Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Sept 4-10, 2022

So far, September has been an awesome month, weather-wise. We’ve even had to use the portable air conditioner here and there.

Without further ado, here are your informal writerly learnings for the week. Enjoy!

LA Bourgeois suggests you boost your creativity with a break. Then, F.E. Choe helps you overcome the preciousness of your prose. Lori Walker interview Khirsten Wierman about overcoming differences and the ability to change. Kyomi O’Connor explains how she uses writing as a healing tool. Later in the week, Ellen Barker shares five ways to use literary fiction to write about the pressing topics of today. DIY MFA

How we overcorrected the damsel in distress. The Take

Greer Macallister points out the second most important thing. Then, Tiffany Yates Martin wonders, are you telling yourself the wrong stories? Donald Maass considers novels that shouldn’t work, but do—and why. Then, Kathryn Craft is exposing inner conflict in non-POV characters. David Corbett checks out a new model for self-publishing—Emily Kimelman. Writer Unboxed

Janice Hardy helps you take the work out of writing a scene. Then, Angela Ackerman explains how to use conflict to show character development. Fiction University

Chinnamasta: the headless goddess of self-sacrifice. Fate & Fabled | PBS Storied

K.M. Weiland wonders, do you need personal experience to write about something? Helping Writers Become Authors

Angela Ackerman explains how to amp up your conflict. Elizabeth Spann Craig

Angela Ackerman says, if you want to build tension, encourage your reader to ask questions. Then, Tom Bentley explains why persistence pays the weary writer. Allison K. Williams reveals how to get published in Modern Love, McSweeney’s, or anywhere else you want.  Jane Friedman

Kris Maze offers more ways to fix filler words. Then, Piper Bayard is writing about robberies and burglaries. Writers in the Storm

How to stay creative as a writer. Reedsy

Nathan Bransford says, don’t criticize a book’s editing unless you saw the original manuscript.

Chris Winkle shares some lessons learned from the cursed writing of Vicious. Then, Oren Ashkenazi evaluates five tropes that sound cool but rarely work. Mythcreants

Tiffany Yates Martin offers a caveat scriptor: when creators become the customers. Fox Print Editorial

Lincoln Michel unpacks some of the stats emerging from the PRH/SS Merger trial: no, most books don’t sell only a dozen copies. It’s a substack newsletter, but you can read one article for free.

We added 370 new words to the dictionary for September 2022. Merriam-Webster

And that was tipsday.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you took away something to support your current work in progress, whatever stage it’s at.

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

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!

Thoughty Thursday: Popping your mental corn, July 10-16, 2022

How has your week been, my writerly friends? Good news: it’s thoughty Thursday and that means tomorrow is Friday 🙂 It’s time to get your mental corn popping in time for the weekend.

Where did the blind and Black musician trope come from? Historian’s Take | PBS Origins

Tamara Dean reveals the truth about the history of abortion in America. The Guardian

Matthew Wills relates the history of policing abortion. JSTOR Daily

Pro-life vs. pro-choice: Roe vs. Wade overturned. Uncomfortable Conversations with Emmanuel Acho

Mary Yamaguchi reports that Japan’s ruling party wins big in polls in wake of Abe’s death. Associated Press

Hannah Ellis-Petersen: Sri Lankans revel in overrun presidential palace. The Guardian

Len Gillis interviews Kim Fahner about her experience with long covid. Sudbury.com

Nihilism, absurdity, and hope … online and off. Khadija Mbowe

Savanah Walsh: Constance Wu says she attempted suicide after Fresh Off the Boat tweets stoked ire. Vanity Fair

Monica Torres lists five work personality traits that are actually forms of anxiety. The Huffington Post

Clark Quinn: emotion, motivation, or … Learnlets

Harold Jarche considers intentionality in personal knowledge management (PKM).

Melissa Angell: a good night’s sleep is vital for heart health. Inc.

The Webb’s forst four (actually seven) images explained. SciShow Space

The first images of the hidden universe from the James Webb Space Telescope. NASA

Marie-Louise Gumuchian reports that primatologist Jane Goodall gets a Barbie. Reuters

Catherine Bush wants us to become Earth’s aunties. “What if … we cared for the world’s future inhabitants like aunts? As if the people-to-be and the more-than-human are not ours — because they are not.” Noema

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you took away something to inspire a future creative project.

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

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, June 5-11, 2022

Monday’s in the rear-view and we’re one day closer to the weekend! Celebrate with some informal writerly learnings.

K.M. Weiland helps us understand the adventure world of a story’s second act. Helping Writers Become Authors

Richelle Lyn explains how to build an online portfolio. Kris Hill: doom, hope, and ten candles. Manuela Williams wonders, what is confessional poetry? Then Ashley Christiano returns with part 2 of her tarot for storytellers series: from tarot spread to novel outline. DIY MFA

Start writing your book. Reedsy

Louise Harnby explains how to use parentheses (round brackets) to convey simultaneity in fiction.

Beth Harvey considers the lure of literary symbolism. Then, Tiffany Yates Martin explains how tension and microtension keep your readers hooked. Kathleen McCleary walks the Camino as a creative reset. Then, Kathryn Craft wonders whether to challenge or concede to copy edits. David Corbett is weaving a life: the three levels of dramatic action. Writer Unboxed

Shaelin explains how she got her literary agent. Shaelin Writes

Penny C. Sansevieri shares four ways non-fiction authors can succeed in the “age of free.” Then, Colleen M. Story shares her top seven places to find people to write great blurbs. Piper Bayard helps you write believable driveway crime: carjacking and kidnapping. Writers in the Storm

Meghan Harvey wonders, is hybrid publishing ethical? Then, Kris Spisak says that if you’re looking for beta readers, turn the question around. Jane Friedman

How ancient mythologies defy the gender binary. Fate & Fabled | PBS Storied

Elizabeth Spann Craig defines who we’re writing for.

The war genre: honor and dishonor in pro-war, anti-war, and kinship stories. The society genre: stories of power and impotence. The status genre: stories of success and failure. Story Grid

Lisa Poisso offers three ways to infuse character voice. Then, Drew Hubbard helps you avoid writing LGBTQ+ stereotypes. Writers Helping Writers

This story is about rabbits, but it will still change your life. Tale Foundry

Nathan Bransford wants you to avoid aimless stage direction.

Tiffany Yates Martin reveals the best character tool you may not be using. Fox Print Editorial

The brainy brunette trope. The Take

Kristen Lamb explains why mastery should matter to authors.

Chris Winkle explains how to make your character sympathetic. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes six important story elements introduced too late. Mythcreants

Danielle Daniel draws on her ancestors’ past in debut novel Daughter of the Deer. CBC’s “the Next Chapter” with Shelagh Rogers

Thank you for taking the time to stop by, 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!

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 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 24-30, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The hungry goddess. Tale Foundry

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

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

The one thing every antihero fears … The Take

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

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

The ten worst magic tropes. Jenna Moreci

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

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

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

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

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

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, April 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 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!