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!

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Aug 21-27, 2022

It’s the last tipsday of August 2022. Where has the time gone?! It was a week jam-packed with informal writerly learnings. Enjoy!

Sara Farmer investigates some celebrity sleuths. Then, Ambre Leffler recommends the right lighting for your writing life. Tammy Lough: and the Nobel Prize in Literature awarded to … artificial intelligence? Susanne Dunlap tells the tale of how she came to write a novel about Adélaïde Labille-Guiard. Later in the week, Dianne C. Braley shares five tips on character development when writing about starting over. DIY MFA

The real history of Partition in India and Pakistan in Ms. Marvel. Historian’s Take | PBS Origins

Vaughn Roycroft considers the power of generational storytelling. Then, Gwen Hernandez helps you create an epub in Scrivener 3. Kelsey Allagood shares some lessons from the climbing wall. Then, Donna Giovinazzo explains how learning another language turned her into a grammar nerd. Natalie Hart wonders, what if you have what you need? Writer Unboxed

How Cthulu transcended its creator H.P. Lovecraft. Monstrum | PBS Storied

K.M. Weiland shares nine signs your story may be too complicated. Helping Writers Become Authors

Tiffany Yates Martin explains how to let readers into your characters’ inner life. Then, Kris Maze helps you fix fluff words — 14 filler words to avoid. Jenny Hansen says your mess is your message (a writing tip). Writers in the Storm

Why kids’ stories should be darker. Tale Foundry

Jim C. Hines makes a point about historical accuracy (in the context of House of the Dragon).

Heidi Ulrichsen announces that works by Sudbury’s 6th poet laureate now up at airport. Sudbury.com

The history of fonts. Struthless

Joni B. Cole says don’t fall for these five writing myths that can set back your writing. Jane Friedman

Tiffany Yates Martin discusses handling rejection (and what rejection letters mean—and don’t mean). Fox Print Editorial

How Freaks and Geeks got geek culture and freak culture. The Take

Angela Ackerman explains how to use conflict to target a character’s soft spots. Writers Helping Writers

Chris Winkle explains why you should theme your world. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five stories with too many characters. Mythcreants

Six signs it’s time to shelve your book. Reedsy

Joshua Hammer wonder was King Arthur a real person? The Smithsonian Magazine

Ed Simon: Mary Sydney and the voice of God. JSTOR Daily

The story behind food names. Otherwords | PBS Storied

Industry news: Jenn Northington wonders what is going on with Barnes & Noble? Book Riot

Thank you for spending some time with me, 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, July 10-16, 2022

This week promises to be a hot, humid one up here in northeastern Ontario. Stay cool. Stay well. And use some of your downtime productively perusing these informal writerly learnings.

Barbara Linn Probst takes a closer look at a place to write. Then, Jim Dempsey considers the right decisions to write. Kathryn Craft is seeing through a character’s eyes, literally. The Desmond Hall drops some writerly wisdom on us: lessons from The New Actors Workshop. Writer Unboxed

Sexy schoolgirl scale mail: an armour tier list. Jill Bearup

K.M. Weiland is clearing up some misconceptions about in medias res. Helping Writers Become Authors

Lisa Norman explains how to succeed as an author. Eldred Bird: it’s a mystery to me. Then, Jenny Hansen wonders, are writers born, or made? Writers in the Storm

Sue Coletta presents a back cover copy formula. Writers Helping Writers

The seven elements of a strong story. Reedsy

Your world building can captivate readers and never let them go. Kristen Lamb

Nathan Bransford: what happens on and off the page in your novel?

Lauren J. Sharkey says writing is about connecting. Adam Burgess considers Magic’s Pawn a classic LGBTQ+ high fantasy. Then, Lori Walker interviews Natalka Burian about flashbacks, time travel, and multiple mysteries. Later in the week, Lee Bukowski shares five tips for writing about sensitive subjects. DIY MFA

The Handmaid’s Tale—what’s come true and what hasn’t. The Take

The eastern/western genre: stories of subjugation and freedom. Story Grid

Sharon Oard Warner: the building blocks of scene. Jane Friedman

Tiffany Yates Martin goes beyond character goal and motivation—the longing and the lack. Fox Print Editorial

Chris Winkle shows how you can tell Kamala Kahn has ADHD. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five stories with clashing choices. Mythcreants

Writing 2nd person—the forgotten POV. Shaelin Writes

Brahmjot Kaur explains how Ms. Marvel went from “woke” and “cringe” to the franchise’s highest-rated. NBC News

Emily Zarevich tells the tale of Michael Field: one name, two (women) authors. JSTOR Daily

Nicole Chung interviews Pia Owens about negotiation tips for writers and creatives. The Atlantic

Writing advice from Rachel Yoder: take a break, hug a tree. Literary Hub

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

Until Thursday, be well and stay (cool and) safe!

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, June 26-July 2, 2022

Another week, another batch of informal writerly learnings. And so it goes …

Vaughn Roycroft is living an artist’s life with lessons from Kate Bush. Then, Erika Liodice is finding inspiration in unexpected places. Tessa Barbosa shares some easy tricks for crafting memorable characters. Then, Sarah Callender is writing (and living) in the midst of fear. Barbara O’Neal considers the practice. Writer Unboxed

Tim fixes Legend of Korra season 2. Hello, Future Me

K.M. Weiland offers eight ways to avoid cardboard characters and plot contrivances. Helping Writers Become Authors

Susan DeFreitas explains how (and how not) to write queer characters: a primer. Then, Tiffany Yates Martin reveals how to improve your storytelling by studying other people’s. Jane Friedman

That … could have gone better? (Analysis of Luke vs. Vader in Empire Strikes Back.) Jill Bearup

Kris Maze says re-gear your writing career—take risks to revitalize. Then, Jenny Hansen shares Kurt Vonnegut’s ten tips for successful writing. L.A. Mitchell is opening the top-secret client vault on ghostwriting (and how you can find your first). Writers in the Storm

Teresa Conner shares three design secrets for captivating book adds. Hyacinthe M. Miller helps you avoid writing stereotypes of people of color. Writers Helping Writers

Death by misadventure—Passing and the nature of identity. Princess Weekes

LA Bourgeois is battling the guilt monster. Then, F.E. Choe offers a few, humble thoughts on voice. Michael Bourne lists five ways to turn your setting into a fully realized character. DIY MFA

Tiffany Yates Martin points out the main writing skill you may be neglecting. Fox Print Editorial

Moiya McTier—Trickster gods and the mortals who love them. Fate & Fabled | PBS Storied

Chuck Wendig says sometimes writing is finding a place to put all your rage, sorrow, and even joy. Terribleminds

Chris Winkle explains how to write a first-person retelling. Then, Oren Ashkenazi reveals the myth of conflict-free story structures. Mythcreants

Kristen Lamb: writing to formula vs. formulaic writing.

Thank you for visiting with me 🙂 I hope you took away something to support your current work in progress.

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

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, April 10-16, 2022

Welcome to tipsday, your opportunity to stock up on informal writerly learnings.

Ann Marie Nieves: book PR & marketing questions answered, part VII. Jim Dempsey wants you to exploit your hero’s flaws. Then, Kathleen McCleary is getting over it. Kathryn Crafts says foreshadowing is a revision skill to love. Later in the week, Desmond Hall drops some more writerly wisdom on us. Writer Unboxed

Shaelin shares seven ways to level up your writing process. Reedsy

K.M. Weiland shares 14 tips for dealing with the passage of time in a story. Helping Writers Become Authors

Lisa Norman introduces us to the magic of World Anvil. Then, Monica Corwin suggests eight ways to stay open to story. Jenny Hansen: the extraordinary blessings of asking for help. Writers in the Storm

Have humans always feared sharks? Monstrum | PBS Storied

Jane explains why so many blogs and newsletters aren’t worth the writer’s effort. Then, Lisa Cooper Ellison explains how to gracefully leave your writing group. Jane Friedman

Sue Coletta: what is rhythmic writing? Emily Young shares six tips for writing compelling action scenes. Writers Helping Writers

Crafting as a magic system. Tale Foundry

Abigail K. Perry poses seven questions to ask about your first chapter. Then, Gabriela Pereira interviews Claire Stanford about character development in literary fiction. Angela Yeh wants you to embrace your inner poet-activist! Then, Lewis Jorstad suggests five secondary character arcs to strengthen your cast. Later in the week, Linda Dahl explains how to inject humor to relive narrative tension. DIY MFA

The Heather trope and why we’re so obsessed with her. The Take

Story beats: the key to line-by-line writing. Morality genre: altruism stories of redemption, punishment, and testing. Performance genre: stories about sports, music, business, and art. Four Core Framework: the foundational elements of storytelling. Story Grid

How to write realistic male characters. Jenna Moreci

Tiffany Yates Martin explains how writers Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke survive. Fox Print Editorial

Chris Winkle says the best characters eat their spinach—and their candy. Illustrated by Bunny. Then, Oren Ashkenazi critiques five inexplicable planets from Star Trek. Mythcreants

The three planes of story and creating causal connections. A very personal literary theory. Shaelin Writes

Kristen Lamb warns that bloated writing makes readers sick.

Nina Munteanu shares example steps for keeping a nature journal.

Anne Delaney examines chronemics and the nonverbal language of time. JSTOR Daily

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

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe!

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

It’s the last tipsday of January 2022. Get your informal writerly learnings to see you through the week.

Disha Walia is debunking myths about speculative fiction. Then, Ambre Dawn Leffler suggests you bring coziness to winter writing with hygge. Pamela Taylor shows you where to start with historical fiction. Then, Barb Geiger says, no really. Show. Don’t tell. DIY MFA

The pretty girl trope. The Take

Katey Schultz is getting off the hamster wheel. Then, Jan O’Hara shares what her pup taught her about writing. Dave King reveals how to learn to write. Then, Barbara Linn Probst is finding the path to authenticity. Porter Anderson explores the inevitable näiveté of the past. Writer Unboxed

10 tips for writing strong dialogue. Reedsy

Harrison Demchick explains the roles of causality and plot structure in literary fiction. Then, Jane shows you how to plan and host worthwhile online events. Jane Friedman

Ellen Brock explains how to write the status quo in your novel.

Lisa Hall-Wilson reveals how to use physical pain to show a character’s past trauma. Then, Michelle Barker shows you how self-editing can take your novel to the next stage. Writers Helping Writers

Is there any hope for the Netflix adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender? Hello, Future Me

Angela Ackerman says that if you want your characters to stand out, give them a skill. Then, Lynette M. Burrows shares the things she wishes she knew before she published (part 1). Jenny Hansen shares two aha-moments that boosted her writing confidence. Writers in the Storm

Erica Brozovsky asks, is swearing good for your brain? Otherwords | PBS Storied

Chris Winkle helps you outline a short story in seven steps. Then, Oren Ashkenazi explains how Sanderson bungled culture in Way of Kings. Mythcreants

Dune: why do people even like this book? Tale Foundry

Kristen Lamb examines the relation between branding and attention: busy brains in a busy world.

Angie Hodapp discusses kishōtenketsu and non-western story structures. Pub Rants

The gaslit Disney Princess. The Take

Nina Munteanu: when we burn books

Natalie Zutter says that there are no heroes or villains in Station Eleven, just fans. Tor.com

Reeves Wiedeman delves into the mystery of the spine collector. Vulture

Thank you for visiting, and I hope you took away something to support your current work in progress.

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

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Dec 12-18, 2021

You’ve made it through Monday. Reward yourself with some informal writerly learnings 🙂

Richelle Lyn is discovering the art of book coaching. Then, Gabriela Pereira interviews Sacha Black about crafting your side characters. Amanda Polick reveals three ways the holidays can revive your book. Then Kerry Chaput delves into HERstory, the woman’s side of history. Melanie Moyer recommends five sci-fi books about humans creating artificial intelligence. DIY MFA

Princess Weekes explains why we keep retelling Persephone’s story. Melina Pendulum

K.M. Weiland examines the two halves of the climactic moment. Helping Writers Become Authors

Christina Delay wants you to use awe to spark creativity. Then, Lucy V. Hay explains how to write a compelling antihero. Writers Helping Writers

What are foil characters? Reedsy

Jenny Hansen shares the dreams and confessions of a disorganized writer. Then, Lynette M. Burrows offers 35 tips to a healthier writer you in 2022. Lori Freeland returns with to comma, or not to comma (part 2). Writers in the Storm

Joanna Penn interviews Lisa Cron about Story or Die. The Creative Penn

Elizabeth S. Craig: common mistakes that pull readers out of stories.

Emily Zarka reveals the origins of Krampus, the yuletide monster. Monstrum | PBS Storied

Jim Dempsey sees the future in stories. Then, Barbara Linn Probst takes a closer look at trusting the reader. Porter Anderson gets provocative about chaos, coherence, and the dream of a narrative. Writer Unboxed

Kimberly Fernando provides seven steps for tackling a revise and resubmit (R&R). Jane Friedman

Chris Winkle presents six archetypes for sidekicks. Then, Oren Ashkenazi explains how Martha Wells fell into some toxic tropes: building the Raksura.  Mythcreants

The good girl trope—why women can’t win. The Take

Angie Hodapp discusses reactive goals vs. proactive goals. Pub Rants

Nina Munteanu: the Witch’s Hat and other fungi tales.

Rebecca Nicholson interviews Carrie-Anne Moss: “There was a scene in the first Matrix with me in stilettos. I could barely stand straight.” The Guardian

Inverse interviews Shohreh Aghdashloo about Chrisjen Avasarala and the final season of The Expanse.

Minyvonne Burke and Michelle Garcia: acclaimed author and activist bell hooks dies at 69. NBC News

Cassie Da Costa hails the second coming of Octavia E. Butler. Vanity Fair

Vincent Schilling announces that Reservation Dogs [loved it!] nominated for a Golden Globe. Indian Country Today

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

Happy solstice and cool yule, to those (like me) who celebrate!

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

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Oct 3-9, 2021

A belated Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian readers! It’s time to indulge in some informal writerly learnings. Enjoy!

K.M. Weiland presents the archetypal antagonists of the crone arc: death blight and tempter. Helping Writers Become Authors

Greer Macallister seeks success without self-promotion. Then Jeanne Kisacky is walking the line between insanity and perseverance. Donald Maass reveals the secret of passive protagonists: seeking vs. suffering. Nancy Johnson: the blessed curse of the second book. Then, David Corbett discusses the character in secret search of midnight. Writer Unboxed

Jill Bearup made armor. In a cave shed. From a box of scraps.

Karen DeBonis helps you navigate a story identity crisis. Then, Eldred Bird wonders, what (the heck) is a MacGuffin? Jenny Hansen: writing and the law of loss aversion. Writers in the Storm

Shaelin helps you edit your short story. Reedsy

Angela Ackerman says, if you want powerful conflict, you can’t forget the stakes. Elizabeth Spann Craig

Then, over on Jami Gold’s blog, Angela explains how to write conflict without “bad guys.”

Bethany Henry is making magic systems that work and wow. Fiction University

Why fat phobia is still a problem onscreen. The Take

E.J. Wenstrom presents book promotion graphics for newbies. Then, Sara Farmer looks at some modern girl detectives. Maan Gabriel shares hacks to combat writer’s block and develop discipline. Then, Jane Elizabeth Hughes offers five tips for writing a historical mystery. DIY MFA

Seth Harwood says, your writing matters; a coach can help. Jane Friedman

The Bond Girl, her secret, and her future. The Take

Chris Winkle explains how to keep mysteries from looking like mistakes. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five stories that break their worlds’ themes. Mythcreants

Lindsay Syhakhom: writing and the art of surrender. Nathan Bransford

Allison Flood celebrates Abdulrazak Gurnah’s 2021 Nobel Prize in literature win. The Guardian

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you took away something to support your current work in progress.

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

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Sept 12-18, 2021

It’s tipsday! That means you’ve made it through Monday 🙂 Celebrate with some informal writerly learnings.

Sophie Masson is cooking up great book buzz. Then, Jim Dempsey explains how to tap into your characters’ emotions. Barbara Linn Probst wants you to go beyond description with story-relevant aspects of setting. Then, Matthew Norman shares the best writing advice he’s ever gotten. Kelsey Allagood says, active protagonists are tools of the patriarchy. Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland looks at the archetypal antagonists for the hero arc: the dragon and the sick king. Helping Writers Become Authors

Shang Chi: I can see clearly now … Jill Bearup

Jennie Nash asks, why write this book? Then, Anna David explains why and how she got her rights back from HarperCollins. Jane Friedman

Eldred Bird: everything has a story. Then, Piper Bayard explains how to bug a room (writing spies). Jenny Hansen: what if my [insert person] reads this? Writers in the Storm

John Kerr lists five story structures to use in your writing. Elizabeth Spann Craig

Kellie Doherty introduces us to some autumn deities. Fantasy Faction

How do we criticize our own? (Also, stop calling Lizzo a mammy.) Melina Pendulum

Jami Gold: if your story’s not behaving, try going deeper into structure. Then, Christina Kaye lists the three things you should consider before choosing your fiction genre. Writers Helping Writers

Olivia Fisher recounts her long road to becoming a freelance editor, part 1. And here’s my latest Speculations: one author’s journey on the autism spectrum. Sonia Hartl explains the importance of friendships in YA. Then, Kanh Ha shares five tips on writing fiction. DIY MFA

The Oedipus Complex: Film and TV’s Freudian obsession. The Take

Kristen Lamb considers types of plot twists and why they’re amazing for stories.

Christine Pride explains how a book goes from acquisitions to books store shelves. Nathan Bransford

Chris Winkle explains why you shouldn’t write a masterpiece. Then, Oren Ashkenazi scores WandaVision, Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and Loki on engagement. Mythcreants

Susanna Clarke: I’d really ceased to think of myself as a writer. The Guardian

5X15 presents Neil Gaiman and Susanna Clarke.

Beth Cato: shared pain. Nature

James Whitbrook: Marvel’s Eternals star, Lauren Ridloff, wants movie theatres to be more accessible for everyone. Gizmodo

Thanks for taking the time to stop by. 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, Aug 8-14, 2021

Another week, another batch of informal writerly learnings.

Ann Marie Nieves answers your book PR and marketing questions (part 4). Then, Jim Dempsey wants you to enhance your fantasies with a dose of reality. Kathryn Craft hopes you aim for the “extra” in ordinary. Then, Kathleen McCleary says, sometimes you’re the windshield; sometimes you’re the bug. Gwen Hernandez helps you create a series bible in Scrivener. Later in the week, Dee Willson connects the dots between research, sex, and related remedies. Writer Unboxed

Tim Hickson is killing characters. Hello, Future Me

Lori Freeland is talking location, location, location! Bring your book to life, part 2. Then, Jenny Hansen says, it’s okay to fall down. Eldred Bird contemplates coming out of hibernation. Writers in the Storm

The messy meaning of zombie stories. Like Stories of Old

Janice Hardy says, if you want a tighter point of view, ditch the filter words in your novel. Then, E.J. Wenstrom is creating creatures for speculative worlds. Ann Harth offers a nine-step plotting path to a stronger novel. Fiction University

K.M. Weiland shares three things to know about the ending of a story. Helping Writers Become Authors

Lindsay Ellis shares nine things she wished she knew before publishing her first novel.

Jane Friedman wonders, should MFA programs teach the business of writing? Then, E.J. Wenstrom explains what to know while you write dual point of view. Jane returns to show you how to harness community to build book sales and platform. Jane Friedman

Stefan Emunds examines eight elements that get readers invested in your story. Live, Write, Thrive

Shaelin Bishop explains why she’s a discovery writer. Shaelin Writes

Manuela Williams offers something for your poet’s toolbox: generate ideas and inspiration. Then, Kris Hill promotes worldbuilding using tabletop games. Tori Bovalino: genre-bending and The Devil Makes Three. Later in the week, Sarah R. Clayville shares five bad habits to quit like a champ. DIY MFA

Fire cat or fire cart? The history of Japan’s Kasha. Monstrum | PBS Storied

Marissa Graff says, don’t let excess baggage bring down your character’s plane. Then Angela Ackerman poses problems and solutions for describing a character’s emotions. Writers Helping Writers

Nathan Bransford explains how to come up with good comp titles for your book. Then, Christine Pride walks you through how an editor at a publisher acquires a book. Nathan Bransford

The “asexual” Asian man. The Take

Kellie Doherty introduces us to some of the mythological creatures of Alaska. Fantasy Faction

Chris Winkle: Project Hail Mary shows when flashbacks work, and when they don’t. Mythcreants

Joanna Penn offers a primer on the metaverse for authors and publishing: web 3.0, AR, VR, and the spatial web. The Creative Penn

Souvankham Thammavongsa shares her feelings about winning the Scotiabank Giller Prize. CBC’s The Next Chapter

What to call that weird thing your pet does. Merriam Webster

Megan McCluskey reveals how extortion scams and review bombing trolls turned Goodreads into many authors’ worst nightmare. Time

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

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