Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, July 31-Aug 6, 2016

K.M. Weiland: how to get the most out of your scene sequels. Helping writers become authors

Margie Lawson shares her writing rule number 16: add subtext with dialogue cues. Writers in the storm

Marcy Kennedy explains how to use layers to create rich character emotions.

Jessica Strawser offers five ways to keep writing when life intervenes on Jane Friedman’s blog. Later in the week, Angela Ackerman guest posts: how to find and reach influencers to help you promote your book.

Donald Maass guides writers to the secrets of wonder for Writer Unboxed.

Your senses can come to your rescue. Juliet Marillier for Writer Unboxed.

Vaughn Roycroft shares his amazing writing journey. Writer Unboxed

Jo Eberhardt examines the problem with female protagonists. Writer Unboxed

Jami Gold teaches us how to tell whether a shocking scene is necessary, or just gratuitous.

Kristen Lamb considers when it’s time to give up. Warrior Writers

Self care and productivity for authors with Ellen Bard. The Creative Penn podcast.


Oren Ashkenazi lists five times stories broke promises to audiences. Mythcreants

Kameron Hurley offers her usual pithy and practical wisdom: you don’t owe anyone your time.

Lisa Cline interviews Orly Konig for CultureSpot MC.

Gabriela Pereira interviews Joanna Penn for DIYMFA Radio: how to be an author-entrepreneur.

K.M. Weiland shows you how use Scrivener to edit your novels. Helping writers become authors.

Publishing news: Suzanne Brandreth and Ron Eckel acquire Cooke International. Quill & Quire

Stacy Conradt shares ten facts about Lois Duncan. Mental Floss

Adrienne LaFrance lists the 200 happiest words in literature. The Atlantic

Alex Weiss compiles 24 quotes from Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore that will make you fall in love with books all over again. Bustle

The conjuring: writing as spell. Megan Abbott for Catapult.

Troy L. Wiggins presents nine diverse fantasy novels that will challenge your idea of fantasy fiction. BookRiot

Cheryl Eddy lists fifteen must-read science fiction and fantasy books being published this month. i09

Dangerous Minds presents images from the 1973 masterpiece, Fantastic Planet. I remember seeing this when I was a kid. It disturbed me.

The biggest flaw of Stranger Things is its treatment of women. Genevieve Valentine for VOX.

How a 16th century Chinese legend transformed into the movie, League of Gods. Cheryl Eddy for i09.

Deadpool 2 will take aim at superhero sequels. Beth Elderkin for i09.

And this is how we get our informal writerly learnings.

See you Thursday.


Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, June 19-25, 2016

I have no idea where all this came from. It was a bountiful week for Writerly Goodness.

Julie Glover guest posts on Jami Gold’s blog: four steps to break grammar rules with style.

Anne Janzer guest posts on Jane Friedman’s blog: how to create an internal mindset conducive to writing.

Barbara O’Neal conducts an experiment in fostering creative flow. Writer Unboxed.

When you don’t want to write: Heather Webb on Writer Unboxed.

Joanna Penn discusses how to banish writer’s block with K.M. Weiland. The creative Penn.

How to plot a book: start with the antagonist. K.M. Weiland’s Helping writers become authors. Later in the week: how (not) to write satisfying action scenes. More lessons from the Marvel Universe movies.

Jami Gold wonders why “unlikable” can be a deal breaker for readers.

MJ Bush offers her keen insight into writing the perfect flaw. Writingeekery.

Dave King explores the work of a master for Writer Unboxed: Jaime Lannister and sympathetic monsters.

Kayla Dean explains how to use story archetypes to subvert expectations. DIYMFA.

DIYMFA radio, episode 100: Unleash your storytelling superpower with Gabriela Pereira.

C.S. Lakin takes a look at the first turning point in your novel. Live, write, thrive.

Chris Winkle offers three painless ways to patch plot holes. Mythcreants.

Jamie Raintree delves into the process of overcoming the emotional obstacles to a writing career. Writers in the Storm.

Five good ideas science fiction teaches us to fear. Oren Ashkenazi for Mythcreants.

Katherine Langrish shares some thoughts on writing meaningful fantasy.

Women at WorldCon


Dan Blank: celebrate the arts where you live. Writer Unboxed.

Janet Reid lists the reasons she rejected 25 queries so you can avoid them. She later confesses: so I didn’t get it right the first time . . .

Sarah Negovetich: it’s not you, it’s really not.

Jonny Gellar’s Ted Talk: What makes a bestseller?


This is a weird story from the MFA world. Steven Galloway, chair of UBC’s creative writing program, was fired after an investigation, but under mysterious circumstances. Nobody’s willing to say exactly why. I think anyone reading the articles can infer, but . . . I’ll let y’all judge for yourselves.

Susan Spann explores the legal side of writing for anthologies. Writer Unboxed.

The Active Voice shares the story of Pauline Creeden, who lost her Amazon publishing account through no fault of her own.

Sadness. Lois Duncan died on June 15th at the age of 82. I loved her books. Publishers Weekly.

Jim C. Hines writes about racism and the backlash against black Hermione.

Cory Doctorow revisits Writing the Other, intensely practical advice for representing other cultures in fiction. BoingBoing

The Witch explores America’s essential fear of female power. Dianca Potts for Lenny.

Brainpickings presents Virginia Woolf’s thoughts on the connection between loneliness and creativity.

She-Ra and the fight against the token girl. Maria Teresa Hart for The Atlantic.

Publishers Weekly: Fall 2016 adult announcements in SF, fantasy, and horror.

Indie presses are starting bookstores. Jon Sealy for Literary Hub.

Chemistry explains why old books smell so good. Robin Burkes for Tech Times.

The short film, The Birch, may be creepy, but I think it’s rather heart rending warming 🙂 Rebekah McKendry for

James Whitbrook shares Geroge R.R. Martin and Stephen King in conversation: how the fuck to you write so fast? i09. Watch the whole talk. It’s awesome.

Who’s afraid of female Ghostbusters? Dave Itzkoff interviews the cast for The New York Times.

Michael Livingston gets medieval on Game of Thrones’ ‘battle of the bastards.’

Entertainment Weekly shares a sneak peek of the actors who will play Roger and Brianna on Outlander.

Exhausted? I am.

Until Thursday *waves*


More guardians, more growing up …

I’ve always dreamed very vividly, and in story.  As a child, I was an insomniac, mid-cycle onset.  I’d wake at two or three in the morning and rehearse my dreams until I went back to sleep.  Either that, or tell myself new stories if it wasn’t a dream that woke me.  I told my dream-stories and nightdreams (as opposed to daydreams) to my best friend, Margaret, at lunch and recess.  I dreamed about characters and settings from my favourite television shows and movies: G-Force and Star Wars mostly.

Resources for dreaming and creativity:

I was also big into comics at the time.  Not the typical ones.  I wasn’t fond of the male heroes, and instinctively disliked the groups, in which the women were neither strong, nor independent.  I gravitated toward Wonder Woman, Huntress, Batgirl, and other solo heroines.

Unfortunately, my waking daydreams were also populated by Greg Evigan from “BJ and the Bear,” and Shawn Cassidy from “The Hardy Boys Mysteries.”  For better or worse, Margaret shared in all of that too, and was a regular reader of my stories.

Though I was a huge “Doctor Who” fan, Tom Baker never made it into my dreams, go figure.  More recently though, David Tenant’s made the short-list 🙂

I read C.S. Lewis, Lloyd Alexander, Madeline L’Engle, Zylpha Keatley Snider, and even checked out Pierre Burton‘s The World of OgJoan Aiken, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, Lois Duncan, and Joan Lowery Nixon joined the list soon after.

Grade six was a rough patch.  Though I’d auditioned and made it into the choir, which was great because I liked to sing, the practices were after school, and one day, I was in an unfortunate situation.  **Those of delicate constitution may want to skip this next part.**  I’d gotten my period, always painful and heavy, even then.  Feeling like crap, and on the verge of bleeding through my clothes, I needed to go home.

My teacher came out into the hall where I was at my locker, preparing to leave, while other students walked the halls and the rest of the choir waited in the room, right next to me, and asked me what I was doing.  “Going home,” I said.  With increased volume, she asked me why.  I tried to tell her that my mom needed me at home.  I wasn’t about to tell her, and everyone else, the real reason.  She berated me for my fickle loyalties and tried to bully me into staying.  I committed to the choir and that meant that I had to be at every practice.  Did I want to be a part of the choir, or not?  Cornered like that, I had no choice.  I quit.  Once again, I was left out of the performance, and the choir, for the rest of the year.

Though I was terribly upset, there was no going back.  I would not be allowed to explain the situation in private.  That wasn’t my teacher’s style.  I wasn’t about to reveal my shame to the class, and wasn’t going to ask my parents to intervene for the same reason.  So I remained embittered for the year.  It was my own fault.  I hadn’t learned the trick of standing up for myself yet.  At the time though, it felt like persecution.

It was another low point on the teacher graph for me.

English: A bottle of Liquid Paper correction fluid

English: A bottle of Liquid Paper correction fluid (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That same year, someone I thought of as a friend asked to read my stories, and flattered, I consented.  She used an entire bottle of Liquid Paper to obliterate my words.

Another guardian, another lesson: even your friends can’t be trusted.

As you can see, I identify with the hero/heroine’s journey, writer’s journey, or whatever else you’d like to call it.  My guardians have been the defining, or crisis, moments in my creative development.  In that respect, I’m a slow learner.  It took me years to realize that what these people did to me, or to my work, had nothing to do with its value or my own.  I let those formative lessons inform my inner critic (the worst guardian of them all) and it told me that I was worthless.  I believed it for far too long.

So again, I will ask you to share guardian experiences.  Who has put a roadblock in your creative path?  What lessons did you learn?  Did you find a way to overcome your guardians?