Here we are in the final week of February. Winter is crawling to its end, the light returns, and so does the hope of spring. Celebrate with some informal writerly learnings 🙂
Tasha Seegmiller: writer, you are separate from your craft. Barbara Linn Probst considers likeable and relatable: why (and how) do they matter? Writers in the Storm
Vaughn Roycroft has a new take on readership. Dave King: the web of writing. Kathleen McCleary has answers to questions about writing. Porter Anderson analyzes the Authors Guild’s 2020 Report. Writer Unboxed
K.M. Weiland has some thoughts on how to be critical of stories in a way that makes a difference. Helping Writers Become Authors
Joanna Penn interviews Aiki Flinthart about writing fight scenes with female characters. The Creative Penn
Christina Delay wants you to fall in love with your second act. Angela Ackerman explains how to build powerful character relationships. Writers Helping Writers
Janice Hardy considers whether to stop and revise or keep writing the first draft. Fiction University
Brenda Joyce Patterson takes a deep dive into libretti. DIY MFA
Nathan Bransford helps you clear out the clutter around your verbs.
How to write character voices. Reedsy
Oren Ashkenazi explains why “but men are objectified, too” doesn’t hold up. Then, Oren lists ten ways to keep the authorities out of your plot. Mythcreants
Jami Gold wonders, what do you do with disappointment?
Robert Lee Brewer explains the difference between metaphor and personification. Writer’s Digest
Kate Knibbs says, the hottest new genre is doomer lit (formerly known as cli-fi). Wired
Charlie Jane Anders believes that to write about the future is to represent the past. Tor.com
Thank you for visiting and I hope you take away something to support your current work in progress.
Until next time, be well!
You’ve survived Monday! Reward yourself with some informal writerly learnings.
Janice Hardy says, author, we have a problem: four plotting tips. Later in the week, Janice is poking dead scenes with a stick. Fiction University
K.M. Weiland shares six steps to create realistic and powerful scene dilemmas. Helping Writers Become Authors
Jami Gold uses an, ahem, moving metaphor to discover what matters in our stories. Then, she wonders, where do you want your story (or career) to go?
Jenna Moreci explains how to tell if you should write a series (and when you shouldn’t).
Abigail K. Perry covers James Scott Bell’s final signpost scene: transformation. As one series ends, another begins. The first of my three-part series on the tarot as a tool for mythic storytelling: an introduction to the tarot. DIY MFA
Donald Maass revisits the uncon again: world building for non-SFF writers. Cathy Yardley: your subconscious speaks a different language. ‘Cause tarot (see above)! Writer Unboxed
Meg LaTorre explains how to find critique partners and beta readers. Writers Helping Writers
Kris Spisak advises you to look at these four problem areas when revising. Jane Friedman
Joanna Penn interviews Jennie Nash: would you make a good book coach? The Creative Penn
Chris Winkle explains how storytellers use reactivity and proactivity for effect. Then, Oren Ashkenazi shares seven tricks to improve your minions. Mythcreants
Etuaptmumk: two-eyed seeing. Rebecca Thomas TEDxNSCCWaterfront
Brit Marling: I don’t want to be the strong female lead. The New York Times
Thanks for stopping by. I hope you’re taking away something to help with your current work in progress.
Until Thursday, be well, my writerly friends 🙂
The time from Solstice through New Year’s Eve is generally slow for informal writerly learnings. Everyone is (and rightly so) spending time with friends and family, celebrating. Thus, this week will be video heavy, but it’s all writerly goodness 🙂
Also, happy New Year and new decade, everyone! May it bring us hope and peace and all good things.
Tasha Seegmiller: reflecting and goal-setting for writers. Writers in the Storm
Joanna Penn and Orna Ross reflect on a decade of self-publishing. The Creative Penn
Helen J. Darling offers six tips on working with an editor (post-NaNoWriMo). DIY MFA
Shaelin talks about writing a great first line. Reedsy
Gabe explains how to write backstory. Bookishpixie
And here’s Tim Hickson’s take on flashbacks and backstory. Hello, Future Me
Chris Winkle wants you to tame your exposition. Then, Oren Ashkenazi explains how to tell a story within a story. Mythcreants
Thanks for visiting and I hope something in this mix has given you what you need to progress in your current work in progress.
Until next time, be well!
Here are some informal writerly learnings to peruse while you’re preparing for, or celebrating, the holidays.
Lori Freeland says that show, don’t tell, are the three most misunderstood words in a writer’s vocabulary. Then, Colleen M. Story shared seven ways writers can overcome holiday anxiety. Julie Glover is saying no to get to a more important yes. Writers in the Storm
Shaelin shares five of her favourite tropes. Reedsy
Rheea Mukherjee makes notes on writer dreams, gratitude, and the anxiety of authenticity. Jim Dempsey wants you to manipulate your reader’s point of view. Sarah Callender asks, is imitating the greats helpful or harmful? Kathryn Craft is manipulating story time for maximum effect. David Corbett shares a lesson in forgiveness from The Crown. Writer Unboxed
K.M. Weiland critiques: ten ways to write a better first chapter using specific word choices. Helping Writers Become Authors
Roz Morris shares five post-NaNoWriMo ways to use the holidays to keep your new writing habits … without revising too early. Nail Your Novel
Abigail K. Perry digs into James Scott Bell’s signpost scene 13: the final battle. Brenda Joyce Patterson takes a deep dive into the essay. Then, Constance Emmett shares five tips for post-publication survival and success. DIY MFA
Robert Lee Brewer points out the difference between lets and let’s. Writer’s Digest
Nathan Bransford offer the eight essential elements of a story.
Chris Winkle shares five ways to make multiple points of view more engaging. Then, Oren Ashkenazi explains why some dark topics are more sensitive than others. Mythcreants
Tim makes some excellent points about writing power escalation. Hello, Future Me
Heidi Fiedler stops by The Creative Penn: five ways to quiet your inner editor.
Jami Gold asks, what’s your core story?
Thank you for stopping by. I hope you’re leaving with some great resources for your current work in progress.
Until Thursday, be well!
This week’s curation of informal writerly learnings for your consideration.
Julie Glover talks plotting, pantsing, and personality type. [Hehe! I was one of the 87 people on FB who responded to Julie’s question 🙂 ] Lisa Hall-Wilson shares four pro tips for writing the emotional journey in deep POV. [I’m participating in Lisa’s five day deep POV challenge!] Writers in the Storm
Jael McHenry considers the novelist’s necessary evils. Jim Dempsey says, writing is a labyrinth of choices. Sarah Callender forgets to remember that writing can be uncomfortable. Kathryn Craft lists 12 signs that you’re afraid of your work in progress. Writer Unboxed
Janice Hardy explains how to ground (and hook) your reader in your opening scene. Then, Janice shares lessons learned from a decade in publishing. Fiction University
Meg La Torre visits Jenna Moreci and explains everything you ever wanted to know about literary agents.
K.M. Weiland issues a challenge to write life-changing fiction. Helping Writers Become Authors
Sacha Black helps you embrace diversity by writing the character you’re afraid to write. Then, Lisa Hall-Wilson explains how to scare your readers using deep point of view. Writers Helping Writers
Emily Wenstrom explains how (and why) to market yourself. Savannah Cordova shares five highly effective ways to reboot your creative system. DIY MFA
Macy Thornhill shares six ways to stay productive in a creative slump. The Creative Penn
Chris Winkle offers some thoughts on reconciling your character’s choices with your plot. Then, Oren Ashkenazi considers five more underutilized settings in speculative fiction. Mythcreants
Sabrina Imbler reports that the Merriam-Webster of medieval Irish has just got a major update. Atlas Obscura
Mental Floss presents 30 Harry Potter word origins 🙂
Joolz looks at English idioms and where they come from. ‘Cause language!
And that was tipsday. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you found something useful for your current work in progress.
Until Thursday, be well, my writerly friends!
Welcome to October, when everything is pumpkin spice! And thus, I must inflict upon you the guinea pigs:
Now that you’ve survived that, please enjoy some informal writerly learnings.
Janice Hardy helps you figure out which opening works best in a novel. Then, she hopes you don’t let your plot hijack your story. Fiction University
Susan Spann wants you to throw your writing from the train. Heather Webb offers some do’s and don’ts of writing query letters. Writer Unboxed
Lori Freeland lists the up and down sides of critique groups. Writers in the Storm
K.M. Weiland says, if you’re struggling to be creative, this might be why. Helping Writers Become Authors
Joanna Penn interviews Jen Louden about trusting your creativity and choosing yourself. The Creative Penn
Sara Letourneau differentiates between topic and theme. Richelle Lyn offers five steps to creating your writing wind up (setting the stage for a productive writing session). DIY MFA
Nathan Bransford wants you to let the reader diagnose your characters.
Kris Kennedy returns to Jami Gold’s blog with the fifth and final part of the avoid infodumping by making backstory essential series.
Jenna Moreci shares her top ten science fiction tropes.
Gavin Hurley looks at effective repetition in writing as demonstrated by A Song of Ice and Fire. Writer’s Digest
Thank you for taking the time to visit. I hope you took away something for your current work in progress.
Until Thursday, be well, my writerly friends!
Here we are, officially in the fall. Take the time to enjoy the turning leaves and the delicious smells of the season. And, of course, spoil yourself with some informal writerly learnings.
Vaughn Roycroft is using theme to leverage revision. Julie Carrick Dalton hopes no one will notice. Writer Unboxed
K.M. Weiland critiques another brave writer to demonstrate ten ways to write excellent dialogue. Helping Writers Become Authors
Susan de Freitas points out three things you won’t learn from an MFA program. Jane Friedman
Joanna Penn interviews James Scott Bell about writing unforgettable endings. Then, Harrison Demchick offers you four ideas to help authors revise a first draft. The Creative Penn
Chris Winkle returns with the fourth aspect of goal-oriented storytelling: satisfaction. Writers Helping Writers
Jenna Moreci offers her top ten tips on character arcs.
Nathan Bransford offers six ways to build intimacy between characters. Later in the week, he asks, are you creating a mystery, or are you just being vague?
Jenn Walton shares three ways to find inspiration at a writing conference (or any work event). DIY MFA
Jenny Hansen wants you to find and share your story’s theme. Writers in the Storm
Chuck Wendig explains how to be a professional author and not die screaming and starving in a lightless abyss. Terribleminds
Jami Gold helps you figure out how to build your story with chapters, scenes, or both. Then, Kris Kennedy returns with part four of her avoid infodumping by making backstory essential series.
Bunny discusses choosing a follow-up strategy for a popular story. Then, Oren Ashkenazi shares five ways to handle parents without killing them. Mythcreants
Robert Lee Brewer advises writers regarding spacing between sentences. Writer’s Digest
Daniel Ross Goodman shows us the haunting magic of Maurice Sendak. National Review
Thank you for visiting. I hope you found something you need to move your work in progress forward.
Until Thursday, be well!
Ack! We’re in the last week of August! The weather’s still holding though. I, for one, am going to extend summer for as long as I can.
Whether you’re heading back to school or work, take some time to enjoy these informal writerly learnings 🙂
Vaughn Roycroft talks story endings: happy or sad or something else? Kathleen McCleary considers the values of good fiction. Writer Unboxed
Christina Delay extolls the power of the writing tribe. Then, Jenny Hansen covers the writer hierarchy of needs. Margie Lawson wants you to strive for excellence by using what you learn. Writers in the Storm
K.M. Weiland: how to tell if your story has too much plot, not enough character. Helping Writers Become Authors
Joanna Penn interviews Cat Rose about being a creative introvert. The Creative Penn
Roz Morris offers seven swift storytelling hacks for backstory, description, dialogue, exposition, point of view, and plot. Nail Your Novel
Victoria Mixon takes a different approach to character motivation. Then, September C. Fawkes shares four keys to a powerful denouement. Writers Helping Writers
Jenna Moreci compares static and dynamic characters.
Abigail K. Perry delves into James Scott Bell’s eleventh signpost scene: lights out. Brenda Joyce Patterson takes a deep dive into playwriting. Then Bethany Henry offers five tips for creating engaging characters. DIY MFA
Janice Hardy explains how to write a scene (and what qualifies as a scene). Fiction University
Jami Gold hopes you take a leap of faith in fiction and in life.
Oren Ashkenazi analyses seven stories with contrived character conflict. Mythcreants
William R. Leibowitz details his research for his latest novel: using facts as the base of science fiction. Writer’s Digest
Laurie Penny says, we can be heroes: how nerds are reinventing pop culture. A story about stories, fanfic, structure, the hero’s journey, and awesome. Wired
Thanks for visiting. I’ll be back on Thursday with some thoughty links for you.
Until then, be well.
It’s time to dig into another week’s worth of informal writerly learnings 🙂
Elizabeth A. Harvey is remembering Toni Morrison. Then, Nancy Johnson shows us how Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye offers a masterclass in craft. Porter Anderson: murders she didn’t write, a provocation on writers in the context of real world gun violence. Rheea Mukherjee: negotiating social privilege as a writer. Jim Dempsey wants you to explore the wonders of your character’s world view. Sarah Callender forgets to remember that writing is an act of faith. Writer Unboxed
Jenna Moreci helps you get back into the writing habit after a break.
C.S. Lakin visits Helping Writers Become Authors: how to evoke reader emotions with “surprisingness.” Then, she heads over to Larry Brook’s Storyfix to explain how to effectively “tell” emotions in fiction.
Emily Wenstrom offers three tips for creating your author newsletter before you’re published. And here’s my latest column: find storytelling inspiration with the women of the Kalevala. Constance Emmett shares five tips for surviving rejection. DIY MFA
Lisa Hall-Wilson shares four ways to go deeper with point of view. Then, Laura Drake starts with character first. Writers in the Storm
Michelle Barker wants you to remember that the wand chooses the wizard. Writers Helping Writers
Janice Hardy explains why you want nitpicky critiquers. Fiction University
Robert Lee Brewer explains the difference between slight of hand and sleight of hand. Writer’s Digest
Some reassuring advice from Chris Winkle: why you shouldn’t worry about someone stealing your manuscript. Then, Oren Ashkenazi offers advice on choosing naval tactics for your pre-gunpowder world. Mythcreants
Sam Bleicher offers some unusual writing tips on dealing with facts in science fiction. The Creative Penn
Ferris Jabr: the story of storytelling. Harper’s
Thanks for visiting. Come back on Thursday for some thoughty.
Until then, be well!
Here we are, in mid-June, half-way through the year. Celebrate whatever you’ve accomplished and enjoy some informal writerly learnings 🙂
Arthur Klepchukov says, word count goals shouldn’t be your only goals. Jim Dempsey explains how to respond to criticism. Sarah Callender considers things she forgets to remember when she’s writing a novel: mood. Kathryn Craft: when something good incites story. Writer Unboxed
Julie Glover shares five tips for writing great dialogue from The Gilmour Girls. Barbara Linn Probst takes a fresh look at “writing what you know.” Writers in the Storm
Jenna Moreci returns with part three of her dialogue series: it’s all about tags.
K.M. Weiland lists six requirements for writing better character goals. Helping Writers Become Authors
Jami Gold: are story goals slowing your pace? Writers Helping Writers
Then, Jami follows up on her own blog: can passive goals ever be good for our stories?
Alexa Donne shares her magic editing hack that fixes pacing.
Nathan Bransford lists the most common mistakes writers make. Then he explains what it takes to write a good climax for a novel.
Leanne Sowul wants you to balance the supply and demand of the writing life. DIY MFA
Sarah McGuire explains how to guide a critique. Fiction University
Cat Rose explains how to survive a conference even if you’re an introvert. The Creative Penn
Bunny helps you select classical music to set any scene. Then, Oren Ashkenazi looks at four problematic tropes to drop and what you can do instead. Mythcreants
Jane van Koerverden reports on the $6K literary award to honour YA books written in an indigenous language. CBC
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you found something of value in the mix.
Until Thursday, be well. See you then 🙂