Tipsday: Informal writerly learnings, Sept 18-24, 2022

It’s the last tipsday of September. Finish off the month in style by filling up on informal writerly learnings!

Disha Walia advises what not to include in the first chapter. Then, Angela Yeh helps you move past the middle muddle mood. Best line: “Writing a novel isn’t all sunshine and unicorn butts.” Adam W. Burgess presents LGBTQ+ literature in translation: Notes of a Desolate Man. Helen Scheurerer offers a masterclass in planning and writing a series. Later in the week, Diane Cohen Schneider shares five tips on how to add facts to fiction without sounding wonky. DIY MFA

Why Marilyn Monroe deserved much, much better from us. The Take

Matthew Norman recounts the thrill of changing lanes. Then, Dave King shares the view from inside. Barbara Linn Probst tell some wild and crazy research tales, or the things we do for our stories. Then, Julie Carrick Dalton explains how to attend a literary conference without checking a bag: keep calm and carry-on. Writer Unboxed

What’s up with your shoes? Another armour tier list. Jill Bearup

Janice Hardy suggests five ways to revive a novel that doesn’t work. Fiction University

Penny C. Sansevieri explains why writing conferences matter for writers. Then, Lynette M. Burrows helps you make music with character voices. Ellen Buikema is writing minor characters that matter. Writers in the Storm

Kahina Necaise presents the top four challenges of fantasy worldbuilding and how to overcome them. Live, Write, Thrive

Valkyries: the real story behind these warriors of legend. Fate & Fabled | PBS Storied

Di Ann Mills shares the art and purpose of subtext. Then, Jennifer Browdy is transforming coal into diamonds: telling painful true stories through fiction. Jane expands on her DOJ vs. PRH antitrust trial coverage in The Hot Sheet to explain why it doesn’t change the game for authors, regardless of outcome. Lisa Cooper Ellison says, to nail your book proposal, think synergies, not sections. Jane Friedman

Worldbuilding with giant monsters. Tale Foundry

Lucy V. Hay helps you reach the finishing line and celebrate a completed book. Writers Helping Writers

Nathan Bransford warns, don’t let your opening cement in your mind.

Literally no one likes a grammar cop. Otherwords | PBS Storied

Kristen Lamb explains how shame, regret, and guilt shape story.

Christina Delay advises us about avoiding blocks and refreshing ideas. Jami Gold

How much does it cost to self-publish a book? Reedsy

Chris Winkle points out seven easy sources of real-world danger. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes six stories with cheap cop-outs. Mythcreants

Lucy Knight announces that Hilary Mantel, celebrated author of Wolf Hall, dies aged 70. The Guardian

The five principles of revision. Shaelin Writes

Leah Drayton reveals Toni Morrison’s advocacy against censorship: truth is trouble. The New York Public Library

Stephanie Morris shares autumnal equinox writing tips and rituals. Write of Die Tribe

Thank you for stopping by, and I hope you found something toe support your current work(s) in progress, whatever stage they’re at.

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

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, June 7-13, 2020

Black lives matter. Indigenous lives matter. All lives cannot matter until Black and Indigenous lives matter.

Trans women are women. Trans men are men. Trans non-binary folks are non-binary folks.

These pandemic times are increasingly complex ones. Protests against anti-Black racism and anti-Indigenous racism continue even as the world begins to “reopen.” Black and Indigenous people continue to suffer from and die because of police violence but, as has been pointed out, police violence is only the symptom. Institutionalized racism is the virus that must be eradicated.

Here in Canada, the RCMP has recently done an about face, first denying their endemic racism, and then admitting it and committing to do better. In the meantime, Indigenous and Black lives continue to be threatened.

People across the publishing industry—across all media, in fact—have been fired for their racism. Various governments are seriously considering defunding their police. Monuments to white supremacy are falling.

And TERFs who expose their prejudices are being publicly and thoroughly schooled.

The world is still in chaos. But with the continued protests, change is coming. I continue to hope and to support efforts to achieve reform and justice. I continue to listen and learn, because there’s so much I don’t know, and I want to do better.

Onto the informal writerly learnings!

Why poetry is so important/powerful/relevant right now. “Hollow” – Bristol’s City Poet, Vanessa Kisuule.

Jenny Hansen lists the eight Cs of character development. Writers in the Storm

Nya Wilcox busts six writing excuses and explains how she wrote—and published—a novel at the age of eleven. Helping Writers Become Authors

Jane Friedman recommends questions to ask your publisher before you sign the contract.

Laura Highcove offers an introduction to writer’s intuition. DIY MFA

The Take explains the superhero genre.

Jami Gold helps you make the right impression with character introductions. Writers Helping Writers

On her own blog, Jami shares four further tips for making the right impression for your characters.

Jenna Moreci offers her first ten tips for evoking emotion through your writing.

Jim Dempsey is writing and hiking. Kathryn Craft shares six ways to add a dash of foreign language. Then, Laurie R. King helps you keep your series fresh. Writer Unboxed

Janice Hardy reveals the hidden danger backstory poses for writers (and it’s not what you think). Fiction University

Nathan Bransford: listen to your characters, but don’t let them run away with your story.

Hard worldbuilding vs. soft worldbuilding. And yes, Tim does discuss Harry Potter as an example of soft worldbuilding, so be warned if J.K.’s recent TERF-dom is offensive or triggering for you. Hello, Future Me

Chris Winkle is judging what backstory to keep and what to let go. Then, Oren Ashkenazi lists what does and doesn’t make a signature weapon cool. Mythcreants

And that is tipsday for this week. Thank you for visiting, and I hope you found something to support your current work in progress.

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe. Be willing to listen, learn, and do better.

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, May 24-30, 2020

Welcome to June! However you’ve been weathering the pandemic, I hope you’re keeping safe and well. It’s time to reward yourself with some informal writerly learnings.

But first, my brief weekly update.

#Pandemiclife continues, and I’ve heard some confirmation that my employer will keep up to 90% of staff working from home. So, I’m here for the long haul, as expected. I’m also just coming off two weeks of virtual training and entering into two more. In recent years, training of any kind has exhausted me. Virtual training brings its own complications. Still, I seem to be doing a decent job. The feedback has been positive, in any case.

The added distress of violence against people of colour here in Canada and in the US is depressing. It’s reprehensible and I keep hoping—naively—that we’ve grown past such hateful conflicts. My faith in the human race is crumbling.

Here are some good words from some good people (we can take some comfort in that):

Abigail K. Perry demonstrates a Story Grid scene analysis of Giver of Stars. Then, Brenda Joyce Patterson promotes writing small in viral times. Later in the week, Sacha Black shares five ways to improve your description. DIY MFA

Sacha Black drops by Writers Helping Writers, too: three ways to differentiate your characters.

Shaelin explains how to discovery write your novel. Reedsy

Laurie Schnebly Campbell considers the pros and cons of writing a series. Then, Lisa Hall-Wilson offers three exercises to help you dive deeper into character emotions. Writers in the Storm

K.M. Weiland devotes this week’s post and podcast to an editing Q&A. Helping Writers Become Authors

How to stay motivated as a writer. Reedsy

September C. Fawkes stops by Elizabeth Spann Craig’s blog: how to write subtext.

Jessi Rita Hoffman discusses the problem of self-conscious writing: do you torture your metaphors? Jane Friedman

Janice Hardy shares a handy checklist to strengthen the narrative drive in your scenes. Then, Swati Teerdhala explains when to tell rather than show. It’s such a delicate balance! Fiction University

Robin LaFevers wants you to break through writer’s block. Writer Unboxed

Jenna Moreci helps you set the scene.

Jami Gold: what do readers want from a story’s POV? Then, she explains that word choice is about more that picking the right word.

Chris Winkle shares six character archetypes for love interests. Oren Ashkenazi facetiously lists seven reasons it’s definitely okay to ignore storytelling rules. Mythcreants

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

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

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, March 15-21, 2020

I hope you’re all staying safe and well in these troubling times. If you’re self-isolating or quarantining, you’ve probably already had a chance to see all the informal writerly learnings I share. If you haven’t, please see this as a helpful resource to spend you time productively if you’re having trouble concentrating for long stretches of time.

I am still working, but I work in employment that has been considered a critical service and, unfortunately, our virtual network is at capacity. Still, several of my colleagues are off because of the school and day care closures and I maintain social distancing to the degree possible. I bring lunch from home and eat at my desk. I have not travelled. When I don’t work, I only leave the house to walk the dog. My spouse is our designated shopper and is also taking care of shopping for our Moms. We’re all being as safe as we can.

Vaughn Roycroft: it’s the end of the world as we know it (and writing feels fine). Dave King says, do it again, do it again! Some practical advice about writing series. Barbara Linn Probst: 36 debut authors tell it like it is. Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland tackles five questions about how to manage multiple points of view in your stories. Helping Writers Become Authors

Then, she suggests five inspirational reads (if you’re self-isolating or quarantining).

And … six happy movies or series. This video came first, actually. Katie starts off by explaining her covid-19 inspired idea for a video series.

Emily E.J. Wenstrom: writing unlikable characters readers will root for. Jane Friedman

Lucy V. Hays explains why all writers need a structural toolbox. Writers Helping Writers

Shaelin discusses how to plan a series. Reedsy

And … the trilogy, specifically. Reedsy

Leanne Sowul helps you write through depression. Pamela Taylor wants you to create authentic details about food. Then, Gabriela Pereira interviews E.J. Wenstrom about bringing a fantasy series to a close. Rosie O’Neill shares five ways to rekindle inspiration for your current writing project. DIY MFA

Then, E.J. Wenstrom visited Fiction University to explain how she tricked her pantser brain into plotting.

Oren Ashkenazi provides six tips for avoiding repetitive conflict. Mythcreants

She never wrote more than a page a day, but now, Eden Robinson has a Canada Reads finalist book. CBC

Stay safe and be well. Take care.

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Feb 2-8, 2020

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 🙂

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Aug 26-Sept 1, 2018

Ah, September. Did you have to come so soon? Now we say our fond farewells to summer and get back to work and school. Shore yourself up with some informal writerly learnings.

Shannon Baker and Jess Lourey want you to write what you fear: why, how, and a lifesaving bonus tip. Writer Unboxed

Julia Munroe Martin: confessions of a weary writer. Speaks to me in many ways. I, too, will never give up. Writer Unboxed

Jo Eberhardt explores writing, politics, and the fuzzy grey line between. In the end, all writing is political. Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland shares five ways to use the enneagram to write better characters. Helping Writers Become Authors

Piper Bayard says, hacking isn’t just for thrillers anymore. Writers in the Storm

Laurie Schnebly Campbell: plot, character, and … what? Writers in the Storm

Roz Morris takes us on a virtual tour of her writing space. The rescued desk—where do you write? Nail Your Novel

Chuck Wendig explains why writing a series (especially as a new author) is really goddamned hard. Terribleminds

Sara Letourneau shares three ways of revising (or avoiding) preachy themes. DIY MFA

Damon Suede stops by Fiction University to talk about comp lit: claiming your place on the shelf.

Lizzie Shane drops by Jami Gold’s blog: how important is talent?

Chris Winkle wants you to account for character identification. Mythcreants

Oren Ashkenazi: five ways gods and the afterlife change a fantasy setting. Mythcreants

And that was tipsday for this week. Come back on Thursday for your weekly done of thoughty.

Be well until then!

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