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!

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The next chapter: October and NaNoWriMo update plus pupdate

Hello all you lovely writerly people!

Coming out of the semi-conscious haze that is NaNoWriMo and I owe you all a two-month writerly update.

So let’s get right to it.

October

I went through Reality Bomb one more time. I ended up adding three chapters over the course of my revisions this year. This last pass was to check on continuity and to see if I couldn’t smooth over some of the more jarring transitions.

It still isn’t pretty. I haven’t added in touches to bring the setting to life yet in the event that I have to cut or change things. But … I think I’m ready to expose it to the critique group next year. Yay me.

Unfortunately, because of this last pass and a very busy month at work (I had to prep and deliver training), I wasn’t able to complete my outline for NaNoWriMo. I didn’t get to review the structure of Apprentice of Wind, either.

OctoberProgress

Of my 5,000 word revision goal, I completed 4,012 words, or 80%.

I exceeded my 5,800 word writing goal for this blog with 6,771 words, or 117%.

I did draft a #5onFri column for DIY MFA.

Also, for those of you who wonder about my lovely spreadsheet (and where you can get your hands on it), Jamie Raintree has now produced the 2018 Writing and Revision Tracker (squee!). I’ve already nabbed mine 🙂

November

I entered November with some trepidation this year. Not only was I ill-prepared (see above) but Phil and I also welcomed a little furry bundle into our lives (see below). I knew it was going to be a challenge to “win” this year and I decided just to do what I could.

NovemberProgress

Having said that, I did write 41,077 words over the course of NaNoWriMo, or 82% of the goal 50k. Not a win, but pretty damn close.

I only had one post scheduled for the month and wrote 201 words of my 200 word goal, or 101%.

I also drafted my regular DIY MFA column, which I shared with you yesterday.

Bonus pupdate

In anticipation of our new puppy, I had requested a leave with income averaging, but my employer changed the rules and I had to begin my leave at the start of a new pay period. Because of the aforementioned training, I could start my leave until November 2nd.

On the 3rd, the rescue operator called to let us know that Torvi would be ready to come home on November 10th. Cue the frantic pup prep. I had to clean and pup-proof the main level of the house. The basement is unfinished, and basically Phil’s dumping ground for all manner of (potentially deadly) things. We just have to keep Torvi out of the space until Phil gets motivated enough to clean up.

I had shopping to do for food, toys, dog bed, and all the other puppy accoutrements. So I didn’t have a lot of time to write in that first week.

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Isn’t she adorbs?

We brought Torvi home, freshly vaccinated and dewormed. The first night, Phil slept on the couch to keep watch on the pup. After exactly one night of that, we brought her into the bedroom with us. I got up whenever she did to get her out.

That was my main challenge for the remainder of the month: sleep deprivation. Even now that she’s sleeping through most of the night, our sleep is disturbed. I still wake up whenever she stirs and even if she’s just changing positions, it can take me a while to relax enough to get back to sleep.

We’re in the wilful pup, chew the planet stage. Though I’ve been diligent in substituting her toys for my hands/clothes/feet and praising her when she chews on them instead of me, she’s resistant to making the connection.

There’s a reason for this. We got Torvi at 6 weeks. Our other pups didn’t come home with use until they were 8 weeks old. She’s smart, and promises to be a big dog (she’s already 19 pounds at 9 weeks), but right now, it’s all puppy ID. She wants what she wants and she wants it NOW.

But I head back to work of December 14th, so we’re hoping that the next week and a half will prove fruitful for puppy training and that she won’t terrorize my mom, who will be watching her for us when we go to work.

She’s already made a lot of progress for such a young pup. She’s learning how to sit (aced), lie down (ok), and shake a paw (wha?). I’m taking her on short morning walks and trying to get her to “stay with mommy” and “keep left.”

She’s mostly good about doing her toileting outside, but sometimes it’s play-play-play-pee! There’s no way to catch her in time.

This is the way of new pup parenthood. I can’t wait until we can start socializing her with other dogs. She’s super sweet with people and has only peed in excitement a couple of times.

Speaking of which, it’s about time I take her out.

Until next I blog, be well, be kind, and stay strong. The world needs your stories.

The Next Chapter

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Oct 22-28, 2017

Here are your informal writerly learnings for the week.

Janice Hardy continues her 31 day online writing workshop for preptober. Day 22: the inciting event. Day 23: the first act problem. Day 24: the act two choice. Day 25: the midpoint reversal. Day 26: the act two disaster. Day 27: the three act plan. Day 28: the climax. Day 29: the wrap up. You’ll have to read the rest yourself on Fiction University.

Marie lists 24 novels that started off as NaNoWriMo projects. Goodreads


K.M. Weiland: four ways to prevent story structure from becoming formulaic. Helping Writers Become Authors

Angela Ackerman visits Jane Friedman’s blog: using dysfunctional behaviour to reveal characters’ wounds. Then Jordan Rosenfeld takes a turn: four ways to start a scene.

Terri Frank invites you to go beyond Westworld and reinvent the western. DIY MFA

Brenda Joyce Patterson helps you write through fear and anxiety. DIY MFA

Kathryn Craft offers five tips to help you survive a career quake. Writers in the Storm

Jamie Raintree guest posts on Writers in the Storm: waking up early to write. Then, Jamie pops over to Writer’s Digest: building self-care habits so you can write your best work.

Barbara O’Neal helps you vanquish the killer critic. Writer Unboxed

Bran L. Ayres guest posts on Jami Gold’s blog: want to write with diversity but not sure how? Later in the week, Jami wonders, how do you persevere?

Mark O’Neill stops by The Creative Penn: writing while under the influence of depression.

Joe Fassler talked to 150 writers and collected the best advice they had. Literary Hub

Jess Zafarris and Cris Freese share six lessons writers can learn from Netflix’s Stranger Things. Are you binging? You’re binging, aren’t you? Writer’s Digest

This will be the last Tipsday until December—!

Be well through the time change and whatever challenges November presents you.

You are awesome just as you are.

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, June 25-July 1, 2017

Happy Independence Day to all my friends in the US!

Here’s a new crop of informal writerly learnings for you 🙂

K.M. Weiland helps you calculate your novel’s length before writing. Helping Writers Become Authors

Then, Kate hops over to Writers Helping Writers to share her three step plan for outlining a novel.

Back on her own site, Kate asks six questions to help you choose the right POV. Helping Writers Become Authors

Jane Friedman unpacks the advice to follow your passion: what does that even mean?

Kathryn Craft: four times inaction can help your writing life. Writers in the Storm

Jamie Raintree extols the virtues of camp nano on Writers in the Storm.

Jami Gold explores chronic problems: writing and burnout.

Janice Hardy continues to share her process: clarifying the idea. Fiction University

Elizabeth Foster visits Writers Helping Writers to discuss overcoming negativity bias.

Susan Spann explains the truth behind popular copyright myths. Writer Unboxed

Gabriela Pereira interviews Karen Dionne for DIY MFA radio.

Emmie Mears visits Terribleminds to share what writing the Alaya Storme series taught her about mental illness: you have comrades in this trench.

Jenna Moreci: how to write antagonists and villains.

 

Eleanor Wachtel interviews Arundhati Roy about love, war, and the fragility of happiness. CBC

John Pfordresher explores the possibility that Jane Eyre was written as a secret love letter. Literary Hub

Denise Frohman – Accents.

 

Fran Wilde convenes an engineering in science fiction and fantasy round table. Tor.com

And that’s it until Thursday.

Be well until then.

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, May 21-27, 2017

Another week of informal writerly learnings? Get set to open your goodie bag 🙂

K.M. Weiland debunks five misconceptions about writing. Helping Writers Become Authors

Later in the week, Kate posits that great comedy is meaningful, and shares four tips to help you make it so.

Kathryn Craft reviews the decade in publishing. Writers in the Storm

Kimberly Brock says, you’re writers, not waiters. Writers in the Storm

Jane Friedman advises on how much you should personalize a query letter.

Elizabeth Huergo pays tribute to C.D. Wright: songs and their landscapes. Writer Unboxed

Heather Webb teaches a survey course in time management: writing through our busy lives. Writer Unboxed

Dan Blank says, if you want to be successful, surround yourself with success. Writer Unboxed

Jamie Raintree: let your writing process be your own (and how to discover it).

Bonnie Randall gets into character minutiae and seemingly irrelevant details. Fiction University

Stacy B. Woodson shares her fantastic experience at Malice Domestic 2017. DIY MFA

Jami Gold challenges us to deal with character stereotypes.

Kristen Lamb reveals how shame is at the heart of good fiction.

Will Hindmarch explains how to give great notes a writer can use. Magic Circles

Nina Munteanu gives you the tools you need to make a believable world.

Writer and geologist Alex Acks examines Arakkis, Tatooine, and the science of desert planets. Worldbuilding advice from Tor.com.

Jo Walton looks at genre fiction’s obsession with Belisarius, with a lovely recommendation for Guy Gavriel Kay’s Sarantium novels. Tor.com

Darlene Naponse is a Reveal – Indigenous art award Laureate.

Emily Temple curates some pearls of wisdom—on writing and life—from Jamaica Kincaid in honour of her 68th birthday. Literary Hub

These are old human themes: Margaret Atwood on the enduring power of The Handmaid’s Tale. CBC

James Whitbrook watches the new Game of Thrones trailer. i09

I hope you’re having a lovely week.

Be well until next I blog 🙂

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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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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, March 5-11, 2017

The writerly goodness just keeps on coming 🙂

K.M. Weiland offers the next in her most common writing mistakes series: dead end relationships. Helping Writers Become Authors

John J. Kelley: the care and feeding of relationships. Writer Unboxed

Bryn Greenwood explains hot bunking for writers. Writer Unboxed

Kathryn Craft explores the power of unexpected elements. Writer Unboxed

Emily Cavanaugh helps you take yourself seriously as a writer—before anyone else does. Writers in the Storm

Orly Konig-Lopez explores living with writerly self-doubt. Writers in the Storm

James Scott Bell is in the Writers Helping Writers coaching corner: conflict and suspense belong in every kind of novel.

Dan Blank guest posts on Writers Helping Writers: the daily practice of growing your audience.

Jamie Raintree examines authenticity and the discomfort of vulnerability.

Robin Lovett extols the merits of happily ever after. DIYMFA

Gabriela Pereira interviews Clare Mackintosh for DIYMFA radio.

Jami Gold: right brain vs. left brain vs. creativity.

What’s the purpose of story structure for readers? Jami Gold

E.R. Ramzipoor guest posts on Janice Hardy’s Fiction Univerity: token or broken? Writing LGBT.

How to outline your novel, part 2. Jenna Moreci

 

Susan Spann lists ten questions you should ask before you accept a publishing deal. Writers in the Storm

Nevertheless, she persisted: a Tor.com flash fiction project. Awesome stories by awesome writers.

Margaret Atwood: what The Handmaid’s Tale means in the age of Trump. The New York Times

Molly McArdle takes a look at the rise of Roxane Gay. Brooklyn Magazine

Mary Walsh is coming out with her first novel! CBC Books

Kathleen O’Grady reports on the discovery of a true language universal. Ars Technica

David Schultz: some fairy tales may be 6,000 years old. Science Magazine

Robert MacFarlane considers Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising the eeriest novel he knows. 1843 Magazine

Twenty questions with Ursula K. Le Guin: The Times Literary Supplement

Simon Tolkien writes about his grandfather and how WWI inspired The Lord of the Rings. BBC

Here’s a literary cold case for you: Jane Austen may have died of arsenic poisoning. Christopher D. Shea and Jennifer Schuessler share the evidence, and the theory, so far. The New York Times

And that was your informal writerly learnings of the week.

See you Thursday!

Be well until then.

tipsday2016

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Feb 19-25, 2017

And here we are for another week of informal writerly learnings.

K.M. Weiland shares eight ways to master your story’s pace. Helping Writers Become Authors

Vaughn Roycroft: the significance of small gestures. Writer Unboxed

Jeanne Kisacky shares her experience with post-project depression and recovery. Writer Unboxed

Chuck Wendig says you must write unafraid, without fear of failure. Terribleminds

Jami Gold asks, are there story elements you avoid writing?

Jeanne Cavelos guest posts on Writer Unboxed: the importance of the adversarial ally.

Stephanie O’Brien: how to write a fight scene readers will love. The Write Practice

Kristen Lamb says description is writer’s crack, but you have to find the write balance.

Jamie Raintree: there are no shortcuts. Writers in the Storm

Emily Wenstrom shares five ways to show readers you’re their perfect match. DIYMFA

Dan Blank encourages you to embrace your boundaries. Writer Unboxed

Heather Webb considers what fiction trends say about us. Writer Unboxed

Betsy Dornbusch guest posts on Terribleminds: the new relevance of the fantasy novel.

Veronica Sicoe wonders what happens when “professional writing career” isn’t your end-all goal?

Sara Letourneau joins the Writers Helping Writers resident writing coaches: using text-to-speech software as an editing tool.

Gabriela Pereira interviews Brian Meehl on DIYMFA radio: the only way forward is back.

Chris Winkle offers six tips on how to challenge bigotry in your work. Mythcreants

Oren Ashkenazi explores five underused settings in speculative fiction. Mythcreants

Pixar and the Khan Academy team up to produce The Art of Storytelling. And … it’s FREE!

Colleen Gillard wonders why the British tell better children’s stories. The Atlantic

Jason Daly reports that ancient Egyptian stories will be published in English for the first time. The Smithsonian Magazine

Michael Livingston shares the tales of his favourite five medieval women warriors (including Lagertha!). Tor.com

Space says that Mary and the Witch’s Flower captures the spirit of Studio Ghibli.

Brain full? Good. Now get writing!

See you Thursday!

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Feb 5-11, 2017

And here, for your edumacation, is Tipsday!

K.M. Weiland presents most common writing mistakes, part 56: unfulfilled foreshadowing. Helping Writers Become Writers

Later in the week, Kate explains why you should write a story with a plot.

Jael McHenry wonders, how do you cook your books? Writer Unboxed

June Stevens Westerfield: why you need a media kit, even if you aren’t published yet. Writers in the Storm

Michael Hauge joins the Writers Helping Writers coaching crew: does your character description create a powerful image? Then, Angela Ackerman advises how to accurately describe your character’s pain. Writers Helping Writers

Janice Hardy offers a simple trick to create a stronger first person narrative. Fiction University

Naomi Hughes returns to Jami Gold’s blog with her top three writing craft issues: how to spot ‘em, and how to fix ‘em. Later in the week, Christina Delay offers her five steps to avoid overwriting.

Constance Renfrow lists the eight most common reasons she sends a rejection. DIYMFA

Gabriela Pereira interviews Sebastian Barry on DIYMFA radio.

Jamie Raintree: writers, we are the lucky ones.

Kameron Hurley: yes, you can say no to your editor(s).

Katy Waldman looks at how sensitivity readers are changing the publishing ecosystem: is my novel offensive? Slate

Chris Saylor talks about capitalization on Marcy Kennedy’s blog.

Susan Spann wants pirates to beware: how to prepare and use a DMCA takedown notice. Writers in the Storm

Chris Winkle shares some lessons from the sloppy writing of The Tommyknockers. Mythcreants

Let’s go back to a future where science fiction does good time travel. Wired

David Mitchell offers his perspective on writing: “ignore everything else.” Joe Fassler for The Atlantic.

Publishers Weekly shares the full text of “Bad Feminist” author Roxane Gay’s Winter Institute 12 keynote speech.

Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura: Mr. Darcy, you’re no Colin Firth. The New York Times

Eeee! The Avengers: Infinity Wars teaser. i09

And that was your informal writerly learnings for the week.

See you Thursday *waves*

Be well until then.

tipsday2016

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

And here it is, your informal writerly learnings for the week!

K.M. Weiland offers her insight into how to outline a series of bestselling books. Helping Writers Become Authors

Janice Hardy starts a two part series about finding your voice. First up: how to find your character’s voice. Fiction University

Are you revising? Then check out April Bradley’s tips on pacing and momentum. Writers Helping Writers

Dianna Gunn shares her experience with resistance: letting your story end at the end. DIYMFA

Sloan Tamar: five things psychology can teach writers. Writers Helping Writers

Dave King revisits the power of words. Writer Unboxed

Annie Neugebauer muses on the challenge of finding the balance between dreaming and working. Writer Unboxed

Writer Unboxed obtained permission to reprint this fabulous post by Christie Aschwanden: stop trying to be creative.

Jamie Raintree gives us a productive two-for this week: a different kind of writing productivity and the importance of knowing your priorities and sticking to them.

Jami Gold: what if I can’t find beta readers?

Kristen Lamb says, never tell me the odds—how to get your head right for success.

Jenny Hansen shares Maya Angelou’s writerly wisdom on Writers in the Storm.

A moment of tangency. The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows (apparently soon to be out in book form!). This guy’s a poet.

 

Charles Chu looks back at Frank Herbert and his definition of success. You don’t write for fame and fortune. You write so you can have more time to write. Medium

Fiona Macdonald peeks at the racy side of Jane Austin. BBC

Punny. The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog … after a few tries 😉

 

Alexandra Alter reports on an unfinished Mark Twain fairytale that will soon see the light of day. The New York Times

Swapna Krishna looks at the time travel in Timeless. Is it possible? Tor.com

Spencer Kornhaber interviews Brit Marling about The OA and the dark side of science. As I said when I posted this to FB, I enjoyed the series … until the last episode. Though I called it, that couldn’t compensate for the deep dissatisfaction I felt in the wake of the final episode. Still, it’s nice to find out more about what inspired the series. The Atlantic

Looking forward to this, because Emma. The full set of Beauty and the Beast trailers.

 

Hope this curation gives you what you need to keep creating. The world needs your stories!

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