Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, June 26-July 2, 2022

Another week, another batch of informal writerly learnings. And so it goes …

Vaughn Roycroft is living an artist’s life with lessons from Kate Bush. Then, Erika Liodice is finding inspiration in unexpected places. Tessa Barbosa shares some easy tricks for crafting memorable characters. Then, Sarah Callender is writing (and living) in the midst of fear. Barbara O’Neal considers the practice. Writer Unboxed

Tim fixes Legend of Korra season 2. Hello, Future Me

K.M. Weiland offers eight ways to avoid cardboard characters and plot contrivances. Helping Writers Become Authors

Susan DeFreitas explains how (and how not) to write queer characters: a primer. Then, Tiffany Yates Martin reveals how to improve your storytelling by studying other people’s. Jane Friedman

That … could have gone better? (Analysis of Luke vs. Vader in Empire Strikes Back.) Jill Bearup

Kris Maze says re-gear your writing career—take risks to revitalize. Then, Jenny Hansen shares Kurt Vonnegut’s ten tips for successful writing. L.A. Mitchell is opening the top-secret client vault on ghostwriting (and how you can find your first). Writers in the Storm

Teresa Conner shares three design secrets for captivating book adds. Hyacinthe M. Miller helps you avoid writing stereotypes of people of color. Writers Helping Writers

Death by misadventure—Passing and the nature of identity. Princess Weekes

LA Bourgeois is battling the guilt monster. Then, F.E. Choe offers a few, humble thoughts on voice. Michael Bourne lists five ways to turn your setting into a fully realized character. DIY MFA

Tiffany Yates Martin points out the main writing skill you may be neglecting. Fox Print Editorial

Moiya McTier—Trickster gods and the mortals who love them. Fate & Fabled | PBS Storied

Chuck Wendig says sometimes writing is finding a place to put all your rage, sorrow, and even joy. Terribleminds

Chris Winkle explains how to write a first-person retelling. Then, Oren Ashkenazi reveals the myth of conflict-free story structures. Mythcreants

Kristen Lamb: writing to formula vs. formulaic writing.

Thank you for visiting with me 🙂 I hope you took away 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, Dec 19-25, 2021

Ack! It’s the last tipsday of 2021! Where did the year go?

E.J. Wenstrom suggests three author platform resolutions for 2022. Then, Sara Farmer shares her favorite children’s mysteries (so far). J.L. Torres offers a masterclass in short fiction, voice, and opening lines. Then, Carol Van Den Hende considers five 2021 book cover trends. DIY MFA

Tim Hickson shares the seven stories that changed his life. Hello, Future Me

Lisa Norman lists nine keys to being media ready. Then, Ellen Buikema explains how to use sound to make your writing memorable. Writers in the Storm

Tom Scott walked into a bar … and then I threw him out a window. Jill Bearup

Vaughn Roycroft: joy to the (writerly) world! Then, Kelsey Allagood says, keep making art, even if the world is ending. Kasey LeBlanc explains how not to miss the forest for the trees: appreciating the long and winding writing road (and its many detours, pitfalls, and stumbles). Then, Erika Liodice shares the 3-2-1 rule for protecting your work in progress. Natalie Hart recommends you give the gift of a good book gush. Writer Unboxed

Dynamic vs. static characters, and why you need both. Reedsy

Susan DeFreitas wonders, what makes a story feel like a story? Jane Friedman

Chris Winkle shares lessons from the vague writing of The Remnant Chronicles. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five movies that audiences loved but critics hated. Mythcreants

Chuck Wendig offers his thoughts on The Matrix: Resurrections, or the conversations art has with itself. Terribleminds

Santa’s cruel fairy tale cousin, the demon of frost. Tale Foundry

Nina Munteanu explains why you should keep a journal.

Hua Hsu considers the revolutionary writing of bell hooks. The New Yorker

Emma Cline unpacks Joan Didion’s specific vision. The New Yorker

Toniann Fernandez: Jeremy O. Harris and Samuel Delaney in conversation. The Paris Review

Beginnings at the End of Love: Rebecca West’s Extraordinary Love Letter to H.G. Wells in the Wake of Heartbreak. The Marginalian

Julia Métraux wonders if Trinity’s the real hero of The Matrix. JSTOR Daily

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

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe!

Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Aug 29-Sept 4, 2021

Welcome to another week of informal writerly learnings! Notice the change in the title of this curation. After years of writerly goodness found on the interwebz, I thought it was time for a change.

Yuvi Zalkow writes his acknowledgements. Then, Tom Bentley considers purple prose and the word surgeon’s scalpel. Donald Maass is creating character safety zones. Then, Grace Wynter interviews Yasmin Angoe—just one more thing. Liza Nash Taylor shares some event tips ‘n’ tricks for the vain, shallow, and/or insecure. Writer Unboxed

Loki, the MCU, and narcissism. Lindsay Ellis

K.M. Weiland indicates the six archetypal antagonists for each of the six archetypal character arcs. Helping Writers Become Authors

Savannah Cordova explains why reading short fiction is the best thing you can do for your writing. Elizabeth Spann Craig

Main character syndrome: why you should be self-centred. The Take

September C. Fawkes takes a closer look at person vs. fate conflict. Then, Angela Ackerman recommends you tap this powerful source if your story needs more conflict. Writers Helping Writers

Anita Ramirez has a finished manuscript—now what? Angela Yeh: chasing my muse. Cheryl Grey Bostrom says that tone of voice is more than personality. Then, Kim Catanzarite shares five ways to turn your plot into a page-turner. DIY MFA

Janice Hardy lists five ways your story hurts your novel. Then, James R. Preston shares his thoughts about point of view: myth vs. reality. Writers in the Storm

Shaelin Bishop shows you how to structure your book without an outline. Shaelin Writes

Chris Winkle wonders, how can writers make description evocative? Then, Oren Ashkenazi looks at five villains with contrived wins. Mythcreants

Kristen Lamb challenges you to pitch your entire story in one sentence with a log line.

Shanna Swendson wants you to try these tricks if you’re struggling with writer burnout. Fiction University

Black Swan: a cautionary tale about perfectionism. The Take

Jane Friedman likes Substack, but the PR is getting ridiculous.

Jessica Singer: BookTok’s novel approach to books is helping Canadian authors and retailers reach new audiences. CBC Books

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: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, May 30-June 5, 2021

It’s time, once again, to fill up on informal writerly learnings.

Tom Bentley concerns himself with the fictions of our minds. Kathryn Magendie helps you find your DIY-style voice. Donald Maass wants you to get real. Liza Nash Taylor says, we only see the weeds. Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland delves into the flat archetype of the lover in part 17 of her archetypal character arcs series. Helping Writers Become Authors

These shoes will kill you. Jill Bearup

Margie Lawson wonders, what’s your body language IQ? Writers in the Storm

Bella Mahaya Carter says, ask for what you want, writers. Then, Kim Catanzarite shows you how to stoke your mental fire (if you have brain strain). Jane Friedman

Shaelin discusses how to work with a professional editor. Reedsy

Angela Ackerman shares two words that will supercharge your writing career. (Spoilers: good enough.) Jessica Conoley helps you build your writing support triangle with part 1: critique. Colleen M. Story lists seven signs that reveal writing is part of your life’s purpose. Writers Helping Writers

On her own channel, Shaelin explains how to turn an idea into a book. Shaelin Writes

Ambre Dawn Leffler wants you to feed your senses for a bounty of creativity. Then, Pamela Taylor considers the unsavory side of authenticity. Later in the week, Stacey Parkins Millett highlights enduring stories steeped in race. DIY MFA

Pneuma: breath as a magic system. Tale Foundry

Bethany Henry explains how to include mental health issues in your fiction. Fiction University

Kristine Kathryn Rusch brings you part four of her fear-based decision-making series: heads, sand, and traditional publishing.

The wild woman trope: a story of radical self-discovery. The Take

Fay Onyx shows us what respectfully depicting a character adapting to a disability looks like. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five poorly motivated villains from popular stories. Mythcreants

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

Until Thursday, be well, my writerly friends!

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Feb 28-March 6, 2021

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Time to indulge in some informal writerly learnings.

K.M. Weiland continues her archetypal character arcs series with part four: the queen arc. Helping Writers Become Authors

Sharon Oard Warner advises you to find the ending before you return to the beginning. Jane Friedman

Yuvi Zalkow encourages you to expose your mess. Sarah Penner considers women’s empowerment in fiction from a bookseller’s perspective. Later in the week, Liza Nash Taylor declares, there will be worms. Writer Unboxed

Jill Bearup considers boob armor: four things you need to know.

James Scott Bell wants you to turn envy into energy. Later in the week, Becca Puglisi shares eleven techniques for transforming clichéd phrasings. Writers Helping Writers

Jeanette the Writer lists eight essential edits for your novel. Later in the week, Emily R. King wants you to find your voice. Then, Ann McCallum Staats shares five hands-on research techniques for spot-on writing. DIY MFA

Shaelin looks at Deus Ex Machina: what it is, why it happens, and how to fix it. Reedsy

Janice Hardy points out six places infodumps like to hide in your novel. Fiction University

Then, Shaelin explains how to write a cliff-hanger that keeps readers turning pages. Reedsy

Janice Hardy asks, does you novel have a problem? (It should.) Writers in the Storm

Chris Winkle: Space Sweepers shows us what excellent messaging is. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five common story fragmentations and how to consolidate them. Mythcreants

Emily Zarka examines the Taotie: the mystery of Chinese mythology’s famous glutton. Monstrum | PBS Storied

Nina Munteanu: the semicolon is dead; long live the semicolon.

Harry Potter isn’t a good guy. The Take

Cassandra Drudi encourages you to listen to Waubgeshig Rice and Jennifer David’s new podcast, Storykeepers, an audio book club on Indigenous literature. Quill & Quire

Kyle Muzyka interviews Richard Van Camp on storytelling and its power to combat loneliness. CBC’s Unreserved

John Dickerson interviews Colson Whitehead, the only fiction writer to win Pulitzer Prizes for consecutive works. 60 Minutes

Guy Kawasaki interviews Luvvie Ajayi Jones for the Remarkable People Podcast.

Gabriel Weisz Carrington explains how his mother, Leonora Carrington, used tarot to reach self-enlightenment. Literary Hub

Thank you for visiting, 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, June 14-20, 2020

Black lives matter. Indigenous lives matter. All lives cannot matter until all Black and Indigenous lives matter. I don’t have a huge platform, but I’ll make use of it as I can to keep this message front and centre for my readers. I’m still listening. I’m still learning. And I’m still trying to do better.

Meanwhile, reopening continues, to more or less success, given the area/province/state. They’re discovering people who’d apparently recovered from covid getting sick again two months on. Worldwide, the number of cases continue to increase. This thing is a beast.

Let’s get to the informal writerly learnings.

Vaughn Roycroft: regarding privilege, empathy, and voice. Writer Unboxed

A Black booktuber shares her experience. Click through to her other videos and to the resources in the notes. Silence is complicity. Listen. Do the work. Don’t stop. Bookish Realm

And if you’re a booktube fan, legitimately commit to diversify your viewing and support some of these lovely people. Google is a thing you can use. Besides, like one video and YouTube will generally cue up three similar vids for you to check out.

Nic Stone: don’t just read about racism—read about Black people living. Cosmopolitan

Black Lives Matter. How can I help? Jenna Moreci

John Peragine helps you harness the power of pronouns (part 1). Then, Lori Freeland says, write your story forward. Writers in the Storm

Joanna Penn interviews Kris Spisak about self-editing your novel. The Creative Penn

K.B. Owen visits Elizabeth Spann Craig’s blog: writing real-life historical characters.

Sangeeta Mehta interviews Stefanie Sanchez von Borstel and Leslie Zampetti about writing, pitching, and promoting in the age of coronavirus. Jane Friedman

Lucy V. Hays explains how to avoid a half-baked idea. Writers Helping Writers

Kristen Lamb explains how you can use the Johari window to understand and harness the character blind spot.

Nathan Bransford: the climax should resolve your character’s desires.

Shaelin explains line editing (with examples). Reedsy

Rochelle Melander helps you revise your book for word choice. Fiction University

The Take considers the tomboy trope.

Chris Winkle gets facetious: if stories treated straight couples like they treated queer couples. Then, Oren Ashkenazi considers five over-burdened stories and how to fix them. Mythcreants

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

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

Tipsday2019

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, May 10-16, 2020

Welcome to week nine of #pandemiclife.

Here in Ontario, the Premiere has authorized some businesses to reopen. Street-facing retail stores that can deliver curb-side service. Veterinarians, groomers, and pet boarding businesses. Essential-adjacent health support services. My mother-in-law will be able to get her housekeeper back—physically distanced, of course. And golf courses. And cottage country (which really doesn’t want to be open, from what I’ve been hearing).

Will we have another spike? Will we have to dial back? I’m maintaining the status quo. Kind of. I’ll be delivering virtual training over the next couple weeks. It’s going to be interesting. And … I’ve already been asked to deliver the next session, which is pretty much back to back, because there aren’t enough trainers who are comfortable with the platform, or even virtual training, to spread out the burden.

There are apparently five such courses to be delivered between now and September. I hesitate to be on the hook for all of them. But this may be my work life, moving forward.

I’ll keep you updated.

In the meantime, please enjoy some informal writerly learnings 🙂

K.M. Weiland uses a brave critique volunteer’s work to discuss seven possible hooks for your opening chapter. Helping Writers Become Authors

K.B. Jensen explains how to throw a virtual book launch using Facebook Live. Then, Chantel Hamilton provides a comprehensive guide to finding, hiring, and working with an editor. Jane Friedman

Shaelin Bishop continues her series on developing a novel with part 4: form, style, and voice. Reedsy

Joanna Penn interviews Larry Brooks about how to develop strong fiction ideas. The Creative Penn

Leanne Sowul touts the power of paying attention. Later in the week, Sarah Fraser lists five signs you’re ready to work with an editor. DIY MFA

Jim Dempsey helps you decide, your words, or your editor’s? Juliet Marillier: consolation or challenge? Kathryn Craft shares eight ways to unblock your scene’s potential. Writer Unboxed

September C. Fawkes explains how plotlines add dimension. Writers Helping Writers

Jami Gold wonders whether breaking the rules is easy or hard.

Jenna Moreci says imposter syndrome sucks, but you don’t.

Nathan Bransford tells you everything authors need to know about dialogue tags.

Aliza Mann explains how to get back on track when all your planning fails. Fiction University

Kristen Lamb wants you to create a story-worthy problem that will captivate an audience.

How the strong black woman trope has evolved. The Take

Barbara Linn Probst lists three motivations to write: artistry, identity, and legacy. Writers in the Storm

Chris Winkle says, no. “Art” does not entitle you to spread harmful messages. Then, Oren Ashkenazi gets facetious with seven musts for dominating a fantasy battle. Mythcreants

Richard Marpole goes for a walk among the trees: a look at forests in myth and media. Fantasy Faction

Esther Jones: science fiction builds resilience in young readers. Phys.org

Simon Winchester: has “run” run amok? It has 645 meanings … so far. NPR

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you’ve taken away something to support your current work in progress (or planning/development of same).

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

Tipsday2019

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Feb 16-22, 2020

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!

Tipsday2019

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Aug 25-31, 2019

Ah. Here we are in September. Back to … all the things. Ease back into your routine with some informal writerly learnings.

Lainey Cameron advises you use a three-tier backup plan. Then Tiffany Yates Martin helps you to reclaim the creative spark in troubled times. Writers in the Storm

K.M. Weiland explains how to use a truth chart to figure out your character’s arc. Helping Writers Become Authors

Julia Munroe Martin wonders, what makes you love your main character? Molly Best Tinsley explains how hearing voice(s) led to order in a previously chaotic manuscript. Barbara O’Neal explains what happens when the book takes over everything. Writer Unboxed

Pathologist Jane Bennett Munro wants to help you explain forensics to readers. Elizabeth Spann Craig

Jeanette the Writer reveals the secret importance of readability. Tess Enterline explains why it’s okay (and sometimes necessary) to step away from our writing.  Constance Emmett shares five tips for writing complex, flesh and blood, LGBTQ+ characters. DIY MFA

Janice Hardy doesn’t want you to create cardboard conflicts. Fiction University

Jami Gold explains how sequels make scenes stronger. Then, Kris Kennedy stops by to explain how to avoid info dumping by making backstory essential.

Chris Winkle: how to turn your fanfic into your original fiction. Then, Oren Ashkenazi answers the question, how do cannon affect your naval combat? Mythcreants

Robert Lee Brewer considers OK vs. Okay vs. O.K. Writer’s Digest

N.K. Jemisin, Jasmine Guillory, and Lauren Wilkinson: publishing’s still owned by white men. The Washington Post

Nick Venable talks to the creators of The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance about the challenges of making a puppet series on Netflix. Saw the first episode—love! CinemaBlend

And that was tipsday. I hope you found something to help you progress with your work in progress.

Come back on Thursday for some thoughty goodness 🙂

Tipsday2019