Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Sept 18-24, 2022

It’s the last tipsday of September. Finish off the month in style by filling up on informal writerly learnings!

Disha Walia advises what not to include in the first chapter. Then, Angela Yeh helps you move past the middle muddle mood. Best line: “Writing a novel isn’t all sunshine and unicorn butts.” Adam W. Burgess presents LGBTQ+ literature in translation: Notes of a Desolate Man. Helen Scheurerer offers a masterclass in planning and writing a series. Later in the week, Diane Cohen Schneider shares five tips on how to add facts to fiction without sounding wonky. DIY MFA

Why Marilyn Monroe deserved much, much better from us. The Take

Matthew Norman recounts the thrill of changing lanes. Then, Dave King shares the view from inside. Barbara Linn Probst tell some wild and crazy research tales, or the things we do for our stories. Then, Julie Carrick Dalton explains how to attend a literary conference without checking a bag: keep calm and carry-on. Writer Unboxed

What’s up with your shoes? Another armour tier list. Jill Bearup

Janice Hardy suggests five ways to revive a novel that doesn’t work. Fiction University

Penny C. Sansevieri explains why writing conferences matter for writers. Then, Lynette M. Burrows helps you make music with character voices. Ellen Buikema is writing minor characters that matter. Writers in the Storm

Kahina Necaise presents the top four challenges of fantasy worldbuilding and how to overcome them. Live, Write, Thrive

Valkyries: the real story behind these warriors of legend. Fate & Fabled | PBS Storied

Di Ann Mills shares the art and purpose of subtext. Then, Jennifer Browdy is transforming coal into diamonds: telling painful true stories through fiction. Jane expands on her DOJ vs. PRH antitrust trial coverage in The Hot Sheet to explain why it doesn’t change the game for authors, regardless of outcome. Lisa Cooper Ellison says, to nail your book proposal, think synergies, not sections. Jane Friedman

Worldbuilding with giant monsters. Tale Foundry

Lucy V. Hay helps you reach the finishing line and celebrate a completed book. Writers Helping Writers

Nathan Bransford warns, don’t let your opening cement in your mind.

Literally no one likes a grammar cop. Otherwords | PBS Storied

Kristen Lamb explains how shame, regret, and guilt shape story.

Christina Delay advises us about avoiding blocks and refreshing ideas. Jami Gold

How much does it cost to self-publish a book? Reedsy

Chris Winkle points out seven easy sources of real-world danger. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes six stories with cheap cop-outs. Mythcreants

Lucy Knight announces that Hilary Mantel, celebrated author of Wolf Hall, dies aged 70. The Guardian

The five principles of revision. Shaelin Writes

Leah Drayton reveals Toni Morrison’s advocacy against censorship: truth is trouble. The New York Public Library

Stephanie Morris shares autumnal equinox writing tips and rituals. Write of Die Tribe

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

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

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

Another week, another batch of informal writerly learnings.

Therese Walsh reveals the problem behind the problem. Then, Jim Dempsey offers all the writing advice you’ll ever need. Juliet Marillier loves the magic of a writing retreat. Later in the week, Desmond Hall drops some more writing wisdom on us: escalations 1, 2, and 3. Writer Unboxed

Becca Puglisi offers this simple equation: conflict + choices = character agency. Helping Writers Become Authors

Let’s cosplay like it’s 1499. Jill Bearup

Janice Hardy says that the catalyst for character change is the dark night of the soul. Fiction University

Lori Freeland: not just another post on POV. Then, Colleen M. Story explains how your author platform helps you do more than sell books. Lisa Norman: welcome to the future, part 1. Writers in the Storm

Monstrous plants and the people who invent them. Monstrum | PBS Storied

Lisa Poisso says that feedback and editing are matters of the right eyes at the right time. Jami Gold considers point of view: is deeper always better? Writers Helping Writers

Jami follows up with this post on her own site: is deep POV always the best choice?

Junji Ito’s most disturbing story. Tale Foundry

Colice Sanders is rethinking transgender narratives. Then, Disha Wallia explains how to write a hook for speculative fiction. Carol Van Den Hende talks to Deborah Mortimer about intellectual property: copyrights, trademarks, and design marks, oh my! Later in the week, Heather Davis poses five questions that will guarantee you novel has a sturdy structure. DIY MFA

Kristen Tsetsi interviews Kern Carter about how business and creativity go hand in hand. Then, Susan DeFreitas lists three ways writerly grit leads to publishing success. Jane Friedman

How to structure your novel’s climax | Fourth quarter story structure. Ellen Brock

Tiffany Yates Martin wonders how you value your creative worth. Fox Print Editorial

Kristen Lamb lists the seven deadly sins of prologues.

Chris Winkle lists six ways to add emotion to your writing. Then, Oren Ashkenazi hosts a head-to-head-to-head ANTS showdown between Hawkeye, Moon Knight, and Ms. Marvel. Mythcreants

How to figure out what’s wrong with your story. Reedsy

Guy Kawasaki interviews Elizabeth Gruner about the Zen of writing, reading, and learning. The Remarkable People Podcast

Cait Gordon: the ableism and privilege behind “You must write every day.”

Rebecca Jennings says, in The Rings of Power, it’s not horrifying to be a woman. Vox

Alexi Duggins reports that The Rings of Power stars speak out against racist “threats, harassment, and abuse.” The Guardian

And that was tipsday.

Thanks for taking the time to visit, 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, 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, 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, July 3-9, 2022

Summer’s finally taking hold up here in northeastern Ontario. Take a refreshing break from your hot day with some informal writerly learnings.

K.M. Weiland shares a short post about capturing authentic human reactions in fiction. Helping Writers Become Authors

Why Stranger Things season 4 is better than ever. The Take

Yuvi Zalkow says most people don’t give a shit about your thing. Then, Susan DeFreitas explains what happens when story is medicine. Donald Maass reviews three modes of story imagination. Then, Sophie Masson considers tense and tension. David Corbett explores contradiction and character. Writer Unboxed

Um … let’s talk about The Princess. Jill Bearup

Karen DeBonis wonders, do you have a toxic productivity issue? Then, Joseph Lallo discusses the diamonds in the rough draft—writing scenes that matter. Julie Glover wonders, can a new location boost your writing productivity? Writers in the Storm

16 questions to ask while line editing. Shaelin Writes

Becca Puglisi says, if you need conflict, just let your characters talk. Then, Colleen M. Story helps you determine which is better for you—traditional or self-publishing? Writers Helping Writers

Colice Sanders is unpacking cultural appropriation. Then, Disha Walia covers trends in speculative fiction. Melissa Haas explains how to turn your indie book into an audiobook. DIY MFA

What hellhounds reveal about humans’ oldest companion. Monstrum | PBS Storied

Obligatory moments in story and genre. The action genre: how to tell an exciting life and death story. The genres of story: definition, examples, and reader expectations. Story Grid

Heather Davis poses seven questions to design a better arc of change for your protagonist. Jane Friedman

How do fairies see our world? Tale Foundry

Tiffany Yates Martin reveals how Katherine Center revises. Fox Print Editorial

Chris Winkle helps you understand character karma. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes six sloppy character arcs in popular stories. Mythcreants

Kat Rosenfield says that sensitivity readers are the new literary gate keepers. I want to clarify one thing: this article is about the misuse/abuse of sensitivity readers by the publishing industry. There are excellent sensitivity readers out there that will help you make your representation more respectful/effective. Reason

And that was tipsday.

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

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

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, June 12-18, 2022

Welcome to tipsday, you’re opportunity to get your fill of informal writerly learnings. Enjoy!

K.M. Weiland helps you understand the underworld of a story’s third act. Helping Writers Become Authors

Ann Marie Nieves: book promotion and marketing questions answered, part VIII. Lisa Janice Cohen recommends a writer’s buddy system. Then, Barbara Linn Probst is walking back to “what do I really want?” AKA the miracle question. Julie Carrick Dalton is seeking the existential, the intimate, and the urgent: essays that model masterful storytelling. Writer Unboxed

Tim Hickson says show don’t tell (is a lie). Hello, Future Me

Ellen Buikema wants you to write a compelling first line. Then, Lynette M. Burrows helps you create compelling scenes with the motivation-reaction unit (MRU). Lori Freeland: to comma or not to comma (part 4). Writers in the Storm

Jodé Millman issues a call to arms against banning books. Elizabeth Spann Craig

Jill Bearup explains how to fight in Versace.

Becca Puglisi helps you avoid writing stereotypes of religious figures. Jami Gold: “They’re all gonna die!” Wait. Why does that matter? Writers Helping Writers

Over on her own blog, Jami follows up with this post: what gives our stories meaning?

Nathan Bransford explains how to write a synopsis for your novel.

Shaelin explains how to submit to literary magazines. Reedsy

Ambre Dawn Leffler suggests three small steps to get your writing back on track. Then, Marina Barakatt introduces us to the comic Shutter. Linda Murphy Marshall offers five words of encouragement for writers. Then, Mary Adkins explains how to use the enneagram to create fictional characters. DIY MFA

Kristen Lamb considers neurodivergence: being different in life and fiction.

Emily Zarka and Josef Lorenzo uncover UFOs and alien abductions. Monstrum | PBS Storied

Tiffany Yates Martin wonders, are you paying attention to your progress? Fox Print Editorial

Jane provides a step-by-step walk-through of Amazon Ads for beginning authors. Jane Friedman

Chris Winkle explains how to make your character selfless. Then, Oren Ashkenazi pits Andy Weir against himself in a three-way competition: The Martian vs. Artemis vs. Project Hail Mary. Mythcreants

Shaelin suggests questions to ask while you’re revising. Shaelin Writes

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

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

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, May 29-June 4, 2022

It’s tipsday! You know what that means. It’s time to get your fill of informal writerly learnings 🙂

LA Bourgeois: victory celebration required. Jeanette the Writer explains the difference between writing and editing. Then, Lori Walker interviews Rebecca Scherm about writing the near future: climate change and big tech. Carol Van Den Hende lists three benefits to speaking at industry conferences. Later in the week, Angela Yeh shares five ways to develop a creative ritual you’ll want to keep. DIY MFA

Fight me! Jill Bearup

K.M. Weiland: understanding the normal world of a story’s first act. Helping Writers Become Authors

Tom Bentley: this pretty much (book) covers it. Kasey LeBlanc provides some tools to help you on your querying journey. Donald Maass: your microcosm, our world. Grace Wynter interviews Mel Todd about going from fanfiction to $150K. Then, Liza Nash Taylor triple-dog dares you to make a pass: revising your draft. Writer Unboxed

Shaelin reacts to writing advice from Twitter. Reedsy

Eldred Bird says that if you’re going mobile, you need a mobile media kit. Then, Janice Hardy shares ten ways to un-stick your novel. James Preston wonders who’s in charge of your story? Writers in the Storm

Becca Puglisi wonders, is compassion fatigue is relevant to your characters? Then, Lucy V. Hay helps you avoid writing stereotyped female characters. Writers Helping Writers

Mapinguari: fearsome beast and protector of the rainforest.  Monstrum | PBS Storied

The horror genre: stories of life and damnation against uncanny, supernatural, and ambiguous monsters. The thriller genre is a blend of action, crime, and horror stories. Story Grid

Kristen Lamb suggests writing fast and furious to outrun Spock brain.

Nathan Bransford explains how to utilize exposition and context in a novel.

Closeted bullies are all over our screens. How real is this trope? The Take

Barbara Linn Probst tells you what to remember, do, avoid, and expect when getting book endorsements (blurbs). Jane Friedman

Chris Winkle explains how to create moral dilemmas that are actually moral. The, Oren Ashkenazi points out the difference between relatable and mediocre heroes. Mythcreants

Ten kids’ books by Canadian Asian authors to read in honour of Asian Heritage Month. CBC Books

David A. Robertson curates this list of 48 books by Indigenous writers to read about and understand residential schools. CBC Books

Emily Pullen recommends new LGBTQ fiction for Pride 2022. The New York Public Library

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

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

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 8-14, 2022

Ah, Tuesday. My favourite day of the week, when I get to share my favourite informal writerly learnings of the week with you 🙂 Enjoy!

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

Sophie Masson: the hardworking magic of book design. Then, Jim Dempsey considers the creativity of emotions. Juliet Marillier wants a helping hand: supporting your fellow writers. Then, Kathryn Craft gives you six hall passes for grammar un-school. David Corbett is writing wrongs: the color of my low-down, dirty vote. Yuvi Zalkow: gatekeepers and creativity. Writer Unboxed

Does this make my hammer look big? Jill Bearup

Melinda VanLone continues her book cover 101: mystery/thriller. Then, Kathleen Baldwin shares five secret ingredients for writing a killer teen novel. Later in the week, William F. Wu wonders if you’re a plotter, pantser, or … roadster? Writers in the Storm

A quick tip for outliners. Elizabeth Spann Craig

Heather Davis explains the difference between plot and story and why you need both. Anne Carley: your journal as time machine. Jane Friedman

Reading like a writer. Reedsy

Roz Morris: writers, can you feel it? How to use gut feeling to guide your writing. Nail Your Novel

Richelle Lyn shares her insights on when to formalize your business entity. Then, Amanda Polick lists 25 tips for pitching, writing, and being published in magazines. Catherine Drake explains how setting can serve as a catalyst for story. Later in the week, EC Hanes shares five ways to tell enough without telling all. DIY MFA

Ember Randall: self-defense vs. martial arts. Then, Sarah J. Sover is making magic systems stronger with science. Dan Koboldt

How Beauty and the Beast’s Belle launched the bookworm princess hero. The Take

Angela Ackerman says, if you want readers to connect with your character, include this. Writers Helping Writers

Tiffany Yates Martin: prioritizing your life. Fox Print Editorial

The crime genre: justice and injustice; stories of mystery and intrigue. The structure genre: arch-plot, anti-plot, and mini-plot. Story Grid

Chris Winkle wants you to use your story’s premise to create novelty. Then, Oren Ashkenazi wonders how useful Pixar’s rules of storytelling are (part 1). Mythcreants

Gaslighting: narcissists and tampering with reality. Kristen Lamb

11 tips to take your short stories to the next level. Shaelin Writes

Bill Sanders: welcome to Greater Sudbury, where art comes to die. The Sudbury Star

Sudbury Theatre Centre not transparent with new direction, say critics. CBC

James Whitbrook announces that Ncuti Gatwa is Doctor Who’s new Doctor. Gizmodo

Thanks for stopping by and spending some time with me. I hope you found something to support you current work in progress.

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe!