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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.
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
Small Steps: The Value Of Simply Showing Up by Kristen Lamb
Small steps are the most essential for achieving anything in life, yet they’re also the most underestimated. They are too easy to overlook or dismiss. Mystery author Kristen Lamb is also the author of the social media guide book, Rise of the Machines: Human Authors in a Digital World as well as We Are Not Alone: The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer. Follow her on Twitter at @KristenLambTX or on Facebook at @authorkristenlamb. If you want more advice like this, follow the Kristen Lamb blog via its RSS feed (direct Feedly link).
Create Your Own Writing Space At Home by F.e. Choe
Much has been said about the importance—or rather, the need—for a writer to have a room of her own. All the better, if the said room comes with a door that locks from the inside and with zero Internet connection. But what if you don’t have a spare bedroom? 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).
Better Work-Life Balance For Writers by Daphne Gray-Grant
Are you working too hard? Here are seven suggestions for achieving work-life balance as a writer. Daphne Gray-Grant is a writing coach, author of Your Happy First Draft, and host of The Write Question show on YouTube. Publication Coach offers books, courses, videos, and one-on-one coaching for authors. If you want more advice like this, subscribe to their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link) or follow them on Twitter at @pubcoach or subscribe to their YouTube channel.
Other motivational advice this week:
- How To Properly Multitask As A Writer by Rafiat Shittu for Craft Your Content
- Writing Through Depression, Pushing Past Doubt: Inspiration For Discouraged Writers by Tracy Shawn for Women Writers, Women’s Books
- How Writers Can Turn The Page This Spring by Angela Ackerman for Writers Helping Writers
- Creative Ways To Brainstorm Story Ideas by Becca Puglisi for Writers In The Storm
- Who? What? And Especially Why? All About That Thing You’re Doing When People Constantly Interrupt You by Al Pessin for Florida Writers Association Blog
- Acknowledge Your Limitations And Set Your Stage For Success by LA Bourgeois for DIY MFA
- Is Reading Overrated For New Writers? An Unexpected Effect Of Research On Deliberate Practice by Peter Rey for Peter Rey
- What If You Gave Up? by Natalie Hart for Writer Unboxed
- Are Morning Pages For You? by Daphne Gray-Grant for Publication Coach
- Why Writers Need Self-Compassion by Anne Janzer for Anne Janzer
- Leave Me Alone — I Know What I’m Doing by Tiffany Yates Martin for FoxPrint Editorial
- To Be Or Not To Be A Writer? by Stavros Halvatzis for Stavros Halvatzis
- Need Inspiration? Try These Writing Mantras by Lisa E. Betz for Almost An Author
The art and craft of writing
The 6 Challenges Of Writing A Second Novel by K. M. Weiland
As many sophomore writers can attest, writing a second novel is often an entirely different experience. It may be easier in some ways than the first, but in others, it is often surprisingly and even bewilderingly more difficult. K. M. Weiland is one of my favorite writing advice people, and the award-winning author of acclaimed writing guides such as Structuring Your Novel and Creating Character Arcs. If you want more advice like this, subscribe to her blog, Helping Writers Become Authors, via its RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link). You can also follow her on Twitter @KMWeiland and on Facebook @kmweiland.author. Helping Writers Become Authors is one of our favorite writing advice sites. Follow it via its RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link), on Twitter, and on Facebook.
One Plotting Tool For All by Lynette Burrows
A story sentence is a plotting tool and helps you focus your story. A story sentence includes a protagonist, an antagonist, a conflict, and a hook. Lynette M.Burrows writes dystopian sci-fi. For more advice like this, check out her website, LynetteMBurrows.com, or follow her on Facebook at @LynetteMBurrowsAuthor or on Twitter at @LynetteMBurrows. Writers in the Storm is another great site for writing advice, with a group of regular contributors and guest writers who post frequently. It is very well worth following on RSS (direct Feedly signup link here).
17 Things To Know About Deep Pov Before You Start Writing by Lisa Hall-Wilson
A list of things many people don’t realize before doing a two-footed jump in the deep end of deep POV. Lisa Hall-Wilson is a writing teacher and award-winning writer and author. She also has two courses on writing in deep point of view that you might want to check out: Writing in Emotional Layers and Deep Point Of View Foundations can help you learn the effects the tools used in deep POV aim to create, so you can use those tools to best serve your story and your voice. Follow her on Twitter at @LisaHallWilson or on Facebook at @lisahallwilson. Her website is LisaHallWilson.com. On her website, LisaHallWilson.com, Lisa Hall Wilson offers writing advice, books about writing, and writing courses.
Other writing advice this week:
- Story Development And Execution Part 5: Plot Development by Staci Troilo for Story Empire
- Think Cinematically by Don Paul Benjamin for Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers
- Stop Writing Nice Stories by Maggie Smith for Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers
- Fear Thesaurus Entry: Putting Yourself Out There by Angela Ackerman for Writers Helping Writers
- One Quick Reason Readers Cheer For Unlikable Characters by Lisa Hall-Wilson for Writers Helping Writers
- The Power Of Vision In Writing by Ellen Buikema for Writers In The Storm
- 2 Rules Of Thumb For Breaking Writing Rules by September Fawkes for September C. Fawkes
- Want Strong Dialogue? Don’t Forget The Subtext by Becca Puglisi for MyStoryDoctor
- 7 Tips And Tricks For Getting Through Your Second Draft by Michael James for A Writer’s Path
- My Love Affair With Scrivener–Software For Both Sides Of The Brain by Mary Carroll Moore for How to Plan, Write, and Develop a Book
- 3 Tools To Deep Point Of View: Immerse Your Readers Into Your Story by Alice Gaines for Elizabeth Spann Craig
- How To Make Your Characters Real In The Stories You Write—4 Essential Truths by Edie Melson for The Write Conversation
- Three Must-Have Tools For Writers by Edie Melson for The Write Conversation
- How To Connect With Your Readers Using The Power Of Emotion by Edie Melson for The Write Conversation
- How To Write Faster: Writing Tips To Finish A First Draft In 6 Weeks by J. D. Edwin for The Write Practice
- It’s About Time: Backstory, Flashback, And Chronology by Barbara Linn Probst for Writer Unboxed
- Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Drafting Solely On A Computer by Moriah Richard for Writer’s Digest
- 8 Tips On How To Be Edited Without Losing Your Voice Or Being Decolonized by Anat Deracine for Writer’s Digest
- Want To Spend Less On Your Pay-By-The-Hour Editor? by Zoe M. Mccarthy for Zoe M. McCarthy
- How To Write A Book: 21 Steps By A 6-Time Bestselling Author by Chandler Bolt for Self Publishing School
- What Is Line Editing And Is It Better Than Copy Editing? by Ashleigh Ferguson for Self Publishing School
- How Useful Are Michael Moorcock’s Ten Rules Of Writing? by Oren Ashkenazi for Mythcreants
- Seven External Plots For Relationship-Centered Stories by Chris Winkle for Mythcreants
- Is It A Problem For A Disability To Be Integral To The Plot? by Chris Winkle for Mythcreants
- Point Of View: Complete Guide To Pov In Stories by Jordan Kantey for Now Novel
- Foreshadowing: A Look Back And A Look Forward by Steve Hooley for Killzoneblog.com
- The Rule Of Three by Garry Rodgers for Killzoneblog.com
- Making It Feel Real by John Gilstrap for Killzoneblog.com
- How To Start Writing A Book: 9 Steps For Writers by Allison Bressmer for ProWritingAid
- A Neat Trick For The Act Two Slog by James Scott Bell for Killzoneblog.com
The business side of writing
How To Launch Your First Book by Sacha Black
Sacha Black talks with three guests, CM Newell, SW Millar and Scott Williamson, about how they launched their first books. Sacha Black is a fantasy author and writing coach, with several writing advice books including 13 Steps to Evil: How to Craft Superbad Villains (Better Writers Series) May 9, 2017. Follow her on her website, Sacha Black, on Facebook at @Sacha Black or on Twitter at @sacha_black. Sacha Black is a site that offers writing advice, courses, and podcasts. Follow the site via their RSS feed (direct Feedly link here).
Self-Publishing Predictions For The 2020s by Orna Ross
Seven trends that will power self-publishing in the coming decade. Orna Ross is a novelist, poet, self-publishing advocate, and founder and director of the Alliance of Independent Authors. Follow her on Twitter at @OrnaRoss. 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).
Amazon A+ Content: Elevate Your Book’s Amazon Page by Sandra Beckwith
Amazon A+ content offers an opportunity for self-published authors to create an Amazon detail page that’s visually comparable to what traditional publishers have been creating for years. Sandra Beckwith is an award-winning former publicist who now teaches authors how to market their books. Follow her on Twitter at @sandrabeckwith and on Facebook at @buildbookbuzz. Build Book Buzz offers do-it-yourself book marketing tips, tools and tactics. Follow them via their RSS feed (direct Feedly link here).
Other business advice this week:
- The Indie Author’s Ultimate Guide To Self-Publishing An Audiobook by April Miller for Digital Pubbing
- 5 Best Book Marketing Tips For Indie Authors by Lauren Sapala for Lauren Sapala
- How New Authors Market Their Books Using Social Media by Amanda Winstead for Two Drops of Ink
- Query Letters That Actually Worked To Catch An Agent Or Publisher by Mary Carroll Moore for How to Plan, Write, and Develop a Book
- Amazon Opens Up Advertising To Traditionally Published Authors by Edie Melson for The Write Conversation
- Accessorize Your Writing To Increase Marketing Potential by Edie Melson for The Write Conversation
- Clever Ideas For Promoting A Book With Bonus Content by Penny Sansevieri for Author Marketing Experts, Inc.
- How To Rank In Amazon Kindle Categories In 2022 by Cate Baum for Self-Publishing Review
- Write A Powerful Book Introduction With These 5 Must-Do Steps And Examples by Barrie Davenport for Blog – Authority Self-Publishing
- Direct Book Sales: How To Sell Books Direct To Readers From Your Website by Emily Mccrary-Ruiz-Esparza for Written Word Media
- How To Create A Standout Title Page: 5 Faqs And Answers by Sarah Rexford for The Book Designer
- How To Write An Effective Book Proposal by C. S. Lakin for Live Write Thrive
- Best Book Sales Tracker: How To Track Book Sales Across All Platforms by Dave Chesson for Kindlepreneur
- Top 10 Social Media Mistakes For Writers by Sue Coletta for Killzoneblog.com
Why are digital scarcity and ownership so important to the business model of creators in web 3? How can an author use a wider fictional world for creative and business goals? Joanna Penn has been sharing writing and publishing advice since 2008 at The Creative Penn and is the author of Successful Self-Publishing and many other writing and publishing advice books. She also has one of my favorite writing advice podcasts, and you can subscribe to it on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or Stitcher. The Creative Penn offers articles, videos, books, tools, and courses for independent authors.
From Big Idea To Book With Jessie Kwak by [email protected] (Joanna Penn)
How can you turn one idea into a short story or expand it into a novel? How can you find a writing process that brings you joy for the long term? The Creative Penn offers articles, videos, books, tools, and courses for independent authors.
Character Strengths by Oren Ashkenazi, Chris Winkle, and Wes Matlock
What are character strengths, how they affect a character’s likability, and, perhaps most importantly, whether villains should have them. Oren Ashkenazi is the 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:
- Don’t Let A Bad Cover Ruin Everything by Penny Sansevieri for Author Marketing Experts, Inc.
- Tax Changes, Writing Buddies, And Backlist’s Back by Bryan Cohen and H. Claire Taylor for Sell More Books Show
10 Reasons To Be Scared Of Your Agent by Jessica Faust And James Mcgowan
There are some things agents may do that should scare you. Listen to Jessica and James talk about ten red flags agents may display. Jessica Faust is the owner and president of the BookEnds literary agency. Follow her on Twitter at @BookEndsJessica or on Instagram at @jfaust_bookends or email her directly at [email protected]. James McGowan is a literary agent at the agency. BookEnds is a literary agency that represents more than 300 authors and illustrations, both fiction and non-fiction, including several New York Times and USA today bestsellers. They are currently open to submissions. If you want more advice like this, subscribe to their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link) or follow them on Twitter at @bookendslit or on Facebook at @BookEndsLiterary.
Everything You Need To Know When Planning A Book Series by Claire Fraise
Everything you need to know when planning your book series — from questions you need to ask yourself to decisions you need to make. Claire Fraise wrote her first novel when she was 16, and has since published two other supernatural thrillers. Connect with her on Instagram at @clairefraiseauthor, on Facebook at @clairefraiseauthor, or visit her website at ClaireFraise.com. Write with Claire Fraise is her YouTube channel.
Other videos from this past week:
- Writing Procrastination: What’s Stopping You And 3 Simple Steps To Get Back To Your Wip by Joe Bunting for The Write Practice
- Define Your Creative Voice by Dan Blank for WeGrowMedia
- What Books Are Selling Aka Do People Even Read Anymore? by Book Launchers for Book Launchers
- Book Marketing Roi – Strategy Vs. Tactics by Book Launchers for Book Launchers
- Where To Start A Story by Get Writing! for Get Writing
- Parenting, Writing, And Productivity (With Sacha Black) by The Writer’s Mindset for The Writer’s Mindset
- Do You Really Need A Blog? (With Kenny Mackay) by The Writer’s Mindset for The Writer’s Mindset
- Introducing Healthy Habits | Productivity And Mindset Tips For Writers, Authors, And Creatives by The Writer’s Mindset for The Writer’s Mindset
- How Email Marketing Makes You A Better Writer (With Rob And Kennedy) by The Writer’s Mindset for The Writer’s Mindset
- What Does SFWA Offer Indie Authors? by Mark Leslie Lefebvre for Draft2Digital
- How Does Intuitive Autopilot Work? by Becca Syme for QuitCast for Writers with Becca Syme
- From Writing Conference To Writing Career by Self Publishing Formula for Self Publishing Formula
- One Easy Way To Tell The Difference Between Fear And Intuition by Lauren Sapala for Lauren Sapala
- Our Favourite Fictional Worlds by The Writer’s Mindset for The Writer’s Mindset
Am I missing any writing advice sites? Email me at [email protected].
Edited by Melody Friedenthal
MetaStellar editor and publisher Maria Korolov is a science fiction novelist, writing stories set in a future virtual world. And, during the day, she 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]. She is also the editor and publisher of Hypergrid Business, one of the top global sites covering virtual reality.