Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, June 26-July 2, 2022

Another week, another batch of informal writerly learnings. And so it goes …

Vaughn Roycroft is living an artist’s life with lessons from Kate Bush. Then, Erika Liodice is finding inspiration in unexpected places. Tessa Barbosa shares some easy tricks for crafting memorable characters. Then, Sarah Callender is writing (and living) in the midst of fear. Barbara O’Neal considers the practice. Writer Unboxed

Tim fixes Legend of Korra season 2. Hello, Future Me

K.M. Weiland offers eight ways to avoid cardboard characters and plot contrivances. Helping Writers Become Authors

Susan DeFreitas explains how (and how not) to write queer characters: a primer. Then, Tiffany Yates Martin reveals how to improve your storytelling by studying other people’s. Jane Friedman

That … could have gone better? (Analysis of Luke vs. Vader in Empire Strikes Back.) Jill Bearup

Kris Maze says re-gear your writing career—take risks to revitalize. Then, Jenny Hansen shares Kurt Vonnegut’s ten tips for successful writing. L.A. Mitchell is opening the top-secret client vault on ghostwriting (and how you can find your first). Writers in the Storm

Teresa Conner shares three design secrets for captivating book adds. Hyacinthe M. Miller helps you avoid writing stereotypes of people of color. Writers Helping Writers

Death by misadventure—Passing and the nature of identity. Princess Weekes

LA Bourgeois is battling the guilt monster. Then, F.E. Choe offers a few, humble thoughts on voice. Michael Bourne lists five ways to turn your setting into a fully realized character. DIY MFA

Tiffany Yates Martin points out the main writing skill you may be neglecting. Fox Print Editorial

Moiya McTier—Trickster gods and the mortals who love them. Fate & Fabled | PBS Storied

Chuck Wendig says sometimes writing is finding a place to put all your rage, sorrow, and even joy. Terribleminds

Chris Winkle explains how to write a first-person retelling. Then, Oren Ashkenazi reveals the myth of conflict-free story structures. Mythcreants

Kristen Lamb: writing to formula vs. formulaic writing.

Thank you for visiting with me 🙂 I hope you took away something to support your current work in progress.

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

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, May 22-28, 2022

Wish a fond farewell to May with some informal writerly learnings.

Stephanie BwaBwa shares some editing tools for your self-publishing toolbox. Then, Robin Farrar Maass reveals what her MFA taught her and what she learned on her own. Lori Walker lists five ways to deal with burnout. DIY MFA

The psychology of Severance. Like Stories of Old

Vaughn Roycroft considers an Audible enhancement to storytelling. Gwen Hernandez: losing the plot means writing by the seat of your pants. Kelsey Allagood wonders, are your words working hard enough? Danielle Davis: it’s not me, it’s the story. Kathryn Magendie considers painting a chair, when it’s just painting a chair. Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland helps you deepen your book’s theme with the thematic square. Helping Writers Become Authors

Princess Weekes thinks Marvel needs to really get Elektra right.

Tiffany Yates Martin poses four questions to ask when writing flashbacks. Then, Laurie Schnebly Campbell wonders, when is your story done? Ellen Buikema is writing memorable character flaws. Writers in the Storm

Colleen M. Story suggests four things to remember when writing about difficult subjects. Elizabeth Spann Craig

Catherine Baab-Maguira presents the Julie & Julia formula: how to turn writing envy into writing success. Then, Sonya Hubers helps you market your book with your values. Jane Friedman

Erica Brozovsky wonders, is gossip … good? Otherwords | PBS Storied

Liz Alterman explains the ins and outs of blurb requests. Then, Becca Puglisi considers subterfuge in dialogue. Writers Helping Writers

The love genre: stories about obsession, courtship, and marriage. Story Grid

Kristen Lamb predicts that boutique books will be the fall of the mega-author titans.

What is xenofiction? Tale Foundry

Tiffany Yates Martin wonders, how can writing matter in the face of suffering? Fox Print Editorial

Chris Winkle shares four ways to create a bittersweet ending. Then, Lewis Jorstad introduces us to four supporting characters your hero can learn from. Mythcreants

Why do we love problematic romances? The Take

Claire Handscombe: the one line that’s missing from all writing advice. Book Riot

Michele Debczak lists seven facts about Octavia Bulter’s Kindred. Mental Floss

Oliver Holmes reports that “How to Murder Your Husband” author found guilty of murdering husband. Life isn’t stranger than fiction … The Guardian

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you took away something to support your current work in progress.

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

Thoughty Thursday: Popping your mental corn, May 8-14, 2022

Celebrate the coming of the weekend by getting you mental corn popping.

Livia Gershon considers the cosmopolitan culture of the Gullah/Geechees. JSTOR Daily

True crime and the theatre of safety. Princess Weekes

Charles Maynes and Alina Selyukh: Russia’s Victory Day celebrations take on new importance for Kremlin this year. NPR

Sylvia Hui and Aamer Madhani report that G7 leaders mark VE Day stressing unity and support for Ukraine. Associated Press

Ehsan Popalzai and Irene Nasser: Taliban decree orders women in Afghanistan to cover their faces. CNN

Libby Cathey reports that US senate republicans block bill that would codify Roe vs. Wade abortion rights. ABC News

Graham Lee Brewer: US counts Indian boarding school deaths for the first time but leaves key questions unanswered. NBC News

Hong Kong’s John Lee: ex-security chief becomes new leader. BBC

The editors curate their best articles to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. JSTOR Daily

You don’t own your partners. The Ultimatum, love, and possession, analyzed. Khadija Mbowe

Bastian Fox Phelan says female facial hair is not uncommon. What happens when we make it visible? The Guardian

Terry Nguyen says trends are dead. Vox

Clark Quinn: gamification, or … Learnlets

Arman Khan says that work thing is probably not urgent. Vice

George Monbiot says that the secret world beneath our feet is mind-blowing—and the key to our planet’s future. The Guardian

Ellen Gutoskey lists 11 elements with names inspired by folklore and mythology. Mental Floss

The new black hole image explained by an astrophysicist. Dr. Becky

Nicole Mortillaro: astronomers reveal first image of the monster black hole at the heart of our galaxy. CBC

We may be wrong about planet formation. SciShow Space

Thank you for visiting, and I hope you took away something to inspire a future creative project.

Until next tipsday, be well and stay safe; be kind and stay strong. The world needs your stories!

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, April 24-30, 2022

Welcome to May! Start off the month right with some informal writerly learnings 🙂

Vaughn Roycroft: the applicability of … zombies? Elizabeth Huergo discusses social psychology and the novel. Then, Kelsey Allagood explains why you should embrace the fallow times. Diana Giovinazzo wants us to embrace our literary influences. Kristan Hoffman: revising the stories we tell ourselves. Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland lists ten pros and cons to writing every day. Do you have to? (Hint: maybe not.) Helping Writers Become Authors

Princess Weekes discusses Beloved, Toni Morrison’s magnum opus about confronting a terrible past. It’s Lit | PBS Storied

Kris Maze shares six ways to fix manuscript problems with an outline. Then, Laura Baker is discovering story magic: the x-factor. Eldred Bird poses ten questions to ask your characters. Writers in the Storm

Jim Denney shares the fast-writing secrets of C.S. Lewis. Live, Write, Thrive

Andrea A. Firth explains how the literary journal landscape is and isn’t changing. Allison K. Williams: writers, stop using social media (like that). Anne Carley wonders is journaling a waste of writing time? Jane Friedman

The hungry goddess. Tale Foundry

Melissa Haas offers some leisure learning for April 2022. Then, Colice Sanders is unpacking racism and colorism in character descriptions. Disha Walia shows you how to create your world with six questions. Then, Krystal N. Craiker provides a copyediting checklist: a recipe for clean, clear writing. Finally, Jeneva Rose goes through the five stages of dealing with rejection. DIY MFA

Becca Puglisi wants to know what’s your character hiding? Angela Ackerman: you wrote a killer love story … but did you romance the reader? Writers Helping Writers

The one thing every antihero fears … The Take

Tiffany Yates Martin explains how to transition into a flashback. Fox Print Editorial

The style genre: set the experience for the reader. The reality genre: realism or science fiction/fantasy. The time genre: how the reader experiences time in your story. Story Grid

The ten worst magic tropes. Jenna Moreci

Chris Winkle provides five tips for avoiding disorientation in your opening hook. Then, Oren Ashkenazi hosts a head-to-head-to-head competition between Antz, A Bug’s Life, and Ant-Man. Mythcreants

Kristen Lamb says that lies, deception, and betrayal are the deepest wounds.

Tajja Isen explains how the book industry turns its racism into a marketable product. Literary Hub

Thank you for taking the time to visit, and I hope you found something to support your current work in progress.

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

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, April 3-9, 2022

Welcome to tipsday, your opportunity to stock up on informal writerly learnings. Enjoy!

Richelle Lyn wonders whether to trademark or not to trademark. Then, Ambre Leffler recommends the marble jar experiment to balance your energy account. Marina Barakatt discusses Kamala Khan, AKA Ms. Marvel. Then, Laura Whitfield is facing shame and healing through writing a memoir. Later in the week, Madhushree Ghosh shares five books on family and belonging by Southeast Asian writers. DIY MFA

Ellen Brock helps you write your novel’s second quarter.

Julie Duffy wants you to find the fun. Then, Greer Macallister shares the pleasures and pitfalls of changing genres. Donald Maass: there are forces at work here. Nancy Johnson shares three tips for using real-world events. Then, David Corbett makes the next instalment in the continuing saga of the murdered darlings, prologue edition. Writer Unboxed

Tim Hickson fixes Legend of Korra. Hello, Future Me

Harrison Demchick reveals how to write about the pandemic (or not). Helping Writers Become Authors

Karen Debonis: from non-writer to published author in 20 short years. Then, Janice Hardy shares five ways to add depth to a scene. Julie Glover offers 10 common corrections she makes when copyediting. Writers in the Storm

Look what Jill Bearup accidentally made …

Joanna Penn interviews Tiffany Yates Martin about Intuitive Editing. The Creative Penn

Alex J. Cavanaugh talks about taking a writing break. Elizabeth Spann Craig

The story resolution creates a satisfying ending for the reader. Story Grid

Princess Weekes explores the failure of Black Disney.

Adam Rosen explains why you should consider a university press for your book. Then, Lisa Ellison Cooper reveals why your amazing writing group might be failing you. Jane Friedman

Nathan Bransford says there are no writing rules, but there are principles.

How to use symbolism in your writing. Reedsy

Kristen Lamb: memory shapes characters and sharpens conflict. Then, Kristen covers literary larceny and why people should be ashamed.

Colleen M. Story debunks one popular myth writers believe about writer’s block. Writers Helping Writers

Why aren’t angels scary anymore? Fate & Fabled | PBS Storied

Tiffany Yates Martin reveals how KJ Dell’Antonia revises: embracing opportunity. Fox Print Editorial

Chris Winkle profiles five mediocre white men from big-budget stories. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five underwhelming reveals in speculative fiction. Mythcreants

Sands Hall: “The ways of fiction are devious indeed.” Was Wallace Stegner guilty of plagiarism? Alta

Thank you for taking the time to visit, and I hope you found something to support your current work in progress.

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

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, March 20-26, 2022

It’s the last tipsday of March! Three months of 2022 passed, and … what do I have to show for it? Actually, I have a fair amount. I just have to remind myself that just because my head has been in #revisionhell for the past three months doesn’t mean that I haven’t accomplished anything else (!)

In any case, it’s time to stock up on informal writerly learnings for the last time in March.

Disha Walia wants you to appreciate speculative storytelling elements with these book recommendations. Then, Jeanette the Writer suggests when to stop editing: enough is enough. Gabriela Pereira interviews Brian Leung: writing about difficult subjects with a distinct first-person voice. Later in the week, Jessie Kwak explains how to recapture joy in your writing. Finally, Alexis M. Collazo shares five daily practices to stay happy, healthy, and writing. DIY MFA

Damn, you’re ugly: a Witcher armour review. Jill Bearup

K.M. Weiland poses three questions to make sure you’re not missing out on important scenes. Helping Writers Become Authors

Lisa Norman introduces you to the invisible reader you don’t want to ignore. Then, Lisa Hall-Wilson shares four ways to write the lived experience of trauma. Ellen Buikema is using the sixth sense in writing. Writers in the Storm

Do progressive reboots actually work? Melina Pendulum

Matthew Norman shares what the Beatles taught him about the difficulty of art: a hard day’s work. Then, Erika Liodice lists ten ways to find inspiration in Key West: sunshine and the creative mind. Kelsey Allagood asks, are you an accidental info-dumper? Then, Julia Whelan explains how to write a book without writing a book: what burnout taught her about process. John J. Kelley is rediscovering wonder and wisdom at Planet Word Museum. Writer Unboxed

Know your writing tropes. Reedsy

Tiffany Yates Martin is weaving flashbacks seamlessly into story. Then, Susan DeFreitas shares the secret of successful openings. Jane Friedman

Joanna Penn interviews Nikesh Shukla about Your Story Matters. The Creative Penn

The screwed-up history of English spelling. Otherwords | PBS Storied

Nathan Bransford: writing in times like these (and do click through to Morten Høi Jensen’s Gawker article—it’s excellent).

Inciting incident: how to start a story. Story Grid

A whole dynasty of Bi emperors. Xiran Jay Zhao

Tiffany Yates Martin: what do you do when the worst happens? Again, I recommend clicking through to listen to the podcast Tiffany discusses. Then she tackles the question: how do you write enduring stories? Fox Print Editorial

Kristen Lamb says that SEO is the key to working smarter, not harder.

Becca Puglisi shares nine tension-building elements for character dialogue. Writers Helping Writers

Chris Winkle shares lessons from the empty writing of The Alchemyst. Then, Oren Ashkenazi stages a high fantasy battle royale. Who will win: Name of the Wind, The Fifth Season, or Way of Kings? Mythcreants

Thank you for spending some time with me. I hope you took away something to support your current work in progress.

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe!

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Jan 30-Feb 5, 2022

Was it a monumental Monday for you? Well, now it’s time to reward yourself with some informal writerly learnings.

Anita Ramirez concludes her writerly journey with a couple of revelations. Then, Angela Yeh is finding nourishment and joy in daily life through the spirit of haiku. Eliza Jane Brazier explains how to write better by not writing. Then, Heather Campbell shares five sneaky ways perfectionism sabotages your writing. DIY MFA

The existential dystopias of Arcane and Squid Game. Hello, Future Me

Tessa Barbosa presents an introvert’s guide to a public online presence. Donald Maass: back story versus the past. Keith Cronin gets an unexpected gift from covid. Then, Rheea Mukherjee is writing with depression. Writer Unboxed

Rape revenge and Promising Young Woman: realism vs. catharsis. Melina Pendulum

K.M. Weiland explains what conflict in fiction really is and why it’s important to plot. Helping Writers Become Authors

What is white room syndrome? Reedsy

Shannon A. Thompson: yes, writers need to hear the hard truths, but warnings can go too far. Then, Eric Newton discusses making difficult decisions about the work left behind when a writer dies. Joe Ponepinto explains how to use telling details to connect description to character. Jane Friedman

Why are cats mythology’s most popular creatures? Fate & Fabled | PBS Storied

Diana Clark wonders how much research is enough. Then, Eldred Bird is building a better villain. Ellen Buikema continues her explorations of sensual writing: using the power of taste in your writing. Writers in the Storm

Why the disabled villain trope is so offensive. The Take

September C. Fawkes shares six cheats to “tell” well (when it’s warranted). Writers Helping Writers

Chris Winkle lists nine personality clashes for character conflicts. Then, Oren Ashkenazi explains why tossing in calamity won’t make your story exciting. Mythcreants

How writers revise: the relentless resilience of Ruta Sepetys. Fox Print Editorial

Point of view: definition and examples for the narrative path. Story Grid

How Disney commodifies culture – Southeast Asians roast Raya and the Last Dragon, part 1. Long, but well worth your while. Xiran Jay Zhao

And part 2:

Part three … yet to come.

Nina Munteanu touts the benefits of expressive writing: the journal writer.

Susan DeFreitas shares the lessons learned during her year of reading every Ursula K. Le Guin novel. Literary Hub

Weike Wang: notes on work. “There’s a masochistic pride to overworking. How heavy a workload can I truly handle? How many plates can I keep in the air?” The New Yorker

Ena Alvarado: animal teachers and Marie de France. JSTOR Daily

Thanks for hanging out with me. I hope you found something to support your current work in progress.

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe.

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Jan 23-29, 2022

Another week, another batch of informal writerly learnings 🙂 Enjoy!

Sara Farmer shares the mystery series she enjoys so much, they’re automatic buys. Then, Savannah Cordova lists her top tips for self-publishers in 2022. Gabriela Pereira interviews Sue Campbell about marketing mindset shifts for writers. Then, Marina Barakatt invites you into the pages of Don’t Go without Me. Wilnona and Brandy provide five tips for genre-hopping with ease. DIY MFA

Holiday Barbie, warrior princess. Jill Bearup

Vaughn Roycroft: WU’s greatest gift. Elizabeth Huergo shares a lesson from Joan Didion: clarity trumps expedience. Then, Kelsey Allagood suggests four ways to silence your inner comments section. Julie Carrick Dalton wonders, who are you writing for? Liz Michalski wants a room of her own. Writer Unboxed

Don’t Look Up—a problematic metaphor for climate change? Like Stories of Old

Kris Maze shares nine productivity tips she learned from knitting. Then, Lisa Hall-Wilson shares four tips for writing a trauma disclosure in deep point of view. Ellen Buikema explains how to use touch in writing. Writers in the Storm

Shaelin explains how to write in omniscient point of view. Reedsy

K.M. Weiland lists 11 ways to tell if your inner critic is healthy. Helping Writers Become Authors

Liz Keller Whitehurst is writing magic in a real-world setting. Writers Helping Writers

Princess Weekes goes inside the absurdist mind of Kurt Vonnegut. It’s Lit | PBS Storied

Jane discovers what kind of books translate well to the screen. Jane Friedman

Nathan Bransford helps you figure out whether you’re an athlete or an artist.

How the dyed-hair girl stopped being edgy. The Take

Chris Winkle shares five tips for reviving bland prose. Then, Oren Ashkenazi figures out who wins on engagement: Buffy, Supernatural, or Teen Wolf? Mythcreants

Toni Morrison lists the 10 steps that lead countries to fascism. Hauntingly accurate. Open Culture

Mazey Eddings explores the benefits of writer friends. Neurodiverse authors rule 🙂 Publishers Weekly

Sales soar for Maus after US school district bans the Holocaust graphic novel. CBC

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you found something to support your current work in progress.

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe!

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Jan 2-8, 2022

Another week, another batch of informal writerly learnings. Enjoy!

LA Bourgeois explains why you should stop using the word “should.” Then, Jeanette the Writer wonders how much you should pay an editor? DIY MFA

Ellen Brock provides her writing guide for intuitive plotters. This one feels spot on for me 🙂

Greer Macallister expounds on your novel’s two beginnings. Only begin. Therese Walsh: recovery from (something that tastes an awful lot like) shame. Donald Maass: gods, monsters, and murderbots. Julie Duffy lists the five Fs you should give while writing. Beth Havey: the power of place. Writer Unboxed

Bad writing habits to drop in 2022. Reedsy

Karen DeBonis says that in medias res is a very good place to start your novel. Then, Joseph Lallo offers some advice about worldbuilding for sci-fi authors: terraforming. Lori Brown is embracing the mystery of deep POV. Writers in the Storm

Elizabeth Spann Craig talks about making mini-plans and mini-goals for the year.

Princess Weekes discusses the women of Jane Austen. It’s Lit | PBS Storied

Jane Friedman says that BookTok is a safe haven for young, female readers. Jane Friedman

Colleen M. Story shares four strategies to help writers focus in a world of distractions. Writers Helping Writers

Sympathy for the #pickmegirl The Take

Chris Winkle explains how writing instructors forgo the most vital fiction lesson. Oren Ashkenazi: Way of Kings shows us the damage meta-mysteries can do. Mythcreants

Guy Kawasaki interviews Julia Cameron, queen of change, creative inspiration, and prolific writer. The Remarkable People Podcast

Is Trinity the “real” one? The Take

Jami Attenberg: rejection gave me a fresh start, a new year. “Writing is holy, as my friend Patricia Lockwood says. It is true that it is hard to make it as a writer, or any kind of artist, for that matter. But if you love to write, you should write forever.” The Guardian

Thank you for stopping by, and I hope you took away something to support your current work in progress.

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe!