Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Jan 31-Feb 6, 2021

You’ve made it through Monday. Wednesday/humpday is just around the corner. Fortify yourselves with some informal writerly learnings.

Lauren J. Sharkey shares her experience with the negative balance of writing. And here’s my latest Speculations: The Heroine’s Journey by Gail Carriger.  DIY MFA

The fabulous and flirty fight of The Mask of Zorro. Jill Bearup

Greer Macallister bemoans all the things she doesn’t know (about publishing). Sophie Masson explains how to celebrate new releases. Donald Maass wants you to consider hopes and fears in fiction. Later in the week, Rheea Mukherjee is writing real. Writer Unboxed

Race-baiting, queer-baiting, colorism, featurism, and performative diversity in Bridgerton. | Khadija Mbowe

K.M. Weiland offers an introduction to archetypal stories. Helping Writers Become Authors

J.D. Lasica: do stories have a universal shape? Jane Friedman

Emily Zarka introduces us to the werehyena, the terrifying shapeshifters of African Lore. Monstrum | PBS Storied

September C. Fawkes lists the eight points of progress. Then, Becca Puglisi provides an author’s guide to redeeming villains. Writers Helping Writers

The Take explains why we root for Gone Girl’s Amy Dunne.

Janice Hardy shares three steps to grounding your reader in your story world. Later in the week, Janice explains how the opening scene works in a novel. Fiction University

The hipster trope, explained. The Take

Kris Maze helps you sort fact from fiction: “flow” improves the writing life. Writers in the Storm

The magic of childhood in My Neighbour Totoro. Tale Foundry

Chris Winkle explains how to get readers to feel those emotional twists. Then, Kellie Doherty lists six ways to make fantasy travel more interesting. Mythcreants

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you found something to help with your current work in progress.

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe!

Join me at DIY MFA for my latest Speculations

This time, I’m exploring Gail Carriger’s The Heroine’s Journey and what it taught me about the stories I write.

While you’re there, you may want to check out some of the other awesome columnists or look into Gabriela’s writers’ resources, courses, or the Word Nerd community.

See you soon! And remember to stay safe and well!

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, April 19-25, 2020

Sunday (April 26th) marked one month since I started working from home and a little over six weeks since covid-19 was declared a pandemic and physical distancing measures were put in place. In that time, several of the small businesses and independent workers whose services I used have shut down operations. This past week, one of those small businesses made the decision to close permanently.

I understand the decision and wish the two wonderful businesswomen all the best, but it makes me sad that they were forced to the extremity. Unfortunately, none of the measures the government offered for small businesses were appropriate for them. I worry that more small businesses will follow suit.

This has been a trying time for everyone for a variety of reasons. Take care of yourselves and take some time to enjoy these informal writerly learnings.

Jan O’Hara: turning points (or, how not to kill your partner during covid-19 lockdown). Dave King discusses the practice novel (also called the shelf novel or trunk novel—scarier words were never writ). Anne Greenwood Brown reveals the science behind the meet-cute. Heather Webb explains how to find and hone your author voice. Writer Unboxed

Becca Puglisi offers nine ways to originalize your story. Writers in the Storm

Shaelin starts a new series about developing a novel. Part one: concept and idea. Reedsy

K.M. Weiland lists four ways writing improves your relationship with yourself. Helping Writers Become Authors

Joanna Penn talks to Gail Carriger about building a unique author brand. The Creative Penn

Susan DeFreitas continues her series on developing a writing practice with part four: easy. Jane Friedman

Lisa Hall-Wilson explains what emotional context is and why your story needs it. Later in the week, Angela Ackerman shows you how to describe a location you’ve never visited. Writers Helping Writers

Jami Gold helps you use scene and sequel better.

Chris Winkle lists five common dialogue problems and how to fix them. Then, Oren Ashkenazi digs into the world building of Naomi Novik’s Temeraire. Mythcreants

How the manic pixie dream girl has evolved. The Take

And the crazy woman.

Maria Popova introduces us to The Lost Words: an illustrated dictionary of poetic spells reclaiming the language of nature. Brain Pickings

Kate Yoder considers the words this unprecedented time of change have brought into our lexicon. Grist

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you found something to support your current work in progress.

Until next time, be well and stay safe, my writerly friends.

Tipsday2019

WorldCon 2016: The steampunk explosion

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.

Panellists: Carrie Vaughn, Jeffrey Cook, Laurel Anne Hill (moderator), Gail Carriger, Nina Niskanen

steampunk

Joined in progress …

GC: The term steampunk emerged in the 70’s as an evolution of cyberpunk. The first iteration was dark. Then, steampunk became an aesthetic and finally, humour worked its way in. Whimsy was a reaction to darker iterations. It romanticizes the Victorian era and deals with the class system and double standards of the era. The historical time period was actually very chaotic.

NN: The interaction with class is attractive to both writers and readers. Science fiction doesn’t typically feature a lower class.

CV: The current wave of steampunk is deconstructive.

GC: It’s subversive, commenting on colonialism and class.

LAH: It’s a reinvention of the Victorian age. There was a great excitement then with the industrial revolution and technological advances. People want to recapture the excitement and inspiration of that time.

NN: In Vernor Vinge’s Rainbow’s End [about a man recovering from Alzheimer’s disease who has to renegotiate a world that’s advanced technologically while he was ill], computers have no serviceable parts.

CV: There was an anxiety about science. Frankenstein expresses that fear that we will not be able to control what we unleash.

GC: That was the dichotomy—can technology solve all our problems, or will it cause them?

JC: Rockets were being developed at the time, but the inventor also supported women in STEM [science, technology, engineering, and math].

LAH: The anxiety about science was a reaction against putting all of humanity into a box.

CV: There was a hope and drive to fix things socially as well. Technology wasn’t the answer to everything. Now there’s an environmental aspect in steampunk and that’s a reaction against our disposable society.

NN: Steampunk has avoided painting Victorian London in a “dirty” light. Historical accounts relate that at times there were seas of horse shit in the streets.

CV: Steampunk outside of Victorian Europe are appearing as a reaction against colonialism.

JC: You can have clockwork in 5th century Japan. You can do a lot within the genre. It’s not just the comedy of manners and history heavy stories. There’s more of a spectrum to be explored.

And that was time.

Next week, we’ll delve into some nifty narrative tricks (with shoe puppetry!).

Sending out a huge hug to all my American friends. Stay strong, speak out, and always, keep telling your stories. Sweet Jesus, we need them.

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Oct 16-22, 2016

Just to let you know. I’m participating in #NaNoWriMo this year, but I wasn’t able to take much time off in November. So I’m working. And, I’ll be out of town, training for the day job, for the first week. And I’ll be at Wordstock Sudbury the weekend I get back. And I’ll be helping to launch the SWG anthology, Sudbury Ink. On the weekend of the 12th/13th (the day/date is yet to be determined).

So, it’s going to be a busy month.

As a result, I’m not going to be blogging at all in the month of November. I will be able to complete and schedule the curation posts for the first week (Tipsday on Nov 1st and Thoughty Thursday on Nov 3rd), but, after that, you won’t be seeing another post until December 3rd, when I’ll be doing a double monthly update for October and November.

I just wanted to let you know ahead of time, so you won’t be expecting posts, or wondering where the heck I am.

I’ll be well, and writing 🙂

Your #NaNoWriMo round up for the week:

K.M. Weiland reviews the WriteMind Planner (plus a chance to win!). Helping Writers Become Authors

Janice Hardy guest posts on Kate’s blog: three ways to instantly spot telling.

Chris Winkle shares five ways to hide your foreshadowing. Mythcreants

Vaughn Roycroft suggests the synopsis as a way to revision success. Writer Unboxed

Dave King helps you meet your characters on Writer Unboxed.

Janice Hardy asks, which character is the heart of your story? Fiction University

Writing a series: how much do you need to plan ahead? Jami Gold.

Alex Bloom makes a guest appearance on The Write Practice: what most writers don’t know about screenplay structure.

Steven Pressfield: what works and what doesn’t.

Gail Carriger discusses one of her literary influences, Mercedes Lackey.

Sabaa Tahir picks Patrick Rothfuss’s brain about writing sequels and impostor’s syndrome. Tor.com

Sarah Gailey wants to see more mentally ill women protagonists. Tor.com

Authors share their views on cultural appropriation. The Guardian

Marlon James: why I’m done talking about diversity. Literary Hub

Finally! An infographic that breaks down the big five and their imprints.

Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan reports on a gorgeous typeface that drove men mad and sparked a 100-year mystery. Gizmodo

Charles Dickens and profanity. Bryan Kozlowski for The Millions.

Azhar A. Alkazwini documents the influence of the Norman Conquest on the English language. Medievalists.net

Five portmanteau words you want to start using. Sad and Useless

Hephzibah Anderson settles in with The Wide Sargasso Sea, the book that changed Jane Eyre forever. BBC

Looking forward to Guardians of the Galaxy, vol. 2? Check out this teaser trailer! Brian Raftery for Wired.

Women will direct every episode of Jessica Jones, season 2. Beth Elderkin for i09.

All the best until Thursday 🙂

See you then! *waves*

Tipsday

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, July 17-23, 2016

I am pleased to present your informal writerly learnings for the week.

K.M. Weiland: four ways to verify if your story concept is strong enough. Helping writers become authors. Also: four places to find the best story conflict.

You know what your novel means, but does your reader? Roz Morris advises that you approch the problem with two mindsets. Nail your novel.

Liz Lazzara guest posts on Writer Unboxed. Storytelling: an exercise in empathy.

Jeanne Kisacky: the synergy of the first draft, whether you trim or embellish. Writer Unboxed.

Dan Blank presents a hobbit’s guide to launching your book. Writer Unboxed.

Pamela Hodges lists fourteen books that should be on every writer’s shelf. The Write Practice.

Jennifer Louden guest posts on Jane Friedman’s blog: five ways to develop your writer’s voice.

Karen Woodward: never give up your dreams.

Chris Winkle offers seven common causes of reader confusion. Mythcreants.

Gail Carriger lends her expertise to Janice Hardy’s Fiction University. How to write (and how not to write) an author bio.

Derek Newman-Stille interviews Kate Story for Through the Twisted Woods.

The Writer’s Block features Matt Murphy.

Victoria (V.E.) Schwab writes about the slow pursuit of overnight success.

Writing as resistance. Chris Hedges for Truth Dig.

Keeping up with the Wangs. (SF related.) The Economist.

Grant Munroe interviews Margaret Atwood for Literary Hub.

Gabrielle Bellot explains why Calvin and Hobbes is great literature. Literary Hub.

This live-action Futurama fan film is both incredibly impressive and creepy. Bryan Menegus for i09.

Coldplay and Michael J. Fox play a tribute to Back to the Future. The Hollywood Reporter.

The Vulture lists every major film reference in Stranger Things. This series is full of homage. Lurve.

John Squires shares what Stephen King thinks about Stranger Things. iHorror.

Germain Lussier presents the first Wonder Woman trailer. Yum! i09

Come back Thursday ya’ll and get ya’s some thoughty 🙂

Tipsday

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz June 1-7, 2014

Here’s the loot from the last week.

Ellen’s 12 rules for novelists from the Girlfriends Book Club.

How to make the most of your writing time from Aliventures.

The right way to layer desire in your story from MJ Bush of Writingeekery.

Vaughn Roycroft wrote a wonderful post on death and the writer for Writer Unboxed.

Roz Morris answers the question, “How do you keep motivated when your books aren’t selling well?

K.M. Weiland takes a break from character arcs and returns to her most common mistakes series with this post and podcast about describing character movements.

TED talk on how Sting got his groove back. It’s all about storytelling.

 

Further insight from Carly Watters on why your query and/or sample pages aren’t generating interest.

A Rewording Life. A worthy, and wordy, project from Sheryl Gordon, in honour of her mother, and all those who have lost their words to Alzheimer’s Disease.

Famous authors and their favourite writing tools, a fun infographic from Bookbaby.

Clarkesworld Magazine interviews Chuck Wendig.

And for more Wendig-ishness, here’s the SFsignal podcast with Chuck and Gail Carriger.

Interesting news: Oryx and Crake series in development.

It’s all Writerly Goodness 🙂

Tipsday