Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Feb 4-10, 2018

Here, once again, are your informal writerly learnings!

Jessi Rita Hoffman stops by Jane Friedman’s blog to help you prune hedge words and inflation words from your writing.

K.M. Weiland offers four tips for writing to your right audience. Helping Writers Become Authors

Jael McHenry: on commitments, participation, and the writing community. Writer Unboxed

Donald Maass shows you what happens when worlds collide. Writer Unboxed

Nancy Johnson joins the Writer Unboxed team: the question your novel answers.

Gabriela Pereira takes her turn in the Writers Helping Writers coaching corner. Writing by design, part two: pattern and repetition.

Back on DIY MFA radio, Gabriela interviews Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi: understanding the emotional wound.

Kristen Lamb: great stories are addictive by design.

Janice Hardy offers seven tips for creating believable fantasy and science fiction worlds. Fiction University

Fae Rowan shares a simple tip to help get rid of saggy middles. [But … will it work on ma belleh—lol?] Writers in the Storm

Jami Gold looks at the editing process and what every writer needs to know to improve.

Backtracking a bit to give you episode 1 of Ask a Puppet (Mary Robinette Kowal). Seriously hilarious.


Mary Robinette Kowal shares her writing process in honor of her birthday.

Roz Morris shares three paradoxes of a slow writing process. Nail Your Novel

Chuck Wendig: yes, you can hiss without sibilance. Terribleminds

Breaking their usual pattern of constructive critique, Oren Ashkenazi reviews five novels with strong throughlines for Mythcreants.

Shane Koyczan – Resolution


Jessica Stillman: why you should surround yourself with more books than you’ll ever have time to read. Inc.

E CE Miller shares 21 love letters by authors to inspire you on Valentine’s Day. Bustle

Ryu Spaeth: an education through Earthsea. New Republic

Michael Blanding reports on how plagiarism software unveiled a new source for eleven of Shakespeare’s plays. And no, before the histrionics start, Shakespeare did not plagiarize. The New York Times

Jill Lepore explores the strange and twisted life of Frankenstein. Amazing. Truly. The New Yorker

Krista D. Ball revisits Joanna Russ’s “How to Suppress Women’s Writing” after 35 years. Thought-provoking and anger-inducing. Reddit r/fantasy

Jamil Smith writes about the revolutionary power of Black Panther. Time

I hope your week got off to a great start. Be well until Thursday 🙂



Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Jan 21-27, 2018

Get your informal writerly learnings right here!

K.M. Weiland looks at the words that changed your life and how that helps you discover what made you a writer. Helping Writers Become Authors

Emily Wenstrom shows you how to kickstart 2018 with an author website audit. DIY MFA

Gabriela Pereira interviews Joe Fassler for DIY MFA radio.

Lila Diller lists five types of books writers should read. DIY MFA

Lisa Cron stops by Writers Helping Writers to pose this question: what does your protagonist want before the story starts?

Elizabeth Huergo: woke writing. “… we shouldn’t wait to write and ask questions until we have lost the ability to do both …” Writer Unboxed

Barbara O’Neal explains what writers do in times of trouble. Writer Unboxed

Heather Webb writers about harnessing the kinetic energy of writing—and what happens if you don’t. Writer Unboxed

Jenny Hansen: what kinds of social media posts go viral? Writers in the Storm

Janice Hardy explains the difference between a scene and a sequel. Fiction University

Rachael Stephen shows you how to organize your novel using a bullet journal.


Jami Gold: romance and the language of consent.

Oren Ashkenazi lists five good stories that turned creepy. Good points all. Though I enjoyed some of the shows mentioned, it was an eye-opener to realize how deeply ingrained misogyny is. As writers, we should aim higher, strive to do better. Mythcreants

Jane Hirshfield explains how the liminal frees us from the prison of self (excerpted from “writing and the threshold life”). Brainpickings

David James Nicoll is fighting erasure: women SF writers of the 70s, A through F.

I’m absolutely devastated by Ursula K. Le Guin’s death. It was to be expected, but, as other authors have pointed out, she could have died at 108 and it still would have felt too soon.

Here are a few of the slew of tributes:

The Handmaid’s Tale season two trailer.


Be well until Thursday, my friends!


Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Jan 14-20, 2018

Your informal writerly learnings for the week 🙂

K.M. Weiland explores four reasons we write. Helping Writers Become Authors

Jan O’Hara wrestles with tense and point of view. Writer Unboxed

Gabriela Pereira stops by Writers Helping Writers to help you harness your creative momentum.

Brenda Joyce Patterson shows you how to set and keep your writing resolutions. DIY MFA

Gabriela also posts to DIY MFA: how to read like a writer.

Margie Lawson helps you put wow on the page. Writers in the Storm

Annie Neugebauer compares writing to mountain climbing. It’s an apt metaphor. Summit fever and knowing when to say whoa. Writer Unboxed

Chuck Wendig offers some assorted thoughts on imposter’s syndrome, gathered in a bouquet. Terribleminds

Janice Hardy compares plotting the novel with plotting single scenes. Fiction University

Kristen Lamb: the lies that bind (and how to free yourself).

Chris Winkle explains how to use your conlang (constructed language) without ruining your story. Mythcreants

Anna Hecker: the problem with sensitivity readers isn’t what you think it is. Writer’s Digest

Elsa Sjunneson-Henry belongs where the people are and shares her compelling thoughts on disability and The Shape of Water.

Margaret Atwood: am I a bad feminist? The Globe and Mail

Barbara Kingsolver: #metoo isn’t enough and why women have to get ugly. The Guardian

Charlotte Ahlin lists 11 habits that all science fiction readers have in common. Bustle

Be well until Thursday!


Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Jan 7-13, 2018

Here we are with another week’s worth of informal writerly learnings!

K.M. Weiland shares the five secrets of good storytelling (that writers forget all the time). Helping Writers Become Authors

Janice Hardy points out four reasons readers stopped caring about your story. Later in the week, Janice returns with, do your characters have the right flaws? Fiction University

Colleen M. Story shares the one technique you need to nail your writing goals. Writers in the Storm

Orly Konig: confessions of a workshop flunkie. Writers in the Storm

Julie Glover responds to Fae Rowan’s voracious reader post of last week. Slow: meandering reader ahead. Writers in the Storm

Jenna Moreci shares her recommendations for writing resolutions.


Sacha Black offers some advice on owning your writing career in 2018. Writers Helping Writers

Lisa Hall-Wilson stops by Writers Helping Writers to help us write characters with PTSD.

Sara Letourneau explores the theme of legacy in Station Eleven. DIY MFA

My latest column at DIY MFA was also up last week 🙂 Speculating your future: five steps to FIT goals.

Dawn Field lists five questions you don’t want your readers to ask. DIY MFA

Gabriela Pereira interviews Joan Dempsey for DIY MFA radio.

Then, Gabriela stops by Writer’s Digest to bust three myths that hinder creativity.

Juliet Marillier: a new year for writers. Writer Unboxed

Julie Carrick Dalton shares what she learned about writing a dual timeline novel. Writer Unboxed

Jami Gold explains how to tap into strong emotion through memory.

Kristen Lamb says, the publishing cold war is ending.

Autocrit lists five idioms with unexpected origins.

Porter Anderson explores Teos and Finland’s endless forest.

Janice Bradbeer tells the tale of science fiction author Judith Merril and the very real story of Toronto’s spaced-out library. The Toronto Star

Mehera Bonner takes us inside The Handmaid’s Tale’s sophomore season. Marie Claire

Be well until Thursday!


Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Dec 24-30, 2017

And now … your first batch of informal writerly learnings for the New Year!

Kathryn Craft advises you to ask for what you need. Writers in the Storm

Laura Drake makes notes to her unpublished self. Writers in the Storm

Elizabeth Randolph guest posts on Jami Gold’s blog: good storytelling is about going primal.

A.K. Perry shares five essential elements of strong dialogue. DIY MFA

Gabriela Pereira explains why you should review your writing year. DIY MFA

Amy Pennza shares five ways to find a writer’s group online. DIY MFA

Jenna Moreci follows up last week’s video on world building don’t with this one on world building basics.


Oren Ashkenazi looks at five stories hurt by unlikable protagonists. Mythcreants

T.R. Ragan offers five tips for writing stories with multiple points of view and still keeping the reader in suspense. Writer’s Digest

Chuck Wendig shares his writing resolution for 2018: write with intention. Terribleminds

Alexandra Alter: in an era of online outrage, do sensitivity readers result in better books, or censorship? I’d argue the former, but what do I know? As Alter states in the article, expert readers have a long tradition in publishing. The New York Times

Be well until Thursday!


Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Dec 17-23, 2017

It’s the last instalment of informal writerly learnings of 2017! Not to worry, I’m not stopping the writerly goodness any time soon 😉

Jane Friedman hosts Peter Selgin on her blog: the deadliest first page sin, plus a critique of two novel openings.

Vaughn Roycroft presents the pantsing leftoverture. Writer Unboxed

Dave King: surprise! Writer Unboxed

Kathleen McCleary: what to give yourself this year. Writer Unboxed

Joanna Penn interviews Douglas Smith about writing short fiction for The Creative Penn podcast.

Emily Wenstrom recommends three types of social media posts you should be using. DIY MFA

Stacy B. Woodson shares seven lessons she learned from Lisa Gardner at Crime Bake. DIY MFA

Gabriela Pereira interviews Ada Palmer about writing speculative fiction for DIY MFA radio.

Gabriela Pereira: creativity is craft and it belongs to everyone. TEDxWilmingtonWomen


My latest contribution to DIY MFA: five reasons to book a writing cruise.

Jennie Nash stops by the Writers Helping Writers coaching corner: creating the perfect elevator pitch.

Jamie Raintree offers five ways to use the holiday season to benefit your writing career. Writers in the Storm

Jami Gold explains how to create scene endings that hook readers.

Jenna Moreci: common world building mistakes.


Chris Winkle lists five reasons your story is transphobic (and what to do about it). Mythcreants

As she turns 90, suspense still thrills Mary Higgins Clark. Lynn Neary for NPR.

Alison Flood: “Cat Person” author’s debut novel sparks flurry of international publishing deals. The Guardian

A.N. Devers: this is how a woman is erased from her job. Longreads

Michelle Dean: what makes someone a predator? The New York Times

Victoria Schwab: in praise of strange books. NPR

Ava DuVernay decided to direct A Wrinkle in Time so she could create new worlds. Evan Narcisse for i09.

Minute Physics: time travel in fiction rundown.


I hope your holiday celebrations were filled with joy, family, and friends.

Be well until Thursday!


Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Oct 15-21, 2017

Your weekly dose of informal writerly learnings is here!

First, get your fill of preptober:

Janice Hardy continues her 31 day online novel workshop with day 15: discovering your internal conflicts. Day 16: finding your stakes. Day 17: turning your idea into a summary line. Day 18: turning the summary line into a summary blurb. Day 19: creating the most basic of outlines. Day 20: developing your plot. Day 21: the opening scene.

Gabriela Pereira guest posts on the NaNoWriMo blog: outline your story like a subway map.

Later in the week, Gabriela interviews NaNoWriMo’s Grant Faulkner for DIY MFA radio.

As part of her preptober series, Rachael Stephen shares three efficient techniques for fleshing out characters.


Jenny Hansen plots up a storm (for NaNoWriMo) with Writers in the Storm.

Elizabeth S. Craig offers some suggestions on how to be a #NaNoWriMo rebel.

And now …

K.M. Weiland follows up on a recent post: the only good reason to write. Helping Writers Become Authors

Jan O’Hara shares lessons learned from Ruby Dixon: how to write sex scenes that readers can’t and won’t skip. Writer Unboxed

Julianna Baggott: the writerly skills test. Writer Unboxed

Porter Anderson considers the book doula. I love how Porter presents the evidence and lets the reader decide what they think about the topic. Writer Unboxed

A.K. Perry ponders the eternal question: to outline or not to outline? DIY MFA

And here’s my most recent DIY MFA column—the science in your science fiction: artificial intelligence.

Jami Gold helps you decide what you should show and what you should tell. Then, she helps you find balance between showing and telling.

Tamar Sloan stops by the Writers Helping Writers coaching corner: what’s the real purpose of writing?

Is there such a thing as a good MacGuffin? Robert Wood, Standout books.

Adrienne Liang interviews Patrick Rothfuss for Omnivoracious: what brings him joy?

And that was your writerly goodness for the week.

Be well until Thursday!


Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Oct 1-7, 2017

Here are your informal writerly learnings for the week!

This is October now … and so you know what those of us who do the crazy of NaNoWriMo are doing. Yup. NaNo prep (not to be confused with those other preppers). For the month of October, therefore, I will be posting lots of tasty NaNo prep materials, which can be pretty useful even if you don’t participate 🙂

K.M. Weiland assembles her complete guide to preparing for a successful NaNoWriMo. Helping Writers Become Authors

To help y’all prepare for NaNoWriMo, Janice Hardy’s running a 31 day novel workshop. Here’s the first instalment: brainstorming your idea. Day two: develop your hook. Day three: what’s driving your plot?  Day four: creating your characters. Day five: developing your protagonist. Day six: creating the novel’s conflict. Day seven: developing your antagonist.

Laura Highcove lists the pros and cons of NaNoWriMo. DIY MFA

Rachael Stephen continues preptober with how to be an early bird.

Laura Drake helps you find your perfect critique partner. Writers in the Storm

Kristen Lamb has a little tongue-in-cheek advice for you. Fun is for losers! If you aren’t miserable, you’re doing it wrong! Later in the week Kristen returns with 50 shades of butt-in-gear—the ultimate slacker’s guide to writing success.

Bryn Greenwood: haters gonna hate (but you don’t have to). Writer Unboxed

Writerly wisdom from Donald Maass: the world is inside out. Writer Unboxed

Jo Eberhardt encourages us to write like a girl. Writer Unboxed

Gabriela Pereira interviews Jodi Kendall for DIY MFA radio.

C.S. Lakin visits Writers Helping Writers: what’s the dark night moment all about?

Ari Ashkenazi: five ways David Weber built the Honorverse into an immersive world. Mythcreants

Even John Scalzi is having a challenging writing year. Whatever

Elizabeth Bear wonders, where are all the women?

Terri Pous shares 17 bits of word nerd trivia. Buzzfeed

And that be it until Thursday, my writerly friends.

Be well until then!


Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Sept 17-23, 2017

I present your informal writerly learnings for the week:

K.M. Weiland offers five tips for organizing sub-plots. Helping Writers Become Authors

Later in the week, Amber Massey guest posts on Kate’s blog: five tips for creating believable fictional languages.

Susan Wolfe wonders, if you write a book that nobody reads, are you still a writer? Writer Unboxed

Annie Neugebauer offers a pragmatist’s guide to easing the ugh (AKA learning to wait well). Writer Unboxed

Lydia Kang helps you prepare your research to-do list. Writer Unboxed

Jennie Nash visits the Writers Helping Writers coaching corner: fast draft writing for NaNoWriMo—and every other month.

Later in the week, Kristen Lamb stops by to talk about flashbacks.

Gabriela Pereira stops by Writer’s Digest to explain how to build your email list.

Terri Frank lists six writing books librarians recommend. DIY MFA

Catherine Schaff-Stump (one of the lovely writerly types I met through the Writing Excuses Retreat) shares her favourite bit of The Vessel of Ra on Mary Robinette Kowal’s blog.

Sarah Laskow finds 30 lost English words that deserve a comeback. Atlas Obscura

Angela Chen is the last Chinese-American woman writer who hadn’t read Maxine Hong Kingston. Electric Lit

Deji Bryce Olukotun imagines the future of Nigeria through science fiction. Literary Hub

Eliza Anyangwe counts Nnedi Okorafor’s “so many different kinds of strange” and how she’s changing the face of science fiction. The Guardian

Mark Medley reports: three first-time authors (including one genre writer) make Giller Prize longlist. The Globe and Mail

Oh, yum! James Whitbrook gives us our first look at David Tennant and Michael Sheen in Good Omens. i09

Be well until Thursday, my friends.


Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, July 9-15, 2017

And here we go with another batch of informal writerly learnings 🙂

Sophie Masson expounds on the joys of writing in an unfamiliar setting. Writer Unboxed

Kathryn Craft says you need to earn the backstory by raising a question. Writer Unboxed

Becca Puglisi teaches subterfuge in dialogue. Writers in the Storm

Jenny Hansen shares … a story of balls. Writers in the Storm

Chuck Wendig: so, you’re having a bad writing day. Terribleminds

Roz Morris stops by Writers Helping Writers to improve your suspense in stories with … the big tease.

Angela Ackerman looks back: why we must invest if we want a writing career. Writers Helping Writers

Janice Hardy continues her birth of a book series: creating the characters. Fiction University

Kristen Lamb explores the creative benefits of being bored.

Terri Frank joins the DIY MFA team: five ways to use the library to nurture your reading life.

Gabriela Pereira stops by Jerry Jenkins’ blog to teach us how to write dazzling dialogue.

Then, Gabriela interviews Ann Kidd Taylor for DIY MFA radio.

Gary Zenker returns to DIY MFA: how to get the most out of a critique.

Elise Holland offers five poetic tools to enhance your prose. DIY MFA

Jane Friedman explains how to pitch agents at a writers’ conference.

Chris Winkle lists seven ways to bring characters together. Mythcreants

Nancy Kress looks at the science in science fiction: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Richard G. Lowe Jr.: how better world building will keep you out of trouble. AutoCrit

Brandon Taylor: who cares what white people think? Literary Hub

Emily Van Duyne wonders why we’re so reluctant to take Sylvia Plath at her word? Literary Hub

Jane Austen comments on love and happiness. Oxford University Press.


David Barnett: how traditional British folklore is benefiting from modern culture. The Independent

Emma Watson interviews Margaret Atwood about The Handmaid’s Tale. Entertainment Weekly

Nancy Kress shares seven things she’s learned so far … Writer’s Digest

Karen Grigsby Bates: how Octavia Butler wrote herself into the story. NPR

Charles Pulliam-Moore reports that after four years in negotiation, HBO and George R.R. Martin are producing Nnedi Okorafor’s Who Fears Death as a series! i09

Marc Snetiker gives us a first look at A Wrinkle in Time. Entertainment Weekly

Charles Pulliam-Moore: the reason publishers rejected A Wrinkle in Time is the same reason Ava DuVernay is making the movie. i09

And Cheryl Eddy shares the A Wrinkle in Time trailer! i09

It’s been an exciting week for series and movies. So looking forward.

Come back on Thursday for your weekly dose of thoughty!

Until then, be well.