Oren Ashkenazi says that the three-act structure is a mirage. (!) Very insightful and something that’s been bothering me about most story “structures.” Mythcreants

Workplace dystopias aren’t fiction. They’re here. The Take

Angie Hodapp talks rhetorical story development. Then, Kristin Nelson asks, can a writer set out to write a bestselling novel? Pub Rants

Kristen Lamb explains why we play “follow the reader.”

Terry Nguyen says we need rituals, not routines. Vox

Cassie Josephs: Murderbot is an autistic-coded robot done right. Did I not nail this in my last next chapter update? Oh, yeah. I did. Tor.com

Thank you for spending some time with me. I hope you found something to support your current work in progress.

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe!

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, May 29-June 4, 2022

It’s tipsday! You know what that means. It’s time to get your fill of informal writerly learnings 🙂

LA Bourgeois: victory celebration required. Jeanette the Writer explains the difference between writing and editing. Then, Lori Walker interviews Rebecca Scherm about writing the near future: climate change and big tech. Carol Van Den Hende lists three benefits to speaking at industry conferences. Later in the week, Angela Yeh shares five ways to develop a creative ritual you’ll want to keep. DIY MFA

Fight me! Jill Bearup

K.M. Weiland: understanding the normal world of a story’s first act. Helping Writers Become Authors

Tom Bentley: this pretty much (book) covers it. Kasey LeBlanc provides some tools to help you on your querying journey. Donald Maass: your microcosm, our world. Grace Wynter interviews Mel Todd about going from fanfiction to $150K. Then, Liza Nash Taylor triple-dog dares you to make a pass: revising your draft. Writer Unboxed

Shaelin reacts to writing advice from Twitter. Reedsy

Eldred Bird says that if you’re going mobile, you need a mobile media kit. Then, Janice Hardy shares ten ways to un-stick your novel. James Preston wonders who’s in charge of your story? Writers in the Storm

Becca Puglisi wonders, is compassion fatigue is relevant to your characters? Then, Lucy V. Hay helps you avoid writing stereotyped female characters. Writers Helping Writers

Mapinguari: fearsome beast and protector of the rainforest.  Monstrum | PBS Storied

The horror genre: stories of life and damnation against uncanny, supernatural, and ambiguous monsters. The thriller genre is a blend of action, crime, and horror stories. Story Grid

Kristen Lamb suggests writing fast and furious to outrun Spock brain.

Nathan Bransford explains how to utilize exposition and context in a novel.

Closeted bullies are all over our screens. How real is this trope? The Take

Barbara Linn Probst tells you what to remember, do, avoid, and expect when getting book endorsements (blurbs). Jane Friedman

Chris Winkle explains how to create moral dilemmas that are actually moral. The, Oren Ashkenazi points out the difference between relatable and mediocre heroes. Mythcreants

Ten kids’ books by Canadian Asian authors to read in honour of Asian Heritage Month. CBC Books

David A. Robertson curates this list of 48 books by Indigenous writers to read about and understand residential schools. CBC Books

Emily Pullen recommends new LGBTQ fiction for Pride 2022. The New York Public Library

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, 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, March 13-19, 2022

You’ve survived Monday! Reward yourself with some informal writerly learnings 🙂

Sophie Masson helps you use varied narrative forms in your novel. Then, Dave King wonders if you’re drowning your story in imagery. Barbara Linn Probst wants you to write secondary characters with purpose and pizzaz. Porter Anderson: evil and The Age of Madness. Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland: how do you know when you’re a successful author? Helping Writers Become Authors

Ellen Brock explains how to write your novel as an intuitive pantser.

Lori Freeland returns with to comma, or not to comma, part 3. Then, Lynette M. Burrows shares even more things she wishes she knew before she published (also, part 3). Eldred Bird tells a modern writing horror story. Writers in the Storm

Tim Hickson wonders if there’s any hope for Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series. Hello, Future Me

Lori Walker reviews 1984 by George Orwell—in graphic novel form. Then, Stephanie BwaBwa fills your self-publishing toolkit for authorial success with writing tools. Ashley Christiano helps you beat writer’s block and plot your novel with tarot cards. Brittany Capozzi explains five ways the vagus nerve helps writers focus. DIY MFA

Shaelin explains how to write compelling secondary characters. Reedsy

Ashleigh Renard explains how to make money through social media without being an influencer. Then, Caroline Topperman helps you figure out which social media platform is the best. Jessi Rita Hoffman unpacks children’s dialogue: they don’t talk like adults. Jane Friedman

On her own channel, Shaelin shares how she works on multiple projects. Shaelin Writes

Lucy V. Hay helps you figure out if your story is a mystery, thriller, or horror. Then, Becca Puglisi recommends choosing the right job for your character. Writers Helping Writers

Nathan Bransford: writing a book is a time game.

Dr. Moiya McTier explains what constellations mean to different cultures. Fate & Fabled | PBS Storied

Story theme: definition and examples for a controlling idea. Story Grid

Chris Winkle examines six types of downward turning points. Then, Oren Ashkenazi discusses five conflicts with weak turning points, and how to fix them. Mythcreants

Angie Hodapp is zeroing in on comps (part 2). Pub Rants

This story will break your heart—The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. Tale Foundry

Anna Russell enters the secret life of Beatrix Potter. The New Yorker

Erin Somers reports how editorial resignations at big houses spark reckoning. Publishers Lunch

Jonah Berger analyzes the science of blockbusters: what makes a good story? University of Pennsylvania, Wharton

Why Game of Thrones already feels dated. The Take

Allegra Hyde considers what makes a great opening line. Literary Hub

Anne Delaney unpacks filler words and floor holders: the sounds our thoughts make. JSTOR Daily

Thanks for spending some time with me, and I hope you found something to support your current work in progress, whatever stage it’s at.

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe!

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Jan 30-Feb 5, 2022

Was it a monumental Monday for you? Well, now it’s time to reward yourself with some informal writerly learnings.

Anita Ramirez concludes her writerly journey with a couple of revelations. Then, Angela Yeh is finding nourishment and joy in daily life through the spirit of haiku. Eliza Jane Brazier explains how to write better by not writing. Then, Heather Campbell shares five sneaky ways perfectionism sabotages your writing. DIY MFA

The existential dystopias of Arcane and Squid Game. Hello, Future Me

Tessa Barbosa presents an introvert’s guide to a public online presence. Donald Maass: back story versus the past. Keith Cronin gets an unexpected gift from covid. Then, Rheea Mukherjee is writing with depression. Writer Unboxed

Rape revenge and Promising Young Woman: realism vs. catharsis. Melina Pendulum

K.M. Weiland explains what conflict in fiction really is and why it’s important to plot. Helping Writers Become Authors

What is white room syndrome? Reedsy

Shannon A. Thompson: yes, writers need to hear the hard truths, but warnings can go too far. Then, Eric Newton discusses making difficult decisions about the work left behind when a writer dies. Joe Ponepinto explains how to use telling details to connect description to character. Jane Friedman

Why are cats mythology’s most popular creatures? Fate & Fabled | PBS Storied

Diana Clark wonders how much research is enough. Then, Eldred Bird is building a better villain. Ellen Buikema continues her explorations of sensual writing: using the power of taste in your writing. Writers in the Storm

Why the disabled villain trope is so offensive. The Take

September C. Fawkes shares six cheats to “tell” well (when it’s warranted). Writers Helping Writers

Chris Winkle lists nine personality clashes for character conflicts. Then, Oren Ashkenazi explains why tossing in calamity won’t make your story exciting. Mythcreants

How writers revise: the relentless resilience of Ruta Sepetys. Fox Print Editorial

Point of view: definition and examples for the narrative path. Story Grid

How Disney commodifies culture – Southeast Asians roast Raya and the Last Dragon, part 1. Long, but well worth your while. Xiran Jay Zhao

And part 2:

Part three … yet to come.

Nina Munteanu touts the benefits of expressive writing: the journal writer.

Susan DeFreitas shares the lessons learned during her year of reading every Ursula K. Le Guin novel. Literary Hub

Weike Wang: notes on work. “There’s a masochistic pride to overworking. How heavy a workload can I truly handle? How many plates can I keep in the air?” The New Yorker

Ena Alvarado: animal teachers and Marie de France. JSTOR Daily

Thanks for hanging out with me. I hope you found something to support your current work in progress.

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe.