Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Aug 14-20, 2022

Week four of August is here along with your weekly batch of informal writerly learnings! Enjoy!

K.M. Weiland explains how to write emotional scenes (without making them cringey). Helping Writers Become Authors

Lisa Norman reveals how to painlessly generate dozens of blog ideas. Then, Sandy Vaile digs into research: how far will fiction authors go for facts? Laurie Schnebly Campbell wonders how much does genre matter? Writers in the Storm

Joanna Penn interviews Becca Puglisi about writing conflict. The Creative Penn

How to write a plot summary and a synopsis. Reedsy

Roz Morris considers using real people in historical fiction—how much can you invent? Nail Your Novel

Barbara Linn Probst wonders what does “award-winning author” mean—and does it matter? Then, Marcie Geffner discusses aphantasia and writing fiction with no “mind’s eye.” Writer Unboxed

AJ Harper helps you get in front of your readers’ doubts and objections. Jane Friedman

Good characters are overrated. Tale Foundry

Christina Delay: small focus. Big creativity. Becca Puglisi wants you to use your character’s career to support your story’s theme. Writers Helping Writers

Nathan Bransford says don’t outsource your agent search.

Kris Hill considers fairy tales and once upon a time. Manuela Williams: what is the poetry of witness? Then, Daria White proposes an alternative to traditional time management for writers.  Abigail Cutter suggests five ways to get inside your historical characters’ heads. DIY MFA

This fight changed everything … Jill Bearup

Angela Ackerman: does conflict really belong on every page? Jami Gold

Tiffany Yates Martin explains how to write a query letter (without losing your mind). Fox Print Editorial

Kristen Lamb examines the priority parallax: what’s truly important?

Chris Winkle lists ten reasons your characters might stop communicating. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five stories with well-written families. Mythcreants

How to write your first novel. Reedsy

Chris Martin discusses poetry, autism, and the joy of working with neurodiverse writers. Literary Hub

Peter Kafka: the newsletter boom is over. What’s next? Vox

S.L. Huang investigates the ghost of workshops past: how communism, conservatism, and the Cold War still mold our paths to SFF writing. Outstanding essay! Tor.com

Thank you for spending some time with me. I hope you found something to support your current work in progress.

Until Thursday, keep staying safe and well!

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, May 15-21, 2022

The penultimate tipsday of May, marked by the serenade of spring peepers and red-wing blackbirds; the scents of crab apple blossoms and lilacs and poplar sap; and thunderstorms that spark and roll overhead. Refill your well with some informal writerly learnings.

Disha Walia wants you to find your motivation for writing speculative fiction. Then, E.J. Wenstrom explains what to do about author platforming when you’re burned out. Sara Farmer lists more of her auto-buy mystery authors. Later in the week, Brittany Capozzi lists five answers we get from writing letters to ourselves. DIY MFA

The psychology of Zuko. Avatar: The Last Airbender. Hello, Future Me

K.M. Weiland recommends six ways to find your best ideas before you start writing. Helping Writers Become Authors

Sandy Vaile shares four essential elements you need to create a workable novel. Then, Holly Lasky asks you to guess who’s in the driver’s seat of your creativity? Lynette M. Burroughs explains how the forces of antagonism frame your story. Writers in the Storm

Darn it, you made me care. Jill Bearup

Susan Defreitas wonders, why write when the world is on fire? Jane Friedman

C.S. Lakin: outlining your novel for success. Live, Write, Thrive

Seven character development exercises. Reedsy

Elizabeth Spann Craig: stress and writing.

Dave King is getting to know evil. Then, Barbara Linn Probst gives us three writing exercises for three different points in the writing process. Kristina Stevens wonders how you adapt real life into fiction. Writer Unboxed

How sun mythologies are universal (featuring PBS Space Time). Fate & Fabled | PBS Storied

Christina Delay explains what to do when you feel like a hack. Then, Marissa Graff shares four ways your protagonist is sabotaging you (and how to fight back). Writers Helping Writers

Nathan Bransford: breaks, permission, and writing.

Olaseni Ajibade explores mental health in fiction: the monster you feed. Dan Koboldt

This story will save your imagination. Tale Foundry

Tiffany Yates Martin: high praise, big promises … and crickets. Fox Print Editorial

Kristen Lamb says weakness is blood in the water for narcissist sharks.

How the tech villain became the most hated character. The Take

Chris Winkle shares lessons from the summary writing of Illuminae. Then, Oren Ashkenazi critiques the second half of Pixar’s rules of storytelling. Mythcreants

Angie hodapp explains what to do when your entire manuscript turns out to be a prologue. Pub Rants

Guy Gavriel Kay wonders what we lose—and gain—as book tours move online? Literary Hub

Thank you for spending some time with me, and I hope you took away something to support your current work in progress, whatever stage it’s at.

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe, my writerly friends!

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, May 1-7, 2022

Ah, Tuesday. Monday has been endured/survived and we’re one day closer to the weekend. Fortify yourself for the rest of the week with some informal writerly learnings!

Lauren J. Sharkey is aimlessly acquiring and agent. Then, Adam W. Burgess helps you build your LGBTQ+ summer reading list. Gabriela Pereira interviews Jessi Honard and Marie Parks about using the “loop method” to co-write your novel. Later in the week, Mary Adkins suggests your best writing goal based on your enneagram number. DIY MFA

Five easy ways to get story ideas. Reedsy

Greer Macallister says you can’t do it all. Then, Sarah Penner talks about hiding your villain in plain sight. Donald Maass: it’s simple. It’s complicated. It’s a novel. Keith Cronin offers some tough love from a guy named Francis. Then, Liz Michalski says hello, village. Writer Unboxed

What’s wrong with Calanthe’s armour? Jill Bearup

K.M. Weiland explains the role of the antagonist in story structure (part 1 of 2). Helping Writers Become Authors

Brooke Warner says we all need to be protected against predatory publishing practices. Then, Kristen Tsetsi interviews Alan Davis about the benefits of MFA programs. Anne Carley: not a journal person? Post-pandemic might be the perfect time to start. Jane Friedman

Five things I got (very) wrong about writing craft. Shaelin Writes

September C. Fawkes shows you how to use crisis to reveal character. Writers Helping Writers

Lisa Norman explains what to do if you’ve been hacked! Or have you? Later in the week, Kris Maze explains how to create a powerful synopsis to sell your book. Writers in the Storm

Kristen Lamb discusses the mother wound and fiction.

Why has the majestic griffin been forgotten? Monstrum | PBS Storied

Tiffany Yates Martin explains how Rochelle Weinstein revises: building grassroots success. Fox Print Editorial

Chris Winkle reveals how to make your craft more pretentious. Oren Ashkenazi: no, social justice warriors aren’t reducing diversity in fiction. Mythcreants

The worldview genre: stories about maturation, disillusionment, and revelation. Story Grid

The quarter life crisis is more stressful than ever. The Take

Clara Pasieka: Cree author, David A. Robertson questions why Durham District School Board removed his book from shelves. CBC

How libraries became a quiet battlefront in the war on Ukraine. CBC

Ukraine’s national poet. JSTOR Daily

Thanks for taking the time to visit. I hope you took away something to support your current work in progress.

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe!

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, June 27-July 3, 2021

Welcome to another week of informal writerly learnings 🙂 Enjoy!

Erika Liodice explains how to create an authentic setting from a place you’ve never been. Matthew Norman advises, when in doubt, look about. Then, Deanna Cabinian offers some tips from a pregnant lady on deflecting unsolicited writing advice. Nancy Johnson shares three tips for mastering conflict in your novel. Later in the week, Julie Carrick Dalton is crafting climate futures we can survive. Writer Unboxed

Princess Weekes looks at WandaVision and the feminine madness. Melina Pendulum

K.M. Weiland completes her review of the flat archetypal arc with the mentor in part 21 of her archetypal character arcs series. Helping Writers Become Authors

Colleen M. Story lists three reasons writing is a healthy form of escape. Elizabeth Spann Craig

Writing compelling character relationships. Shaelin Writes

James Scott Bell says, act like a professional. Colleen M. Story explains how to tell the difference between procrastination and a true writing crisis. Writers Helping Writers

Princess Weekes loves Octavia E. Butler, the grand dame of science fiction. It’s Lit | PBS Storied

Tasha Seegmiller is exploring a character’s past wound. Then, Julie Glover shares five more quick dialog tips. Writers in the Storm

Emily Zarka looks at the macabre origins of the grim reaper. Monstrum | PBS Storied

My latest speculations: ten AAPI science fiction and fantasy authors to read right now. Later in the week, Lauren Eckhardt shared five ways to catch your golden butterfly. DIY MFA

Why slow adulting is a good thing. The Take

Kristine Kathryn Rusch presents part seven of her fear-based decision-making series: fear and all writers.

Rachelle Shaw lists ten alternative types of short fiction. Fiction University

Jane Friedman breaks down where her money comes from.

The dangerous woman. How we package female sexuality. The Take

Chris Winkle points out what you need to know when planning character arcs. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes six twists that hurt the story. Mythcreants

Nate Berg: stunning new museum brings Hans Christian Andersen’s stories to life. Fast Company

Hank you for taking the time to stop by, and I hope you found something to support your current work in progress.

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe!

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, June 6-12, 2021

Another week, another batch of informal writerly learnings 🙂 Get ‘em while they’re hot (and not too old)!

Greer Macallister wonders, can writers still be readers? Then, Jim Dempsey provides a guide to style. Kathleen McCleary says, prove it! Kathryn Craft shows you how to heighten tension with a watcher. David Corbett: on killing 22,000 darlings, part 2. Identifying the dead. Writer Unboxed

This is your brain on language. SciShow Psych

K.M. Weiland covers the flat archetype of the parent in part 18 of her archetypal character arcs series. Helping Writers Become Authors

Susan DeFreitas shares six key strategies for emotionally affecting fiction. Then, J. Michael Straczynsky explains why you can’t sell an idea. Ashleigh Renard is selling books on TikTok, no dancing (or crying) required. Jane Friedman

The lotus blossom stereotype. The Take

Jami Gold helps you avoid “talking heads” and other clichés. Then, Jessica Conoley helps you build your triangle of support with part 2: mentorship. Writers Helping Writers

Colleen M. Story lists five signs you have “writer’s DNA.”  Piper Bayard presents seven character lessons from a real-life heroine. Writers in the Storm

Yes, Virginia, the female gaze exists. The Take

Marina Barakatt examines the value of Lumberjanes. Then, Gabriela Pereira interviews Tasha Suri about crafting conflict in epic fantasy. Later in the week, Elizabeth Sumner Wafler explains how she built her side biz as an editor. Then Rebecca D’Harlingue lists five questions to ask before you write a dual timeline novel. DIY MFA

Kristine Kathryn Rusch continues her fear-based decision-making series with traditional writers.

Chris Winkle explains why we have to let go of meta mysteries. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five stories with weak stakes. Mythcreants

I tried Harley Quinn’s elevator flip (as one does). Jill Bearup

Sudbury’s Scott Overton writes about an alien artefact found in a northern Ontario lake. CBC

Mike Fleming Jr. reports that N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy lands at Sony TriStar in 7-figure deal; author to adapt. Deadline

Thank you for taking the time to stop by, and I hope you found something to support your current work in progress.

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe!

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, May 30-June 5, 2021

It’s time, once again, to fill up on informal writerly learnings.

Tom Bentley concerns himself with the fictions of our minds. Kathryn Magendie helps you find your DIY-style voice. Donald Maass wants you to get real. Liza Nash Taylor says, we only see the weeds. Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland delves into the flat archetype of the lover in part 17 of her archetypal character arcs series. Helping Writers Become Authors

These shoes will kill you. Jill Bearup

Margie Lawson wonders, what’s your body language IQ? Writers in the Storm

Bella Mahaya Carter says, ask for what you want, writers. Then, Kim Catanzarite shows you how to stoke your mental fire (if you have brain strain). Jane Friedman

Shaelin discusses how to work with a professional editor. Reedsy

Angela Ackerman shares two words that will supercharge your writing career. (Spoilers: good enough.) Jessica Conoley helps you build your writing support triangle with part 1: critique. Colleen M. Story lists seven signs that reveal writing is part of your life’s purpose. Writers Helping Writers

On her own channel, Shaelin explains how to turn an idea into a book. Shaelin Writes

Ambre Dawn Leffler wants you to feed your senses for a bounty of creativity. Then, Pamela Taylor considers the unsavory side of authenticity. Later in the week, Stacey Parkins Millett highlights enduring stories steeped in race. DIY MFA

Pneuma: breath as a magic system. Tale Foundry

Bethany Henry explains how to include mental health issues in your fiction. Fiction University

Kristine Kathryn Rusch brings you part four of her fear-based decision-making series: heads, sand, and traditional publishing.

The wild woman trope: a story of radical self-discovery. The Take

Fay Onyx shows us what respectfully depicting a character adapting to a disability looks like. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five poorly motivated villains from popular stories. Mythcreants

Thank you for taking the time to visit. I hope you found something to support your current work in progress.

Until Thursday, be well, my writerly friends!

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, May 9-15, 2021

‘Tis time, once again, to get your mental corn popping!

Tsione Wolde-Michael: we should think differently about racist monuments. Hyperallergic

Britni de la Cretaz reports that at least four transgender women of color were killed within ten days. Them

Mary Louise Kelly, Karen Zamora, and Amy Isackson want us to meet America’s newest chess master, 10-year-old Tanitoluwa Adewumi. NPR

Joal Stein: spatial abolition and disability justice. Public Books

Nidal Al-mughrabi and Jeffery Heller: Jerusalem violence leads to rockets, air strikes. Reuters

Why do we have bright ideas in the shower? SciShow Psych

Pete Evans: Greyhound Canada shutting down all bus service permanently. CBC

Perseverance’s robotic arm begins to conduct science. NASA

Adam Mann wonders, is Mars ours? The New Yorker

Joanna Partridge reports that electric cars will be cheaper to produce than fossil fuel vehicles by 2027. The Guardian

Patrick Whittle: Vineyard Wind project key to clean energy, is approved. Associated Press

Rebecca Mead reveals the mysterious origins of the Cerne Abbas Giant. The New Yorker

Oliver Milman reports that a forest the size of France regrown worldwide over 20 years. The Guardian

Thanks for visiting. I hope you found something to inspire a future creative project.

Until next tipsday, be well and stay safe, be kind, and stay strong. The world needs your stories!

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, June 14-20, 2020

Black lives matter. Indigenous lives matter. All lives cannot matter until all Black and Indigenous lives matter. I don’t have a huge platform, but I’ll make use of it as I can to keep this message front and centre for my readers. I’m still listening. I’m still learning. And I’m still trying to do better.

Meanwhile, reopening continues, to more or less success, given the area/province/state. They’re discovering people who’d apparently recovered from covid getting sick again two months on. Worldwide, the number of cases continue to increase. This thing is a beast.

Let’s get to the informal writerly learnings.

Vaughn Roycroft: regarding privilege, empathy, and voice. Writer Unboxed

A Black booktuber shares her experience. Click through to her other videos and to the resources in the notes. Silence is complicity. Listen. Do the work. Don’t stop. Bookish Realm

And if you’re a booktube fan, legitimately commit to diversify your viewing and support some of these lovely people. Google is a thing you can use. Besides, like one video and YouTube will generally cue up three similar vids for you to check out.

Nic Stone: don’t just read about racism—read about Black people living. Cosmopolitan

Black Lives Matter. How can I help? Jenna Moreci

John Peragine helps you harness the power of pronouns (part 1). Then, Lori Freeland says, write your story forward. Writers in the Storm

Joanna Penn interviews Kris Spisak about self-editing your novel. The Creative Penn

K.B. Owen visits Elizabeth Spann Craig’s blog: writing real-life historical characters.

Sangeeta Mehta interviews Stefanie Sanchez von Borstel and Leslie Zampetti about writing, pitching, and promoting in the age of coronavirus. Jane Friedman

Lucy V. Hays explains how to avoid a half-baked idea. Writers Helping Writers

Kristen Lamb explains how you can use the Johari window to understand and harness the character blind spot.

Nathan Bransford: the climax should resolve your character’s desires.

Shaelin explains line editing (with examples). Reedsy

Rochelle Melander helps you revise your book for word choice. Fiction University

The Take considers the tomboy trope.

Chris Winkle gets facetious: if stories treated straight couples like they treated queer couples. Then, Oren Ashkenazi considers five over-burdened stories and how to fix them. Mythcreants

Thanks for the visit. I hope you found something to support your current work in progress.

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe, my writerly friends.

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, June 23-29, 2019

Welcome July! We’ve finally hit summer up here in northeastern Ontario. And it was just Canada Day (yesterday)! It’s time to celebrate with some informal writerly learnings 🙂

CanadaDay

Nathan Bransford explains how to handle multiple protagonists in a query letter. Later in the week, he shares a list of character strengths and weaknesses.

Julie Duffy says, creation is messy—and that’s okay. Barbara O’Neal is writing the next book. John J. Kelley lauds stories that liberate. Writer Unboxed

Abigail K. Perry examines James Scott Bell’s signpost scene #12: mounting forces. Brenda Joyce Patterson takes a deep dive into historical poetry. DIY MFA

Lisa Hall-Wilson wants you to make your setting real with strategic description. Tasha Seegmiller explains how to survive a writing crisis. Laura drake talks ideation: where do ideas come from? Writers in the Storm

Jenna Moreci lists ten reasons you’re not “making it” as a writer.

Again, Alexa Donne riffs on a similar theme: five reasons fiction writers quit.

K.M. Weiland shares four ways to write gripping internal narrative with the help of a brave critique volunteer. Helping Writers Become Authors

What does “plot reveals character” mean? Jami Gold has the answer.

Orly Konig proposes mind mapping as a pantser’s path to plotting. Fiction University

Oren Ashkenazi looks at six stories that focus too much on side characters. Mythcreants

Molly Templeton: YA Twitter can be toxic, but it can also point out real problems. Buzzfeed

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you found something you need to help move your current creative project forward.

Until Thursday, be well, my friends!

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Feb 10-16, 2019

Here we are. How is it already the third week of February? Console yourself with some informal writerly learnings *hugs*

Louise Tondeur guest posts on Jane Friedman’s blog: the myth of plan first and write later (or, you never only write one way).

Rheea Mukherjee joins Writer Unboxed: writing characters who are “smarter” than you.

Kathryn Craft: your story’s valentine to the world (AKA, your query, synopsis, and pages). Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland critiques a brave writer’s work to show how paragraph breaks guide the reader’s experience. Helping Writers Become Authors

September C. Fawkes says, look forward, not backward, to pull your reader in. Writers Helping Writers

Margie Lawson stops by Writers in the Storm to help you put fresh faces on the page.

Sara Letourneau offers some further reading on the theme of family. DIY MFA

Becca Puglisi visits DIY MFA: five vehicles for showing emotion.

Chris Winkle: optimizing your story ideas for stronger engagement. Then, Oren Ashkenazi reveals six mistakes that can kill a great plot. Mythcreants

Chuck Wendig says, your ideas aren’t that interesting. This is less about making you feel bad than about making sure your ideas don’t take the place of, like, actual writing. Terribleminds

In honour of Valentines, Jenna Moreci offers her top ten tips for writing sex scenes. [Features discussion of sex and sexuality. Yeah. Even so, had to be said.]

 

Krista D. Ball rants: why is AUTHOR NAME taking so long to write their next book? This made me wonder if these impatient readers think they own writers? At the cost of $10 to $20 per book? Really? Gear down, people. Reddit

Later in the week, an 11:45 pm amber alert (and subsequent rescind after midnight) in Ontario resulted in a strange outcry of people who didn’t want their sleep disturbed, even after they learned that the child featured in the alert had been murdered. Seriously? Disturb me all night, every night, if it saves a life.

On that boggling note, I leave you until Thursday, when you can come back for some thoughty.

Until then, be well, my friends.

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