Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, March 12-18, 2017

This week is filled with informal writerly learnings 🙂

K.M. Weiland shares five rules that will help you write a sequel. Helping Writers Become Authors

Becca Puglisi adds another entry to the character motivation thesaurus: pursuing justice for oneself or others. Writers Helping Writers

Jami Gold returns to the Writers Helping Writers coaches corner: what does it mean to raise the stakes?

Jami follows up on her own blog with three steps that raise your story’s stakes. And later in the week, she posts about balancing rules and voice.

Lisa Cron offers some ways pantsers can use the Story Genius method. Writers in the Storm

David Corbett: emotion vs. feeling. Writer Unboxed

Annie Neugebauer suggests changing up your reading patterns to gain more. Writer Unboxed

Dan Blank shares some great social media tips for writers on The Creative Penn.

Sara Letourneau continues her developing themes in your stories with part 9: the midpoint. DIY MFA

Stacy Woodson looks at mysteries, thrillers, and suspense: does the label matter? DIY MFA

Gabriela Pereira interviews Ben Blatt for DIY MFA radio.

Rachael Stephens shares her new favourite plotting method: Dan Harmon’s Plot Embryo.

 

Dimitra Fimi: inventing a whole language. The Times Literary Supplement

Chris Winkle lists five worldbuilding mistakes to avoid. Mythcreants

Jenna Ireland: racism in a fantasy landscape.

Kobo interviews Margaret Atwood on woman-crushes, feminism, and advice for her younger self. Medium

In the wake of his passing, Richard Wagamese: what it means to be Ojibway. Anishnabek News

Michael Moorcock: what is the new weird and why is weird fiction so relevant to our times? The New Statesman

What “White Rabbit” really meant (with an awesome, vocal-only track). Dangerous Minds

Wil Jones thinks this literary map of the world is simply brilliant. The Indy 100

Cracked lists 21 movie lines nobody actually says. Several commenters have refuted this, but they say these things because they’re said in movies …

Elodie shares one-sentence summations of every literary genre. Sparklife

Angela Watercutter presents the “Jane Test,” a new way to tell if your scripts are sexist. Wired

Patricia Cornwell unmasks “Jack the Ripper.” Tom Bryant for The Mirror.

Beth Elderkin shares the new Wonder Woman trailer: how the girl became the legend. i09

Katharine Trendacosta shows us the latest American Gods trailer. i09

And, phew. We’re done.

Come back on Thursday for some thoughty.

And, in the meantime, be well.

tipsday2016

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

A fair number of vids this week, just to appeal to the visual learner 😉

K.M. Weiland: six pieces of common writing advice you’re misusing. Helping Writers Become Authors

Kathryn Craft wonders whether your novel’s good enough. Writers in the Storm

Lisa Cron, the Story Genius, answers questions about backstory on Writers in the Storm.

Jami Gold: “Why?” is the most important question in storytelling.

Brunonia Barry helps you create your book talk. Writer Unboxed

Elizabeth Huergo, new contributor to Writer Unboxed, gets metaphorical: writing as tango.

Barbara O’Neal helps you recognize the signposts to your writer’s voice. Writer Unboxed

Heather Webb offers her thoughts on speaking your truth through fiction. Writer Unboxed

Becca Puglisi explores some lesser-known character archetypes. Writers Helping Writers

Sara Letourneau examines man and the natural world for DIYMFA. Later in the week, Sara is back with five things you should ask beta readers when they critique your manuscript.

Gabriela Pereira recaps her experience at this year’s Digital Book World (DBW) for DIYMFA radio.

Kimberly Brock: when the stories have all stopped. Writers in the Storm

Janice Hardy wonders, is a lack of action really the problem? Fiction University

Then, Bonnie Randall guest posts on Fiction University: juxtaposition in your story.

Chris Saylor shows up on Marcy Kennedy’s blog to advise how to format dialogue within dialogue.

Oren Ashkenazi shares some tips on how to realistically depict evil. Mythcreants

Naomi Hughes guest posts on Jami Gold’s blog: three common storytelling issues.

This is just fun! Jenna Moreci: writers do weird sh*t.

 

James McWilliams believes the physical book will endure, but will it endure for the right reason? The Millions

John Cleese on creativity. Brilliant man.

 

James Lizowski lists his top space colonization novels. OMNI

Cheryl Eddy interviews J.Y. Yang on her silkpunk series. i09

It’s the 40th anniversary of the Doctor Who episode, The Face of Evil (one of my favourites, by the way—Tom Baker was my Doctor). Watch this clip. Relevant, much? Beth Elderkin for i09.

Josephine Livingstone explains why Nineteen Eighty-Four is not the novel we need in the Trump era. New Republic

The Black Eyed Peas re-release Where’s the Love. THIS is why we must keep creating in dark times.

 

Sarah Slean: real love demo. Another sad but hopeful song that speaks to me.

 

Hope you’ve had your fill of informal writerly learnings this week.

If not, come back next week, they’ll be more 🙂

Be well until next I blog.

tipsday2016

The next chapter: December 2016 update and year in review

My goodness, here we are in 2017 (!) and now it’s time for me to take stock of my year. Did I accomplish what I hoped to at the beginning of the year?

We’ll get back to that in a few.

First, I have to sum up (‘cause there is too much—I live by PB references) December 2016.

I knew when I decided to tackle Wavedancer, the third book in my epic fantasy series, for NaNoWriMo 2016 that I wouldn’t even come close to finishing the draft (it is EPIC fantasy, after all) in November. I was, however, foolish enough to think, initially, at least, that I’d write another 50k words in December and finish the draft by the end of the year.

I should have known better.

This is the fourth year I’ve done NaNo, and my third win. Each year, I enter December in a fog, still half-living in the world of my novel. I work a day job. There’s no way I could keep up the NaNo pace for another whole month.

Accordingly, I adjusted my expectations to 500 words a day and, though there were two days I didn’t write at all and a few assorted low-count days in the mix, there were also five days in which I wrote over a thousand words, so it all came out in the wash.

decemberprogress

To be more specific, of the 15,500 word goal for the month, I wrote 18,859 words, exceeding my goal by 3,359 words 🙂

Blogging 5,610 words brought my writing total for the month to 21,600 words.

Not 50k, but not bad at all 🙂

Back to my year-end review.

2016 was the first year that Jamie Raintree incorporated separate columns and totals for revision in her Writing Tracker, now called the Writing & Revision Tracker.

Though I’ve looked back at 2015’s and 2014’s trackers, the totals were skewed because in 2014, I didn’t track my revisions, and in 2015, I was tracking my revisions at one counted word for every two words revised. So there’s no real point in trying to compare.

What I set out to do at the beginning of 2016 was to go through all of my written novels to date and start to revise.

I’m happy to say that I accomplished this goal, but things didn’t go quite as I’d hoped. They never do. Quite.

For most of the novels, it was more of a getting reacquainted with the stories and the characters. I didn’t do a lot of revising, but now that I have the lay of the land, so to speak, the next passes will all be more in-depth.

I already mentioned that, having revised my goals post-NaNo, I did write two thirds of Wavedancer. To be specific, I wrote 71,157 words between November and December, and I will continue in that vein until the draft is done in my estimation.

I continued to query Initiate of Stone, but finally got it through my thick skull that it’s not the best project to use when trying to get a deal. So I’m changing gears and going to prepare another project for querying this year. We’ll see how it goes.

How did all this shape up as far as numbers went?

yearend

Of my 138,100 word writing goal, between all projects, I wrote 169,288 words, or 123%. Considering all the revision I was doing, that’s a lovely total.

With respect to revision, I managed 359,114 words of my 375,000 goal, or about 96%.

Some things happened in the year that I didn’t plan on, however.

Though it didn’t happen until July, I wrote a new piece of short fiction. I hadn’t expected that with my focus on the novels. It was a good surprise 🙂

January through March, I participated in the first offering of the Story Genius course created by Jennie Nash and the story genius herself, Lisa Cron. It was something unexpected, but I couldn’t let the opportunity pass. I had to try to make space for the course in my overall plan for the year and ended up making some poor decisions that didn’t serve me well.

While my experience in the course wasn’t, overall, a positive one, I still love the Story Genius method (and book—go get it!) and I would recommend it highly to anyone who can devote 100% of their time to the work. You will reap the benefits.

I just learned, in the most ego-wrenching way possible, that I cannot learn on someone else’s schedule. Especially while I’m working full time. I also made the decision to use Apprentice of Wind, the second in my epic fantasy series, as the project for my work in the course. Story Genius, in the form I took it, was not intended for novels that are already drafted, or for books other than the first in a series. I understand that strategies and approaches for projects of this type have been developed since.

These issues were entirely of my own creation and should not cast any doubt on the excellence of the course, of Lisa or Jennie, or of their dedicated team of editors.

I signed up for K.M. Weiland’s Character Arcs course through the Digital Freedom Academy. It’s entirely self-paced and Kate has loaded her usual extras into the course materials. Her Creating Character Arcs book also came out in the fall, and I definitely recommend both. I am a fangirl, though.

In August, I signed up for another Nelson Literary Agency course on the first five pages. NLA courses are excellence sources of feedback from professional agents who know what makes a successful submission.

At the end of September, I enrolled in a Mary Robinette Kowal Short Fiction Intensive. Blew my mind.

Finally, as far as courses go, I signed up for a course by Kristen Lamb on writing query letters and synopses.

I also tried my hand at #PitchWars for the first time with Reality Bomb, and while I didn’t make the extremely competitive cut, I did have a positive experience thanks to the team who considered my proposal, Michael Mammay and Dan Koboldt. It’s quite an eye-opener, and I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to test the waters with one of their novels.

It was a lot of fun and another pleasant surprise.

As far as conferences and conventions, I attended Ad Astra, The Canadian Writers’ Summit, and my very first WorldCon last year.

I was also pleased to participate as a panellist at Wordstock Sudbury 2016.

And I had two stories published in the Sudbury Writers’ Guild anthology, Sudbury Ink, which launched in November.

Complicating all that, Phil had some significant health issues to deal with at the beginning of the year (now resolved), and, from August through to November, he renovated our living room after work and on the weekends.

We’re still waiting for the last pieces of furniture to be delivered, and he’ll be working on building wall-to-wall bookshelves, as the weather allows (he’s working in the unheated garage) throughout the winter. Pictures will be forthcoming in a future post.

Looking at all of that written out, I accomplished a helluva lot last year.

I think I’m going to have to ease back a bit in 2017, work smarter instead of harder.

Yeah, that’s the ticket.

What are my plans for 2017?

Well, you know I’m not one for resolutions. I have goals that I work steadily toward and amend as required.

First, I’ve nabbed my copy of Jamie Raintree’s 2017 Writing & Revision tracker. I’m setting up the projects in series this year, and will identify different novels in my Ascension series with different colours so I’ll be able to distinguish them and extract the numbers I need to feed my production geek.

I’ll continue to finish drafting Wavedancer, as I mentioned (way) above. At my current rate, I should be finished by the end of February.

Once drafting is done, I’m going to return to revising. I should be able to get through all of the novels in the course of the year. Again, as I mentioned above, I intend these revisions to be more in depth and to address some of the structural issues, as I see them, in the stories.

I’m going to be working with a coach to get Reality Bomb reworked. It’s something else I’m trying in my quest to improve my craft. My hope is that I’ll be able to query RB later this year.

With the short fiction surprise last year, I’ve actually had another idea I want to work on, and some other ideas for revising a couple of my other stories to improve them. Accordingly, I’ve made some room for these projects in my plan.

For NaNoWriMo, I’m going to tackle the fourth novel in the epic fantasy series, tentatively titled Playing with Fire.

I may also have a new, semi-regular writing gig to tell you about. I don’t want to let the cat out of the proverbial bag yet, but if it materializes, you can be sure I’ll let you know all the tasty deets I can 🙂

I’ve already signed up for the Story Masters Workshop in May. Donald Maass, James Scott Bell, and Christopher Vogler are coming to Toronto. This is a squee-worthy score, in my books. It was another opportunity I couldn’t let pass.

When I heard that the No Excuses cruise was going to be in Europe this year and timed to immediately precede WorldCon in Helsinki, I was seriously considering signing up. Unfortunately some non-writerly priorities make both the cruise and WorldCon impractical. Mellie haz a sad.

In fact, I may not attend any conferences or conventions at all this year. We’ll see how things shape up.

The reason for this dialling back is that Phil, who’s in his 50’s now, wants to proceed with renovations to the kitchen and bathroom this year. Though he will continue to do as much of the work himself as he can, these two projects will require a significant financial investment. And we haven’t paid off the living room renovation yet.

We also want to get another puppy. This will depend on whether my employer sorts out their payroll issues and I can apply for another self-funded leave. I will need the time to train our new dependent, furry quadruped. Again, deets will be forthcoming as I can share them.

On that front, if the payroll issues at work are sorted, I’ll finally see my acting pay from mid-February to the end of September last year, less about a thousand dollars outstanding from my last self-funded leave.

We’ve heard that union negotiations have resulted in an offer, the terms of which look reasonable. If we vote to ratify the new contract, it will mean about two and a half years of retro pay and a signing bonus, again, dependent on when the payroll issues can be sorted.

Our car loan should be paid off in late spring, as well, and so, between it all, we’ll have a little extra money to use to pay down our debts.

Phil got a promotion and raise last year from his employer, so we figure this will be the year to finish the renovations.

As you can see, this is going to be a different kind of year, but I’m hopeful that everything will work out.

Besides, come the end of February, it will be the Chinese Year of the Rooster (I’m a rooster!) and I think the powers that be might finally be aligning in my favour 😉

Here’s to a fabulous and productive 2017 for everyone.

Love and light and loads of good words to you all!

The Next Chapter

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Dec 4-10, 2016

Think I’m still in recovery from NaNoWriMo.

K.M. Weiland continues her most common writing mistakes series with part 54: story events that don’t move the plot. Helping Writers Become Authors

Later in the week, Kate shares her advice on what to do when your antagonist takes over your story.

Densie Webb shares her experience receiving (and addressing) the dreaded editorial letter. Writer Unboxed

Donald Maass: putting your purpose on the page. Writer Unboxed

Lisa Cron explains why story is more important now than ever before. Writer Unboxed

Jamie Raintree reviews Lisa Cron’s Story Genius.

Susan Spann returns to Writers in the Storm with this post on finding your agent match.

Gabriela Pereira goes solo on this edition of DIYMFA radio: platform doesn’t have to be painful.

J.M. Frey writes about the terror of the mushy middle book. Fuse Literary

Judith B. Herman lists 25 words that are their own opposites. Mental Floss

Inderjeet Mani: when robots read books. Aeon

I hope you enjoyed your informal writerly learnings for the week 🙂

See you Thursday for some thoughty!

tipsday2016

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Oct 9-15, 2016

Another harvest of informal writerly learnings for you 🙂

Moar Wordstock Sudbury 2016 news from Kim Fahner, Sudbury’s Poet Laureate. CBC

Emily Franceschini interviews Danielle Daniel for Our Crater.

This week’s #NaNoWriMo round up:

Eleana Sbokou guest posts on Kate’s blog: seven things you need to know about writing and editing.

Roz Morris provides a blueprint for keeping the reader gripped. Nail Your Novel

Juliette Wade guest posts on Janice Hardy’s Fiction University: backgrounding your world through point of view.

Veronica Sicoe continues her series on storyworld design with this instalment on communication technologies.

Gabriela Pereira interviews Amor Towles for DIYMFA radio: worldbuilding from the inside out.

The book monster, or, when writing gets hard. Kate Moretti on Writer Unboxed.

Allie Larkin writes about finding confidence. Writing Unboxed

David Corbett shares what he learned at the beach this summer. And I have another book for the TBR pile 🙂 Writer Unboxed

Lisa Cron explains where drama really comes from. Writer Unboxed

Orly Konig Lopez gives three reasons quitting is an option, and the one reason you won’t. Bonus: guinea pig pictures! Writers in the Storm

Steven Pressfield reminisces about writing “as if.”

Ok. I just can’t resist Harper Lee Hodges. The four steps cats use to explain how to do something. The Write Practice

Julie Phillips: the fantastic Ursula K. Le Guin. The New Yorker

Jamie Raintree shares her story: from agent to publisher, part 1.

Why is it so difficult to get an agent? Liza Dawson Associates

Kristen Lamb explains why we need a synopsis before we write the book.

Catherine Ryan Howard explores her hate/love relationship with writers’ workshops.

Susan Spann helps us understand advances in publishing deals. Writers in the Storm

Adrienne Raphel: a history of punctuation for the internet age. The New Yorker

Four writers share their stories about the search for happiness. The Telegraph

Claire Kirch reports on We Need Diverse Books new curated reading app. Publishers Weekly

The publishing industry risks becoming irrelevant. Tom Welson of Penguin Random House UK. The Guardian

Here’s a lovely bit of storytelling for you. Dia de los muertos from Film School Shorts.

 

And another  video on the role of geometry in visual storytelling. Now you see it

 

The indigenous science fiction film, Northlander, will be screened across Canada. CBC

Kameron Hurley digs into the first couple of episodes of Westworld.

Alex Cranz reviews the season premiere of Supergirl. i09

James Whitbrook says that DC’s Legends of Tomorrow is trying to be Doctor Who with superheroes, and that’s just fine by him. i09

Clara and Eleven were a couple. What we’ve all known, finally confirmed. Caitlin Busch for Inverse.

Katharine Trendacosta reviews the first Iron Fist footage from NYCC. i09

And The Nerdist shares the Iron Fist trailer.

Katharine Trendacosta shares what she learned about The Dark Tower trailer (leaked). i09

The Outlander, season two, gag reel 😀

 

I hope that you find some news you can use to help improve your craft.

All the best.

See you Thursday!

Tipsday

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Sept 25-Oct 1, 2016

Yup. Lots of informal writerly learnings for you this week. LOTS!

K.M. Weiland answers reader questions about scenes versus chapters. Helping writers become authors. Later in the week, Kate invites Wordplayer, Usvaldo de Leon, Jr., to share his thoughts on setting up the potential for change in character arcs.

Lisa Cron guest posts on Writers Helping Writers: how your character’s misbelief drives the plot. Later in the week, Angela Ackerman provides this amazing list of resources for writers.

Karen Woodward explores C.S. Lewis’s writing advice.

Jo Eberhardt shares her lessons learned from watching Supernatural. Writer Unboxed

Kristen Lamb shows how Girl on the Train demonstrates the two elements that all great stories share.

Barbara O’Neal responds to the Merritt Tierce article I shared last week: money and the writer. Writer Unboxed

Joanna Penn interviews Toby Neal on The Creative Penn podcast.

 

Janice Hardy guest posts on Writers in the Storm: five reasons your revisions aren’t working.

Erika Robuck has a message for all of us about remembering why we started writing. Writer Unboxed

Steven Pressfield digs deeper into the reasons he writes.

Jami Gold explores how to strengthen your stakes. It’s not always about going big.

Veronica Sicoe discusses story world design and choosing the right time period.

Oren Ashkenazi lists six ways flight changes a fantasy setting. Mythcreants

Bonnie Randall guest posts on Janice Hardy’s Fiction University: on balance versus burn-out.

It’s NaNoWriMo prep season! Joe Bunting shares ten catalysts that will help you win NaNoWriMo. The Write Practice

Catherine McKenzie unpacks the issue of audience limiting covers for books by women authors. Writer Unboxed

More fallout from the Lionel Shriver keynote:

Stephanie Saul reports on how campuses are teaching freshmen about cultural sensitivity and microaggression. The New York Times. This was the kind of thing that Janet Reid ranted about last week.

Liz Dwyer closes the diversity gap in young adult literature. Take part

Tshaka Armstrong discusses Luke Cage, Black Panther, and why superheroes of colour matter. Rotten Tomatoes

Jenny Kay Dupuis shares her grandmother’s residential school story in honour of Orange Shirt Day. CBC

Heidi Ulrichsen interviews Danielle Daniel about her new memoir. Sudbury.com. Later in the week, Danielle was interviewed on CBC Sudbury’s Morning North.

Carl Slaughter of File 770 interviews Kelly Robson.

Haralambi Markov reviews Charlotte Ashley’s body of short fiction. Tor.com

Fran Wilde’s characters aren’t defined by their disabilities. Natalie Zutter for Tor.com.

PW Radio interviews Nisi Shawl on her novel, Everfair, and Writing the Other.

Rachel Cordasco reflects on the Three Body trilogy. Tor.com

Margaret Atwood writes about re-envisioning Shakespeare’s The Tempest in her novel, Hag-Seed. The Guardian

Laura Miller muses on the haunting of Shirley Jackson. Literary Hub

Michelle Fazekas and Tara Butters, the showrunners behind Marvel’s Agent Carter, sell series ideas to various networks, including a series based on Wesley Chu’s Tao series. Deadline

Susan Spann explains when you should walk away from a publishing deal. Writer Unboxed

Ed Nawotka of Publishers Weekly says the publishing world needs more Canada.

Wallace Immen visits the Penguin Random House offices where curling up with a good book is encouraged. The Globe and Mail

Award news! The British Fantasy Award winners announced 🙂

The Scotia Bank Giller Shortlist is announced.

Martha Schabas reviews Hannah Moscovitch’s Bunny and the play’s exploration of the double standard of consent. The Globe and Mail

Tori Amos: Trump is disrespectful to all women. The singer/songwriter talks about her response to Audrie and Daisy, the role of storytelling in her creative process, and accountability. The Daily Beast

And here’s her LA Times piece on the same issues.

Thu-Huong Ha lists 30 words and phrases that will soon be eliminated from American English. Quartz

Author Hannah Kent dives into the Irish world of faith and fantasy. Donna Liu for The Guardian.

John Plotz writes about the influence of Ursula K. Le Guin. The Guardian

Matt Santori-Griffith interviews Greg Rucka on Wonder Woman and queer narrative. Comicosity

Entertainment Weekly shares a fan-made mash-up between Stranger Things and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Awesomesauce 🙂

Anne Perry recommends five Stephen King books you should read if you liked Stranger Things. Hodderscape

Estelle Tang talks to Sam Heughan about sweat, sheep-dipping, and Outlander spoilers. Elle

Lynette Rice of Entertainment Weekly takes a first look at Outlander’s new season. Later in the week, Lynette shares some breaking news on another actor cast for season three.

Film festival audiences say Split may be M. Night Shyamalan’s best movie yet.

 

Whew! I’m exhausted.

See you Thursday!

Tipsday

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Sept 18-24, 2016

You want moar informal writerly learnings, you say?

Here they are!

K.M. Weiland shares the secret to writing dynamic characters: it’s always their fault. Helping writers become authors

Later in the week, Kate returns with more lessons from the MCU: stay true to your characters.

Tonia Marie Harris guest posts on Writer Unboxed: confessions of an intrepid mermaid.

Lisa Cron digs deeper into the response to her last Writer Unboxed post, in which she posited an alternative to the plotter/pantser dichotomy. It’s hard to own what you believe.

Dave King: give your characters roots. Writer Unboxed

Lisa Janice Cohen shares the seven lessons she’s learned over five years and six novels. Writer Unboxed

Dan Blank: share your voice. Writer Unboxed

Chuck Wendig: here’s how to finish that fucking book, you monster. Terribleminds
Later in the week, Chuck posts: it’s art that will help us survive.

Susan Brooks returns to Janice Hardy’s Fiction University: the importance of genre specificity, part two. Then, Janice guests on C.S. Lakin’s Live, write, thrive: are you making these three common revision mistakes?

Megan Hannum shares five apps that will help you revise your manuscript. DIYMFA

Laura Drake: nail that first line. Writers in the Storm

Chris Winkle shares her insights into creating your antagonist’s journey. Mythcreants

W.B. Sullivan shares six ways to cultivate urgency that will captivate readers. The Write Life

Rebecca Smith: what Jane Austin can teach us about building suspense. Literary Hub

Alice Sudlow posts on the proper order of adjectives.* The Write Practice

*It should be noted that I posted about this in past weeks, including Chuck Wendig’s take.

Indigenous or aboriginal, which is correct? CBC

Roz Morris offers her views on writing as a hobby, an art, a profession, a business, or a vocation. Is there a difference and why is it important? Nail your novel

Kimberly Brock embraces her inner weirdos on Writers in the Storm.

Kirsten Oliphant posts on Jane Friedman’s blog: how to leverage the power of someone else’s platform without being smarmy. Later in the week, Andrea Dunlop shares five questions you should ask yourself when you’re getting ready for a book launch.

So this was a thing that happened:

Writescape profiles Jenny Madore.

Leonard Cohen celebrates his birthday with a present to us. Bob Boilen for NPR.

Buzzfeed lists 28 underused words that you should start using.

Jane Friedman offers her annual state of publishing update.

Publishers Weekly shares the results from their publishing industry salary survey. The trends and disparity are still unsettling.

Susanne Althoff looks at The Bestseller Code and how algorithms could save publishing but ruin novels. Wired

Viet Thanh Nguyen unpacks the complicated issue of diversity in publishing. The Library Journal

Alyssa Wong, Alice Sola Kim, Cat Valente, and Seth Dickenson discuss diversity in science fiction. Leah Schnelbach for Tor.com.

The Fantasy Faction presents part five of their gender and stereotyping in fantasy series: bisexual characters.

Emily V. Gordon says that television writers are doing a better job at portraying characters with mental illness. The New York Times

Keri Walsh: the taming of the bard. Public Books

Watch the PBS trailer for their documentary, Maya Angelou: And still I Rise. The Vulture

More sadness: Terry Jones diagnosed with dementia 😦 The Telegraph

Cinephelia & Beyond takes an in-depth look at Alan Parker’s Angel Heart.

A Nigerian comics startup is creating African superheroes. Lily Kuo for Quartz.

Sarah Gailey posits that Hermione Granger is more than just a sidekick. Tor.com

Watch the Stranger Things kids warm up the Emmy audience with their version of “Uptown Funk.” Entertainment Weekly

And now, I’m a little exhausted.

See you Thursday!

Tipsday

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Aug 7-13, 2016

Bumper week here at Writerly Goodness 🙂

The week previous, K.M. Weiland shared the reasons she believes writing is important, last week, she collected her readers’ thoughts on the issue. Helping writers become authors

On a related note: what do we write when the world feels insane? Sarah Selecky’s Story is a state of mind.

K.M. Weiland returns with more writing lessons from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) with the single best way to write powerful themes.

Roz Morris offers ten eye-opening tips to add impact to your storytelling. Nail your novel

Chuck Wendig lists 25 reasons he stops reading books. Terribleminds

Then Chuck shares ten things he learned about storytelling from Stranger Things.

Related: Janice Hardy shares lessons learned about handling flashbacks from Stranger Things. Fiction University. Nick Wisseman then guests posts on Janice’s blog, explaining how to plot your pants (wait . . . that sounds bad).

Janice then hopes over to Writers in the Storm to post: using internal conflict to create plot.

Finally, Janice guest posts on Jami Gold’s blog: if you’re stuck on plot, start at the end.

Lisa Cron writes about getting out of your process comfort zone: there is no safe place. Not plotter or pantser, but seeker. Writer Unboxed

Allie Larkin shows us how to organize a second draft with note cards and Tom Petty. Writer Unboxed

Christine Frazier shows us how to write a fight scene in which the hero fends off an attack to save a friend. The better novel project

Chris Winkle shares what she knows about creating realistic cultures. Mythcreants

Sarah Callender writes about enduring the long road to publication for Writer Unboxed.

The author as busy, busy bee and other bee-filled nightmares. Kameron Hurley.

Phil Stamper-Halpin shares what the editors of Penguin Random House look for in the first page of a novel.

Jennifer Johnson Blalock offers six ways to make comp titles work for you on Carly Watters’ blog.

Susan Spann helps you understand ebook rights. Writers in the Storm.

Robin Lovett shares what she learned from a negative experience: when your book doesn’t sell. DIYMFA

Gabriela Pereira interviews Andrew Piper (not the Canadian author) on her DIYMFA Radio podcast. Will an MFA influence your chances of success as an author?

Timothy Beck Werth looks at Djuna Barnes’ 1936 novel Nightwood and what may be the first trans woman in western literature. The Awl

Lorraine Berry: the horror of female adolescence and how to write about it. The Guardian

Michael Newton leads a celebration of Alan Garner. The Guardian

Ursula K. Le Guin writes about the golden age for The New Yorker. “I . . . think it ungrateful in a writer to write science fiction and deny that it’s science fiction.”

BrainPickings looks at Le Guin’s thoughts on aging and the meaning of beauty.

“What the market wants” is code for white stories in science fiction where black writers face universal racism. Amy McNeill for The National Post.

Michael Swanick lists five fantasy novels you won’t find in the fantasy section. Tor.com

Sarah Gailey writes in defence of villainesses for Tor.com.

Writing begins with forgiveness: why one of the most common pieces of writing advice is wrong. Daniel José Older on Seven Scribes.

Every writer’s worst nightmare: Helen Gladwell died before learning that her first book had been accepted for publication. Worse, her body remained undiscovered for months. The Telegraph

I saw this article in many forms over the last week. This one, by Jenn Savedge for Mother Nature Network, was the first. Reading a minimum of 30 minutes a day can extend your lifespan.

Jacob Mikanowski examines the Oneirocritica, an ancient encyclopaedia of dreams and dream interpretation. The Awl

Anthony Jones lists 25 words for other words. Mental Floss

Abraham Riesman interviews Margaret Atwood at San Diego ComiCon. The Vulture

Katharine Trendacosta reports that The Silver Chair, the next film adaptation of C.S. Lewis’s Narnia series, is in production. Whee! i09

Germaine Lussier presents a first look at the Arrival trailer. i09

Phil and I are looking forward to September 30 for this reason: Luke Cage. i09

Laura Prudom breaks George R.R. Martin news for Variety: Wild Cards series in development.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story trailer.

 

Thems was some juicy informal writerly learnings, eh?

I’m off to WorldCon tomorrow. Poor Phil’s holding down the fort. Not to worry, my mom’s going to feed him 😀 Thursday’s curation has already been scheduled, but the blog will be silent from the 19th to the 26th. For the sake of sanity, I’m not going to catch up on the curation.

Be well. Be kind.

Tipsday

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, July 10-16, 2016

Got some goodies for you this week 🙂

Roz Morris shares three steps to a smoother writing style. Nail your novel.

If you just keep writing, will you get better? Barbara Baig guest posts on Jane Friedman’s blog. Later in the week, Elizabeth Sims guests with this post: internal dialogue is the greatest tool for gaining reader confidence.

K.M. Weiland offers seven reasons you need story theory. Helping writers become authors. She returns with more lessons from Marvel: how to write subtext in dialogue.

MJ Bush brings her usual awesome in her advanced techniques (and insights) for jaw-dropping dialogue. Writingeekery.

Sophie Masson shares a few tips on writing fiction for middle grade audiences. Writer Unboxed.

David Corbett builds on Heather Bouwman’s WU post of the week previous with Sisyphus, happiness, and the Abyss.

Lisa Cron explains why it’s crucial to write ugly. Writer Unboxed.

Marcy Kennedy returns with part three of her reading as a writer series (with links to part 1 and part 2).

Elizabeth Kauffman rounds up some of the DIYMFA launch team’s posts from the last weeks (with a lovely nod to one by yours truly). Gabriela Pereira interviews Emma Straub for DIYMFA Radio. And then Andree Neal writes a guest post for DIYMFA (you might notice her in the round up, as well).

S.L. Huang guest posts on Chuck Wendig’s Terribleminds on the subject of manpain (!)

David D. Levine: a passion for Mars. Tor.com

Posche Burke: on white writers, ‘daring’ topics, and the unappreciated legacy of Octavia Butler. The National Post.

Ayodeji Awosika shares the undisputed secret to becoming a great writer.  Creativity is a muscle. Be yourself.

How to be a writer: the map is the territory. Ramona Ausubel shares her winding path to publication. Literary Hub.

Award news!

Airship Ambassador interviews Holly Schofield.

Connie Verzak recaps the Outlander season 2 finale for Scotland Now. Oh, the feelz.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Celebration reel.

 

See you Thursday for some weighty thoughty.

Tipsday

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, May 8-14, 2016

All kinds of writerly goodness for you this week!

K.M. Weiland has made no secret of her disappointment in the Star Wars prequel trilogy. In classic Kate fashion, she gleans writerly goodness from the experience. Planning your story: what George Lucas can teach you (not) to do. Helping writers become authors.

Later in the week, she offered eight tips for writing child characters.

Jessi Rita Hoffman explains how to write a thrilling action scene for Writer Unboxed.

Sophie Masson shares the building blocks of great young adult fiction. Writer Unboxed.

Lisa Cron advises: don’t accidentally give your characters a time out. Writer Unboxed.

Margaret Dilloway explores overcoming impostor syndrome for Writer Unboxed.

Christine Frazier shows you why your hero should eavesdrop and make a bad assumption (in four steps). The Better Novel Project.

Janice Hardy looks at writing a character with a gender not your own. Fiction University.

Dan Koboldt offers some tips for creating fundamentalist religions in fantasy.

Chris Winkle offers strategies for defeating the contrivance boogeyman. Mythcreants.

Jami Gold wonders if your plot obstacles are too easy, too difficult, or just right?

Jennie Nash studies great opening lines. The Book Designer.

Chuck Wendig advises us to defy reality and become artists. Terribleminds.

Jami Gold explores how to reach your potential through writing feedback.

Angela Ackerman offers six rules that will keep your critique partnerships golden. Writers helping writers.

Gabriela Pereira interviews Charlaine Harris for the DIYMFA podcast.

Annie Neugebauer says, don’t hate the query—master it! Writer Unboxed.

Janet Reid shares a checklist of things you need to be thinking about between offer and acceptance.

Susan Spann offered some advice on royalty clauses in publishing deals and how authors get paid. Writers in the Storm.

Karina Sumner-Smith guest posts on Janice Hardy’s Fiction University: is a quick release schedule right for you and your books?

My friend, Kim, is back on the road. This time, she spends an afternoon with Margaret Atwood.

Micah Solomon offers three books that will help you to radically improve your writing. BookBaby

Cory Doctorow shares his vision of how publishers, libraries, and writers could work together. BoingBoing.

Delilah S. Dawson wrote this beautiful post on writing and grieving: someday this pain will be useful to you.

Natalie Zutter shares Nnedi Okorafor and N.K. Jemesin in conversation: masquerade, initiation, and science fiction and fantasy. Tor.com

Bustle wants you to diversify your reading list with these 23 LGBTQ books with a person of colour as a protagonist.

What Bustle says your to-be-read list says about your personality.

Ferris Jabr revisits the lost gardens of Emily Dickinson. The New York Times.

Kathryn Hughes looks at the dystopian world of Beatrix Potter. The Guardian.

Shakespeare and death:

 

Women swept the Nebulas! i09.

Jo Walton reviews Ada Palmer’s Too Like the Lightning for Tor.com.

A Ken Liu short story will be made into a movie. i09.

John Marcotte reports that Marvel is committing to a Black Widow movie (at some unknown point in the future). Heroic Girls.

And, speaking of Marvel, the next X-Men movie is due out May 27th: X-Men Apocalypse.

Here’s the teaser:

 

And the official trailer:

 

Buzzfeed shared what was a sneak peek of Outlander’s next episode (I saw it Sunday) but I thought I’d post it anyway. “Ovaries explode!” – funnee.

See you Thursday for some thoughty stuff 🙂

Tipsday