Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, June 16-22, 2019

A nice, plump bunch of juicy informal writerly learnings. Yes. I have fresh strawberries on the brain. I drool watching them ripen in the garden!

Anthea Lawson Sharp (who writes romance as Anthea Lawson and Fantasy as Anthea Sharp) talks about the craft of short fiction. Later in the week, Margie Lawson writes about the power of silence on the page. Writers in the Storm

Vaughn Roycroft shares a father’s legacy. Sonja Yoerg: writing characters with personality using Myers-Briggs. Erika Liodice asks, are you a student? Resounding YES here 🙂 Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland makes the final instalment in her Dos and Don’ts of Storytelling According to Marvel series: five ways to earn your audience’s loyalty. Helping Writers Become Authors

Julia Roberts says, writer’s block is a gift (and explains why). Then, H.R. D’Costa shares five ways to ensure readers don’t abandon your book. Jane Friedman

Lisa Lowe Stauffer stops by Fiction University. Jamie Fraser eats an apple: using objects to inject character and world building into dialogue. Later in the week, Janice Hardy explains what setup in a novel actually means and then follows that up with four steps to establish the beginning of your novel.

Chris Winkle makes the next instalment in her goal-oriented storytelling series: tension. Writers Helping Writers

Jenna Moreci offers her definitions of active and passive characters and her tips for writing active characters.

Interestingly, Alexa Donne also expounds on character agency and growth. A theme?

Nathan Bransford explains how to work with a literary agent on edits.

Emily Wenstrom advises what to do when your social media growth stagnates. Here’s my latest speculations column: what psychology and neuroscience contribute to your stories. DIY MFA

Chris Winkle extracts some lessons from the writing of The Name of the Wind. Then, Oren Ashkenazi considers building democracy in your fantasy world. Mythcreants

Tale Foundry introduces us to eight of Sir Terry Pratchett’s clever(est) characters.

Roz Morris shares the “under-arrest” test for ensuring a satisfying ending. Nail Your Novel

CD Covington thinks the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis is good fiction but bad science. Because language. Tor.com

Lynn Neary and Patrick Jarenwattananon celebrate Joy Harjo’s appointment as the first Native American US poet laureate. NPR

That should be enough to see you through until Thursday when I have a tidy batch of thoughty for you 🙂

Until then, be well, my writerly friends!

Tipsday2019

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Jan 13-19, 2019

And here we are with another wee of informal writerly learnings 🙂

Roz Morris: are you bored? The one writing rule you really need. Nail Your Novel

But I won’t do that. What do sex and revisions have in common? Bryn Greenwood explains on Writer Unboxed.

Brad Frazer explains why 2019 is a big year for the public domain. Jane Friedman

Lisa Cron explains how to get emotion onto the page. Writers Helping Writers

Janice Hardy presents three ways moral dilemmas can strengthen your novel. Later in the week, Janice provides alternative ways to describe character reactions. Fiction University

Phoebe Wood points out a plotting error that most writers make:

 

Andrea J. Johnson shares five cutthroat tips for writing killer action. DIY MFA

Elisabeth Kaufmann recommends beat sheets for the win! DIY MFA

Goal setting for people who actually want to get stuff done – Jenna Moreci

 

Chuck Wendig: in writing, progress doesn’t always look like progress. Terribleminds

Chris Winkle asks (and answers) the question, should you give non-human groups marginalized traits? (Spoiler: NO.) Mythcreants

Merriam-Webster explores the anatomy of a book in 17 words.

Thanks for dropping by and I hope something here provided the advice or guidance you need to take the next step(s) in your creative project.

Come back on Thursday for some research-y inspiration.

Until then, be well!

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Dec 9-15, 2018

Looking for your informal writerly learnings? Here they are:

Piper Bayard and Jay Holmes stop by Writers in the Storm: Know your firearms! Magazine or clip? A frequent error of less experienced contemporary authors, and a repeated question asked of the experts. Get the low-down from Bayard & Holmes.

Susan Spann shares some holiday copyright tips. Writer Unboxed

Sarah Callender explores how fiction challenges us to ask the tough questions. Writer Unboxed

Kathryn Craft wants you to welcome the darkest hour. Writer Unboxed

Robin LaFevers goes on an unexpected journey: creativity’s ebb and flow. “It is not unlike religion in that by engaging in it, we are forced to interact with the world on a deeper, more intimate level than we might otherwise choose to.” Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland shares her ten-step checklist to writing an above average novel. Helping Writers Become Authors

Jenna Moreci offers her top ten tips for pacing.

 

Jess Zafaris lists Writer’s Digest’s top ten sites with literary agents and resources. ‘Tis the season!

Chris Winkle answers a writerly question: when is it appropriate to dispel the mystery? Later in the week, she profiles five surprisingly successful characters and why they work. Mythcreants

Jami Gold visits Writers Helping Writers: we don’t need no stinkin’ rules.

Roz Morris has some strategies to keep in touch with your book when your writing routine is disrupted. Nail Your Novel

Beyond Crazy Rich Asians: a look at humorous fiction. Terri Frank on DIY MFA.

Gabriela Pereira interview Orson Scott Card for DIY MFA radio.

K.T. Lynn shares five reasons to love all writing feedback. DIY MFA

Caroline Donahue: how the tarot cards point the way to your story. The Creative Penn

And that was Tipsday for the second week of December.

Come back on Thursday for a dose of thoughty.

Until then, be well.

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Oct 14-20, 2018

Another lovely week filled with informal writerly learnings.

K.M. Weiland explores why writers cherish language. Helping Writers Become Authors

Janice Hardy stops by Writers in the Storm: plot backward to move forward with your novel.

Lisa Hall-Wilson offers five tips on writing a trauma backstory. Writers in the Storm

Roz Morris explains how to outline your novel without killing the fun of writing it. Nail Your Novel

Lisa Cron tells you how to nail your first three pages. Writers Helping Writers

Barbara Poelle answers another funny you should ask question: how fast-paced should a thriller be? Writer’s Digest

Janice Hardy tells you what you need to know about internalization. Fiction University

Rachael Stephen: how to write when you don’t want to. #preptober

 

Sara Letourneau helps you let go of perfectionism the DIY MFA way. DIY MFA

Dan Koboldt stops by Jane Friedman’s blog to explain how to research your writing to ensure technical accuracy. Also, check out Dan’s new book: Putting the Science in Fiction. I’m a fan 🙂

Kathleen McCleary: it takes a village. Writer Unboxed

Porter Anderson wonders, but how much are you reading? Writer Unboxed

Chris Winkle presents six wordcraft questions writers fight over. Then, Oren Ashkenazi points out seven common problems with speculative fiction technology. Mythcreants

Cold Crash Pictures debunks the four most annoying scientific inaccuracies in film.

 

Jenna Moreci lists her worst sci-fi tropes ever.

 

And Cold Crash Pictures tackles four more sexist tropes.

 

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you found something helpful in this curation.

Be well until thoughty Thursday!

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Aug 12-18, 2018

Ah! It’s Tuesday again. You know what that means. Another batch of informal writerly learnings. Here’s tipsday!

K.M. Weiland explains how to market your book when you hate marketing. Helping Writers Become Authors

Roz Morris leads a quiet rebellion against three pieces of conventional marketing wisdom. Nail Your Novel

Kathleen McCleary explains why the books we read when we’re young stick with us forever. Writer Unboxed

Vaughn Roycroft: finding my voice. So easy. So Hard. Writer Unboxed

September C. Fawkes is crafting a “body language voice.” Writers Helping Writers

Colleen M. Story tells us why writers need confidence and gives us five ways to boost ours. Writers in the Storm

Margie Lawson sets writing craft to the side in her latest Writers in the Storm post: are you riding the horse, or is the horse riding you?

Jenny Hansen wants you to focus on your story’s DNA. Writers in the Storm

Pamela Taylor writes about the perils of linguistic anachronisms. DIY MFA

Gabriela Pereira presents strong female protagonists from Thrillerfest 2018. DIY MFA

Jacquelin Cangro lists five ways to develop your close reading skills. DIY MFA

Jami Gold invites you to go beyond the limits of visual cues.

Chris Winkle shares some lessons from the hyped writing of Dawn of Wonder. Then, Oren Ashkenazi lists five stories that don’t understand power and privilege. Mythcreants

“In search of doors.” V.E. Schwab’s 2018 J.R.R. Tolkien Lecture on Fantasy Literature. Tor.com

Thanks for dropping by. I hope you got something you needed to progress in your creative endeavors.

Come back on Thursday for some thoughty 🙂

Be well until then!

tipsday2016

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, July 8-14, 2018

Another week, another batch of informal writerly learnings.

K.M. Weiland says, don’t let anyone tell you how to write, or, eight tips for learning responsibly. Helping Writers Become Authors

Greer Macallister tries some reverse psychology: how to write bad characters. Writer Unboxed

Keith Cronin: if I know then what I know now. Writer Unboxed

Juliet Marillier says that the magical formula is setting priorities. Writer Unboxed

Kathryn Craft: when perspective is the story. Writer Unboxed

Gwen Hernandez shows you how to compile a docx in Scrivener 3. Writer Unboxed

Kathryn Magendie: hey! Let’s all celebrate the madness! Writer Unboxed

Tamar Sloan shares five things writers need to know about characters with mental illness. PsychWriter

Roz Morris has some advice for shy writers: feel the fear and put yourself out there. Nail Your Novel

Sacha Black: how do you lead readers to your theme? Writers Helping Writers

Piper Bayard explains how to nail the character of an espionage hero for your spy novel. Writers Helping Writers

Orly Konig give you three reasons to embrace the prickly synopsis. Writers in the Storm

Ashly Hilst shares five ways to take your novel from good to great. DIY MFA

Oren Ashkenazi engages in some Q&A: what should I consider when creating a fictional economy? Later in the week, Chris Winkle helps you understand character karma. Mythcreants

Chuck Wendig examines the Save the Cat conundrum. Later in the week, T.J. Berry shares five things she learned writing Space Unicorn Blues. Terribleminds

Jenna Moreci lists her ten worst fantasy tropes.

 

Joanna Penn shares seven continuity issues to avoid when writing a series. The Creative Penn

Writer’s Digest interviews three agents about current science fiction trends.

Mary Robinette Kowal geeks out: five really cool things I learned at the NASA’s neutral buoyancy lab. Tor.com

Porter Anderson reports that the European parliament rejected a new copyright directive. What does that mean for copyright on this side of the pond? Porter Anderson Media

Adam O’Fallon Price: on semicolons and the rules of writing. The Millions

Be well until Thursday, when you can come back for your weekly dose of thoughty.

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, June 17-23, 2018

It’s that time of the week when you get to reward yourself with some informal writerly learnings 🙂

K.M. Weiland explains how to intertwine plot, character, and theme in every scene. New insights from my favourite guru 🙂 Helping Writers Become Authors

This column was a-MA-zing. Read it. Love it. Live it! Asking myself why I write … again. Vaughn Roycroft on Writer Unboxed.

Jim Dempsey explains how to create drama with your character’s desire. Writer Unboxed

Roz Morris posts about what she wished she’d known in school: two instructions for making a creative life. Nail Your Novel

Jennie Nash stops by Writers Helping Writers to explain how the growth mindset for writers leads to the satisfaction of excellence.

Chuck Wendig explains how to be a writer in this fucked-ass age of rot and resistance. Terribleminds

Literary agent Barbara Poelle answers the question, what are the best times to query an agent? Funny you should ask. Writer’s Digest

Nathan Bransford confesses something about the fear of never finishing.

L.L. Barkat stops by Jane Friedman’s blog to share her introvert’s guide to launching a book.

Lisa Hall-Wilson encourages you to write beyond lust and attraction and use the body language of love. Writers in the Storm

Elisabeth Kauffman answers another writerly conundrum in her ask the editor column: travelling between worlds. DIY MFA

Bran L. Ayres wonders, should we include trigger warnings in our novels? Then, Bran L. Ayres returns to Jami Gold’s blog: how to develop and show a healthy romance.

Oren Ashkenazi provides six more bad arguments against social justice in speculative fiction. Then, Oren critiques six supposedly powerful abilities that don’t measure up. Really, it’s about overpowered characters. Mythcreants

Melody Wilding: how mental illness inspired Gabriela Pereira to launch a creative writing business. Forbes

Tajja Isen hopes writers of colour can expand the way they write about their identities. “Despite the position from which I write, and the need for it to inform my work, I also want that work to bloom around a richer core than the supposed pain of racial difference. If each writer chases a singular question, then I need a refrain that does more open-ended, unexpected work than just announcing the color of my skin as the intellectual bottom line — even if, or especially if, that tortured pose is the kind of work that editors expect.” Buzzfeed

Camille Perri says, we need more queer stories where nobody suffers. Electric Lit

MTV’s Decoded: code switching with Franchesca Ramsey.

 

And that was Tipsday. Tomorrow is hump-day and that’s one day closer to Friday!

Come back on Thursday for your weekly dose of thoughty.

Be well until then, my friends.

tipsday2016

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, June 10-16, 2018

You’ve made it through Monday and now it’s time to reward yourself with some informal writerly learnings 🙂

Roz Morris shares five tips for writing good prose. Nail Your Novel

K.M. Weiland walks you through the five steps to creating great character chemistry. Helping Writers Become Authors

Jeanne Kisacky explores non-verbal communication in writing. Writer Unboxed

Sarah Callender laments losing a beloved critique partner. Writer Unboxed

David Corbett follows up on Sharon Bially’s post (which I shared—last week, was it?) with whiff of death, meet moment of clarity. Writer Unboxed

Porter Anderson looks at solitude and solidarity and the advocacy of the Authors Guild. Writer Unboxed

Chuck Wendig presents the opposite of “kill your darlings.”  Then, he’s setting free the sacred cows of writing advice. He was going to slaughter them, but, ick. Terribleminds

Piper Bayard and Jay Holmes glean five writing lessons from “The Americans.” Writers in the Storm

Lisa Hall-Wilson says that emotional layers are the gateway to deep point of view. Writers in the Storm

Becca Puglisi helps you determine your character’s emotional range. Writers in the Storm

Jami Gold stops by Writers Helping Writers: watch out! Avoiding sneaky plot holes.

Christina Delay dives deep into POV on Writers Helping Writers.

Kristen Lamb talks boundaries: be nice … until it’s time to not be nice.

Brenda Joyce Patterson helps you solve the riddle of voice. DIY MFA

Valentine Ferrari shares five tips to keep your blog healthy and vital for many years. DIY MFA

Nathan Bransford advises you to watch out for empty gestures in your novel.

Rebecca Monterusso on Jane Friedman’s blog: what does it mean to write a scene that works?

Chris Winkle presents five underused character archetypes. Mythcreants

And that was Tipsday. Be sure to come back for some thought on Thursday!

Until then, be well.

tipsday2016

Book review of Nail Your Novel by Roz Morris

Once again, this is a bit overdue. I finished reading the first of Roz’s NYN series last month, but my crazy life has run away with me again. I’ve had to pick and choose what I’m posting about.

First, a word about what’s coming up next weekend and how you can take part

Next weekend, on May 3, 2014, the Google Plus community @M2the5th will be holding its second online writing workshop with Roz. We’ll be starting out on Twitter with a Tweet chat and then moving to a Google Plus video call.

I posted previously on starting out with Tweet chats, for those who need a primer.

I’m not an expert with Google Plus video calls yet, but if you have a laptop with a camera and mic built in, or a desktop with an inexpensive camera and mic (I have a combo unit from Microsoft that works wonderfully) and a GooglePlus account, you can join in the fun.

All you have to do in Google Plus to prepare is download the hangout application, which doesn’t take long (depending on your connection speed). I like Google Plus for this kind of thing, because it’s user friendly and fairly intuitive. You don’t have to jump through a bunch of technical hoops to get started.

So if you want to take part, forward your name to either Lori Sailiata, or Amy Pabalan in the Twitter chat. One of them will be wrangling the hangout crowd and sending out invitations to join. Once you’ve received your invitation, simply accept, and your video feed should show up in the filmstrip section at the bottom of the hangout window.

Roz reports that she’s had to use Chrome as her browser for the best result, but I’m using Firefox and I haven’t had any difficulties yet. *seeks wood upon which to knock*

The review

What Amazon says:

Nail Your NovelNail Your Novel: Why Writers Abandon Books and How You Can Draft, Fix and Finish With Confidence

‘This book should be used as a text in writing courses’

‘There are shedloads of books on how to write novels, and a lot of them are longer and considerably less useful’

‘I wish I’d had this book a long time ago’

‘The author has a proven track record as a writer of fiction, as opposed to writers of “how to write” books’

Are you writing a novel? Do you want to make sure you finish? Will you get lost and fizzle out? Will you spend more time reading about how to write than actually getting the words down?

Most books on novel-writing will make you read hundreds of pages about character arcs, inciting incidents, heroes’ journeys. It’s great to know that – but while you’re reading about it you’re not writing your book.

And what these books don’t tell you is how to use this learning and get the job done.

Nail Your Novel is a writing buddy – and mentor – in a book.

In 10 easy steps it will tell you:
*how to shape your big idea and make a novel out of it
*how to do your research and how to use it
*how to organise your time.
*how to plot and build characters
*when you’re going to hit problems and what to do about them
*how to write on the days you don’t feel inspired
*how to reread what you’ve written and polish it.

Along the way, Thumbnail Notes give tutorials about storytelling and storycraft – strictly when you need them. The author has written nearly a dozen novels that have made it into print – and this is how she did it.

You don’t even need to read the whole book before you get started. You read a section, then do as it says. And, once you’re finally satisfied, Nail Your Novel will tell you how to sell it to publishers and agents.

You’ve dreamed of writing a novel. Don’t procrastinate with another theory book. Don’t launch in, get stuck and throw your hard work in a drawer. Nail your novel.

My thoughts:

I’ve been reading writing craft books for years. In fact, one could say that I’m a writing craft book junkie. Yes, the support group will be starting shortly.

My approach in reading these books is to adopt those parts of the writer’s process that make sense to me and my ever-evolving process. I cherry pick, experiment, and incorporate as appropriate.

I would characterize Roz’s approach as organic, that is, her plotting activities arise naturally from the journaling, research, and gestation that most writers will normally engage in as a preparation to actual writing.

Her version of plotting will appeal to the avid pantser and her “gamification,” albeit non-technological, of structuring and plot-fixing activities will motivate even the most spreadsheet-phobic of writers. Having said that, plotting-oriented, or technophile writers will also find lots of tips and tricks to adapt for their use.

The techniques in Nail Your Novel can be used not only from the inception of your novel, but the writer can also engage in the process at later stages of novel writing. Having entered into Roz’s methodology with already drafted novels, I’m working through her beat sheet activity, adapting it to my own use as I prepare for future revision.

Roz even has activities to prepare the writer for querying or self-publication, whichever path the author chooses to pursue.

I’ve also felt validated in several instances as bits and pieces of my existing process appear in slightly different forms throughout Nail Your Novel.

For all the excellent content, Nail Your Novel is also a relatively quick read, well-organized, and easy to understand. Roz gets right to the heart of the matter and encourages reading writers to get their hands dirty, metaphorically speaking.

Her writing style embodies what she asks writers to strive for: clear, informative, and entertaining. Roz doesn’t waste a word.

Roz’s book receives my highest recommendation. It’s on my virtual writer’s shelf beside Ursula K. LeGuin’s, Jane Yolen’s, Donald Maass’s, and K.M. Weiland’s craft writing books and I’m sure I’ll be referring to it often.

My rating:

5 out of 5 stars.

About the author:Roz Morris

Roz Morris has nearly two decades of experience writing novels and helping floundering authors find their way. She is a senior book doctor for a major literary consultancy in London, writes fiction under her own name and has ghostwritten bestselling fiction for high-profile writers with major publishers, including Random House, Puffin, and Mammoth.

Sundog Snippets: Workshop with Roz Morris, part the first

Yesterday was a busy day.

First up, I had a Tweet chat, followed by a Google Plus hangout video call (HVC), with Roz Morris, Lori Sailiata, and Amy Pabalan for @M2the5th.

This was the first in what will be monthly workshops which will lead up to the release of Roz’s next Nail Your Novel.

Here is the Storify of the Twitter portion: https://storify.com/LaraBrittWrites/mto5-tweetchat-roz-morris-hel?awesm=sfy.co_jg2A

RozMorrisStorify

I’ll let the Storify speak for itself.

We did adjourn to Google Plus, but were unable to lure more than our core into the video chat. This was not recorded, because we want to invite newer users into a friendly, non-threatening space 🙂

For those of you who may not know, an HVC is much like Skype, or Facetime, if you’ve used either service. All you need to participate is a video camera, microphone, and a Google Plus account.

Many manufacturers now produce video camera and microphone in one, specifically for this kind of situation.

I have a Microsoft unit, and it’s worked swimmingly so far *looks for wood upon which to knock*.

The next events will be set up for the first Saturday of the month, the next one being May 3, 2014. The time has to be early enough for Roz in the UK, and late enough for Lori in Hawaii. So we’ve set it for 6 am HST, noon ESDT, and 5 pm BST.

It’s difficult to set a good time for everyone with a 12 hour time difference and daylight savings time complications.

We’re just happy that Roz has agreed to continue her involvement. She’s a busy author/entrepreneur, but, as you may be able to tell, so generous with her time and talents.

To stay in the know, please join us on the @M2the5th Google Plus community (linked above).

Please join us for the next @M2the5th Tweet chat and HVC. I’ll probably post something to get the newly initiated started with HVCs later this month. Yes, more writer tech commeth 🙂