Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, March 28-April 3, 2021

Welcome to another tipsday, your chance to stock up on informal writerly learnings.

Janice Hardy shares four ways to create emotional peril in your characters. Another piece of advice I desperately need 😦 Later in the week, Janice explains how the climax works in a novel. Fiction University

Tiffany Yates Martin helps you figure out when your story is “finished.” Matthew Norman says, scenes matter most. Later in the week, Julie Carrick Dalton takes us inside the writer’s dreamworld. Then, Deanna Caninian shares four writing lessons from binge-watching TV. Writer Unboxed

Shaelin explains how to write distinct character voices. Reedsy

K.M. Weiland continues her archetypal character arcs series with part 8: an introduction to the 12 shadow archetypes. Helping Writers Become Authors

Colleen M. Story explains how to give a great podcast author interview. Writers Helping Writers

Then, Shaelin explains how to format internal narration and thoughts. Reedsy

Jim C. Hines offers some considered yet passionate commentary on identity policing and own voices.

Nathan Bransford lets you know when to hire a freelance book editor.

On her own channel, Shaelin demonstrates line editing on short stories. Shaelin Writes

Anita Ramirez recounts the life of a writer: and so, it begins. Angela Yeh: poetry is for you. Yes. You. Then, Mark Stevens wants you to get good at taking feedback. DIY MFA

Julie Artz explains how to get accepted by a writing mentorship program. Jane Friedman

The teen mom trope; tragic, heroic, or glam? The Take

Kris Maze lists 13 ways your writing inspiration already surrounds you. Writers in the Storm

Chris Winkle analyzes five ridiculous stories about stories. Then, Oren Ashkenazi looks at seven prologues and the problems they cause. Mythcreants

Jacky Barile shows us how 100-year-old books are professionally restored. Incredibly soothing. Insider

Alexander Chee explains how to unlearn everything. When it comes to writing the “other” what questions are we not asking? From 2019, but still relevant. Vulture

Ashawnta Jackson relates how Kitchen Table Press changed publishing. JSTOR Daily

Thanks for visiting, and I hope you took away something to support your current work in progress.

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe, my writerly friends.

Ad Astra 2015 day 1: Fans, your bread and butter

Panellists: Dennis Lee, Jane Ann McLachlan, Gregory Wilson

JAM: How and when do you acquire fans?

DL: Work with another author who already has them. I was playing City of Heroes and met Mercedes Lackey online. I couldn’t have planned it. Our collaboration started as a podcast. No one wanted to read superhero stories by Mercedes. They were too invested in her fantasy. We had to find voice actors who were willing to work for free. When you offer something for free, people will find you. We also got an opportunity to be a part of the Humble Bundle. We moved 50,000 copies. It’s all about word of mouth and good will.

JAM: Offering something for free is a great method of attracting fans. If you’re working with a publisher, they’ll want to know the number of your followers. You’ll need to know something about marketing.

GW: Draw upon existing groups. I draw on readers of my existing publications, the audience for my show on Twitch about story and narrative in games, and I have a speculative fiction podcast for which I’ve interviewed a number of well known science fiction and fantasy authors. You have to make the connection between where you are, where you existing fan bases are, and where you want to be.

JAM: Once you have fans, how do you keep them?

GW: You have to write more and get better. You have to continually interact with your fans and be able to seek out feedback without being irritating. Respond to your comments.

DL: I agree. In my case, I was part of a group of four authors working collaboratively. We set up social media accounts in our characters’ names and we interact with our fans in character. Sometimes we get provocative.

JAM: Write well and interact. If you wait until you’re ready, publishers won’t beat down your door. Take too long between books (posts and events) and your readers will forget about you. At the same time, you shouldn’t write so fast that you compromise quality. Start a newsletter. Build an email list. Value your fans. Fans like books. Friends value authors.

DL: Mercedes and her husband interact differently with their fans than they do with friends.

JAM: How do you encourage your fans to spread the word? I’d have a light touch. No one wants to be manipulated or told what to do.

DL: It’s hard to ask. We don’t. We assume that if they like what they’re reading, the fans will talk it up without our having to ask. Be polite.

GW: I’m happy to ask. But it’s an ask, not a tell or a manipulation. Fans will spread the word if they want to. Sometimes they need to know that the effort is appreciated, though.


And that was the last session of day 1.

Next week, I’ll move on to the day 2 sessions with “And agent and an editor walk into a bar . . .” Of course, I’ll be back with Tipsday and Thoughty Thursday as well, and if I get off my bloggish butt I might have another Wordsmith Studio homecoming post about what I’m reading these days.

Thank you for reading.

Stay tuned and be well.