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This week’s top writing advice from around the web for May. 15

By Maria Korolov
(Illustration by Maria Korolov based on image via Pixabay.)

I subscribe to dozens of writing advice sites and new advice articles come into my news reader at a steady pace. You can see some of my favorites at my Writing Advice Sites resource page.

Here are the best writing advice posts from this previous week. Occasionally I include an RSS feed. To subscribe to an RSS feed, add the feed URL to your RSS reader app. The most popular is Feedly, which is the one that I use. It has a website and mobile apps, and it keeps track of which articles you’ve read, synched across all your devices.

You can see all the previous writing advice of the week posts here and subscribe to the RSS feed for this writing advice series here (direct Feedly signup link).

This week, I’ve decided to divide the list into three categories.

The first, for the beginning writer, is about getting the writing process down. Finding time to write, discovering your own writing rituals, learning how to overcome your inner critics, fighting writer’s block, and how to finish what you start. Experienced writers sometimes hit these speedbumps as well, but they can kill a career for a new writer before it even starts.

Second, for the writer who’s already started getting the hang of the mechanics of getting the words down on paper, is improving the quality of the writing. Of course, you can’t improve writing if you don’t have any to improve, so the previous step is critical. But once you’re getting words down, you can start asking yourself if they’re the right words, or maybe you can find better words. And you can even start thinking about sentences, paragraphs, scenes, chapters, plots, character arcs — all that stuff that goes into writing readable work. And even experienced writers probably have areas where they can improve, or new things to learn.

Finally, for the writer who’s finished stories or books that are ready for the public, there’s the question of finding your publishing platform, producing the actual book, finding copyeditors and cover artists, marketing, and advertising. For beginning writers these are mostly theoretical questions, but for experienced writers, they are critical for success. And the answers keep changing as the industry changes, so staying on top of things is critical.

So here we go.

Productivity, mood management, and battling the demons inside

A Master Class In Failure (To Find Writing Success) by Marcia Desanctis

Failure is often a step in finding success but navigating the treacherous terrain of rejection can be burdensome. Here, international bestselling author Marcia DeSanctis shares a master class in coming back from failure. Marcia DeSanctis spent two decades as a news producer for ABC, NBC and CBS News 60 Minutes. She has written for Travel + Leisure, Vogue, Town & Country, Air Mail, Departures, BBC Travel, Lit Hub, Marie Claire, Off Assignment, Departures, Tin House, O the Oprah Magazine, Roads & Kingdoms, The New York Times, and The New York Times Magazine, among many other publications. She has won five Lowell Thomas Awards for excellence in travel journalism, including one for Travel Journalist of the Year. This venerable resource for writers celebrated its hundred-year anniversary last year, but is still going pretty strong. Follow Writer’s Digest via their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link), on Twitter at @WritersDigest and on Facebook at @writersdigest.

How To Prepare For Writing A Book: 4 Simple Steps You Can Do Now by Jeff Elkins

Writing a novel is like running a marathon. If you want to do it successfully and not completely destroy yourself, you need to prepare for it. Jeff Elkins writes urban fantasy. Check out his website, JeffElkinsWriter.com. The Write Practice is an advice site from a group of writers. They also have a writing critique community and a newsletter. Follow The Write Practice on Twitter, on Facebook, or subscribe to their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link).

Find Your Motivation For Writing Speculative Fiction by Disha Walia

Here are 4 things about speculative fiction that could inspire the motivation to get those words on the pages. And it goes beyond your dreams of seeing your name on the cover—your writing can help your future readers. Disha Walia is a lifelong storyteller and an enthusiastic writer and editor in love with the idea of exploring the creative world of words. Connect with her on Quillinary.com or follow her on Twitter at @quillinary. DiyMFA offers classes, advice articles and other training materials for writers. For more advice like this, follow them on Twitter at @DIYMFA and on Facebook at @DIYMFA or subscribe to their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link).

Other motivational advice this week:

The art and craft of writing

Want Readers To Connect To Your Character? Include This Element. by Angela Ackerman

When readers see something within the character that resonates, something they themselves think, feel, or believe in, it becomes common ground that binds them to the character. Writers Helping Writers co-founder Angela Ackerman is a writing coach, international speaker, and co-author of the bestselling book, The Emotion Thesaurus and its many sequels. I own a copy of this book and use it frequently, and highly recommend it. Follow Ackerman on Twitter at @AngelaAckerman. Writers Helping Writers is a great site for writing advice. These guys also have the One Stop for Writers online tool set. Subscribe to them via their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link here) or follow them on Facebook at @DescriptiveThesaurusCollection or on Twitter at @WriterThesaurus.

Theme: Showing > Telling by September Fawkes

Many of us are familiar with the “Show, don’t Tell” writing rule, but few of us realize how vital it is to writing our stories’ themes. In fact, one of the most common problems that come up with theme, happens because the writer tells the theme more than shows it. September Hawkes is a freelance editor. follow her on Twitter @SeptCFawkes and on Facebook at September C. Fawkes. At SeptemberCFawkes.com, Fawkes offers writing advice. Follow the site on its RSS Feed (direct Feedly signup link).

Grammar Un-Schooling: Your 6 Hall Passes by Kathryn Craft

Great advice for fiction writers on when to obey — and when to break — the rules of grammar. Novelist Kathryn Craft has been a freelance developmental editor at Writing-Partner.com since 2006, and teaches in Drexel University’s MFA program. Learn more on her website, KathrynCraft.com or follow her on Facebook at @KathrynCraftAuthor and on Twitter at @kcraftwriter. Writer Unboxed is a fantastic writing advice site, with lots of helpful articles from some of the biggest names in the field. Follow them on RSS (direct Feedly signup link) and on Twitter.

How Useful Are Pixar’s Rules Of Storytelling? Part 1 by Oren Ashkenazi

There is a list of 22 rules purported to be from Pixar. How useful are they, really? Oren Ashkenazi is a speculative fiction manuscript editor at Mythcreants. Mythcreants is my all-time favorite writing advice site. Get their RSS feed here (direct Feedly signup link) or follow them on Twitter @Mythcreants and on Facebook at @mythcreants.

Using Your Story’s Premise To Create Novelty by Chris Winkle

Novelty can be generated by anything the audience isn’t used to and the benefit it offers to stories is too large to ignore. Chris Winkle is the founder and editor-in-chief of Mythcreants. Mythcreants is my all-time favorite writing advice site. Get their RSS feed here (direct Feedly signup link) or follow them on Twitter @Mythcreants and on Facebook at @mythcreants.

Other writing advice this week:

The business side of writing

Creative Self-Publishing: Creating Your Copyright Page: A Guide For Indie Authors by AskALLi Team

You’ve finished a book! Hurrah. Now you need to publish it. Which means metadata, back matter, front matter, and… a copyright page. But what exactly is supposed to go in a copyright page? How much legal wording do you need and what are those key phrases? The AskALLi Team is the group behind Self Publishing Advice, the advice center of the Alliance of Independent Authors. Self Publishing Advice is the advice center of the Alliance of Independent Authors. If you want more advice like this, subscribe to their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link).

How To Crowdfund Your Book by Christopher Stollar

Crowdfunding in publishing has received a lot of attention in recent months. Successful crowd-funder and author Chris Stollar shares his tips for realistic and practical tips to make crowdfunding work for you. Christopher Stollar is the award-winning author of The Black Lens. His debut novel won Grand Prize in the 2016 Writer’s Digest Self-Published e-Book Awards. He’s now working on his next novel, a sci-fi thriller. For more, check out his website, ChristopherStollar.com. This venerable resource for writers celebrated its hundred-year anniversary last year, but is still going pretty strong. Follow Writer’s Digest via their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link), on Twitter at @WritersDigest and on Facebook at @writersdigest.

How To Revive Dead Book Sales: Managing Your Backlist by Dave Chesson

Extremely thorough and detailed article about how to figure out why sales are flagging and what to do about it, with lots of resources. Dave Chesson is the founder of Kindlepreneur is pretty much the top site out there for self-published authors who want to sell more e-books on Amazon. The RSS feed is here (direct Feedly signup link). Follow them on Facebook at @KindlePreneur and Chesson himself on Twitter at @DaveChesson. And make sure to subscribe to his podcast, The Book Marketing Show. Kindlepreneur is pretty much the top site out there for self-published authors who want to sell more e-books on Amazon. The RSS feed is here (direct Feedly signup link). Follow them on Facebook at @KindlePreneur and founder Dave Chesson on Twitter at @DaveChesson.

Other business advice this week:

Podcasts

Killing A Major Character by Oren Ashkenazi, Chris Winkle, and Wes Matlock

Sometimes, an important character needs to die. But also sometimes, an important character doesn’t need to die, and probably shouldn’t. How can authors tell the difference? Oren Ashkenazi is the a speculative fiction manuscript editor, Chris Winkle is the founder and editor-in-chief, and Wes Matlock is a content editor at Mythcreants. Mythcreants is my all-time favorite writing advice site. Get their RSS feed here (direct Feedly signup link) or follow them on Twitter @Mythcreants and on Facebook at @mythcreants.

Other podcasts from this past week:

Videos

Pacing The Novel by Morgan Hazelwood

Eight tips from the pros on pacing your novel, from RavenCon 2022. Morgan Hazelwood writes from her lair in Northern Virginia. She’s a blogger, vlogger, and podcaster of writing tips and writerly musings, plus an actively querying fantasy author. For more advice like this, follow her on Twitter at @MorganHzlwood, on Facebook at Morgan Hazelwood, and on YouTube at Morgan Hazelwood. At Morgan Hazelwood, she offers writing advice and resources.

Publishing Wide For The Win (With Mark Leslie Lefebvre) by Kristina Adams and Ellie Betts

Today’s guest is Mark Leslie Lefebvre, the director of business development for Draft2Digital, a free and author-centric platform celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2022. He talks about the pros and cons of publishing wide, and the nuances of various publishing platforms. Kristina Adams is a bestselling author and writing instructor. Find out more at her website, KristinaAdamsAuthor.com. The Writer’s Cookbook offers advice, podcast, videos, coaching, workshops, and writing courses. Follow the site via their RSS feed (direct Feedly link here).

Other videos from this past week:


Am I missing any writing advice sites? Email me at [email protected] or leave a note in the comments below.

MetaStellar editor and publisher Maria Korolov is a science fiction novelist. During the day, Maria Korolov is an award-winning freelance technology journalist who covers artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and enterprise virtual reality. See her Amazon author page here and follow her on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. Email her at [email protected]. Her first virtual world novella, Krim Times, made the Amazon best-seller list in its category. Her second novella, The Lost King of Krim, is out now. She is also the editor and publisher of Hypergrid Business, one of the top global sites covering virtual reality.