March first was lamb-like. I’m hoping for a gentle month. How about you?
Now, it’s time to get your fill of informal writerly learnings.
Tiffany Yates Martin lists ten specific ways to encourage your reader to like your protagonist. Kris Maze shares five steps to becoming a superstar self-editor. Writers in the Storm
Julia Munroe Martin is not above spying … again. Barbara Linn Probst is taking it scene by scene: the “middle level” of writing. Heather Webb tackles the social media meltdown and burnout. Writer Unboxed
K.M. Weiland shares the professional resources she uses for all aspects of writing and publishing processes. Helping Writers Become Authors
Do you need to outline your book? Reedsy
Then, Shaelin recommends how to develop your best writing process. Reedsy
Joanna Penn interviews Barbara Poelle about finding and pitching a literary agent. The Creative Penn
Sarah Chauncey lists five flashback mistakes. Jane Friedman
Nathan Bransford: don’t release the tension.
Manuela Williams shares five tips for writing an author bio that stands out. DIY MFA
Jami Gold explains how to get advice from an editor. Later in the week, she wonders, do our stories have deeper meanings?
Chris Winkle lists the four essentials of an effective character arc. Then, Oren Ashkenazi explains how to use failure in your story. Mythcreants
Thanks for stopping by. I hope you took away something tasty that will support your current work in progress.
Until Thursday, be well!
Here we are in the final week of February. Winter is crawling to its end, the light returns, and so does the hope of spring. Celebrate with some informal writerly learnings 🙂
Tasha Seegmiller: writer, you are separate from your craft. Barbara Linn Probst considers likeable and relatable: why (and how) do they matter? Writers in the Storm
Vaughn Roycroft has a new take on readership. Dave King: the web of writing. Kathleen McCleary has answers to questions about writing. Porter Anderson analyzes the Authors Guild’s 2020 Report. Writer Unboxed
K.M. Weiland has some thoughts on how to be critical of stories in a way that makes a difference. Helping Writers Become Authors
Joanna Penn interviews Aiki Flinthart about writing fight scenes with female characters. The Creative Penn
Christina Delay wants you to fall in love with your second act. Angela Ackerman explains how to build powerful character relationships. Writers Helping Writers
Janice Hardy considers whether to stop and revise or keep writing the first draft. Fiction University
Brenda Joyce Patterson takes a deep dive into libretti. DIY MFA
Nathan Bransford helps you clear out the clutter around your verbs.
How to write character voices. Reedsy
Oren Ashkenazi explains why “but men are objectified, too” doesn’t hold up. Then, Oren lists ten ways to keep the authorities out of your plot. Mythcreants
Jami Gold wonders, what do you do with disappointment?
Robert Lee Brewer explains the difference between metaphor and personification. Writer’s Digest
Kate Knibbs says, the hottest new genre is doomer lit (formerly known as cli-fi). Wired
Charlie Jane Anders believes that to write about the future is to represent the past. Tor.com
Thank you for visiting and I hope you take away something to support your current work in progress.
Until next time, be well!
You’ve survived Monday! Reward yourself with some informal writerly learnings.
Janice Hardy says, author, we have a problem: four plotting tips. Later in the week, Janice is poking dead scenes with a stick. Fiction University
K.M. Weiland shares six steps to create realistic and powerful scene dilemmas. Helping Writers Become Authors
Jami Gold uses an, ahem, moving metaphor to discover what matters in our stories. Then, she wonders, where do you want your story (or career) to go?
Jenna Moreci explains how to tell if you should write a series (and when you shouldn’t).
Abigail K. Perry covers James Scott Bell’s final signpost scene: transformation. As one series ends, another begins. The first of my three-part series on the tarot as a tool for mythic storytelling: an introduction to the tarot. DIY MFA
Donald Maass revisits the uncon again: world building for non-SFF writers. Cathy Yardley: your subconscious speaks a different language. ‘Cause tarot (see above)! Writer Unboxed
Meg LaTorre explains how to find critique partners and beta readers. Writers Helping Writers
Kris Spisak advises you to look at these four problem areas when revising. Jane Friedman
Joanna Penn interviews Jennie Nash: would you make a good book coach? The Creative Penn
Chris Winkle explains how storytellers use reactivity and proactivity for effect. Then, Oren Ashkenazi shares seven tricks to improve your minions. Mythcreants
Etuaptmumk: two-eyed seeing. Rebecca Thomas TEDxNSCCWaterfront
Brit Marling: I don’t want to be the strong female lead. The New York Times
Thanks for stopping by. I hope you’re taking away something to help with your current work in progress.
Until Thursday, be well, my writerly friends 🙂
The time from Solstice through New Year’s Eve is generally slow for informal writerly learnings. Everyone is (and rightly so) spending time with friends and family, celebrating. Thus, this week will be video heavy, but it’s all writerly goodness 🙂
Also, happy New Year and new decade, everyone! May it bring us hope and peace and all good things.
Tasha Seegmiller: reflecting and goal-setting for writers. Writers in the Storm
Joanna Penn and Orna Ross reflect on a decade of self-publishing. The Creative Penn
Helen J. Darling offers six tips on working with an editor (post-NaNoWriMo). DIY MFA
Shaelin talks about writing a great first line. Reedsy
Gabe explains how to write backstory. Bookishpixie
And here’s Tim Hickson’s take on flashbacks and backstory. Hello, Future Me
Chris Winkle wants you to tame your exposition. Then, Oren Ashkenazi explains how to tell a story within a story. Mythcreants
Thanks for visiting and I hope something in this mix has given you what you need to progress in your current work in progress.
Until next time, be well!
Welcome to October, when everything is pumpkin spice! And thus, I must inflict upon you the guinea pigs:
Now that you’ve survived that, please enjoy some informal writerly learnings.
Janice Hardy helps you figure out which opening works best in a novel. Then, she hopes you don’t let your plot hijack your story. Fiction University
Susan Spann wants you to throw your writing from the train. Heather Webb offers some do’s and don’ts of writing query letters. Writer Unboxed
Lori Freeland lists the up and down sides of critique groups. Writers in the Storm
K.M. Weiland says, if you’re struggling to be creative, this might be why. Helping Writers Become Authors
Joanna Penn interviews Jen Louden about trusting your creativity and choosing yourself. The Creative Penn
Sara Letourneau differentiates between topic and theme. Richelle Lyn offers five steps to creating your writing wind up (setting the stage for a productive writing session). DIY MFA
Nathan Bransford wants you to let the reader diagnose your characters.
Kris Kennedy returns to Jami Gold’s blog with the fifth and final part of the avoid infodumping by making backstory essential series.
Jenna Moreci shares her top ten science fiction tropes.
Gavin Hurley looks at effective repetition in writing as demonstrated by A Song of Ice and Fire. Writer’s Digest
Thank you for taking the time to visit. I hope you took away something for your current work in progress.
Until Thursday, be well, my writerly friends!
Here we are, officially in the fall. Take the time to enjoy the turning leaves and the delicious smells of the season. And, of course, spoil yourself with some informal writerly learnings.
Vaughn Roycroft is using theme to leverage revision. Julie Carrick Dalton hopes no one will notice. Writer Unboxed
K.M. Weiland critiques another brave writer to demonstrate ten ways to write excellent dialogue. Helping Writers Become Authors
Susan de Freitas points out three things you won’t learn from an MFA program. Jane Friedman
Joanna Penn interviews James Scott Bell about writing unforgettable endings. Then, Harrison Demchick offers you four ideas to help authors revise a first draft. The Creative Penn
Chris Winkle returns with the fourth aspect of goal-oriented storytelling: satisfaction. Writers Helping Writers
Jenna Moreci offers her top ten tips on character arcs.
Nathan Bransford offers six ways to build intimacy between characters. Later in the week, he asks, are you creating a mystery, or are you just being vague?
Jenn Walton shares three ways to find inspiration at a writing conference (or any work event). DIY MFA
Jenny Hansen wants you to find and share your story’s theme. Writers in the Storm
Chuck Wendig explains how to be a professional author and not die screaming and starving in a lightless abyss. Terribleminds
Jami Gold helps you figure out how to build your story with chapters, scenes, or both. Then, Kris Kennedy returns with part four of her avoid infodumping by making backstory essential series.
Bunny discusses choosing a follow-up strategy for a popular story. Then, Oren Ashkenazi shares five ways to handle parents without killing them. Mythcreants
Robert Lee Brewer advises writers regarding spacing between sentences. Writer’s Digest
Daniel Ross Goodman shows us the haunting magic of Maurice Sendak. National Review
Thank you for visiting. I hope you found something you need to move your work in progress forward.
Until Thursday, be well!
Ack! We’re in the last week of August! The weather’s still holding though. I, for one, am going to extend summer for as long as I can.
Whether you’re heading back to school or work, take some time to enjoy these informal writerly learnings 🙂
Vaughn Roycroft talks story endings: happy or sad or something else? Kathleen McCleary considers the values of good fiction. Writer Unboxed
Christina Delay extolls the power of the writing tribe. Then, Jenny Hansen covers the writer hierarchy of needs. Margie Lawson wants you to strive for excellence by using what you learn. Writers in the Storm
K.M. Weiland: how to tell if your story has too much plot, not enough character. Helping Writers Become Authors
Joanna Penn interviews Cat Rose about being a creative introvert. The Creative Penn
Roz Morris offers seven swift storytelling hacks for backstory, description, dialogue, exposition, point of view, and plot. Nail Your Novel
Victoria Mixon takes a different approach to character motivation. Then, September C. Fawkes shares four keys to a powerful denouement. Writers Helping Writers
Jenna Moreci compares static and dynamic characters.
Abigail K. Perry delves into James Scott Bell’s eleventh signpost scene: lights out. Brenda Joyce Patterson takes a deep dive into playwriting. Then Bethany Henry offers five tips for creating engaging characters. DIY MFA
Janice Hardy explains how to write a scene (and what qualifies as a scene). Fiction University
Jami Gold hopes you take a leap of faith in fiction and in life.
Oren Ashkenazi analyses seven stories with contrived character conflict. Mythcreants
William R. Leibowitz details his research for his latest novel: using facts as the base of science fiction. Writer’s Digest
Laurie Penny says, we can be heroes: how nerds are reinventing pop culture. A story about stories, fanfic, structure, the hero’s journey, and awesome. Wired
Thanks for visiting. I’ll be back on Thursday with some thoughty links for you.
Until then, be well.
Here’s a nice bundle of informal writerly learnings for you 🙂
Jael McHenry is making room for silence. Nancy Johnson: what white writers should know about telling black stories. Donald Maass explores the myriad ways in which mystery shapes your story (and returns to the pithy one-word titles). Cathy Yardley offers a snapshot of her writing process. Writer Unboxed
K.M. Weiland explains how to write interesting scenes. Helping Writers Become Authors
James Scott Bell wants you to stay thirsty. Writers Helping Writers
Sara Letourneau is identifying themes in poetry. Laura Highcove wants you to reclaim your agency from writer’s block. Then, Charlene Jimenez describes the five people fiction writers need in their lives. DIY MFA
Jenna Moreci rails against her ten most hated hero tropes.
Fae Rowan suggests these six f-words to create compelling characters. Writers in the Storm
Tara East guest posts on Joanna Penn’s blog: how overwriters can reduce their word count. The Creative Penn
Emily Wenstrom suggests several different tools to track world building in a fantasy series. Writer’s Digest
Chris Winkle explores five relationship dynamics for stronger romances. Then, Oren Ashkenazi explains five ways terrain affects fantasy battles. Mythcreants
Hank Green shares eight things he wished he’d known when he wrote his first book – vlogbrothers
Nathan Bransford thinks this Roald Dahl video is everything. I so love process-y stuff 🙂
And Catherine Ryan Howard shares her process (in parts—more to come): the BIG IDEA.
I hope you enjoyed this curation and found something for your current of next creative project.
Come back on Thursday for your weekly dose to thoughty!
Until then, be well, my writerly friends 🙂
I hope everyone had a marvelous Mother’s Day. Looking forward to Victoria Day long weekend here in Canada 🙂 In the meantime, please enjoy your weekly batch of informal writerly learnings.
Greer Macallister says, history wasn’t white, so historical fiction shouldn’t be either. Kathryn Craft shares six tips for creating good bridging conflict. Juliet Marillier introduces you to the writer’s dog. David Corbett shares what teaching in prison is teaching him. Writer Unboxed
Critiquing an excerpt from a brave volunteer, K.M. Weiland reveals eight quick tips for show, don’t tell. Helping Writers Become Authors
Emmanuel Nataf stops by Elizabeth Spann Craig’s blog to explain why science fiction is needed now more than ever.
Jenna Moreci returns with more dialogue advice.
Janice Hardy: how a limited vs. tight point of view can confuse writers. Fiction University
Marc Graham guest posts on The Creative Penn: becoming a story shaman.
Meg LaTorre visits Writers Helping Writers: how should I publish my book?
Piper Bayard considers backstory: the more I know, the less you have to. Writers in the Storm
Chris Winkle wants you to understand character representation. Mythcreants
Elizabeth Winkler: was Shakespeare a woman? The Atlantic
Florence + the Machine: Jenny of Oldstones (from Game of Thrones).
And that was tipsday for this week.
Come back on Thursday to add some thoughty into your life 🙂
Until then, be well!
Here we are in April (!) and here’s another week’s worth of informal writerly learnings.
Susan Spann explains how to prepare and use a DMCA takedown notice. Liz Michalski is biting the bullet (journal) and tracking her writing habit. Barbara O’Neal: spring planting for writers. Heather Webb answers the question: no, really, why do you write? John J. Kelley wonders, whose character is it, anyway? Writer Unboxed
K.M. Weiland shares four pacing tricks to keep readers’ attention, courtesy of Captain Marvel. Helping Writers Become Authors
Jenna Moreci shares her top ten tips for writing your first chapter.
Jules Horne drops by Jane Friedman’s blog to discuss writing for audio: understanding attunement.
Joanna Penn interviews Damon Suede about strengthening your writing with the power of words. The Kobo Writing Life Podcast interviewed Damon a couple of weeks ago and it was both informative and entertaining 🙂 The Creative Penn
Manuela Williams: seven questions to ask when building your author brand. Gabriela Pereira interviews Samantha Downing, Barbara Poelle, and Jen Monroe about the author/agent/editor relationship. Laura Highcove lists five steps to create agency in your writing life. DIY MFA
Chris Winkle examines six stories sabotaged by their tone. Then, Oren Ashkenazi covers six common villain mistakes and how to avoid them. Mythcreants
Alison Flood looks at the rotten side of self-publishing: plagiarism, “book-stuffing,” and clickfarms. The Guardian
I hope you found something you can use in your creative practice or business.
Come back on Thursday for some thoughty inspiration.
Until then, be well, my friends!