Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, June 24-30, 2018

It’s time for your weekly dose of informal writerly learnings.

/rant on/

I’ll start off on a negative note. Harlan Ellison died last week, but I have purposefully not posted about it or shared any posts about it on social media. Though he was influential in the science fiction universe and wrote much that is considered objectively great fiction (he was even a consultant on my favourite series ever, Babylon 5), I have never read any of his work. I wondered why that was and realized that I instinctively disliked the man in the interviews in which I saw him. Since, I have learned that he was a universal asshole and a misogynist prick. The incident with Connie Willis at the 2006 Hugos was just one, very public incident. For the record, I may read his work someday, but regardless of what I think of the man as a writer, I will always think of him as a poor example of a human being. I don’t care what his damage was, to be honest. It’s no excuse. We must do better, be better, than the pathetically low bar he set.

/rant off/

Now, on to the good stuff.

Patrice Williams Marks stops by Writer Unboxed: what is a sensitivity reader, and can I become one?

Susan Spann says, fear is a liar. Inspirational. Writer Unboxed

Barbara O’Neal considers light and dark, and writing with duende. “Duende is the dark magic, the force of Other, that enters the work and turns it from something interesting, maybe even really good, into something transcendent. It is born of the knowledge that death walks among us, that sorrow will mark you with her handprint, that we are all doomed to be forgotten.” Yum!  Writer Unboxed

Heather Webb wonders, is juggling multiple writing projects at once is exhausting or a bright idea? Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland: writing as the art of thinking clearly in six steps. Helping Writers Become Authors

Victoria Mixon: five advantages of rereading.

Joanna Penn interviews Michaelbrent Collings about writing with depression. The Creative Penn

Nathan Bransford explains how to list your publishing credits in a query letter.

A.K. Perry continues her exploration of James Scott Bell’s signpost scenes: trouble brewing. DIY MFA

Ambre Dawn Leffler shares five tai chi and yoga techniques to help with writer focus. DIY MFA

Gabriela Pereira offers six writing exercises to fuel your creativity. Writer’s Digest

Jami Gold breaks down the revision process, so you can improve your storytelling.

Lisa Granshaw offers an oral history of Babylon 5, the beloved TV novel that showed us a different way to tell a science fiction story. SyFy

Thu-Huong Ha: No mas, say the writers. How bilingual authors are challenging the practice of italicizing non-English words. Quartzy

MTV’s Decoded with Franchesca Ramsey – six phrases with racist origins.

 

Jessica Leigh Hester: why medieval monasteries branded their books. Atlas Obscura

Arika Okrent presents the curious origins of 16 common phrases. Mental Floss

And that was Tipsday for this week.

I hope all of my Canadian friends had a LOVELY Canada Day long weekend (today will have been our Tuesday-that-feels-like-a-Monday) and that all of my friends in the US will have an equally enjoyable Independence Day holiday.

Be well until Thursday rolls around and don’t forget to come back for some quality thoughty.

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, June 17-23, 2018

It’s that time of the week when you get to reward yourself with some informal writerly learnings 🙂

K.M. Weiland explains how to intertwine plot, character, and theme in every scene. New insights from my favourite guru 🙂 Helping Writers Become Authors

This column was a-MA-zing. Read it. Love it. Live it! Asking myself why I write … again. Vaughn Roycroft on Writer Unboxed.

Jim Dempsey explains how to create drama with your character’s desire. Writer Unboxed

Roz Morris posts about what she wished she’d known in school: two instructions for making a creative life. Nail Your Novel

Jennie Nash stops by Writers Helping Writers to explain how the growth mindset for writers leads to the satisfaction of excellence.

Chuck Wendig explains how to be a writer in this fucked-ass age of rot and resistance. Terribleminds

Literary agent Barbara Poelle answers the question, what are the best times to query an agent? Funny you should ask. Writer’s Digest

Nathan Bransford confesses something about the fear of never finishing.

L.L. Barkat stops by Jane Friedman’s blog to share her introvert’s guide to launching a book.

Lisa Hall-Wilson encourages you to write beyond lust and attraction and use the body language of love. Writers in the Storm

Elisabeth Kauffman answers another writerly conundrum in her ask the editor column: travelling between worlds. DIY MFA

Bran L. Ayres wonders, should we include trigger warnings in our novels? Then, Bran L. Ayres returns to Jami Gold’s blog: how to develop and show a healthy romance.

Oren Ashkenazi provides six more bad arguments against social justice in speculative fiction. Then, Oren critiques six supposedly powerful abilities that don’t measure up. Really, it’s about overpowered characters. Mythcreants

Melody Wilding: how mental illness inspired Gabriela Pereira to launch a creative writing business. Forbes

Tajja Isen hopes writers of colour can expand the way they write about their identities. “Despite the position from which I write, and the need for it to inform my work, I also want that work to bloom around a richer core than the supposed pain of racial difference. If each writer chases a singular question, then I need a refrain that does more open-ended, unexpected work than just announcing the color of my skin as the intellectual bottom line — even if, or especially if, that tortured pose is the kind of work that editors expect.” Buzzfeed

Camille Perri says, we need more queer stories where nobody suffers. Electric Lit

MTV’s Decoded: code switching with Franchesca Ramsey.

 

And that was Tipsday. Tomorrow is hump-day and that’s one day closer to Friday!

Come back on Thursday for your weekly dose of thoughty.

Be well until then, my friends.

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, May 20-26, 2018

You survived Monday, and that’s a good thing! Have a wee treat. Another week, another batch of informal writerly learnings!

A.K. Perry explores another of James Scott Bell’s signpost scenes—the argument against transformation. DIY MFA

Gabriela Pereira interviews Kimmery Martin about revising your book and getting it right. DIY MFA

I shared Kate Weiland’s list last week. Great minds think alike 🙂 Lisa Cron busts five writing myths that may be holding you back. DIY MFA

Vaughn Roycroft examines his biases and tropes: warrior women, #MeToo, and one writer’s evolving sensibilities. Writer Unboxed

Liz Michalski advises you to blow it up (where it is a practice that no longer serves you). Writer Unboxed

Julie Carrick Dalton shares her thoughts on finding second life in cast-off words. I might have to try her fire brick idea some day. I’m not craft-inclined enough to try the other stuff 🙂 Writer Unboxed

Janice Hardy helps you edit your novel without feeling overwhelmed. Later in the week, she wonders, how much really needs to be in your novel’s opening line? Fiction University

K.M. Weiland offers five logical steps to grow as a writer. Helping Writers Become Authors

Joanna Penn helps you find your writing community. The Creative Penn

Kristen Lamb: truth is the door between your greatest fears and your greatest self. Later in the week, Kristen shares five reasons to invest in rest (and avoid burnout).

Nathan Bransford offers a guide to literary agent etiquette.

Shawn Coyne explains how an agent figures out her pitch to publishers. Steven Pressfield

Remember that book that no one had ever heard of that shot straight to the NYT bestseller list? Well, Chris Winkle took one for the team and has some lessons from the rambling writing of Handbook for Mortals. Mythcreants

Then, Oren Ashkenaski shares seven ways to motivate a reluctant protagonist. Mythcreants

Jeanna Kadlec offers this writerly horoscope. Electric Lit

And that was tipsday. Come back on Thursday for your weekly dose of thoughty.

Until then, be well, my friends.

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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, 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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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, 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 🙂

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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. Tor.com

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!

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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. Tor.com

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!

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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!

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