Welcome to tipsday, the place to load up on informal writerly learnings.
Barbara Linn Probst wants a place to write. Kris Maze gives you three reasons to consider readability before you publish. Writers in the Storm
Janice Hardy touts the freedom of writing without chapters. Diana Gabaldon does this too … think Imma try this some time. Then, she shares a simple trick to keep readers turning pages. Fiction University
It was question week on WU! Sophie Masson wonders, what do you save? Then, Jim Dempsey asks, do you really want to be a writer? Natalie Hart: what do people get wrong about you? Jeanne Cavelos extolls the compelling, emotional, complex sentence. Writer Unboxed
K.M. Weiland offers three life-changing rules for finding more writing inspiration this year. Helping Writers Become Authors
Sacha Black shares six steps to setting yourself up financially as a writer in 2020. Writers Helping Writers
Sara Letourneau assigns additional reading on the theme of man and the natural world. Pamela Taylor is celebrating the solstice (a little late, but hey, SOLSTICE). DIY MFA
The Take unpacks the tough woman trope.
Then, Shaelin looks at the manic pixie dream girl trope (which, it turns out, is not a trope at all). Reedsy
Chris Winkle outlines six important differences between filmed and narrated stories. Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five stories where the heroes lack agency. Mythcreants
Robert Lee Brewer considers when to use a while and when to use awhile. Writer’s Digest
Thank you for taking the time to visit and I hope you found it worthwhile 🙂
Until Thursday, be well!
It’s a lovely, sunny Sunday after 20 cm of snow. Please enjoy these informal writerly learnings!
Janice Hardy shares three things to remember when revising from a critique. Later in the week, Janice help you craft hook lines that draw readers in. Fiction University
Christopher Hoffmann: what your dialogue tags say about you. Then, Sangeeta Mehta interviews Jim McCarthy and Paula Munier about what it means to be a full-time author. Finally, Jane herself lists five common story openings you want to avoid—if you can help it. Jane Friedman
Tamar Sloan offers a writer’s roadmap to capturing an unhappy relationship. Writers Helping Writers
Jenna Moreci lists her favourite family tropes.
Nancy Johnson finds a new year brings fresh author envy. “But anticipatory angst is real, if a bit irrational, and I sometimes envy authors who make lists I’m not even eligible for, wondering if my own trajectory will be on par with theirs.” Juliet Marillier wants to be a light in the darkness. What will you use your writerly superpowers for this year? Kathryn Craft is bridging temporal story gaps. David Corbett: wherein we resume our discussion of evil. Writer Unboxed
Jenn Walton hopes you’ll use personality tests to enhance character development. Heather Viera shares five tips for creating a relaxing workspace. DIY MFA
Julie Glover: will your character fight, flee, or freeze? Writers in the Storm
Chris Winkle lists five masquerade explanations and why they’re bad. Then, Oren Ashkenazi points out six military blunders in speculative fiction. Mythcreants
Chuck Wendig blogs at clouds (to make a point about blogging). Terribleminds
Robert Lee Brewer distinguishes between heroes and heros. Writer’s Digest
Hélène Schumacher: is this the most powerful word in the English language? BBC
Georgie Hoole introduces us to Cecil Court: the secret alley full of curious old bookshops. Secret London
Thanks for your time and attention. I hope you came away with something you need for your current work in progress.
Until next time, be well, my writerly friends 🙂
The time from Solstice through New Year’s Eve is generally slow for informal writerly learnings. Everyone is (and rightly so) spending time with friends and family, celebrating. Thus, this week will be video heavy, but it’s all writerly goodness 🙂
Also, happy New Year and new decade, everyone! May it bring us hope and peace and all good things.
Tasha Seegmiller: reflecting and goal-setting for writers. Writers in the Storm
Joanna Penn and Orna Ross reflect on a decade of self-publishing. The Creative Penn
Helen J. Darling offers six tips on working with an editor (post-NaNoWriMo). DIY MFA
Shaelin talks about writing a great first line. Reedsy
Gabe explains how to write backstory. Bookishpixie
And here’s Tim Hickson’s take on flashbacks and backstory. Hello, Future Me
Chris Winkle wants you to tame your exposition. Then, Oren Ashkenazi explains how to tell a story within a story. Mythcreants
Thanks for visiting and I hope something in this mix has given you what you need to progress in your current work in progress.
Until next time, be well!
It’s Christmas Eve! Time to unwrap your package of informal writerly learnings.
Erika Liodice suggests a new approach for the New Year: un-resolutions. Vaughn Roycroft: the hygge writer. Dave King goes in search of the story beyond the story. Writer Unboxed
Barbara Linn Probst suggests some visual-spatial tools for mapping—and enhancing—you story. John Peragine: the most difficult conversation for writers. Laura Drake recommends using comparison for power. Writers in the Storm
Is it possible to write an original story? Reedsy
K.M. Weiland shows you how to explore theme through your secondary characters: six important questions to ask. Helping Writers Become Authors
Lucy V. Hay shows you three steps to writing diverse characters. Angela Ackerman wants you to build a roadmap to the author future you want. Writers Helping Writers
Jenna Moreci goes over the pros and cons of past and present tense.
Jeanette the Writer answers an editorial question: how do I use italics? Manuela Williams shares five ways to build your author brand when you’re super busy. DIY MFA
Jami Gold explains how to write a strong resolution.
Chris Winkle: agency is what that sexy lamp is missing. Then Oren Ashkenazi suggests eight holiday presents for the fictional character in your life. Mythcreants
Robert Lee Brewer: should you use e-mail or email? Writer’s Digest
Neil Gaiman on the Tim Ferris show.
Thanks for visiting. I hope you take away something you need for your current work in progress.
Until next time, be well, my writerly friends … and to all, a good night!
Here are some informal writerly learnings to peruse while you’re preparing for, or celebrating, the holidays.
Lori Freeland says that show, don’t tell, are the three most misunderstood words in a writer’s vocabulary. Then, Colleen M. Story shared seven ways writers can overcome holiday anxiety. Julie Glover is saying no to get to a more important yes. Writers in the Storm
Shaelin shares five of her favourite tropes. Reedsy
Rheea Mukherjee makes notes on writer dreams, gratitude, and the anxiety of authenticity. Jim Dempsey wants you to manipulate your reader’s point of view. Sarah Callender asks, is imitating the greats helpful or harmful? Kathryn Craft is manipulating story time for maximum effect. David Corbett shares a lesson in forgiveness from The Crown. Writer Unboxed
K.M. Weiland critiques: ten ways to write a better first chapter using specific word choices. Helping Writers Become Authors
Roz Morris shares five post-NaNoWriMo ways to use the holidays to keep your new writing habits … without revising too early. Nail Your Novel
Abigail K. Perry digs into James Scott Bell’s signpost scene 13: the final battle. Brenda Joyce Patterson takes a deep dive into the essay. Then, Constance Emmett shares five tips for post-publication survival and success. DIY MFA
Robert Lee Brewer points out the difference between lets and let’s. Writer’s Digest
Nathan Bransford offer the eight essential elements of a story.
Chris Winkle shares five ways to make multiple points of view more engaging. Then, Oren Ashkenazi explains why some dark topics are more sensitive than others. Mythcreants
Tim makes some excellent points about writing power escalation. Hello, Future Me
Heidi Fiedler stops by The Creative Penn: five ways to quiet your inner editor.
Jami Gold asks, what’s your core story?
Thank you for stopping by. I hope you’re leaving with some great resources for your current work in progress.
Until Thursday, be well!
Aaaaand … I’m back with some lovely informal writerly learnings for you 😉
Jael McHenry: writing, verbs, and time. Ray Rhamey extols the fun of pantsing. Donald Maass: un-con redux—operation phoenix. Susan Spann cries, curses—foiled again! Cathy Yardley wants you to play to win. Writer Unboxed
Jenna Moreci digs deep to list her top ten dystopian tropes.
Robert Lee Brewer clears up the confusion around lose, loose, and loosen. Writer’s Digest
Emily Wenstrom offers five tips to set (and keep) an author platforming resolution. And here’s my latest Speculations: five awesome ways NASA’s all-woman spacewalk inspires us. DIY MFA
James Scott Bell answers the question, is it necessary to write EVERY day? Then, Angela Ackerman is mastering show, don’t tell. Writers Helping Writers
Writing anti-heroes with Reedsy.
Spencer Ellsworth says, outlines are for revision (say what?)—a different approach for your process. Fiction University
Ellen Brock shares a simple strategy for novel editing.
Chris Winkle shares lessons from the disingenuous writing of Maximum Ride. Then, Oren Ashkenazi considers what makes an antagonistic group problematic. Mythcreants
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you found something you need to fuel your current work in progress.
Until Thursday, be well, my friends.
It’s good to be back.
Counting down to Hallowe’en, NaNoWriMo, and Wordstock Sudbury! Be prepared with this excellent selection of informal writerly learnings 🙂
Jan O’Hara helps you avoid a writing cat-astrophe. Sarah McCoy: confession of a lapsed reader. Heather Webb is writing boldly, without fear. Writer Unboxed
Meg LaTorre catalogues filter words you should remove from your manuscript. iWriterly
Becca Puglisi shows you how to use secondary characters to sway the reader. Eldred Bird explains how to create a multi-use logline. Then, Margie Lawson shows you how to make hugs carry power. Writers in the Storm
K.M. Weiland offers a writer’s guide to understanding people. Helping Writers Become Authors
Bonnie Randall: scaredy-pants! Four breeches—er, breaches—that elicit fear in your characters. Then, Janice Hardy shares two tips that make plotting your novel way easier. Fiction University
Jeanette the Writer shares six things editors want writers to know. Gabriela Pereira interviews Nicole Valentine about pacing, world building, and time travel. Savannah Cordova shares five tips for writing nail-biting suspense. Then, Rayne Lacko offers five ways to write what you want to understand. DIY MFA
Chuck Wendig wants you to find the balance of self-care and tough love. Terribleminds
Chris Winkle: Carnival Row shows us the damage a reveal can do. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five slow story openings and explains how to avoid them. Mythcreants
Jenna Moreci shares ten tips for creating magic systems.
Christina Bacchilega: how mermaid stories illustrate complex truths about being human. Literary Hub
Thank you for stopping by and I hope you found something useful for the busy writing months ahead.
Until next time, be well!
This week’s curation of informal writerly learnings for your consideration.
Julie Glover talks plotting, pantsing, and personality type. [Hehe! I was one of the 87 people on FB who responded to Julie’s question 🙂 ] Lisa Hall-Wilson shares four pro tips for writing the emotional journey in deep POV. [I’m participating in Lisa’s five day deep POV challenge!] Writers in the Storm
Jael McHenry considers the novelist’s necessary evils. Jim Dempsey says, writing is a labyrinth of choices. Sarah Callender forgets to remember that writing can be uncomfortable. Kathryn Craft lists 12 signs that you’re afraid of your work in progress. Writer Unboxed
Janice Hardy explains how to ground (and hook) your reader in your opening scene. Then, Janice shares lessons learned from a decade in publishing. Fiction University
Meg La Torre visits Jenna Moreci and explains everything you ever wanted to know about literary agents.
K.M. Weiland issues a challenge to write life-changing fiction. Helping Writers Become Authors
Sacha Black helps you embrace diversity by writing the character you’re afraid to write. Then, Lisa Hall-Wilson explains how to scare your readers using deep point of view. Writers Helping Writers
Emily Wenstrom explains how (and why) to market yourself. Savannah Cordova shares five highly effective ways to reboot your creative system. DIY MFA
Macy Thornhill shares six ways to stay productive in a creative slump. The Creative Penn
Chris Winkle offers some thoughts on reconciling your character’s choices with your plot. Then, Oren Ashkenazi considers five more underutilized settings in speculative fiction. Mythcreants
Sabrina Imbler reports that the Merriam-Webster of medieval Irish has just got a major update. Atlas Obscura
Mental Floss presents 30 Harry Potter word origins 🙂
Joolz looks at English idioms and where they come from. ‘Cause language!
And that was tipsday. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you found something useful for your current work in progress.
Until Thursday, be well, my writerly friends!
A nice, compact batch of informal writerly learnings, this week.
Piper Bayard and Jay Holmes list ten character traits of an espionage hero. Later in the week, Janice Hardy stops by and explains what happens when your plot hides behind the details. Writers in the Storm
K.M. Weiland poses five questions to help you choose a protagonist who represents your story’s theme. Helping Writers Become Authors
Nancy Johnson asks, is your book done yet? Donald Maass explores the making of a hero or heroine. Bryn Greenwood talks about what happens after your dreams come true. Cathy Yardley: dare to deliver. Writer Unboxed
Tamar Sloan dig into writerly procrastination, why it happens, and how to break free of it. Then, Angela Ackerman wonders, how do you know if your protagonist is strong enough? Writers Helping Writers
How to write a strong protagonist. Reedsy
Leanne Sowul explains how to find your writing purpose. And here’s my latest Speculations column: five ways to rock NaNoWriMo. DIY MFA
Robert Lee Brewer sorts out the distinctions between imminent, immanent, and eminent. Writer’s Digest
Chris Winkle: six rape tropes and how to replace them. Then, Oren Ashkenazi examines siege warfare before gunpowder. Mythcreants
Thanks for stopping by. I hope you found something to help you wrestle your work in progress into shape.
Be well until Thursday!
Here we are, officially in the fall. Take the time to enjoy the turning leaves and the delicious smells of the season. And, of course, spoil yourself with some informal writerly learnings.
Vaughn Roycroft is using theme to leverage revision. Julie Carrick Dalton hopes no one will notice. Writer Unboxed
K.M. Weiland critiques another brave writer to demonstrate ten ways to write excellent dialogue. Helping Writers Become Authors
Susan de Freitas points out three things you won’t learn from an MFA program. Jane Friedman
Joanna Penn interviews James Scott Bell about writing unforgettable endings. Then, Harrison Demchick offers you four ideas to help authors revise a first draft. The Creative Penn
Chris Winkle returns with the fourth aspect of goal-oriented storytelling: satisfaction. Writers Helping Writers
Jenna Moreci offers her top ten tips on character arcs.
Nathan Bransford offers six ways to build intimacy between characters. Later in the week, he asks, are you creating a mystery, or are you just being vague?
Jenn Walton shares three ways to find inspiration at a writing conference (or any work event). DIY MFA
Jenny Hansen wants you to find and share your story’s theme. Writers in the Storm
Chuck Wendig explains how to be a professional author and not die screaming and starving in a lightless abyss. Terribleminds
Jami Gold helps you figure out how to build your story with chapters, scenes, or both. Then, Kris Kennedy returns with part four of her avoid infodumping by making backstory essential series.
Bunny discusses choosing a follow-up strategy for a popular story. Then, Oren Ashkenazi shares five ways to handle parents without killing them. Mythcreants
Robert Lee Brewer advises writers regarding spacing between sentences. Writer’s Digest
Daniel Ross Goodman shows us the haunting magic of Maurice Sendak. National Review
Thank you for visiting. I hope you found something you need to move your work in progress forward.
Until Thursday, be well!