Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, June 19-25, 2022

Welcome to the final tipsday of June! Fill up on informal writerly learnings for the last time this month.

Sara Farmer lists more of her favourite Sherlock Holmsian mystery series. Then, Abigail K. Perry analyzes the first chapter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Angela Yeh explains why all writers should play with poetry. Then Angela unlocks writer’s block sideways. Later in the week, Lewis Jorstad lists five reasons your novel’s premise is a powerful writing tool. DIY MFA

Nathan Bransford provides a novel revision checklist.

How to write a non-fiction book proposal. Reedsy

Matthew Norman explains how his career in advertising helped shape him as a novelist. Dave King: when worlds collide. Kelsey Allagood wants you to let your words grow wild. Then, Deanna Cabinian wonders, when is obsession a good thing? Victoria Strauss warn about the predatory contracts of serial reading/writing apps. Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland helps you understand the new normal world of a story’s resolution. Helping Writers Become Authors

Erica Brosovsky suggests some foreign words we need in English. Otherwords | PBS Storied

Lisa Norman explains why you want people to hate your website. Then, Megan Ganesh promotes diversity and inclusion in writing. Eldred Bird says Chekov’s gun is a double-edged writing sword. Writers in the Storm

Nina Amir reveals how to quickly develop a writing habit. Live, Write, Thrive

Elizabeth Spann Craig points out yet another use for outlines.

Allison K. Williams reveals why agents don’t give feedback—and where to get it instead. Jane Friedman

The curse of creativity. Tale Foundry

Becca Puglisi wants you to go beyond the superficial character talents and skills. Jami Gold

Cheryl Rainfield helps you avoid writing mental health stereotypes. Writers Helping Writers

Tiffany Yates Martin asks, are you writing safe or risking your readers? Fox Print Editorial

Chris Winkle explains how to make your character novel. Then, Oren Ashkenazi says that the three-act structure is a mirage. (!) Very insightful and something that’s been bothering me about most story “structures.” Mythcreants

Workplace dystopias aren’t fiction. They’re here. The Take

Angie Hodapp talks rhetorical story development. Then, Kristin Nelson asks, can a writer set out to write a bestselling novel? Pub Rants

Kristen Lamb explains why we play “follow the reader.”

Terry Nguyen says we need rituals, not routines. Vox

Cassie Josephs: Murderbot is an autistic-coded robot done right. Did I not nail this in my last next chapter update? Oh, yeah. I did. Tor.com

Thank you for spending some time 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, June 12-18, 2022

Welcome to tipsday, you’re opportunity to get your fill of informal writerly learnings. Enjoy!

K.M. Weiland helps you understand the underworld of a story’s third act. Helping Writers Become Authors

Ann Marie Nieves: book promotion and marketing questions answered, part VIII. Lisa Janice Cohen recommends a writer’s buddy system. Then, Barbara Linn Probst is walking back to “what do I really want?” AKA the miracle question. Julie Carrick Dalton is seeking the existential, the intimate, and the urgent: essays that model masterful storytelling. Writer Unboxed

Tim Hickson says show don’t tell (is a lie). Hello, Future Me

Ellen Buikema wants you to write a compelling first line. Then, Lynette M. Burrows helps you create compelling scenes with the motivation-reaction unit (MRU). Lori Freeland: to comma or not to comma (part 4). Writers in the Storm

Jodé Millman issues a call to arms against banning books. Elizabeth Spann Craig

Jill Bearup explains how to fight in Versace.

Becca Puglisi helps you avoid writing stereotypes of religious figures. Jami Gold: “They’re all gonna die!” Wait. Why does that matter? Writers Helping Writers

Over on her own blog, Jami follows up with this post: what gives our stories meaning?

Nathan Bransford explains how to write a synopsis for your novel.

Shaelin explains how to submit to literary magazines. Reedsy

Ambre Dawn Leffler suggests three small steps to get your writing back on track. Then, Marina Barakatt introduces us to the comic Shutter. Linda Murphy Marshall offers five words of encouragement for writers. Then, Mary Adkins explains how to use the enneagram to create fictional characters. DIY MFA

Kristen Lamb considers neurodivergence: being different in life and fiction.

Emily Zarka and Josef Lorenzo uncover UFOs and alien abductions. Monstrum | PBS Storied

Tiffany Yates Martin wonders, are you paying attention to your progress? Fox Print Editorial

Jane provides a step-by-step walk-through of Amazon Ads for beginning authors. Jane Friedman

Chris Winkle explains how to make your character selfless. Then, Oren Ashkenazi pits Andy Weir against himself in a three-way competition: The Martian vs. Artemis vs. Project Hail Mary. Mythcreants

Shaelin suggests questions to ask while you’re revising. Shaelin Writes

Thanks for stopping by, 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, May 29-June 4, 2022

It’s tipsday! You know what that means. It’s time to get your fill of informal writerly learnings 🙂

LA Bourgeois: victory celebration required. Jeanette the Writer explains the difference between writing and editing. Then, Lori Walker interviews Rebecca Scherm about writing the near future: climate change and big tech. Carol Van Den Hende lists three benefits to speaking at industry conferences. Later in the week, Angela Yeh shares five ways to develop a creative ritual you’ll want to keep. DIY MFA

Fight me! Jill Bearup

K.M. Weiland: understanding the normal world of a story’s first act. Helping Writers Become Authors

Tom Bentley: this pretty much (book) covers it. Kasey LeBlanc provides some tools to help you on your querying journey. Donald Maass: your microcosm, our world. Grace Wynter interviews Mel Todd about going from fanfiction to $150K. Then, Liza Nash Taylor triple-dog dares you to make a pass: revising your draft. Writer Unboxed

Shaelin reacts to writing advice from Twitter. Reedsy

Eldred Bird says that if you’re going mobile, you need a mobile media kit. Then, Janice Hardy shares ten ways to un-stick your novel. James Preston wonders who’s in charge of your story? Writers in the Storm

Becca Puglisi wonders, is compassion fatigue is relevant to your characters? Then, Lucy V. Hay helps you avoid writing stereotyped female characters. Writers Helping Writers

Mapinguari: fearsome beast and protector of the rainforest.  Monstrum | PBS Storied

The horror genre: stories of life and damnation against uncanny, supernatural, and ambiguous monsters. The thriller genre is a blend of action, crime, and horror stories. Story Grid

Kristen Lamb suggests writing fast and furious to outrun Spock brain.

Nathan Bransford explains how to utilize exposition and context in a novel.

Closeted bullies are all over our screens. How real is this trope? The Take

Barbara Linn Probst tells you what to remember, do, avoid, and expect when getting book endorsements (blurbs). Jane Friedman

Chris Winkle explains how to create moral dilemmas that are actually moral. The, Oren Ashkenazi points out the difference between relatable and mediocre heroes. Mythcreants

Ten kids’ books by Canadian Asian authors to read in honour of Asian Heritage Month. CBC Books

David A. Robertson curates this list of 48 books by Indigenous writers to read about and understand residential schools. CBC Books

Emily Pullen recommends new LGBTQ fiction for Pride 2022. The New York Public Library

Thanks for stopping by. 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, May 1-7, 2022

Ah, Tuesday. Monday has been endured/survived and we’re one day closer to the weekend. Fortify yourself for the rest of the week with some informal writerly learnings!

Lauren J. Sharkey is aimlessly acquiring and agent. Then, Adam W. Burgess helps you build your LGBTQ+ summer reading list. Gabriela Pereira interviews Jessi Honard and Marie Parks about using the “loop method” to co-write your novel. Later in the week, Mary Adkins suggests your best writing goal based on your enneagram number. DIY MFA

Five easy ways to get story ideas. Reedsy

Greer Macallister says you can’t do it all. Then, Sarah Penner talks about hiding your villain in plain sight. Donald Maass: it’s simple. It’s complicated. It’s a novel. Keith Cronin offers some tough love from a guy named Francis. Then, Liz Michalski says hello, village. Writer Unboxed

What’s wrong with Calanthe’s armour? Jill Bearup

K.M. Weiland explains the role of the antagonist in story structure (part 1 of 2). Helping Writers Become Authors

Brooke Warner says we all need to be protected against predatory publishing practices. Then, Kristen Tsetsi interviews Alan Davis about the benefits of MFA programs. Anne Carley: not a journal person? Post-pandemic might be the perfect time to start. Jane Friedman

Five things I got (very) wrong about writing craft. Shaelin Writes

September C. Fawkes shows you how to use crisis to reveal character. Writers Helping Writers

Lisa Norman explains what to do if you’ve been hacked! Or have you? Later in the week, Kris Maze explains how to create a powerful synopsis to sell your book. Writers in the Storm

Kristen Lamb discusses the mother wound and fiction.

Why has the majestic griffin been forgotten? Monstrum | PBS Storied

Tiffany Yates Martin explains how Rochelle Weinstein revises: building grassroots success. Fox Print Editorial

Chris Winkle reveals how to make your craft more pretentious. Oren Ashkenazi: no, social justice warriors aren’t reducing diversity in fiction. Mythcreants

The worldview genre: stories about maturation, disillusionment, and revelation. Story Grid

The quarter life crisis is more stressful than ever. The Take

Clara Pasieka: Cree author, David A. Robertson questions why Durham District School Board removed his book from shelves. CBC

How libraries became a quiet battlefront in the war on Ukraine. CBC

Ukraine’s national poet. JSTOR Daily

Thanks for taking the time to visit. I hope you took away something to support your current work in progress.

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe!

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Feb 6-12, 2022

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

Sara Farmer shares part two of her auto-buy mystery list. LA Bourgeois says that if you want to find your motivation, ask, “How can I make this happen?” Then, F.E. Choe explains how to develop a disciplined writing practice. Lyn Liao Butler wants you to consider writing from your perspective. DIY MFA

How to write first person point of view. Reedsy

Greer Macallister shares what a month of writing every day taught her. “It’s a balancing act, not a limbo stick.” Jim Dempsey: the story of your dreams. Kathleen McCleary wants you to explore the unknown in your writing: the dark side. Then, Kathryn Craft explains how to repurpose your plot. David Corbett tackles explanation vs. fascination—and a woman in the corner opposite. Writer Unboxed

Ellen Brock provides a writing guide for the methodological plotter.

K.M. Weiland wants you to make story structure your own. Helping Writers Become Authors

Sword lady hits ceiling with sword. Happy anniversary! Jill Bearup

Susan DeFreitas says that if you want to write a great novel, be brave. Then, Lisa Cooper Ellison proposes three things to ask yourself before writing about trauma. Janna Marlies Maron suggests three shifts you need to make to finish your book. Jane Friedman

Tuatha dé Danann, the enchanting faeries of celtic lore. Monstrum | PBS Storied

Margie Lawson offers tips to create a bestselling title. Then, Miffie Seideman provides seven steps for healthy emotional endurance for writers. Shirley Jump shares ten ways to reverse engineer your plot. Writers in the Storm

The Little Mermaid as a queer allegory. The Take

Elizabeth Spann Craig: promo for introverts.

Marissa Graff outlines the zig-zag plot arc. Then David. G. Brown offers three considerations for revising scene by scene. Writers Helping Writers

Nathan Bransford lists essential computer skills for writers.

Is Arcane a dystopia? Tim Hickson thinks not. Two the Future

Chris Winkle explains how to include thoughts from multiple characters without head-hopping. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyses five stories that spoil their mysteries. Mythcreants

Robert Lee Brewer explains how to write successful queries for any genre of writing (with lots of examples). From 2019, but it’s a timeless topic 🙂 Writer’s Digest

Simon Usborne: forget Wordle! Can you crack the Dickens code? An IT worker from California just did. The Guardian

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, 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, Oct 24-30, 2021

This will be the last tipsday until December 7th! Yup, it’s NaNo again. So, stock up for the month and feel free to peruse past weeks’ posts as well. I don’t know if it’s a coincidence, but this tipsday is jam packed full of writerly goodness. Enjoy!

Kim Bullock faces a fork in the writerly road. KL Burd: “The loss we carry, a sea we must wade.” Elizabeth Huergo discusses genre and its discontents. Then, Milo Todd is losing the magic of writing: The Sweatbox. Heather Webb: Halloween is all about fear; turns out, so is publishing. Writer Unboxed

Racism and horror | Khadija Mbowe

K.M. Weiland poses six questions to help you avoid repetitive scenes. Helping Writers Become Authors

Lisa Cooper Ellison says that structure isn’t the Holy Grail you’re looking for. Jane Friedman

Vivek Hariharan shares six tips for expanding a novel into a series. Live, Write, Thrive

Princess Weekes reveals what the f—k happened behind the scenes of Justice League. Melina Pendulum

Kris Maze offers a worry-free approach to double down on your writing goals. Then, Laurie Schnebly Campbell asks, how deep should you go into your POV? Kathleen Baldwin makes the case for “was” and the much maligned passive voice. Writers in the Storm

Shaelin explains how to write a horror novel. Reedsy

Then she follows up with the best and worst horror tropes. Reedsy

Sue Coletta: what are pinch points and where do they go? Then, Colleen M. Story explains how to tell if you’ve found the best book marketing niche. Lisa Hall-Wilson lists five ways trauma makes your character an unreliable narrator. Writers Helping Writers

Kris Hill is creating characters using collaborative storytelling. Then, Manuela Williams explains how to organize a collection of poetry. Gabriela Pereira interviews Debbie Macomber about writing and publishing a Christmas novel. Then, Alison Stine explains how to write a cli-fi novel. Sarah Van Arsdale shares five ways to resist the inexorable forces pulling you from your writing. DIY MFA

On her own channel, Shaelin shares 20 NaNoWriMo tips. Shaelin Writes

Chuck Wendig reviews the worldbuilding in Villeneuve’s Dune. Emmie Mears shares five things she learned building a writing career the wrong way. Terribleminds

Chris Winkle lists five important ways episodic stories are different. Then, Oren Ahskenazi analyzes To Sleep in a Sea of Stars: how Paolini undercooked his setting. Mythcreants

Princess Weekes shares everything you didn’t know about the father of science fiction. It’s Lit | PBS Storied

Patricia A. Jackson shares a pantser’s tale: follow the white rabbit. Fiction University

Emily Zarka presents the werewolf’s modern metamorphosis. Monstrum | PBS Storied

Kristen Lamb explains how horror can improve your writing in any genre.

Guy Kawasaki interviews Seth Godin: marketing god, blogger, and author. The Remarkable People Podcast

“Queerbaiting” is a tricky term. Don’t abuse it. The Take

Alan Garner: “You don’t want to have a brilliant idea for a novel at the age of 87.” The Guardian

Ena Alvarado reveals the science and slavery in Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko. JSTOR Daily

Hanna Flint says that Dune is an accomplished escape into the realm of cinematic Arab appropriation. The New Arab

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

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe!

NaNo Eve Mini-Update

Hallooo, writerly friends! At the last minute, I have decided to NaNo. I am once more a rebel, hoping to make some progress on this next round of Reality Bomb revisions as well as penning some short fiction. The hope is that, between the two, I’ll rack up a reasonable word count.

I am not, however, striving for 50k. I’m not going to stress. This is going to be a casual NaNo this year and my emphasis will be on trying to get back my writing mojo. My practice has been spotty since my burnout and I really just want to get some words on the page. Or revised. Or something. It just doesn’t feel right, not writing.

To facilitate this recapturing of joy, I’m going to hold off on my next chapter update until December. I will not be doing my regular curation beyond this week (because I already have the Tuesday and Thursday posts completed). I will be scarce on Twitter.

I will offer mini-updates every week, however, to make up for the lack of content otherwise.

Then, in December, I’ll do a double update (October and November), resume curation and Twitter, and I’ll let you know if this little experiment works out 🙂

If you want to be my buddy on the NaNo site, I am (unsurprisingly) MelanieMarttila.

Until tipsday, be well and stay safe!

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Oct 17-23, 2021

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

Jan O’Hara receives a wake-up call. Then, Dave King is writing in both directions. Barbara Linn Probst reviews the three aspects of revision: reworking, refining, and revisioning. Later in the week, Desmond Hall drops some more bite-sized writerly learnings on us. Writer Unboxed

Angela Ackerman explains how to make your characters’ choices more difficult. Helping Writers Become Authors

Jill bearup wants to talk to you about your enemies to lovers fixation (see Jenna Moreci, below, for a little writerly how-to).

Jessica Conoley shows you how to use your analyzer switch to increase productivity. Then, Stephanie Bourbon shows you how to fly by the seat of your pants—and win NaNoWriMo. Lizbeth Meredith asks: does the idea of promoting your book make you queasy? Jane Friedman

Emily Zarka recounts the killer origins of the werewolf. Monstrum | PBS Storied

Becca Puglisi reveals how internal conflict fits into the character arc. Live, Write, Thrive

Then, Becca shifts blogs to further discuss failure, conflict, and character arc. Then, Lisa Norman covers publishing dilemmas, distribution, and disruption. Ellen Buikema touts the benefits of writing SMART goals. Writers in the Storm

Jessica Thompson is subverting expectations in satisfying ways. Elizabeth Spann Craig

Louise Harnby answers the question: what is narrative distance?

The “mean girl” trio – three types of bad female leaders. The Take

Nathan explains how to raise the stakes in a novel. Then, Lindsay Syhakhom declares that writing in the library is wonderful. Nathan Bransford

Jeanette the Writer helps you figure out where to put the comma. Tammy Lough: romantic gestures create heat waves. Gabriela Pereira interviews Stephanie Bwa Bwa about world building and the YA fantasy serial. Then, Jessica Vitalis is tackling heavy subjects with middle grade readers. Angela Yeh shares five fun ways to get your butt in the chair (and keep it there). DIY MFA

Jenna Moreci offers her top ten tips for writing enemies to lovers.

J.D. Edwin shares six helpful ways any writer can overcome burnout. The Write Practice

Piper Bayard explains that outside of Hollywood movies, not everything can be “silenced.” Kristen Lamb

Bonnie Randall offers a few foundations of fear in fiction. Fiction University

Chris Winkle explains the problem with multiple viewpoints. Then, Oren Ashkenazi tests how useful Elmore Leonard’s ten rules of writing are. Mythcreants

Shaelin critiques Leonard’s rules, too. It’s interesting to note the differences … Reedsy

Sudbury’s YES Theatre hopes to build new outdoor venue. I remember when this space was open for movie nights and poetry readings and all kinds of artistic events. CBC

A process for the transfer of energy and feeling: George Saunders on the key to great storytelling. Brain Pickings

Kinship: Ursula K. Le Guin’s love poem to trees, the interleaving of life and death, and the eternal flame of being. The Marginalian (formerly Brain Pickings)

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: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, May 9-15, 2021

Welcome to another tipsday, your opportunity to fill up on informal writerly learnings 🙂

KL Burd helps you incorporate social issues into your manuscript. Therese Walsh: spring thaws and the buzz of the muse. Then, Juliet Marillier wants you to consider your author photo. Kathryn Craft wants you to embrace unapologetic characterization. Later in the week, David Corbett recounts his experience murdering 22,000 darlings. Writer Unboxed

Shaelin guides you through the process of content and developmental editing. Reedsy

K.M. Weiland covers the mage’s shadow archetypes in part 14 of her archetypal character arcs series. Helping Writers Become Authors

Star Wuerdemann explains how to find compelling comps for your book. Jane Friedman

Joanna Penn interviews Gail Carriger about The Heroine’s Journey. The Creative Penn

Princess Weekes looks at the literary power of manga. It’s Lit | PBS Storied

Laurence MacNaughton shares three shortcuts to character-driven stories. Then, Savannah Cordova helps you figure out which story structure is right for your novel. Fiction University

Stephanie BwaBwa explains how to use bookstagram to increase your novel’s visibility. Then, Olivia Fisher is all about short stories. Gabriela Pereira interviews Suyi Davies Okungbowa about layers of world building in epic fantasy. Later in the week, Melanie Gibson shares five tips for writing about your mental health journey. DIY MFA

How the self-aware teen movie almost killed the genre. The Take

Marissa Graff explains how to power up individual scenes with a scene tracker. Writers Helping Writers

Margie Lawson touts the power of quirky-smirky assonance and alluring alliteration. Then, Ellen Buikema explains the relationship between stress and creativity. Writers in the Storm

Kristine Kathryn Rusch starts a new series: fear-based decision-making (part one).

Chris Winkle lists five ways to incorporate dreams into your plot. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five fascinating monsters in speculative fiction. Mythcreants

Kristen Lamb follows the writer’s journey from total newbie to the joy of mastery.

Vicky Qaio reports that Robert J. Sawyer and Silvia Moreno-Garcia are among the finalists for the 2021 Aurora Awards. CBC

Sagal Mohammed interviews Barry Jenkins about avoiding the exploitation of Black trauma in The Underground Railroad. Buzzfeed

Thank you for taking the time to stop by, and I hope you took away something to support your current work in progress.

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