Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Aug 14-20, 2022

Week four of August is here along with your weekly batch of informal writerly learnings! Enjoy!

K.M. Weiland explains how to write emotional scenes (without making them cringey). Helping Writers Become Authors

Lisa Norman reveals how to painlessly generate dozens of blog ideas. Then, Sandy Vaile digs into research: how far will fiction authors go for facts? Laurie Schnebly Campbell wonders how much does genre matter? Writers in the Storm

Joanna Penn interviews Becca Puglisi about writing conflict. The Creative Penn

How to write a plot summary and a synopsis. Reedsy

Roz Morris considers using real people in historical fiction—how much can you invent? Nail Your Novel

Barbara Linn Probst wonders what does “award-winning author” mean—and does it matter? Then, Marcie Geffner discusses aphantasia and writing fiction with no “mind’s eye.” Writer Unboxed

AJ Harper helps you get in front of your readers’ doubts and objections. Jane Friedman

Good characters are overrated. Tale Foundry

Christina Delay: small focus. Big creativity. Becca Puglisi wants you to use your character’s career to support your story’s theme. Writers Helping Writers

Nathan Bransford says don’t outsource your agent search.

Kris Hill considers fairy tales and once upon a time. Manuela Williams: what is the poetry of witness? Then, Daria White proposes an alternative to traditional time management for writers.  Abigail Cutter suggests five ways to get inside your historical characters’ heads. DIY MFA

This fight changed everything … Jill Bearup

Angela Ackerman: does conflict really belong on every page? Jami Gold

Tiffany Yates Martin explains how to write a query letter (without losing your mind). Fox Print Editorial

Kristen Lamb examines the priority parallax: what’s truly important?

Chris Winkle lists ten reasons your characters might stop communicating. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five stories with well-written families. Mythcreants

How to write your first novel. Reedsy

Chris Martin discusses poetry, autism, and the joy of working with neurodiverse writers. Literary Hub

Peter Kafka: the newsletter boom is over. What’s next? Vox

S.L. Huang investigates the ghost of workshops past: how communism, conservatism, and the Cold War still mold our paths to SFF writing. Outstanding essay! Tor.com

Thank you 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!

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, July 31-Aug 6, 2022

Welcome to tipsday, your opportunity to fill up on informal writerly learnings for the week!

Also, I’m super excited for the launch of Pirating Pups at When Words Collide this coming Friday, August 12, at 3 pm MT, 5 pm EDT. WWC is virtual again this year and registration is FREE. Find out more on their website.

LA Bourgeois: stalk your curiosity. Stephanie BwaBwa suggests some more tools for your self-publishing toolbox. Then, Olivia Fisher is all about middle-grade fiction. Kris Calvin shows you how to use shared themes in your favorite childhood books to write as an adult. Later in the week, Gilbert Bassey lists five must-haves for a great ending. DIY MFA

Multiverses, nihilism, and how it feels to be alive right now. Like Stories of Old

Greer Macallister: the power of surprise. Donald Maass helps you write elusive inner moments. Then, Sarah Penner provides a writer’s guide to breaking the rules. Rheea Mukherjee shares three things she learned going on submission with her first book. Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland shares 13 rules to becoming a better beta reader. Helping Writers Become Authors

Characters who never lived. Tale Foundry

Diana Stout points out the relation between the law of abundance and you as a writer. Then, Janice Hardy helps you create stronger characters by giving them roles. Stefan Emunds explains the yin and yang relationship between psychology and storytelling. Writers in the Storm

Elizabeth Spann Craig offers five tips for getting through a tough spot in a project.

Neil Chase pits antagonist vs. villain: what’s the difference? Writers Helping Writers

Shaelin explains why telling and exposition are actually good. Shaelin Writes

Joanna Penn interviews Sacha Black about lessons learned from three years as a full-time author. The Creative Penn

Nathan Bransford: try to make each scene do more than one thing.

Tiffany Yates Martin explains how Joanna Penn revises by measuring what she creates. Fox Print Editorial

Writing exercises for poets. Reedsy

Chris Winkle reveals how to give social justice feedback (in a way that won’t upset the author). Then, Oren Ashkenazi lists the five reasons prequel stories are so difficult. Mythcreants

Hillel Italie says antitrust trial puts publishing industry in the dock. Associated Press

Vittoria Traverso interviews Pablo Olbi about keeping the centuries-old tradition of Venetian bookbinding alive. Atlas Obscura

Ellen Gutoskey lists nine dirty words with appropriate secondary definitions. Mental Floss

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

Until Thursday, keep staying safe and well!

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, Feb 27-March 5, 2022

Welcome to tipsday, your opportunity to fill up on informal writerly learnings, every Tuesday (if you want more—moar—check out the archives). Enjoy!

Melissa Haas shares leisure learning links for February 2022. Then, Richelle Lyn shares tales of a solopreneur. Gabriela Pereira interviews Gillian McDunn about neurodiversity, family dynamics and cooking in contemporary middle grade fiction. Dana De Greff helps you open doors in your writing. DIY MFA

Tim Hickson focuses on the most important moment in any story. Hello, Future Me

Kim Bullock introduces us to the little library banned book project. Then, Tiffany Yates Martin reviews some words you’re probably using wrong. Donald Maass: theme vs. meaning. Liza Nash Taylor shares the arc of one author and two book launches in five acts: Freytag’s pandemic. Yuvi Zalkow: storytelling and the Hero’s Journey. Writer Unboxed

The myth of heroic masculine purpose. Like Stories of Old

K.M. Weiland shares five red flags that indicate you might need a break from writing. Helping Writers Become Authors

Tiffany Yates Martin wants you to dig deeper than description for more nuanced characters. Then, James R. Preston wants you to get out from behind the keyboard. Writers in the Storm

How to write your novel’s first chapter. Reedsy

Joanna Penn interviews Johnny B. Truant about pivoting on the creative journey. The Creative Penn

Lisa Poisso recommends best practices for working with an independent editor. Then, Becca Puglisi shares some tips for landing a guest-posting gig. Writers Helping Writers

Nathan Bransford wants you to show your characters getting from point a to point b.

Finding your writing process. Shaelin Writes

Jessica Conoley reveals what your writing is training you for. When you change alongside your book: Q&A with Mansi Shah. Jane Friedman

Chris Winkle explains how to write an unhappy ending. Then, Oren Ashkenazi reveals why sequels don’t erase errors in the first book. Mythcreants

Adze: the shapeshifting firefly from West Africa. Monstrum | PBS Storied

Kristen Lamb is creating dimensional characters with personality traits.

Ashawnta Jackson reveals the short but influential run of Ebony and Topaz. JSTOR Daily

Angelarium: The Book of Angels. Tale Foundry

George Saunders helps you overcome uncertainty in writing. Literary Hub

Priya Sidhar wonders, was Brandon Sanderson’s video about burnout relatable? Medium

Unreliable narrators: why we love to be lied to. The Take

Jonathan Thornton provides a readers’ guide to the Finnish weird in translation. More for my TBR list! Tor.com

Leigh Haber interviews Diana Gabaldon about season six of Outlander. Droughtlander ENDED Sunday! Yay! Oprah Daily online

Thank you for taking the time to visit. 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, Feb 20-26, 2022

Welcome to March! Celebrate the coming of spring (and daylight savings? Maybe?) by filling up on informal writerly learnings.

K.M. Weiland shares nine ways to approach relationship dynamics in fiction. Helping Writers Become Authors

Lisa Norman lists five tips for social media detox. Kris Maze suggests some steps to avoid the dreaded burnout, and then she follows up with this: what causes burnout? Writers in the Storm

What is the first quarter debate? Plot structure, pt. 2. Ellen Brock

Elizabeth Spann Craig considers when to stop a series.

Gwen Hernandez shares some Scrivener skills: tag, colour code, and organize with metadata. Then, Kelsey Allagood explains how context influences craft: the rebirth of the author. Deanna Cabinian is letting go of rejection, literally. Then, Victoria Strauss says that if it’s out of the blue, it’s too good to be true: beware solicitation scams. Writer Unboxed

How to write third person limited point of view. Reedsy

Lisa Cooper Ellison: you are not your traumas, but here’s how to write about them. Then, Sangeeta Mehta interviews Laura Zats and T.S. Ferguson: how important is genre when pitching and promoting your book? Catherine Baab-Maguira says that if you can’t stand the sight of your own blood, don’t step into the ring. Jane Friedman

Flashback hack: connecting backstory to the present. Shaelin Writes

Angela Ackerman helps you figure out when to kill a character. Then, E.C. Ambrose explains how to craft a plot out of your historical obsession: spinning a yarn out of history. Writers Helping Writers

Delila S. Dawson lists ten ways to torture people (in fiction). Then, Rob Hart shows us his research toolbox. Terribleminds

How do clichés evolve into memes? Otherwords | PBS Storied

Nathan Branfsord explains how to craft a great mystery in your novel.

Lauren J. Sharkey reveals what MFAs miss about the editing process. Then, Adam W. Burgess reads writer to writer: William di Canzio and E.M. Forster. Gracie Bialecki wants you to learn how to celebrate your manuscript: draft day. Later in the week, Grace Pelley recommends five things to remove from your TBR list. DIY MFA

The imperfect mom onscreen: ending the “selfless mother trope.” The Take

Joanna Penn shares lessons learned for rewriting her first novel over a decade later. The Creative Penn

Chris Winkle explains how to write three types of relationship arcs. Then, Oren Ashkenazi lists five common weapon mistakes in speculative fiction. Mythcreants

Rasha Ali explains how Octavia Butler’s legacy was born out of a bad science fiction movie. USA Today

Carol Saler explains when to capitalize after a colon. CMOS Shop Talk

Thank you for taking the time to stop 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, Feb 13-19, 2022

It’s the last tipsday of February! Fuel up on informal writerly learnings for the week.

Roz Morris explains how to write a novel with multiple points of view—seven voices. Nail Your Novel

Raya’s queerbaiting of Southeast Asians – the importance of cultural context to queerness (part 3 of SEA critique of Raya and the Last Dragon). Xiran Jay Zhao

Ann Marie Nieves: PR and marketing questions answered, part VI. Dave King recommends cutting your way to freedom. Then, Barbara Linn Probst shares something that might not actually be true. Porter Anderson: ego, “litflation,” and honor(s). Tom Pope is creating without hope and fear. Writer Unboxed

How do we read? It’s Magic (almost)! Be Smart

K.M. Weiland explains how archetypes and story structure are connected. Helping Writers Become Authors

Joanna Penn interviews C. Ruth Taylor about self-publishing in Jamaica and the Caribbean and the importance of diverse voices. The Creative Penn

On worldbuilding: fallen civilizations. Hello, Future Me

Alexander J. Lewis shares his experience going a year without social media as a freelance writer. Peter Desberg and Jeffrey Davis explain how to pitch like a Hollywood pro. Jane Friedman

Christina Delay takes the measure of a character. Then, Fred Koehler takes you from concept to query in ten months. Writers Helping Writers

Well, THIS seems familiar … Jill Bearup

Nathan Bransford explains how to crystalize the stakes.

Colice Sanders wants you to answer the call for diversity. Then, Disha Walia lists the seven deadly sins of speculative fiction (and how to fix them). Lori Walker: going from preparing to write to actually writing. Alexis M. Collazo shares five reasons to start a morning writing routine. DIY MFA

Dealing with writer burnout. Reedsy

Lynette M. Burroughs: things I wish I knew before I published (pat 2). Writers in the Storm

Angie Hodapp is zeroing in on comps (part 1). Then, Kristin Nelson wants you to dance with the right partner at the publishing prom. Pub Rants

Possibly controversial. Rules vs. Craft. Shaelin Writes

Oren Ashkenazi: how useful are Jonathan Franzen’s ten rules for novelists? Mythcreants

Cory Doctorow reveals that a bug in early creative commons licences has enables a new breed of superpredator. Medium

Promises as a magic system. Tale Foundry

Anne Delaney discusses words on the way in: a retrospective. JSTOR Daily

Ellen Gutoskey shares 11 things you should know about Audre Lorde. Mental Floss

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!

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Jan 9-15, 2022

You’ve made it through Monday! Reward yourself with some informal writerly learnings. They’re good for your writerly soul 🙂

Sophie Masson offers her first impressions on book covers. Then, Jim Dempsey considers a fusion of fiction with fact. Juliet Marillier is finding hope in the power of storytelling. Kathryn Craft: determining relevant conflict, or … the curious case of the constipated elephant. Then, David Corbett ponders distraction, focus, silence. Writer Unboxed

Teenage girl makes chaotic life choices. Jill Bearup

Allison K. Williams explains how to get your writing done when New Year’s resolutions don’t work (and they usually don’t). Then, Kayla Kauffman warns, don’t let your characters fall into the daily routine trap. Sharon Oard Warner reveals what can happen when you resolve to write a little every day. Jane Friedman

External conflict vs. internal conflict. Reedsy

K.M. Weiland reflects on the six gifts she gave herself in 2021. Helping Writers Become Authors

Lisa Norman explains whether you’re languishing or flourishing how to recapture your writing mojo. Kathleen Baldwin: who are your readers and why does it matter? Then, Julie Glover wonders what you need to write regularly. Writers in the Storm

The Fates: Greek mythology’s most powerful deities. Fate & Fabled | PBS Storied

Joanna Penn interviews William Kenower: a writer’s guide to the end of self-doubt. The Creative Penn

Sue Coletta explains how to kill your darlings: writers, get a knife. Writers Helping Writers

Nathan Bransford explains how to avoid overcorrecting after receiving feedback.

Why the Madonna-whore complex still reigns. The Take

Manuela Williams shares her must-read books on the craft of poetry. Then, Gabriela Pereira interviews Leslie Vedder about world building and character friendships in a YA fairy tale retelling. Jeanette the Writer explains how to balance fiction writing with writing for pay. Then, Soleah K. Sadge shares five ways a five-pillar foundation can help build your author brand. DIY MFA

The pandemic onscreen is … The Take

Chris Winkle explains how to keep your favourite character from ruining your story. Then, Oren Ashkenazi lists five ways Arcane could have been better. Mythcreants

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

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe!

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Dec 12-18, 2021

You’ve made it through Monday. Reward yourself with some informal writerly learnings 🙂

Richelle Lyn is discovering the art of book coaching. Then, Gabriela Pereira interviews Sacha Black about crafting your side characters. Amanda Polick reveals three ways the holidays can revive your book. Then Kerry Chaput delves into HERstory, the woman’s side of history. Melanie Moyer recommends five sci-fi books about humans creating artificial intelligence. DIY MFA

Princess Weekes explains why we keep retelling Persephone’s story. Melina Pendulum

K.M. Weiland examines the two halves of the climactic moment. Helping Writers Become Authors

Christina Delay wants you to use awe to spark creativity. Then, Lucy V. Hay explains how to write a compelling antihero. Writers Helping Writers

What are foil characters? Reedsy

Jenny Hansen shares the dreams and confessions of a disorganized writer. Then, Lynette M. Burrows offers 35 tips to a healthier writer you in 2022. Lori Freeland returns with to comma, or not to comma (part 2). Writers in the Storm

Joanna Penn interviews Lisa Cron about Story or Die. The Creative Penn

Elizabeth S. Craig: common mistakes that pull readers out of stories.

Emily Zarka reveals the origins of Krampus, the yuletide monster. Monstrum | PBS Storied

Jim Dempsey sees the future in stories. Then, Barbara Linn Probst takes a closer look at trusting the reader. Porter Anderson gets provocative about chaos, coherence, and the dream of a narrative. Writer Unboxed

Kimberly Fernando provides seven steps for tackling a revise and resubmit (R&R). Jane Friedman

Chris Winkle presents six archetypes for sidekicks. Then, Oren Ashkenazi explains how Martha Wells fell into some toxic tropes: building the Raksura.  Mythcreants

The good girl trope—why women can’t win. The Take

Angie Hodapp discusses reactive goals vs. proactive goals. Pub Rants

Nina Munteanu: the Witch’s Hat and other fungi tales.

Rebecca Nicholson interviews Carrie-Anne Moss: “There was a scene in the first Matrix with me in stilettos. I could barely stand straight.” The Guardian

Inverse interviews Shohreh Aghdashloo about Chrisjen Avasarala and the final season of The Expanse.

Minyvonne Burke and Michelle Garcia: acclaimed author and activist bell hooks dies at 69. NBC News

Cassie Da Costa hails the second coming of Octavia E. Butler. Vanity Fair

Vincent Schilling announces that Reservation Dogs [loved it!] nominated for a Golden Globe. Indian Country Today

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

Happy solstice and cool yule, to those (like me) who celebrate!

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