Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, June 11-17, 2017

A smaller trove from the Tipsday vault this week.

Jane Friedman coaches you on how to immediately improve your query letter’s effectiveness.

K.M. Weiland shares five ways to write a (nearly) perfect first draft (and why you should try). Helping Writers Become Authors

Later in the week, Kate shows you how to use the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to improve your characters.

Piper Bayard discusses the art of physical surveillance. Writers in the Storm

Emily Wenstrom answers the question, can Facebook ads really boost your author platform? DIY MFA

Oh yeah. It’s me. Talking about time travel. DIY MFA

And so I had to cram this in here: Natalie Zutter wonders, is time travel is science fiction or fantasy? 🙂 Tor.com

Gabriela Pereira interviews DIY MFA columnist and romance author Robin Lovett for her podcast. Now I have an earworm … Let’s talk about sexy, baby / let’s talk about you and me … 😀

Becca Puglisi demystifies worldbuilding. Writers Helping Writers

Remember that post I shared a couple of weeks ago that Foz Meadows took exception to? Yeah, well Janice Hardy takes on the topic, too: why you shouldn’t write every day. Janice makes some points that I seriously considering. I do work a day job and I regularly face burnout because I write like a maniac when I’m not working. Food for thought. Fiction University

Oren Ashkenazi lists five tropes that make a villain look incompetent (and how to avoid them). Mythcreants

Jenna Moreci: how to choose an editor.

 

Joanna Penn interviews Dan Blank on changes in the publishing industry and launching non-fiction books. The Creative Penn

Claire Light reviews WisCon, the world’s preeminent feminist speculative fiction convention. Literary Hub

Foxy Folklorist, Jeana Jorgensen, explains why the translation of the fairy tale collection you read matters. Patheos

And that, my friends, was you informal writerly learnings for the week 🙂

Come back for some thoughty on Thursday, and in the meantime, be well.

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, April 23-29, 2017

It’s another week chock full of informal writerly learnings 🙂

K.M. Weiland shares three ways to make your fiction more visual. Helping Writers Become Authors

Later in the week, Kate returns with how to write (and not write) expository dialog(ue).

Colleen Oakley guest posts on Writer Unboxed: how to make your readers believe the unbelievable (or, the importance of facts in fiction).

Barbara O’Neal explores the complex power of mapping the world of your novel (with neuroscience!). Writer Unboxed

Heather Webb explains why changing up your writing process from book to book works. Writer Unboxed

Allie Larkin says fighting writing stage fright is about more than picturing your readers in their underwear. Writer Unboxed

Kathryn Craft: to sleep, perchance to dream. Writers in the Storm

Jamie Raintree asks, are you writing out of fear, or love? Writers in the Storm

Sara Letourneau: seven steps to honouring your reality. DIY MFA

Gabriela Pereira recommends some must-read books for your writing library. DIY MFA

Kolina Cicero reviews Scratch for DIY MFA.

Angela Ackerman shares some of her fantastic finds for writers. Writers Helping Writers

Julie Glover guest posts on Jami Gold’s blog: four common copy editing issues to watch for.

Bonnie Randall guest posts on Fiction University: what writing rules do you always get wrong?

Elizabeth Sims guest posts on Jane Friedman’s blog: four methods for developing any idea into a great story.

Jenna Moreci helps you choose your next story.

 

Margaret Atwood shares seven tips for writers. Writer’s Digest

Roz Morris pleads with reviewers: can we open up a dialogue about self-published books? Nail Your Novel

Chris Winkle helps you depict internal conflicts. Mythcreants

Oren Ashkenazi examines five stories that are afraid of their own premises. Mythcreants

Aaron Miles returns with part two of sieges and siegecraft: defenders. Fantasy Faction

Kate Elliott: the status quo does not need world building. Tor.com

Eight words that changed the way we think. Kelley Grovier for the BBC.

Marie Mutsuki muses on the nature of fairytales and storytelling from east to west. [yes, it’s from last year, but it’s awesome] Literary Hub

Alexandra Alter reviews William Gibson’s Agency. The New York Times

Jeff Vandermeer and Cory Doctorow discuss the future of science fiction and the world. Electric Lit

Twelve women authors share how Margaret Atwood made them feminists. Elle

Another oldie but goodie from 2015. Emily Asher-Perrin thinks Real Genius is the geek solidarity film that nerd culture deserves. Tor.com

Germaine Lussier takes a look at the trailer for Kingsman: the Golden Circle. i09

And this is how we improve our craft 🙂

Hope something here gave you what you need to get to the next level.

Be well until thoughty Thursday comes along to pop your mental corn!

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WorldCon 2016: The dark side of fairy tales

Disclaimer: I am not perfect and neither are my notes. If you notice anything that requires clarification or correction, please email me at melanie (dot) marttila (at) gmail (dot) com and I will fix things post-hasty.

darkside

Panellists: Ellen Datlow, Brooke Johnson, Erin Wilcox (moderator), Sandee Rodriguez, Dana Cameron

Joined in progress …

DC: Fairy tales are the intersection between the known and the unknown in a way that other stories aren’t.

BJ: Tone is the defining quality. It’s a sense of magic realism or normalized magic. I’m currently reading the Turnip Princess. It’s meant to be read. Oral storytelling. Fairy tales are mythic, grand and meaningful, larger-than-life, and yet the things that happen are everyday occurrences to the characters of the story.

SR: Folk tales have the element of reality. Fairy tales have no sense of history.

DC: Domesticity is addressed in fairy tales.

EW: There’s a marked different between fairy tales intended for children and those intended for adults.

ED: Modern retellings add sex. The originals were dark enough, though. Look at Hansel and Gretel—they were going to be eaten but ended up stuffing the witch in the oven.

BJ: Fairy tales were cautionary.

EW: In his book, The Uses of Enchantment, Bruno Bettelheim says that the reader divines whatever they want from the fairy tale. What is it that scares you most? Is it that your parents didn’t want you?

DC: Fairy tales were didactic, warnings. What happens when you go out into the world alone? There are only a handful of clever, successful kids who survive. There’s a tale about the young servant of a king, He discovers how the king became so wise—he ate a white serpent. The kid tried it and goes out into the world. He’s kind and curious and eventually becomes a wise king himself. I took the basic tale and moved it into space.

SR: Reading dark fairy tales to young kids beneficial. The story is internalized. They imagine what they would do in that situation. How would they escape? It develops creativity and problem solving skills.

EW: Do fairy tales need to be sanitized? Should they be?

BJ: Disney sanitized everything. Snow White is about persecution and stalking.

ED: Tanith Lee sexualized fairy tales. You can retell fairy tales over in different ways. Hans Christian Andersen had a thing about sacrifice and death. Look at his versions of The Little Mermaid and The Little Match Girl.

EW: Fairy tales from all over the world overlap.

DC: I read Japanese fairy tales when I was eight. There was a boy who drew cats. His drawings came to life at night to save him from a rat demon.

EW: In India they don’t really have fairies, but the national epics are being adapted.

BJ: Tiger’s Curse has Indian influences. It didn’t appeal to Disney. I’m drawn to the dark tales. I write tragic stories.

ED: Read Bullfinch’s Mythology, The Illiad, The Odyssey. Myth isn’t magical enough.

DC: Fairy tales often have bittersweet endings because you can’t go back.

And that was time.

Next week, it’s time for my next chapter update 🙂

Be well and stay strong until then, my friends.

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Nov 27-Dec 3, 2016

And it’s the triumphant return of Tipsday!

K.M. Weiland continues her how to outline for NaNoWriMo series with this instalment: how to write a scene outline you can use. Not to worry, links to all previous posts in this series are included. Helping Writers Become Authors

A.E. Siraki guest posts on Jami Gold’s blog. NaNoWriMo: good or bad, let’s move forward.

Jane Friedman asks, do you know what you’re capable of? Writer Unboxed

Julia Munroe Martin shares one of her takeaways from the Writer Unboxed Unconference: how do you want your novel to change the world?

Anne Greenwood Brown examines the pinch point in this post for Writer Unboxed.

Cathy Yardley helps us write when life sucks. Writer Unboxed

Juliet Marillier shares her struggle following the review of her latest series proposal at the Writer Unboxed Unconference: when bad news is good news.

Jo Eberhardt explores intertextuality: stories within stories (within stories). Writer Unboxed

Roz Morris offers three ways to get maximum impact from a story. Nail Your Novel

Oren Ashkenazi examines five characters with too much spinach, and offers advice on how you can avoid the same pitfalls. Mythcreants

Chris Saylor explains the proper use of ellipses and dashes on Marcy Kennedy’s blog.

Heidi Ulrichsen reports on Greater Sudbury Poet Laureate, Kim Fahner’s project to bring poetic grafiti to storefronts downtown. The Northern Life/Sudbury.com

Amanda Michalopoulou looks at how literature teaches us to understand “the other” in these divided times. The Guardian

Ian Failes explains how designers created the stunning alien language in Arrival. Thrill List

Aimee Bender shares her thoughts on why fairy tales still inspire modern female writers. Wired

Bryan Washington wonders why there aren’t more famous black science fiction authors. The Awl

Beth Elderkin (and the whole i09 crew) is hooked on the latest Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 trailer. Baby Groot is ADORBS!

Referring back to Jo Eberhardt’s piece on intertextuality, Tom Blunt parses Westworld’s literary references. Signature

That’s it for your informal writerly learnings this week. Come back next week for moar. MOAR, I tell you!

By the way, what do you think of my new graphic (keep in mind that I’m not a professional graphic artist)?

Be well until Thursday, when I’ll have a little thoughty for you 😉

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, May 15-21, 2016

Fact and fun, all rolled into one . . . curation post 😉

K.M. Weiland shares strategies for writing faster (and why maybe you shouldn’t). Helping writers become authors. Later in the week she shares her number one tip for writing books readers can’t put down.

Chuck Wendig explodes more writing myths as he invites us to crotch-punch the creative yeti. Terribleminds.

Kristan Hoffman puts forth an argument for letting your creativity rest. Writer Unboxed.

Kameron Hurley writes about fame, publishing, and breakout books: dancing for dinner.

Jami Gold helps us understand how plot obstacles affect character agency.

Dave King continues to explore historical fiction pitfalls with this post for Writer Unboxed: sympathetic characters in unsympathetic worlds.

Carly Watters shares five secrets to publishing your debut novel.

Porter Anderson looks at book prices and writing value. Should we have been careful what we wished for? Writer Unboxed.

Five signs your novel may be sexist – against men. Chris Winkle brings a little balance to the table for Mythcreants.

The establishment has always hated the new kids. Kameron Hurley.

Monica Alverado Frazier wonders, do you know how to use a curandera?

Modern witches are so much more than Maiden/Mother/Crone. Natalie Zutter for Tor.com

Daniel José Older reads from Half Resurrection Blues. This man reads like a poet. I could listen to him all day 🙂

 

John Mullan explores how plots grip us, from Dickens to Line of Duty. The Guardian.

Women swept the 2015 Nebula Awards. Andrew Liptak for i09.

Five science fiction and fantasy novels that treat mental illness with compassion. Barnes & Noble.

This is COOL. Boston’s sidewalks are covered in secret poems. Atlas Obscura.

Lincoln Michel explains why fairy tales are magic for modern fiction. The Guardian.

Dig at the Curtain theatre unearths a Shakespearean surprise. Jill Lawless for Phys.org

Do overused words lose their meaning? Jonathon Sturgeon for Flavorwire.

CBS passes on Nancy Drew adaptation for testing “too female” for line-up (whatever that means). Carly Lane for The Mary Sue.

The BBC shares nine life lessons from Doctor Who.

Two of the shows I liked got cancelled. Fortunately, the end is only the beginning for Supergirl and Marvel’s Agent Carter. Alisdair Stuart for Tor.com

Honest trailers – Game of Thrones, vol. 1 Bewbs!

 

Come back Thursday for your weekly dose of thoughty!

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, May 24-30, 2015

It’s writer-palooza, er, um. Tipsday. Yeah.

Make sure you include these five factors in your story if you want it to make an impact on your readers. K. M. Weiland.

What’s the trick to creating vivid descriptions? Focus on the obscure details. Katie’s Wednesday vlog.

Harrison Demchick guest posts on Katie’s blog about what to do with your very long manuscript.

Scars and shame: the secrets of female characters. Barbara O’Neal nails this post for Writer Unboxed.

John Vorhaus gets into something deeper on Writer Unboxed.

Heather Webb asks, As writers, what are we worth? Writer Unboxed.

Jane Friedman writes about the age-old cynicism surrounding the book writing dream.

Kazuo Ishiguro and Neil Gaiman debate “genre fiction” on BBC Radio 4.

Phoenix Sullivan digs deeper into the latest Author Earnings report for David Gaughran.

The Authors Guild dumps Author Solutions (yay!). David Gaughran.

Use these five steps to write a killer elevator pitch for your book. Jennie Nash for BookBub.

Bryan Collins posts the ultimate how-to guide to blogging with Scrivener.

Terrorism in Elizabethan England, a post by Barbara Kyle for English Historical Fiction Authors.

Lauren Carter, whom I’ve featured here on the blog for a workshop she delivered in Sudbury, won the 2014 Room Poetry Contest. Here’s their interview with her.

Ten books that will change the way you think about fairytales. i09.

The horrifying origins of your favourite Disney films. Diply.

Mental Floss presents ten Old English words you should be using.

What do you think of this list of 24 brilliant portmanteaus? Ima start using some of them 🙂 Earthporm.

This little bit of awesome is courtesy of Addicting Info: J.K. Rowling slams Westboro Baptist Church’s hate-tweet.

John Doyle writes about Outlander and the triumph of the true female superhero. The Globe and Mail.

Caitriona Balfe’s serves up an insider’s view of Outlander. LA Times.

How Outlander broke the mold with their two-part finale. MTV.

Cute writing comic from The New Yorker.

Have a good week until Thoughty Thursday!

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz June 22-28, 2014

Happy Canada Day, writerly peeps!

Red-Maple-Leaf-for-Canada-Day

Publishing news of the week: Writer’s Digest dumps Author Solutions. What David Gaughran thinks of the move.

Roz Morris explains how to write from an outline and still be creative. My subtitle: How to bend it like Morris 😉

The third and final instalment of K.M. Weiland’s flat character arc series: The flat character arc in the third act.

MJ Bush wrote a guest post for Writers Helping Writers on how regret can deepen your character’s arc.

Training your internal editor with Mary Robinette Kowal.

Writers, what do you fear? Dan Blank offers some compelling thoughts on how to deal on Writer Unboxed.

66 facts you may not have known about the English language from The Huffington Post.

John Vorhaus lets his wordy whimsy out to play on Writer Unboxed.

14 pieces of brilliant short fiction from Art.Mic.

Five hundred fairy tales discovered in Germany, brought to you by The Guardian. I can’t wait to get into these!

See you on Thoughty Thursday!

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