Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Dec 11-17, 2022

Happy Hanukkah (ongoing), and happy solstice (tomorrow) for those who celebrate! Here’s my gift to you: informal writerly learnings. Yeah, I share them every week, and you know what, every week they’re gifts 🙂 Enjoy!

Ann Marie Nieves answers your book PR and marketing questions about what to do on a budget. Then, Kathleen McCleary is facing down fear. Jim Dempsey explains how to make the most of your writing goals. Then, Barbara Linn Probst takes a closer look at how writers use beta readers: who, when, why—and does it help? Writer Unboxed

Can all monsters be traced back to Tiamat? Monstrum | PBS Storied

Lori Freeland offers five tips to boost your professional writing cred. Then, Colleen M. Story explains how to decide what you really want from your writing career. Stefan Emunds helps you tap readers’ subconscious to engage them in your story. Writers in the Storm

Why death magic is evil. Tale Foundry

Beth Kephart presents a quiet manifesto: blurb matters. Then, Allison K. Williams shows you how writing your synopsis can fix your book. Eva Langston shares what she learned from 90 queries. Then, Sangeeta Mehta interviews Susan Chang and Julie Scheina about what you need to know before hiring a developmental editor. Jane Friedman

When the world becomes small. A philosophical turn. Ze Frank

Lucy V. Hay reveals how to use real life to inspire your fiction. Then, Jami Gold explains how and when to use foreshadowing. Writers Helping Writers

On her own site, Jami follows up by explaining the difference between foreshadowing and spoilers

Nathan Bransford shows you how to write a character who’s adrift.

E.J. Wenstrom shares four lessons learned over a decade of author platforming. Then, Sara Farmer shares her favorite mystery shows. Kaira Rouda shows you how to use a setting you know to set your characters free. Later in the week, Monica Cox shares five tips to get unstuck from the murky middle of your manuscript. DIY MFA

The hidden meaning in the humanity of others. Like Stories of Old

Adeena Mignogna exposes common misconceptions about satellite orbits. Science in Science Fiction | Dan Koboldt

Tiffany Yates Martin is showing up for the good stuff. Fox Print Editorial

Angie Hodapp shares seven tips for writing powerful endings. Pub Rants

What to do (and not do) with your NaNoWriMo novel. Reedsy

Chris Winkle unpacks five tropes that require low realism. Then, Oren Ashkenazi explains why the Save the Cat! novel beat sheet won’t help you. Mythcreants

Angela Misri: Vivek Shraya proves kids’ books can help us explore messy truths. The Walrus

Thank you so much for visiting. It’s like your gift to me! And I appreciate it. I hope you found something to support your current work(s) in progress.

Until Thursday, keep staying safe and well, my writerly friends.

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

Fall is in the (very chilly) air! Hope all my Canadian friends had marvelous Thanksgiving weekends, but now, it’s back to the grind. Hello, Tuesday-that-feels-like-a-Monday. It’s time to reward yourself with some informal writerly learnings 🙂

K.M. Weiland explains (very briefly) how to pull off a plot twist. Helping Writers Become Authors

Karen DeBonis recommends you celebrate every writing milestone. Lisa Norman: welcome to the future, part 2. Stefan Emunds shares three principles to make your story experience as real-to-life as possible. Writers in the Storm

Tikbálang, the Filipino nightmare shapeshifter. Monstrum | PBS Storied

Elizabeth Spann Craig shares five tips to make your life easier as a writer.

Greer Macallister: knowing your no. Donald Maass returns with more novels that shouldn’t work but do, and why. Then, Sarah Callender is stealing style, structure, and subject from other writers: imitation and emulation. Susan DeFreitas: I’ll feel what she’s feeling.  Yuvi Zalkow is rewriting the bookstore event. Writer Unboxed

Jill Bearup gets creative: the fantasy heroine vs. the writer.

Joe Ponepinto is writing small for a bigger impact. Then, Allison K. Williams says motivation doesn’t finish books. Allison also starts her “Ask an Editor” series answering this question: when should writers stand their ground rather than defer to an editor? Jane Friedman

Tim Hickson fixes the final season of Legend of Korra. Hello, Future Me

E.J. Wenstrom helps you overcome the book promotion scaries. Then, Sara Farmer presents her favourite Jane Austen mysteries. Lori Walker interviews Carol Van Den Hende about finding inspiration and writing purpose-driven fiction. Then, Mason Engel reveals the secret to maintaining the motivation—and discipline—to write: writeforce. Rita Zoey Chin shares five tips for writing dynamic characters. DIY MFA

How to brainstorm effectively. Reedsy

Janice Hardy explains why “the worst that can happen” is terrible writing advice. Fiction University

Becca Puglisi says themes and symbols go together like peas and carrots. Writers Helping Writers

Tiffany Yates Martin discovers how Emi Nietfeld revises: writing and real life. Fox Print Editorial

How to structure a short story. Shaelin Writes

Chris Winkle explains when to kill a hero—or not. Then, Oren Ashkenazi hosts another three-way ANTS death match between Three Parts Dead, House of Blood and Earth, and A Master of Djinn. Mythcreants

Emily Zarevich wonders if Mary Wollstonecraft’s Letters Written During a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark was the original Eat, Pray, Love. JSTOR Daily

Justyna Pawlak and Simon Johnson announce that the scrutiniser of self, France’s Annie Ernaux, beats long path to Nobel literature prize. Reuters

And that was tipsday. Thanks for spending some time with me, and I hope you found something to support your current work(s) in progress, whatever stage they’re at.

Until Thursday, keep staying safe and well, my writerly friends.

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Aug 21-27, 2022

It’s the last tipsday of August 2022. Where has the time gone?! It was a week jam-packed with informal writerly learnings. Enjoy!

Sara Farmer investigates some celebrity sleuths. Then, Ambre Leffler recommends the right lighting for your writing life. Tammy Lough: and the Nobel Prize in Literature awarded to … artificial intelligence? Susanne Dunlap tells the tale of how she came to write a novel about Adélaïde Labille-Guiard. Later in the week, Dianne C. Braley shares five tips on character development when writing about starting over. DIY MFA

The real history of Partition in India and Pakistan in Ms. Marvel. Historian’s Take | PBS Origins

Vaughn Roycroft considers the power of generational storytelling. Then, Gwen Hernandez helps you create an epub in Scrivener 3. Kelsey Allagood shares some lessons from the climbing wall. Then, Donna Giovinazzo explains how learning another language turned her into a grammar nerd. Natalie Hart wonders, what if you have what you need? Writer Unboxed

How Cthulu transcended its creator H.P. Lovecraft. Monstrum | PBS Storied

K.M. Weiland shares nine signs your story may be too complicated. Helping Writers Become Authors

Tiffany Yates Martin explains how to let readers into your characters’ inner life. Then, Kris Maze helps you fix fluff words — 14 filler words to avoid. Jenny Hansen says your mess is your message (a writing tip). Writers in the Storm

Why kids’ stories should be darker. Tale Foundry

Jim C. Hines makes a point about historical accuracy (in the context of House of the Dragon).

Heidi Ulrichsen announces that works by Sudbury’s 6th poet laureate now up at airport. Sudbury.com

The history of fonts. Struthless

Joni B. Cole says don’t fall for these five writing myths that can set back your writing. Jane Friedman

Tiffany Yates Martin discusses handling rejection (and what rejection letters mean—and don’t mean). Fox Print Editorial

How Freaks and Geeks got geek culture and freak culture. The Take

Angela Ackerman explains how to use conflict to target a character’s soft spots. Writers Helping Writers

Chris Winkle explains why you should theme your world. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five stories with too many characters. Mythcreants

Six signs it’s time to shelve your book. Reedsy

Joshua Hammer wonder was King Arthur a real person? The Smithsonian Magazine

Ed Simon: Mary Sydney and the voice of God. JSTOR Daily

The story behind food names. Otherwords | PBS Storied

Industry news: Jenn Northington wonders what is going on with Barnes & Noble? Book Riot

Thank you for spending some time with me, and I hope you found something to support your current work(s) in progress.

Until Thursday, keep staying safe and well!

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

Welcome to August! The dog days are here, and so is this week’s batch of informal writerly learnings 🙂

Kim Bullock offers some productivity lessons from a simpler time: praise, criticism, and self-reflection. Then, Elizabeth Huergo shares readings for writers: on writing (and revising) well. Kelsey Allagood is diagnosing writer’s block: symptoms, remedies, and prevention. Then, Julia Whelan hosts a deathmatch between first and second novels. Porter Anderson: just artificial, not intelligence. Writer Unboxed

The surprising origins of vampires (w/ Dr. Emily Zarka of Monstum). PBS Origins

K.M. Weiland explains how to structure a novel with multiple main characters. Helping Writers Become Authors

What is a masterwork? Definition and examples in books and film. Story Grid

Are bilinguals smarter? Otherwords | PBS Storied

Michelle Barker tackles the dreaded synopsis. Then, Dr. Natalie Dale shares three medical mistakes to avoid in your story. Writers Helping Writers

Kris Maze suggests you research your novel on a rambling road trip. Then, Lisa Hall-Wilson explains why first person POV is NOT deep POV. Shirley Jump wants you to use impossible choices to empower your conflict. Writers in the Storm

How the “manipulative victim” trope hurts female presenting people everywhere. The Take

Nathan Bransford says, don’t build your scenes around the information you think you need to impart.

E.J. Wenstrom shares lessons learned from joining a new social media network. Then, Sara Farmer lists her favourite mystery games. Later in the week, Erin La Rosa shares five ways to market your book as a debut author. DIY MFA

On world building death. Hello, Future Me

Wendy Sparrow explains how to make your editing process more efficient. Jami Gold

Sharon Oard Warner shows you how to move between scenes with summary and spacers. Jane Friedman

Tiffany Yates Martin says failure IS an option. Fox Print Editorial

Seven ways to outline your novel. Reedsy

Chris Winkle says a character goal isn’t a story, but it’s close. Then, Oren Ashkenazi (tongue firmly in cheek) lists six more ways to make your writing cinematic. Mythcreants

Livia Gershon: who made that word, and why? JSTOR Daily

Brian Attebery lists his top ten 21st-century fantasy novels. The Guardian

Thanks for spending some time with me! I hope you found something to support your current work in progress.

Until Thursday, keep staying safe and well, my writerly friends!

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, May 15-21, 2022

The penultimate tipsday of May, marked by the serenade of spring peepers and red-wing blackbirds; the scents of crab apple blossoms and lilacs and poplar sap; and thunderstorms that spark and roll overhead. Refill your well with some informal writerly learnings.

Disha Walia wants you to find your motivation for writing speculative fiction. Then, E.J. Wenstrom explains what to do about author platforming when you’re burned out. Sara Farmer lists more of her auto-buy mystery authors. Later in the week, Brittany Capozzi lists five answers we get from writing letters to ourselves. DIY MFA

The psychology of Zuko. Avatar: The Last Airbender. Hello, Future Me

K.M. Weiland recommends six ways to find your best ideas before you start writing. Helping Writers Become Authors

Sandy Vaile shares four essential elements you need to create a workable novel. Then, Holly Lasky asks you to guess who’s in the driver’s seat of your creativity? Lynette M. Burroughs explains how the forces of antagonism frame your story. Writers in the Storm

Darn it, you made me care. Jill Bearup

Susan Defreitas wonders, why write when the world is on fire? Jane Friedman

C.S. Lakin: outlining your novel for success. Live, Write, Thrive

Seven character development exercises. Reedsy

Elizabeth Spann Craig: stress and writing.

Dave King is getting to know evil. Then, Barbara Linn Probst gives us three writing exercises for three different points in the writing process. Kristina Stevens wonders how you adapt real life into fiction. Writer Unboxed

How sun mythologies are universal (featuring PBS Space Time). Fate & Fabled | PBS Storied

Christina Delay explains what to do when you feel like a hack. Then, Marissa Graff shares four ways your protagonist is sabotaging you (and how to fight back). Writers Helping Writers

Nathan Bransford: breaks, permission, and writing.

Olaseni Ajibade explores mental health in fiction: the monster you feed. Dan Koboldt

This story will save your imagination. Tale Foundry

Tiffany Yates Martin: high praise, big promises … and crickets. Fox Print Editorial

Kristen Lamb says weakness is blood in the water for narcissist sharks.

How the tech villain became the most hated character. The Take

Chris Winkle shares lessons from the summary writing of Illuminae. Then, Oren Ashkenazi critiques the second half of Pixar’s rules of storytelling. Mythcreants

Angie hodapp explains what to do when your entire manuscript turns out to be a prologue. Pub Rants

Guy Gavriel Kay wonders what we lose—and gain—as book tours move online? Literary Hub

Thank you for spending some time with me, and I hope you took away something to support your current work in progress, whatever stage it’s at.

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

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, April 17-23, 2022

Happy Tuesday! You survived Monday 🙂 Reward yourself with some informal writerly learnings.

Sara Farmer enters the not-so-elementary university of Sherlock Holmes, part 1. Then, LA Bourgeois wants you to acknowledge your limitations and set your stage for success. Gabriela Pereira interviews GG Kellner about using history to speculate the future and change the present. Then, F.E. Choe helps you create your own writing space at home. Gracie Bialecki bemoans the double-edged sword of deadlines. Finally, Ashley Christiano lists five ways astrology can help you write your novel. DIY MFA

Jill Bearup says choreography doesn’t matter.

Jan O’Hara: and the Oscar for best reality show script goes to Will Smith (or, writerly takeaways from the infamous slap). Dave King is in search of faith and goodness. Then, Barbara Linn Probst considers time: backstory, flashback, and chronology. Natalie Hart wonders what if you gave up? Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland outlines the six challenges of writing a second novel. Helping Writers Become Authors

Shaelin shares 11 writing exercises to help break writer’s block. Reedsy

Becca Puglisi shares creative ways to brainstorm story ideas. Then, Lynette M. Burrows presents one plotting tool for all. Ellen Buikema continues her literary tour of the senses with the power of vision in writing. Writers in the Storm

Alice Gaines offers three tools for deep point of view. Elizabeth Spann Craig

Margaret McNellis helps you tell your story with three tarot cards. Then, Catherine Baab-Maguira explains why Frankenstein still sells 40,000 copies a year. Jane Friedman

Erica Brozovsky talks about pronouns: the little words that say a lot. Otherwords | PBS Storied

Lisa Hall-Wilson offers one reason readers cheer for unlikeable characters. Then, Angela Ackerman explains how writers can turn the page this spring. Writers Helping Writers

Tiffany Yates Martin: “Leave me alone—I know what I’m doing.” Fox Print Editorial

Kristen Lamb: small steps and the value of just showing up.

Why we’re still so obsessed with the Heather. The Take

Chris Winkle recommends seven external plots for relationship-centered stories. Then, Oren Ashkenazi wonders how useful Michael Moorcock’s ten rules of writing are.  Mythcreants

Angie Hodapp helps you balance the explainable with the inexplicable in speculative fiction. Then, Kristin Nelson says all the writing talent in the world won’t save the wrong story. Pub Rants

Why is Turning Red getting so many weird reviews? Xiran Jay Zhao

Alana Pickerel: new poster exhibit by the Sudbury Writers’ Guild highlights Sudbury’s rainbow hospital. CTV Northern Ontario

Alan Neal interviews John Degen of the Writers’ Union of Canada about proposed Copyright Act changes. CBC’s “All in a Day”

Thanks 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!

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 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!