Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, June 16-22, 2019

A nice, plump bunch of juicy informal writerly learnings. Yes. I have fresh strawberries on the brain. I drool watching them ripen in the garden!

Anthea Lawson Sharp (who writes romance as Anthea Lawson and Fantasy as Anthea Sharp) talks about the craft of short fiction. Later in the week, Margie Lawson writes about the power of silence on the page. Writers in the Storm

Vaughn Roycroft shares a father’s legacy. Sonja Yoerg: writing characters with personality using Myers-Briggs. Erika Liodice asks, are you a student? Resounding YES here 🙂 Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland makes the final instalment in her Dos and Don’ts of Storytelling According to Marvel series: five ways to earn your audience’s loyalty. Helping Writers Become Authors

Julia Roberts says, writer’s block is a gift (and explains why). Then, H.R. D’Costa shares five ways to ensure readers don’t abandon your book. Jane Friedman

Lisa Lowe Stauffer stops by Fiction University. Jamie Fraser eats an apple: using objects to inject character and world building into dialogue. Later in the week, Janice Hardy explains what setup in a novel actually means and then follows that up with four steps to establish the beginning of your novel.

Chris Winkle makes the next instalment in her goal-oriented storytelling series: tension. Writers Helping Writers

Jenna Moreci offers her definitions of active and passive characters and her tips for writing active characters.

Interestingly, Alexa Donne also expounds on character agency and growth. A theme?

Nathan Bransford explains how to work with a literary agent on edits.

Emily Wenstrom advises what to do when your social media growth stagnates. Here’s my latest speculations column: what psychology and neuroscience contribute to your stories. DIY MFA

Chris Winkle extracts some lessons from the writing of The Name of the Wind. Then, Oren Ashkenazi considers building democracy in your fantasy world. Mythcreants

Tale Foundry introduces us to eight of Sir Terry Pratchett’s clever(est) characters.

Roz Morris shares the “under-arrest” test for ensuring a satisfying ending. Nail Your Novel

CD Covington thinks the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis is good fiction but bad science. Because language. Tor.com

Lynn Neary and Patrick Jarenwattananon celebrate Joy Harjo’s appointment as the first Native American US poet laureate. NPR

That should be enough to see you through until Thursday when I have a tidy batch of thoughty for you 🙂

Until then, be well, my writerly friends!

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, June 2-8, 2019

Here’s a nice bundle of informal writerly learnings for you 🙂

Jael McHenry is making room for silence. Nancy Johnson: what white writers should know about telling black stories. Donald Maass explores the myriad ways in which mystery shapes your story (and returns to the pithy one-word titles). Cathy Yardley offers a snapshot of her writing process. Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland explains how to write interesting scenes. Helping Writers Become Authors

James Scott Bell wants you to stay thirsty. Writers Helping Writers

Sara Letourneau is identifying themes in poetry. Laura Highcove wants you to reclaim your agency from writer’s block. Then, Charlene Jimenez describes the five people fiction writers need in their lives. DIY MFA

Jenna Moreci rails against her ten most hated hero tropes.

Fae Rowan suggests these six f-words to create compelling characters. Writers in the Storm

Tara East guest posts on Joanna Penn’s blog: how overwriters can reduce their word count. The Creative Penn

Emily Wenstrom suggests several different tools to track world building in a fantasy series. Writer’s Digest

Chris Winkle explores five relationship dynamics for stronger romances. Then, Oren Ashkenazi explains five ways terrain affects fantasy battles. Mythcreants

Hank Green shares eight things he wished he’d known when he wrote his first book – vlogbrothers

Nathan Bransford thinks this Roald Dahl video is everything. I so love process-y stuff 🙂

And Catherine Ryan Howard shares her process (in parts—more to come): the BIG IDEA.

I hope you enjoyed this curation and found something for your current of next creative project.

Come back on Thursday for your weekly dose to thoughty!

Until then, be well, my writerly friends 🙂

Tipsday2019

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Apr 21-27, 2019

Another week, another batch of informal writerly learnings.

Emily Wenstrom advises what to post on social media when you have nothing to say. And here’s my latest speculations column: why you should follow myth and legend off the beaten path. DIY MFA

Kim Bullock shows you the positive side of envy (it’s great motivation!). Barbara O’Neal is finding the world through reading. Julianna Baggott issues a challenge: if your room has a view, but also wifi, will you ever see anything but a screen? Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland is helping authors become artists. Helping Writers Become Authors

Lisa Hall-Wilson shares the three-act emotional arc for showing shame in fiction. Laura Drake looks at the reality of writing for a living today. Writers in the Storm

Janice Hardy points out two reasons your protagonist isn’t driving your plot. Fiction University

Jami Gold wonders whether to revise or start fresh? What’s better when you’re stuck?

Oren Ashkenazi shares five activities to beat writer’s block. Then, Oren lists six pros and cons of the magic school genre. Mythcreants

Cherie Demaline answers the question, who gets to write Indigenous stories? (Yes, it’s from last year, but always a timely reminder.) CBC Books

And that tipsday.

Consider returning on Thursday for your weekly dose of thoughty.

Until then, be well, my friends.

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Feb 24-Mar 2, 2019

All rightie, then! It’s time for some informal writerly learnings.

Lisa Hall-Wilson: how to make dominant female characters likeable. Then, Tiffany Yates-Martin helps you get unblocked and avoid writer’s block. Later still, Orly Konig shares the secrets to turning a lemon into a book. Writers in the Storm

Julia Munroe Martin advises on the care and feeding of the weary writer. Barbara O’Neal is a writer seeking experiences (it’s called filling the well). Then, Jeanne Kisacky asks, what keeps your characters up at night? Writer Unboxed

Jenna Moreci offers her top tips on writing healthy relationships.

 

K.M. Weiland examines her difficulties with writing: seven things to try when writing is hard. Helping Writers Become Authors

Janice Hardy explains the difference between archetypes, tropes, and clichés. Later in the week, Janice explores one common way writers weaken their descriptions. Fiction University

Emily Wenstrom shares her tips for decluttering your social media accounts.  My latest column came out on Tuesday. How to build an alien: extremophiles. Then, Gabriela Pereira interviews Glynn Stewart about twisting the tropes of military science fiction. DIY MFA

Jerry B. Jenkins stops by Writers Helping Writers to help you write backstory through dialogue.

Chris Winkle wants you to plan super light stories. Mythcreants

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you found something to help you progress in your creative endeavours.

Be well until next time!

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Sept 28-Oct 4, 2014

I think this week was taken over by Roz Morris and Diana Gabaldon 🙂

Novels aren’t movie scripts: how to write great dialogue in prose, by Roz Morris.

Roz has been busy with Peter Snell of Barton’s Bookshop recording Masterclass radio shows for Surrey Hills Community Radio. Now they’ve made them available as podcasts, too. You’ll miss out on the musical selections, but Roz is always careful to offer the artist and song title so you can have a listen on your own.

Plus, Roz offers excellent advice for NaNoWriMo prep on Writers & Artists.

Ruth Harris has fourteen (writer’s) block busters for you on Anne R. Allen’s blog.

What if your character has no arc? K.M. Weiland discusses the differences between a flat arc and no character arc and whether or not it’s possible, let alone permissible, to write a novel about a character without an arc.

Agent Sarah Negovetich’s Hey, Sarah! In which she discusses how she works with self published authors.

 

Last week, I featured Chris Winkle’s post on Mythcreants about the heroine’s journey. Having read Maureen Murdock (both The Heroine’s Journey and The Hero’s Daughter), I was naturally interested. Now Chris has supplemented that with this post about villains who follow the heroine’s journey. Effective examples of how the heroine’s journey can be used in your novel.

Banned books week was two weeks ago, but I found this Huffington Post article interesting in retrospect: banned books by the numbers.

Maureen Ryan wrote this thoughtful article for The Huffington Post about Outlander’s wedding episode and what it means for the female viewer. Is television’s sexual revolution finally coming of age? I get to watch this tonight because the Canadian affiliate started the series two weeks late (probably by agreement). #ohcruelfate

Visit Scotland has an exclusive three part interview with Diana Gabaldon about her inspiration for the Outlander series of books and its resulting television series on Starz.

i09’s Charlie Jane Anders offers this list of ten characters that totally wasted their immortality.

Hop you enjoy these offerings, my writerly friends.

See you Thursday!

Tipsday

Resistance is futile … or is it?

This has been a rough week, the second of two spent out of town for the day job.  I’m exhausted, feeling ill, and I seem to be getting a lot of bad news, or rather I’m taking the news (in itself, neither bad nor good, just news) I’m receiving rather poorly.  I know, that’s my problem, not yours, but I’m sharing anyway in the hope that someone out there might benefit from my momentary struggles.

On a side note, I was moved to join Alex J. Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writers’ Support Group, but the sign up page does not appear to exist at the moment (!)  Yes, it’s been that kind of week.

This goes back to the issue of having, or in my case lacking, thick skin.  When I blogged about this originally, I wrote that having thick skin was kind of like being brave.  Being brave doesn’t mean you’re fearless, it means that you act despite your fear.  Having thick skin doesn’t mean shrugging off criticism or refusing to be affected by it.  Having thick skin means that you have to find a way to view criticism objectively, find a way to accept what you can, compromise where necessary, stick to your guns on what you believe is truly essential, justify your position, and write on.

That’s where I’m having trouble this week, and I think I just need some time to get some objective distance.

So what was the news?  The biggie was the illness of a friend.  The specifics I won’t get into because they’re not mine to share.  Needless to say, it was a bit of a blow.  Perhaps it was more of a trigger.

It’s coloured everything else I’ve done, and all the feedback I’ve received, this week: my coursework, my day job, and especially my writing.  What would otherwise be constructive criticism (taken in stride), or even compliments, have taken on a significantly more subversive tone.

Fraud, the sub-text whispers …

writer's block - crushed and crumpled paper on...

writer’s block – crushed and crumpled paper on notepad (Photo credit: photosteve101)

Why?  I’m blocked.  For the first time in years I can’t write a sentence without rewriting it five times.  Even then, I delete half of what I’ve written (the equivalent of the old-timey writer crumpling up sheet after sheet of paper as they emerge from the typewriter) and try to come up with something that has meaning.

For five years, I’ve written every day.  I’ve returned to the words and they haven’t failed me.  Until this week.  I’m hitting a crisis point, truly overwhelmed, and clueless as to how to proceed.  Surely this means that epiphany can’t be far away?

What I really think is that my old frenemy, depression, is starting to rear its ugly head again.  And yes, it’s my head, so I can call it ugly if I want.

Time to count my blessings:

  1. My health.
  2. My husband (wonderful man – unlimited hugs).
  3. My mom (amazing woman).
  4. My friends (all of them, a blessing in my life).  I have to note a couple of specifics here: Margaret, out of the blue, sent me a card because we’d shared emails of woe; Kim put a quote of mine on her forthcoming book cover (wonderful poet! I’m so honoured!).
  5. My work friends.  More specifics: Monica, dealing with some heavy personal issues of her own, saved our training bacon this week; the training team – most of us got together last night for a lovely evening out and lots of laughter and hugs were shared; my manager commended the training team for our superb work and dedication.
  6. My dog.  Has to be said: unconditional love and sweetness.  Panacea 🙂
  7. My critique group, honest and tough, but very supportive.  They help me become a better writer.
  8. The Wordsmith Studio community, sources of great ideas and resources, chats (though I don’t get to participate as often as I’d like), and networking.
  9. My classmates and our instructor: encouraging and informative.  Another virtual community in the making.

I’ll work my way through this rough patch.  The way is not yet clear, but with all of the above help, how can I not succeed?  Sometimes we just need a reminder.  Life is good, folks, for all that it seems otherwise.

Is anyone else out there fighting the good fight?  What do you do to remain positive?  Any tips and tricks to share?