Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, March 4-10, 2018

Your informal writerly learnings for the week, gentle reader 🙂

Marisa de los Santos is writing through the rough parts. Writer Unboxed

Donald Maass expounds on high drama and heroism. Writer Unboxed

Kathryn Craft: proving your protagonist has what it takes. Writer Unboxed

Jeanne Kisacky discusses the ups and downs of the supporters in a writer’s life: a well-deserved expression of gratitude. Writer Unboxed

The island of misfit characters. Where intriguing characters go when they’re … not quite right. Kathryn Magendie on Writer Unboxed.

James Scott Bell: garlic breath for writers (AKA bad first pages). Writers Helping Writers

Angela Ackerman explains how to raise the stakes by making is personal. Writers Helping Writers

A.K. Perry begins a new series on signpost scenes with the disturbance. DIY MFA

Elisabeth Kauffman answers a question about character motive in her new series, ask the editor. DIY MFA

Sierra Delarosa lists five grammar mistakes writers should avoid. DIY MFA

Peter Selgin guest posts on Jane Friedman’s blog: how your story’s opening foreshadows (intentionally or not) what’s to come.

L.L. Barkat, who bid farewell to blogging years ago on Jane Friedman’s blog, returns to explain why blogging may no longer be such a bad thing anymore.

Chuck Wendig responds to Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s tweet defining art and entertainment. Terribleminds

Kristen Lamb: how story forges, defines, and refines character.

Julie Glover asks, are you sick and tired of editing your novel? Writers in the Storm

Oren Ashkenazi explains why the term “Mary Sue” should be retired. Mythcreants

Nina Munteanu says, write about what you know.

Sudbury Writers’ Guild member and vice-president Vera Constantineau is interviewed on Morning North about her new fiction collection, Daisy Chained. CBC

Nnedi Okorafor: science fiction that imagines a future Africa. TED Talks

Leah Schnelbach wonders, how could I forget the liberating weirdness of Madeleine L’Engle? Tor.com

Katy Waldman rereads A Wrinkle in Time after a childhood spent enthralled by Madeleine L’Engle. The New Yorker

Alison Flood reports that Shakespeare may have annotated his own source for Hamlet. The Guardian

Be well until Thursday, my friends!

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Oct 8-14, 2017

Here are your informal writerly learnings for the week 🙂

First, your preptober fix of NaNo:

Janice Hardy continues her 31 day NaNoWriMo prepcourse on Fiction University. Day eight: developing the character arcs. Day nine: choosing your point of view. Day ten: choosing your POV characters. Day eleven: finding your theme. Day twelve: choosing your setting. Day thirteen: determining your goals. Day Fourteen: discovering your external conflicts.

Arthur Klepkuchov shares his first (and last?) winning NaNoWriMo. Writer Unboxed

Rachael Stephen: creating a powerful character backstory.

 

Grant Faulkner on Writer’s Digest: how one month of NaNoWriMo can lead to a lifetime of better writing.


K.M. Weiland: four reasons you’re confused about scene structure.  Later in the week, Kate explains why we need more thematically pertinent female protagonists. Helping Writers Become Authors

Roz Morris helps you figure out what should go into your story’s ending. Writers Helping Writers

Sacha Black helps you improve your sentences: getting jiggy with the nitty gritty. Writers Helping Writers

Angela Ackerman guest posts on Writers in the Storm: does your villain have well-developed motivations?

Emily Wenstrom answers the question: should writers be on LinkedIn? DIY MFA

Bess Cozby shows you how to build rest and retreats into your writing routine. DIY MFA

Sarah Callender shares her experience with a bun in the oven: the gestation period of a novel. Writer Unboxed

Writing what you (never hope to) know: empathy, perception, projection. Kathryn Magendie on Writer Unboxed.

Orly Konig Lopez explains why every writer needs writer’s events. Writers in the Storm

Jami Gold: genre is worldbuilding. And, later in the week, Jami asks, how do you define success?

Alex Acks is perplexed by the river systems of Middle Earth. Tor.com

Alison Flood reports on Vita Sackville-West’s miniature book, said to have inspired Virginia Woolf’s Orlando. The Guardian

Sophie Elmhirst celebrates Philip Pullman’s return to his fantasy world. The New York Times Magazine

Nell Irvin Painter: Toni Morrison’s radical vision of otherness. New Republic

Alexandra Alter profiles Nnedi Okorafor for The New York Times.

Laura Bradley: the strange history of “nolite te bastardes carborundorum.Vanity Fair

Be well until Thursday, my writerly friends 🙂

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Sept 17-23, 2017

I present your informal writerly learnings for the week:

K.M. Weiland offers five tips for organizing sub-plots. Helping Writers Become Authors

Later in the week, Amber Massey guest posts on Kate’s blog: five tips for creating believable fictional languages.

Susan Wolfe wonders, if you write a book that nobody reads, are you still a writer? Writer Unboxed

Annie Neugebauer offers a pragmatist’s guide to easing the ugh (AKA learning to wait well). Writer Unboxed

Lydia Kang helps you prepare your research to-do list. Writer Unboxed

Jennie Nash visits the Writers Helping Writers coaching corner: fast draft writing for NaNoWriMo—and every other month.

Later in the week, Kristen Lamb stops by to talk about flashbacks.

Gabriela Pereira stops by Writer’s Digest to explain how to build your email list.

Terri Frank lists six writing books librarians recommend. DIY MFA

Catherine Schaff-Stump (one of the lovely writerly types I met through the Writing Excuses Retreat) shares her favourite bit of The Vessel of Ra on Mary Robinette Kowal’s blog.

Sarah Laskow finds 30 lost English words that deserve a comeback. Atlas Obscura

Angela Chen is the last Chinese-American woman writer who hadn’t read Maxine Hong Kingston. Electric Lit

Deji Bryce Olukotun imagines the future of Nigeria through science fiction. Literary Hub

Eliza Anyangwe counts Nnedi Okorafor’s “so many different kinds of strange” and how she’s changing the face of science fiction. The Guardian

Mark Medley reports: three first-time authors (including one genre writer) make Giller Prize longlist. The Globe and Mail

Oh, yum! James Whitbrook gives us our first look at David Tennant and Michael Sheen in Good Omens. i09

Be well until Thursday, my friends.

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Sept 10-16 2017

And now … it’s time for your informal writerly learnings for the week.

Jane Friedman answers the question, what’s more important, author websites, or social media? Then she follows up with this post: social media for authors is the toughest topic to advise on.

Jami Gold visits Writers Helping Writers: translating story beats into any genre.

Abigail K. Perry: three major roles of minor characters. DIY MFA

Audrey Kalman shares five tips for processing a negative critique. DIY MFA

Slipping this in here because its (kind of) related. Jenna Moreci with part two of her beta reader process:

 

Brenda Joyce Patterson offers tips and techniques for training your writer’s brain. DIY MFA

Kermeron Hurley talks about creativity and the fear of losing the magic.

Laura Drake explains how to survive a confidence crisis. Writers in the Storm

Sierra Godfrey and Kasey Corbit share three steps for using the tarot for your writing. Writers in the Storm

Janice Hardy guest posts on The Write Practice: why your story conflict isn’t working (and how to fix it).

Kathryn Craft: say a little less; mean a little more. Writer Unboxed

Porter Anderson shares some news you can use (and some you shouldn’t). Writer Unboxed

Kim Alexander helps you put the fan back in fantasy—and get past ye same olde same olde. Kristen Lamb’s blog

Chris Winkle offers some insight into creating an eclectic magic system. Mythcreants

Oren Ashkenazi lists six common problems with long series (and how to fix them). Mythcreants

Anjali Enjeti explains why she’s still trying to get a book deal after ten years. Both heartbreaking and hopeful. The Atlantic

Kim Fahner pays tribute to Gwendolyn MacEwen on Many Gendered Mothers.

The CBC invites you to discover the best in Canadian Indigenous writing.

How to rescue a wet book (!)

 

Mandalit del Barco interviews Marie Lu for NPR.

Jo Walton: Ursula K. Le Guin’s “The Day Before the Revolution” as a moment in a life. Tor.com

Robert Minto wonders, what happens when a science fiction genius starts blogging? New Republic

Abiola Oke interviews Nnedi Okorafor for Okay Africa.

I hope you found something you needed in this curation.

Come back for Thoughty Thursday 🙂

Until then, be well, my friends.

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, July 9-15, 2017

And here we go with another batch of informal writerly learnings 🙂

Sophie Masson expounds on the joys of writing in an unfamiliar setting. Writer Unboxed

Kathryn Craft says you need to earn the backstory by raising a question. Writer Unboxed

Becca Puglisi teaches subterfuge in dialogue. Writers in the Storm

Jenny Hansen shares … a story of balls. Writers in the Storm

Chuck Wendig: so, you’re having a bad writing day. Terribleminds

Roz Morris stops by Writers Helping Writers to improve your suspense in stories with … the big tease.

Angela Ackerman looks back: why we must invest if we want a writing career. Writers Helping Writers

Janice Hardy continues her birth of a book series: creating the characters. Fiction University

Kristen Lamb explores the creative benefits of being bored.

Terri Frank joins the DIY MFA team: five ways to use the library to nurture your reading life.

Gabriela Pereira stops by Jerry Jenkins’ blog to teach us how to write dazzling dialogue.

Then, Gabriela interviews Ann Kidd Taylor for DIY MFA radio.

Gary Zenker returns to DIY MFA: how to get the most out of a critique.

Elise Holland offers five poetic tools to enhance your prose. DIY MFA

Jane Friedman explains how to pitch agents at a writers’ conference.

Chris Winkle lists seven ways to bring characters together. Mythcreants

Nancy Kress looks at the science in science fiction: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Tor.com

Richard G. Lowe Jr.: how better world building will keep you out of trouble. AutoCrit

Brandon Taylor: who cares what white people think? Literary Hub

Emily Van Duyne wonders why we’re so reluctant to take Sylvia Plath at her word? Literary Hub

Jane Austen comments on love and happiness. Oxford University Press.

 

David Barnett: how traditional British folklore is benefiting from modern culture. The Independent

Emma Watson interviews Margaret Atwood about The Handmaid’s Tale. Entertainment Weekly

Nancy Kress shares seven things she’s learned so far … Writer’s Digest

Karen Grigsby Bates: how Octavia Butler wrote herself into the story. NPR

Charles Pulliam-Moore reports that after four years in negotiation, HBO and George R.R. Martin are producing Nnedi Okorafor’s Who Fears Death as a series! i09

Marc Snetiker gives us a first look at A Wrinkle in Time. Entertainment Weekly

Charles Pulliam-Moore: the reason publishers rejected A Wrinkle in Time is the same reason Ava DuVernay is making the movie. i09

And Cheryl Eddy shares the A Wrinkle in Time trailer! i09

It’s been an exciting week for series and movies. So looking forward.

Come back on Thursday for your weekly dose of thoughty!

Until then, be well.

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

All rightie, then! Let’s get to the writerly goodness.

K.M. Weiland shares eight ways to troubleshoot your scenes and five ways to make them fabulous. Helping Writers Become Authors

Jami Gold explores the different ways in which you might approach story structure for a trilogy. Later in the week, Shaila Patel guest posts: creating the right first impression.

Sharon Bially writes about galleys: what are they and why you need them. Writer Unboxed

Leanne Sowul stresses the positive: what stress can do for you. DIYMFA

Gabriela Pereira interviews Dr. Sally Parry, Executive Director of the Sinclair Lewis Society, for DIYMFA radio.

Oh! And lookie, lookie, who’s joining the DIYMFA team? Why me and three other awesome genre columnists! Now it can be told!

Joel Eisenberg guest posts on Kristen Lamb’s blog: you’re too smart to go down stupid.

Chuck Wendig wonders, is it time, dear writer, to ditch your literary agent? Terribleminds

Then, he trots over to Writer’s Digest to post 15 ways to earn your audience as a writer.

Becca Puglisi makes another entry in the character motivation thesaurus: realizing a dream. Writers Helping Writers

Oren Ashkenazi examines five cases of unfulfilled foreshadowing. Mythcreants

Andrew Falconer explains why fantasy writers should embrace their heritage. Mythcreants

Jennifer Schaeffer compiles 51 of the most beautiful sentences in literature for Buzzfeed.

How Shakespeare invented thinking on the page. Oxford Handbooks Online

 

Marie Howe: protecting your inner life in times of political turmoil. Literary Hub

Taylor Jones: linguists have been discussing “shit gibbon.” I argue it’s not entirely about gibbons. Hilarious. Insightful. Creative. Inspiring. I now have a new lexicon of swearage to draw upon 😀

Nnedi Okorafor states that The Parable of the Sower is the dystopia for our age, not Nineteen Eighty-Four. Modern Ghana

Philip Pullman announces a companion trilogy for His Dark Materials. NPR

The Legend of Korra continues in Dark Horse comics. James Whitbrook for i09.

Phil Plait writes a not really Bad Astronomy review of Arrival. Blastr

And that was your informal writerly learnings for the week.

Come back on Thursday for some thoughty 🙂

Be well until then.

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Ad Astra 2015 day 1: The beldam, the hag, and the hedgewitch: Witches in popular culture

Panelists: Derek Newman-Stille, Kate Story, Karen Dales, and Gail Z. Martin

GZM: How has the trope of the witch been used in the past?

KS: In the European tradition, witches were evil. We have a countercultural fascination with them.

GZM: That might depend on your point of view.

KD: The roots of the word witch are from the Anglo Saxon wicce/wicca. It means wise. The vilification of witches came about as a result of the Inquisition and the malleum malificarum (the witches hammer). Disney’s portrayals of witches have cemented the pejorative image witches have.

GZM: Every village had a hedgewitch. Someone wise, who knew about herbs, could deliver a baby, and so forth.

KD: Hereditary witches are still around today.

DNS: In Greek and Roman times, the practitioners were mostly men. They used curse tablets and imported Egyptian and Jewish words.

KS: Nnedi Okorafor writes about witches in her young adult novels. In Nigeria, there are actual witch camps.

GZM: Voodoun and Hoodoo, though they started in similar ways, are very different traditions. Santeria, too, started with the mystification of Catholic saints and ritual.

KS: One of the lenses we’re looking through is the appeal of the witch to young people. It’s the attraction of the unseen, ghosts, supernatural abilities; it’s the longing to see and work with these things.

KD: Llewellyn publications has seen a massive uptake in sales of their informational magic books. In Toronto, we have four occult shops. Young women are attracted to wiccan practice thanks to shows like Charmed and Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Willow). The attraction is the ability to have a personal relationship with the divine without an intermediary.

GZM: The young protagonist may not even know what’s happening to them.

DNS: There’s actually an organization called the Harry Potter Alliance and they are activists. They do good for a lot of different people in a lot of different situations.

GZM: In Bewitched, the curses the witches made were all to Hecate. The Kathryn Kurtz novel Lammas Night was based on true events.

KD: Sir Terry Pratchett went to the Pan-European Convention to conduct research for his novels.

GZM: Butcher’s Dresden was not an evil character, but, because he was taught by an unscrupulous master, he suffered repercussions for decades afterward.

DNS: We love delving into the darker aspects of the witch. Look at “Dark Willow” from Buffy, and Stephen King’s Carrie.

GZM: A character can find an ouija board and an old book and suddenly there are unforeseen consequences.

DNS: It plays into political conservatism. If you experiment, bad things will happen to you. Essentially, it’s fear of knowledge.

GZM: You have to take responsibility for your actions.

KD: In The Mummy, the characters are told not to read the book. She reads it anyway and releases the mummy.

KS: A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

Q: Do you find in fictional depictions that it’s the girls who are called to the dark side? Boys seem to get away with anything.

KD: Maybe the guys can handle it and the girls can’t? I’d argue that’s societal bias and not necessarily accurate.

GZM: Our culture is still struggling with women who have power. In reality, there are just as many foolish boys as there are foolish girls.

DNS: Knowledge is still forbidden to women in many ways. In fiction, it’s often a traumatic event that triggers the emergence of power. It reflects institutionalized abuse.

GZM: In Norse culture, it’s okay for women to have power.

KD: In Celtic legends the king could only assume power—and keep it—by virtue of having ritualized sex with the goddess, or her representative.

KS: There’s a South African contemporary dancer who has recently revealed that he is from a long line of shaman. That’s how he channels his dance.

DNS: The curse tablets I mentioned earlier were meant to harness Cthonic powers (under the earth). England is a particularly rich source because they used lead tablets which were then rolled. These have lasted much longer that their stone equivalents. They were stabbed with nails to enact the curse.


And that was my short hand for what was a lively discussion of witches in various popular media 🙂

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Jan 11-17, 2015

I am so tired . . . but more about that on the weekend. In the meantime, enjoy some Writerly Goodness!

Agent Laurie McLean of Fuse Literary guest posts on Anne R. Allen’s blog: You may not need an agent, but why you may want one anyway.

Karen Woodward outlines her critique process.

The anatomy of a kick-ass query letter, from DIYMFA.

Eight query tips no one tells writers from agent Carly Watters.

Writing a synopsis. Janice Hardy’s Fiction University.

How to turn a short story into a novel. Roz Morris helps you Nail Your Novel.

How to transition to your story’s climax with a gatekeeper by Christine Frazier of the Better Novel Project.

Advice about advice from Jamie Raintree.

Then, Jamie posted this over on Writers in the Storm: four steps to happy writing productivity. Who says you can’t be happy and productive?

Delilah S. Dawson guest posts on Chuck Wendig’s Terribleminds. 25 lifehacks for writers from a hack writer 🙂

Nnedi Okorafor looks at why science fiction created by African writers is still considered alien.

Quill & Quire previews spring 2015 books.

Buzzfeed compiles a list of 33 of the creepiest lines in fiction.

From Elle: How many women does it take to create the perfect sex scene? You know which one we’re talking about, don’t you? Oh yeah. Outlander: The Wedding.

The latest Outlander trailer for the second half of season one:

 

And . . . an Outlander soundtrack! In case you love the music as much as the show (and the novels) 🙂

The science of Game of Thrones. It’s okay to be smart.

 

And that she be it for this Tipsday!

Buh-bye, la!

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