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, Jan 8-14, 2023

It’s tipsday! Your chance to stock up on informal writerly learnings!

Nick Taylor explains how to create authentic queer characters. Louise Harnby

Kelsey Allagood wonders, how do you explain climate change to a magnolia tree? Then, Jim Dempsey explains how to write a successful novel. Juliet Marillier muses on the power of story. Next, Kathryn Craft points out three key places where stakes will shape your story’s meaning. David Corbett is writing cromulent dialogue. Writer Unboxed

The poem no one understands. Tale Foundry

Elizabeth S. Craig offers some tips on how to handle reviews as an author. Spunk on a Stick

Hannah Jacobson explains how to find the best awards for your book. Then, Lisa Norman wants you to EAT your heart out to empower your web site. Jenny Hansen points out the importance of great mentors (for you and your books). Writers in the Storm

C.S. Lakin points out the intersection of voice and deep point of view. Live Write Thrive

Joanna Penn interviews Roz Morris about how to (finally) finish your novel. The Creative Penn

Write your book in 2023. Reedsy

Ambre Leffler helps you use water’s superpower of creative flow in winter. Then, Angela Yeh says flash fiction is no flash in the pan. Neil Chase shares seven tips to create a unique sidekick character. Next, AK Nevermore lists five things feeding the lie that there’s no time to write. DIY MFA

Tiffany Yates Martin says backstory is essential to story—except when it’s not. Then, Hattie Fletcher answers the question: Is it OK to ask for before/after examples from a freelance editor? Jane Friedman

Sue Coletta helps you make an unbreakable promise to readers. Becca Puglisi offers some thoughts on writing insecure characters. Writers Helping Writers

Nathan Bransford shows you how to live creatively.

Tiffany Yates Martin asked an AI, what does AI mean for writers? Fox Print Editorial

Chris Winkle lists 12 sources of wish fulfillment for your story. Then, Oren Ashkenazi hosts another three-way ANTS battle between Severance, Andor, and Interview with a Vampire. Mythcreants

Kristen Lamb wonders, is writing a career or a hobby?

Rebecca Solnit: why we need new stories about climate. The Guardian

The Idioms: Largest idioms dictionary. Courtesy of David Corbett (above).

Amanda Perry covers the Griffon Poetry Prize shakeup: new rules, new controversy. The Walrus

Guy Kawasaki interviews Julia Cameron (for the second time) about her new book Write for Life. The Remarkable People Podcast

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you found something to support your current work(s) in progress.

Until Thursday, keep staying safe and well.

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Jan 1-7, 2023

Welcome back to tipsday, your opportunity to get your fill of informal writerly learnings.

A heavily cloud-veiled moon above a winter naked tree.
A heavily veiled moon.

Chuck Wendig shares his writer’s resolution 2023: mounting an aggressive defense. Then, he declares, “Eat shit, robots!” (Or: No, the absolute intrusion of artificial intelligence is not inevitable.) Terribleminds

Lisa Hall-Wilson explains how to edit for deep point of view.

Visions of the future onscreen vs. reality—what came true? The Take

Greer Macallister considers choosing your habit, which reframes resolutions or goals in terms of habit-forming. Thought-provoking for this time of year. Then, Allyson Rice says, I’m sure I’ve landed on a federal list somewhere. Donald Maass discusses chaos and creating fiction. Then, Sarah Callender explains when good enough is good enough. Terah Shelton Harris discusses what we ask of our readers. Writer Unboxed

Elizabeth S. Craig offers some thoughts about writer self-care for the New Year.

Beatrix Potter: the secret life of a Victorian genius. Absolute History

Angela Ackerman wants you to force your character to make hard choices. Then, Colleen M. Story shares five reasons it’s still a good idea for a writer to have a blog. Writers Helping Writers

Ken Brosky reveals the biggest mistake even expert writers make. Then, Michael Evans presents the author-creator marketing playbook. Jane Friedman

How to set writing goals and actually achieve them. Reedsy

Karen DeBonis explains how to talk about your book. Then, J. Alexander Greenwood reveals how to get booked on a podcast by answering one question. Writers in the Storm

Tiffany Yates Martin finds out how Kyla Zhao revises by writing her way out of loneliness. Fox Print Editorial

Gabriela Pereira interviews Mary Robinette Kowal about writing diverse characters via nuanced shifts in language. Then, Manuela Williams talks about point of view in poetry. Stacy Frazer takes you from idea to drafting in five steps. Then, AK Nevermore shares how finding her tribe helped silence her self-doubt. DIY MFA

Chris Winkle analyzes five stories that crawl along. Then, Oren Ashkenazi says that the Willow series is a terrible sequel. Mythcreants

Hey! January 1st was public domain day 2023. Ever wanted to write something based on a property coming into the public domain? Duke Law

Another fabulous resource, courtesy of Jane Friedman: Dr. Mardy’s Dictionary of Metaphorical Quotations. Having trouble putting something to words? Find out how other writers and thinkers have done it. It really helps.

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.

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Oct 23-29, 2022

Welcome to November! This will be the last tipsday until December 13th (!) That’s right, I’m NaNoing again and foregoing curation until December. Get your fill of informal writerly learnings now!

You could always peruse the archives if you miss tipsday too much 😉

Vaughn Roycroft presents Murphy’s Law—the unboxed writer’s version. Elizabeth Havey: what was that phrase about authenticity? Kelsey Allagood shares what horror teaches us. Then, Sarah Penner is making the most of Canva with these seven design ideas for writers. Victoria Strauss explains when new isn’t better: the value of experience. Writer Unboxed

Clive Barker’s weirdest monster. Tale Foundry

C.S. Lakin stops by K.M. Weiland’s site: how writers can infuse mood in story settings. Helping Writers Become Authors

Over on her own site, Susanne discusses writing about difficult emotional experiences. Live, Write, Thrive

Then, Susanne explains how to quickly establish the setting in scenes. Elizabeth Spann Craig

How school makes you a bad writer. Answer in Progress

Kris Maze offers the ABCs of school author talks: how to engage kids. Eldred Bird: writing horror vs. writing terror. J. Alexander Greenwood is making a podcast love connection. Writers in the Storm

Why the Bechdel test isn’t enough. The Take

Manuela Williams suggests some revision strategies for your poet’s toolbox. Then, Dominique Richardson wonders, should you write a YA series today? John Matthew Fox lists five ways movies sabotage your writing skills. DIY MFA

Don’t force your characters to ask leading questions just so you can deliver exposition. Nathan Bransford

Ann-Marie MacDonald on her new novel Fayne and the stage adaptation of Fall on Your Knees. CBC’s Q

Elizabeth Sims lists 20 reasons everybody should write short stories. Then, Michael Mohr reveals the secret sauce to being a good writer. Jane Friedman

Rayne Hall explains how to write a spooky ghost story. Fiction University

Why ASL was banned in America. Otherwords | PBS Storied

Tiffany Yates Martin discusses peopling your stories (and your world) with individuals. Fox Print Editorial

Colleen M. Story shows you how to tell if you’re self-publishing your book for the right reasons. Writers Helping Writers

What makes a good story idea? Shaelin Writes

Chris Winkle shares lessons from the entitled writing of Yarnsworld. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five stories that fail at human resources. Mythcreants

Sir Salman Rushdie has lost sight in one eye, agent Andrew Wylie. BBC

Thank you for spending some time with me. 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 9-15, 2022

Another week, another batch of informal writerly learnings!

LA Bourgeois says, imagination, engage! Then, Stephanie BwaBwa shares some marketing systems and automations to support your self-publishing career. Olivia Fisher is tapping into the hearts of kids: crafting authentic voice in middle grade. DIY MFA

Ann Marie Nieves answers your PR and marketing questions, part IX: do you twerk? Then, Jim Dempsey wonders, is your book any good? Kathleen McCleary is out of character. Kathryn Craft on story and death and life. Then, David Corbett is crafting an unforgettable villain with lessons from Louise Fletcher’s portrayal of Nurse Ratched. Writer Unboxed

How this became the sad girl era. The Take

K.M. Weiland shows you nine positive characters arcs in the Enneagram. Helping Writers Become Authors

Janice Hardy shares five fun ways to take advantage of your characters’ fears. Then, Ellen Buikema lists ten ways to start your story. Later in the week, Julie Glover discusses the hardest book she’s ever written. Writers in the Storm

Hank Quense helps you build your own digital planner with Scrintal. Elizabeth Spann Craig

Gaia, the mother of creation. Fate & Fabled | PBS Storied

Sue Coletta helps you construct the skeleton of your story. Then, Angela Ackerman says that the key to a successful NaNoWriMo is using October wisely. Later in the week, C.S. Lakin says less is more when it comes to describing setting. Writers Helping Writers

Jessica Bell points out the key elements of eye-catching book cover design. Joni B. Cole: you have a great idea for a story. Where do you start? Catherine Baab-Maguira explains why it’s better to write about money, not for money. Jane Friedman

Preptober tips! Do these ten things before NaNoWriMo. Reedsy

Nathan Bransford answers the question, “When should I stop sending query letters?”

Kristen Lamb considers motivation and how what drives us defines us.

Tiffany Yates Martin: how to speak as well as you write, part 1. Fox Print Editorial

Chris Winkle considers movement, the 2,300-year-old story principle. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five stories undermined by their epilogues. Mythcreants

Roz Morris: becoming you—how to develop confidence as a writer. Nail Your Novel

Overcoming perfectionism as a writer. Shaelin Writes

Sahar Arshad: from Never have I Ever to Bridgerton, the Desi girl era is here at last. Teen Vogue

Matthew Vogt: pantheon of superheroes. JSTOR Daily

Joyce Kinkead recounts the 5,000-year history of writer’s block. The Conversation

Jordan Pruett wonders, what counts as a bestseller? Public Books 

KC Hoard conducts a roundtable with designers: book cover confidential. The Walrus

Thanks for stopping by, 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.

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, 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, Sept 4-10, 2022

So far, September has been an awesome month, weather-wise. We’ve even had to use the portable air conditioner here and there.

Without further ado, here are your informal writerly learnings for the week. Enjoy!

LA Bourgeois suggests you boost your creativity with a break. Then, F.E. Choe helps you overcome the preciousness of your prose. Lori Walker interview Khirsten Wierman about overcoming differences and the ability to change. Kyomi O’Connor explains how she uses writing as a healing tool. Later in the week, Ellen Barker shares five ways to use literary fiction to write about the pressing topics of today. DIY MFA

How we overcorrected the damsel in distress. The Take

Greer Macallister points out the second most important thing. Then, Tiffany Yates Martin wonders, are you telling yourself the wrong stories? Donald Maass considers novels that shouldn’t work, but do—and why. Then, Kathryn Craft is exposing inner conflict in non-POV characters. David Corbett checks out a new model for self-publishing—Emily Kimelman. Writer Unboxed

Janice Hardy helps you take the work out of writing a scene. Then, Angela Ackerman explains how to use conflict to show character development. Fiction University

Chinnamasta: the headless goddess of self-sacrifice. Fate & Fabled | PBS Storied

K.M. Weiland wonders, do you need personal experience to write about something? Helping Writers Become Authors

Angela Ackerman explains how to amp up your conflict. Elizabeth Spann Craig

Angela Ackerman says, if you want to build tension, encourage your reader to ask questions. Then, Tom Bentley explains why persistence pays the weary writer. Allison K. Williams reveals how to get published in Modern Love, McSweeney’s, or anywhere else you want.  Jane Friedman

Kris Maze offers more ways to fix filler words. Then, Piper Bayard is writing about robberies and burglaries. Writers in the Storm

How to stay creative as a writer. Reedsy

Nathan Bransford says, don’t criticize a book’s editing unless you saw the original manuscript.

Chris Winkle shares some lessons learned from the cursed writing of Vicious. Then, Oren Ashkenazi evaluates five tropes that sound cool but rarely work. Mythcreants

Tiffany Yates Martin offers a caveat scriptor: when creators become the customers. Fox Print Editorial

Lincoln Michel unpacks some of the stats emerging from the PRH/SS Merger trial: no, most books don’t sell only a dozen copies. It’s a substack newsletter, but you can read one article for free.

We added 370 new words to the dictionary for September 2022. Merriam-Webster

And that was tipsday.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you took away something to support your current work in progress, whatever stage it’s at.

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

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 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!