Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Jan 8-14, 2023

It’s tipsday! Your chance to stock up on informal writerly learnings!

Nick Taylor explains how to create authentic queer characters. Louise Harnby

Kelsey Allagood wonders, how do you explain climate change to a magnolia tree? Then, Jim Dempsey explains how to write a successful novel. Juliet Marillier muses on the power of story. Next, Kathryn Craft points out three key places where stakes will shape your story’s meaning. David Corbett is writing cromulent dialogue. Writer Unboxed

The poem no one understands. Tale Foundry

Elizabeth S. Craig offers some tips on how to handle reviews as an author. Spunk on a Stick

Hannah Jacobson explains how to find the best awards for your book. Then, Lisa Norman wants you to EAT your heart out to empower your web site. Jenny Hansen points out the importance of great mentors (for you and your books). Writers in the Storm

C.S. Lakin points out the intersection of voice and deep point of view. Live Write Thrive

Joanna Penn interviews Roz Morris about how to (finally) finish your novel. The Creative Penn

Write your book in 2023. Reedsy

Ambre Leffler helps you use water’s superpower of creative flow in winter. Then, Angela Yeh says flash fiction is no flash in the pan. Neil Chase shares seven tips to create a unique sidekick character. Next, AK Nevermore lists five things feeding the lie that there’s no time to write. DIY MFA

Tiffany Yates Martin says backstory is essential to story—except when it’s not. Then, Hattie Fletcher answers the question: Is it OK to ask for before/after examples from a freelance editor? Jane Friedman

Sue Coletta helps you make an unbreakable promise to readers. Becca Puglisi offers some thoughts on writing insecure characters. Writers Helping Writers

Nathan Bransford shows you how to live creatively.

Tiffany Yates Martin asked an AI, what does AI mean for writers? Fox Print Editorial

Chris Winkle lists 12 sources of wish fulfillment for your story. Then, Oren Ashkenazi hosts another three-way ANTS battle between Severance, Andor, and Interview with a Vampire. Mythcreants

Kristen Lamb wonders, is writing a career or a hobby?

Rebecca Solnit: why we need new stories about climate. The Guardian

The Idioms: Largest idioms dictionary. Courtesy of David Corbett (above).

Amanda Perry covers the Griffon Poetry Prize shakeup: new rules, new controversy. The Walrus

Guy Kawasaki interviews Julia Cameron (for the second time) about her new book Write for Life. The Remarkable People Podcast

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you found something to support your current work(s) in progress.

Until Thursday, keep staying safe and well.

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Jan 1-7, 2023

Welcome back to tipsday, your opportunity to get your fill of informal writerly learnings.

A heavily cloud-veiled moon above a winter naked tree.
A heavily veiled moon.

Chuck Wendig shares his writer’s resolution 2023: mounting an aggressive defense. Then, he declares, “Eat shit, robots!” (Or: No, the absolute intrusion of artificial intelligence is not inevitable.) Terribleminds

Lisa Hall-Wilson explains how to edit for deep point of view.

Visions of the future onscreen vs. reality—what came true? The Take

Greer Macallister considers choosing your habit, which reframes resolutions or goals in terms of habit-forming. Thought-provoking for this time of year. Then, Allyson Rice says, I’m sure I’ve landed on a federal list somewhere. Donald Maass discusses chaos and creating fiction. Then, Sarah Callender explains when good enough is good enough. Terah Shelton Harris discusses what we ask of our readers. Writer Unboxed

Elizabeth S. Craig offers some thoughts about writer self-care for the New Year.

Beatrix Potter: the secret life of a Victorian genius. Absolute History

Angela Ackerman wants you to force your character to make hard choices. Then, Colleen M. Story shares five reasons it’s still a good idea for a writer to have a blog. Writers Helping Writers

Ken Brosky reveals the biggest mistake even expert writers make. Then, Michael Evans presents the author-creator marketing playbook. Jane Friedman

How to set writing goals and actually achieve them. Reedsy

Karen DeBonis explains how to talk about your book. Then, J. Alexander Greenwood reveals how to get booked on a podcast by answering one question. Writers in the Storm

Tiffany Yates Martin finds out how Kyla Zhao revises by writing her way out of loneliness. Fox Print Editorial

Gabriela Pereira interviews Mary Robinette Kowal about writing diverse characters via nuanced shifts in language. Then, Manuela Williams talks about point of view in poetry. Stacy Frazer takes you from idea to drafting in five steps. Then, AK Nevermore shares how finding her tribe helped silence her self-doubt. DIY MFA

Chris Winkle analyzes five stories that crawl along. Then, Oren Ashkenazi says that the Willow series is a terrible sequel. Mythcreants

Hey! January 1st was public domain day 2023. Ever wanted to write something based on a property coming into the public domain? Duke Law

Another fabulous resource, courtesy of Jane Friedman: Dr. Mardy’s Dictionary of Metaphorical Quotations. Having trouble putting something to words? Find out how other writers and thinkers have done it. It really helps.

Thank you for visiting, and I hope you found something to support your current work(s) in progress.

Until Thursday, keep staying safe and well.

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Dec 25-31, 2022

Welcome to 2023, y’all! The week between Christmas and New Year’s is always a little quiet. I still managed to curate some informal writerly learnings for you 🙂

Jeanette the Writer answers the question: when should I start editing? Then, Lori Walker interviews Amy Christine Parker about maximizing your first chapter with great opening lines and characterization. Stephanie Dethlefs shares five things Pixar teaches about cause and effect. DIY MFA

Eldred Bird wonders what separates a good writer from a great writer. Writers in the Storm

Why fantasy isn’t just for kids. Tale Foundry

Tiffany Yates Martin helps you figure out if an editor is worth the money. Then, Susan DeFreitas poses three questions to ask yourself before you draft (or revise) a novel. Jane Friedman

Tiffany Yates Martin discusses rejecting “bests” and resolutions. Fox Print Editorial

Chris Winkle: what is a throughline in writing? Mythcreants

50 words you’ll want to start using. The List Show | Mental Floss

Katrya Bolger engages with textual healing: the novel world of bibliotherapy. The Walrus

Thank you for visiting, and I hope you found something to support your current work(s) in progress.

Until Thursday, keep staying safe and well, my writerly friends.

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Dec 11-17, 2022

Happy Hanukkah (ongoing), and happy solstice (tomorrow) for those who celebrate! Here’s my gift to you: informal writerly learnings. Yeah, I share them every week, and you know what, every week they’re gifts 🙂 Enjoy!

Ann Marie Nieves answers your book PR and marketing questions about what to do on a budget. Then, Kathleen McCleary is facing down fear. Jim Dempsey explains how to make the most of your writing goals. Then, Barbara Linn Probst takes a closer look at how writers use beta readers: who, when, why—and does it help? Writer Unboxed

Can all monsters be traced back to Tiamat? Monstrum | PBS Storied

Lori Freeland offers five tips to boost your professional writing cred. Then, Colleen M. Story explains how to decide what you really want from your writing career. Stefan Emunds helps you tap readers’ subconscious to engage them in your story. Writers in the Storm

Why death magic is evil. Tale Foundry

Beth Kephart presents a quiet manifesto: blurb matters. Then, Allison K. Williams shows you how writing your synopsis can fix your book. Eva Langston shares what she learned from 90 queries. Then, Sangeeta Mehta interviews Susan Chang and Julie Scheina about what you need to know before hiring a developmental editor. Jane Friedman

When the world becomes small. A philosophical turn. Ze Frank

Lucy V. Hay reveals how to use real life to inspire your fiction. Then, Jami Gold explains how and when to use foreshadowing. Writers Helping Writers

On her own site, Jami follows up by explaining the difference between foreshadowing and spoilers

Nathan Bransford shows you how to write a character who’s adrift.

E.J. Wenstrom shares four lessons learned over a decade of author platforming. Then, Sara Farmer shares her favorite mystery shows. Kaira Rouda shows you how to use a setting you know to set your characters free. Later in the week, Monica Cox shares five tips to get unstuck from the murky middle of your manuscript. DIY MFA

The hidden meaning in the humanity of others. Like Stories of Old

Adeena Mignogna exposes common misconceptions about satellite orbits. Science in Science Fiction | Dan Koboldt

Tiffany Yates Martin is showing up for the good stuff. Fox Print Editorial

Angie Hodapp shares seven tips for writing powerful endings. Pub Rants

What to do (and not do) with your NaNoWriMo novel. Reedsy

Chris Winkle unpacks five tropes that require low realism. Then, Oren Ashkenazi explains why the Save the Cat! novel beat sheet won’t help you. Mythcreants

Angela Misri: Vivek Shraya proves kids’ books can help us explore messy truths. The Walrus

Thank you so much for visiting. It’s like your gift to me! And I appreciate it. I hope you found something to support your current work(s) in progress.

Until Thursday, keep staying safe and well, my writerly friends.

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Dec 4-10, 2022

Welcome to the first full tipsday, post-NaNo 🙂 It’s time to stock up on informal writerly learnings. Enjoy!

LA Bourgeois is dealing with ambiguity. Then, Richelle Lyn recommends planning early for New Year’s success. Lori Walker interviews Deeba Zargarpur about blending family trauma with the supernatural. Then Melanie Bell explains how to write a novel with alternating timelines. DIY MFA

The childless woman trope needs a serious update. The Take

Greer Macallister: on endings and non-endings. Tiffany Yates Martin shares more words you’re probably using wrong. Then, Donald Maass considers the eighth element. David Corbett shares some writing lessons from Jess Walter. Then, Kathryn Craft lists seven ways public readings can help your writing. Writer Unboxed

What kind of fencing club is this, Wednesday? Jill Bearup

Penny C. Sansevieri helps you create bonus content to double your reader engagement. Then, Janice Hardy shares three easy tips to help you revise your novel. Piper Bayard exposes honeypots and the honey trap (writing spies series). Writers in the Storm

K.M. Weiland shares 15 tips to create the perfect writing space. Helping Writers Become Authors

Lisa Poisso exposes three action-reaction misfires that flatten your writing. Writers Helping Writers

How music brings mortals closer to gods. Fate & Fabled | PBS Storied

Nathan Bransford: finding the courage to leap.

Becky Robinson explains how to bridge the gap between online and offline activities. Then, Ariel Curry helps you build your writing self-efficacy. Tiffany Yates Martin answers this question: what if you’re new to writing and don’t know how to fix things? Jane Friedman

Tiffany Yates Martin wonders, what is your Wendy? Fox Print Editorial

Three act structure: writing a showstopping ending. Reedsy

Steven Fritz reveals radiation hazards in space and how to mitigate them. Science in Science Fiction | Dan Koboldt

Chris Winkle lists five common character arc blunders. Then, Oren Ashkenazi explains why Save the Cat! can’t write a novel. Mythcreants

Julianna Kim: a new author tweeted about a low book signing turnout and famous authors commiserated. NPR

Oxford selects its word of the year 2022: goblin mode.

Thank you for visiting, and I hope you found something to support your current work(s) in progress.

Until Thursday, keep staying safe and well, my writerly friends!

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Oct 23-29, 2022

Welcome to November! This will be the last tipsday until December 13th (!) That’s right, I’m NaNoing again and foregoing curation until December. Get your fill of informal writerly learnings now!

You could always peruse the archives if you miss tipsday too much 😉

Vaughn Roycroft presents Murphy’s Law—the unboxed writer’s version. Elizabeth Havey: what was that phrase about authenticity? Kelsey Allagood shares what horror teaches us. Then, Sarah Penner is making the most of Canva with these seven design ideas for writers. Victoria Strauss explains when new isn’t better: the value of experience. Writer Unboxed

Clive Barker’s weirdest monster. Tale Foundry

C.S. Lakin stops by K.M. Weiland’s site: how writers can infuse mood in story settings. Helping Writers Become Authors

Over on her own site, Susanne discusses writing about difficult emotional experiences. Live, Write, Thrive

Then, Susanne explains how to quickly establish the setting in scenes. Elizabeth Spann Craig

How school makes you a bad writer. Answer in Progress

Kris Maze offers the ABCs of school author talks: how to engage kids. Eldred Bird: writing horror vs. writing terror. J. Alexander Greenwood is making a podcast love connection. Writers in the Storm

Why the Bechdel test isn’t enough. The Take

Manuela Williams suggests some revision strategies for your poet’s toolbox. Then, Dominique Richardson wonders, should you write a YA series today? John Matthew Fox lists five ways movies sabotage your writing skills. DIY MFA

Don’t force your characters to ask leading questions just so you can deliver exposition. Nathan Bransford

Ann-Marie MacDonald on her new novel Fayne and the stage adaptation of Fall on Your Knees. CBC’s Q

Elizabeth Sims lists 20 reasons everybody should write short stories. Then, Michael Mohr reveals the secret sauce to being a good writer. Jane Friedman

Rayne Hall explains how to write a spooky ghost story. Fiction University

Why ASL was banned in America. Otherwords | PBS Storied

Tiffany Yates Martin discusses peopling your stories (and your world) with individuals. Fox Print Editorial

Colleen M. Story shows you how to tell if you’re self-publishing your book for the right reasons. Writers Helping Writers

What makes a good story idea? Shaelin Writes

Chris Winkle shares lessons from the entitled writing of Yarnsworld. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five stories that fail at human resources. Mythcreants

Sir Salman Rushdie has lost sight in one eye, agent Andrew Wylie. BBC

Thank you for spending some time with me. I hope you took away something to support your current work(s) in progress.

Until Thursday, keep staying safe and well.

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Oct 16-22, 2022

This is the final tipsday of October (!) Will you NaNoWriMo this year? I am. It will probably be another NaNo rebel combo, though I will be focusing on Alice in Thunderland. It might actually be a novella, though I’m not certain, yet.

In any case, it’s time to get your fill of informal writerly learnings. Enjoy!

Richelle Lyn is teaming up with other solopreneurs. Then, Jeanette the Writer explains what an editor actually does. Stephanie Dethlefs helps you get to know your ideal reader. Later in the week, Ashley Christiano offers five meditations to help you find your writing confidence. DIY MFA

Jan O’Hara discusses journaling and the writer (episode: man versus table saw). Then, Barbara Linn Probst is grappling with the awkward question of “women’s” fiction. Sophie Masson considers food in fiction. Writer Unboxed

Janice Hardy lists five ways dialogue can annoy your readers. Fiction University

K.M. Weiland reveals the nine negative character arcs in the enneagram. Helping Writers Become Authors

This fairy tale is an actual nightmare. Tale Foundry

Becca Puglisi lists the ingredients for a successful story climax. Margie Lawson says, here be monsters: writers beware! Lynette M. Burrows shares seven ways to increase your creativity through workspace design. Writers in the Storm

Jessica Conoley is writing through the impossible. Then, Hattie Fletcher explains how to avoid taking edits too personally. C.S. Lakin helps you use weather to convey mood in fiction. Jane Friedman

On her own site, Susanne shares tips on how to bring setting to life in your fiction. Live, Write Thrive

Marissa Graff suggests five micro-edits to hook readers on your first page. Then, Julie Artz shares her top three world-building pitfalls and how to avoid them. Writers Helping Writers

The Rings of Power has a narrative momentum problem. Like Stories of Old

Nathan Bransford wonders, can you see what is and isn’t on the page?

Tiffany Yates Martin explains how to speak as well as you write (part 2). Fox Print Editorial

Kristen Lamb reveals why we love, hate, and need horror.

Chris Winkle explains why you should consider present tense. Mythcreants

Roz Morris interviews Jessica Bell on making good decisions about cover design. Nail Your Novel

Louise Harnby answers this question: can I place a dialogue tag before the character’s speech?

How to prevent creative burnout as a writer. Reedsy

Hannah McGregor shares how her Harry Potter podcast made her a better scholar. The Walrus

Jeff Beer explains why Marvel’s She-Hulk finale is the best branded content of the year. Fast Company

Michelle Cyca interviews Ann-Marie MacDonald on exile, imagination, and her new gothic ghost story. The Walrus

John Garth explains how J.R.R. Tolkien came to write the stories that were the source material for The Rings of Power. The Smithsonian Magazine

David Routt: HBO’s House of the Dragon was inspired by a real medieval dynastic struggle over a female ruler. The Conversation

Thanks you for spending some time with me, and I hope you took away something to support your current work(s) in progress.

Until Thursday, keep staying safe and well.

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Oct 9-15, 2022

Another week, another batch of informal writerly learnings!

LA Bourgeois says, imagination, engage! Then, Stephanie BwaBwa shares some marketing systems and automations to support your self-publishing career. Olivia Fisher is tapping into the hearts of kids: crafting authentic voice in middle grade. DIY MFA

Ann Marie Nieves answers your PR and marketing questions, part IX: do you twerk? Then, Jim Dempsey wonders, is your book any good? Kathleen McCleary is out of character. Kathryn Craft on story and death and life. Then, David Corbett is crafting an unforgettable villain with lessons from Louise Fletcher’s portrayal of Nurse Ratched. Writer Unboxed

How this became the sad girl era. The Take

K.M. Weiland shows you nine positive characters arcs in the Enneagram. Helping Writers Become Authors

Janice Hardy shares five fun ways to take advantage of your characters’ fears. Then, Ellen Buikema lists ten ways to start your story. Later in the week, Julie Glover discusses the hardest book she’s ever written. Writers in the Storm

Hank Quense helps you build your own digital planner with Scrintal. Elizabeth Spann Craig

Gaia, the mother of creation. Fate & Fabled | PBS Storied

Sue Coletta helps you construct the skeleton of your story. Then, Angela Ackerman says that the key to a successful NaNoWriMo is using October wisely. Later in the week, C.S. Lakin says less is more when it comes to describing setting. Writers Helping Writers

Jessica Bell points out the key elements of eye-catching book cover design. Joni B. Cole: you have a great idea for a story. Where do you start? Catherine Baab-Maguira explains why it’s better to write about money, not for money. Jane Friedman

Preptober tips! Do these ten things before NaNoWriMo. Reedsy

Nathan Bransford answers the question, “When should I stop sending query letters?”

Kristen Lamb considers motivation and how what drives us defines us.

Tiffany Yates Martin: how to speak as well as you write, part 1. Fox Print Editorial

Chris Winkle considers movement, the 2,300-year-old story principle. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five stories undermined by their epilogues. Mythcreants

Roz Morris: becoming you—how to develop confidence as a writer. Nail Your Novel

Overcoming perfectionism as a writer. Shaelin Writes

Sahar Arshad: from Never have I Ever to Bridgerton, the Desi girl era is here at last. Teen Vogue

Matthew Vogt: pantheon of superheroes. JSTOR Daily

Joyce Kinkead recounts the 5,000-year history of writer’s block. The Conversation

Jordan Pruett wonders, what counts as a bestseller? Public Books 

KC Hoard conducts a roundtable with designers: book cover confidential. The Walrus

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you found something to support your current work(s) in progress, whatever stage they’re at.

Until Thursday, keep staying safe and well.

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Oct 2-8, 2022

Fall is in the (very chilly) air! Hope all my Canadian friends had marvelous Thanksgiving weekends, but now, it’s back to the grind. Hello, Tuesday-that-feels-like-a-Monday. It’s time to reward yourself with some informal writerly learnings 🙂

K.M. Weiland explains (very briefly) how to pull off a plot twist. Helping Writers Become Authors

Karen DeBonis recommends you celebrate every writing milestone. Lisa Norman: welcome to the future, part 2. Stefan Emunds shares three principles to make your story experience as real-to-life as possible. Writers in the Storm

Tikbálang, the Filipino nightmare shapeshifter. Monstrum | PBS Storied

Elizabeth Spann Craig shares five tips to make your life easier as a writer.

Greer Macallister: knowing your no. Donald Maass returns with more novels that shouldn’t work but do, and why. Then, Sarah Callender is stealing style, structure, and subject from other writers: imitation and emulation. Susan DeFreitas: I’ll feel what she’s feeling.  Yuvi Zalkow is rewriting the bookstore event. Writer Unboxed

Jill Bearup gets creative: the fantasy heroine vs. the writer.

Joe Ponepinto is writing small for a bigger impact. Then, Allison K. Williams says motivation doesn’t finish books. Allison also starts her “Ask an Editor” series answering this question: when should writers stand their ground rather than defer to an editor? Jane Friedman

Tim Hickson fixes the final season of Legend of Korra. Hello, Future Me

E.J. Wenstrom helps you overcome the book promotion scaries. Then, Sara Farmer presents her favourite Jane Austen mysteries. Lori Walker interviews Carol Van Den Hende about finding inspiration and writing purpose-driven fiction. Then, Mason Engel reveals the secret to maintaining the motivation—and discipline—to write: writeforce. Rita Zoey Chin shares five tips for writing dynamic characters. DIY MFA

How to brainstorm effectively. Reedsy

Janice Hardy explains why “the worst that can happen” is terrible writing advice. Fiction University

Becca Puglisi says themes and symbols go together like peas and carrots. Writers Helping Writers

Tiffany Yates Martin discovers how Emi Nietfeld revises: writing and real life. Fox Print Editorial

How to structure a short story. Shaelin Writes

Chris Winkle explains when to kill a hero—or not. Then, Oren Ashkenazi hosts another three-way ANTS death match between Three Parts Dead, House of Blood and Earth, and A Master of Djinn. Mythcreants

Emily Zarevich wonders if Mary Wollstonecraft’s Letters Written During a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark was the original Eat, Pray, Love. JSTOR Daily

Justyna Pawlak and Simon Johnson announce that the scrutiniser of self, France’s Annie Ernaux, beats long path to Nobel literature prize. Reuters

And that was tipsday. Thanks for spending some time with me, and I hope you found something to support your current work(s) in progress, whatever stage they’re at.

Until Thursday, keep staying safe and well, my writerly friends.

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Sept 25-Oct 1, 2022

Welcome to October! Energize yourself for the rest of the week with some informal writerly learnings.

Tiffany Yates Martin explains why plots fail. Then, Amanda Miller shares five ways to use community marketing for your book. Jane Friedman

Jenny Hansen suggests a strength-based approach to writing. Then, Lisa Hall-Wilson explains why rhetorical questions help you go deeper with emotions. Eldred Bird is writing through life’s storms. Writers in the Storm

C.S. Lakin helps you show the world through your character’s senses. Live, Write, Thrive

Angela Ackerman says, if you want lifelike characters, create a character bible. Elizabeth Spann Craig

Sauron wasn’t always evil. What happened? The Philosophy of Tolkien. Hello, Future Me

Vaughn Roycroft talks turning points. Then, Kelsey Allagood shares decision trees, angry bees, and other writer brain hacks. Julia Whelan: I’ve heard such mixed things. Jeanne Kisacky wonders who are you reading now? Writer Unboxed

Becca Puglisi explains how to reveal a character’s inner conflict. Writers Helping Writers

Nathan Bransford encourages you to close off your protagonist’s easy off-ramps.

Richelle Lyn is designing a logo from scratch. Then, Melanie Bell offers five things to think about when writing a coming-of-age story. Barbara Rubin shares how she found balance between capturing joy, sorrow, humor, and rage in her writing. DIY MFA

Tiffany Yates Martin answers the question, how much should you plot your stories? Fox Print Editorial

Chris Winkle says storytellers must stop dehumanizing prisoners. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five overshadowed characters in popular stories. Mythcreants

How H.P. Lovecraft wrote the unimaginable. Tale Foundry

Nalo Hopkinson has won the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award. J. Wayne and Elsie M. Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction

Sean Wetselaar says Judy I. Lin’s recipe for success is fantasy and a cup of tea. The Walrus

Adrian Daub writes about losing oneself in the geography of fantasy worlds: here at the end of all things. Longreads

Guy Kawasaki interviews Min Kym about her book Gone: A Girl, a Violin, and a Life Unstrung. The Remarkable People Podcast

Jessica Winter explains how E. Nesbit used her grief, her politics, and her imagination to create a new kind of children’s book. The New Yorker

Check out Publishers Weekly’s annual publishing in Canada report. Interesting reading.

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

Until Thursday, keep staying safe and well!