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Read my Midjourney review here.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
Writing is a lot like exercising. The more you do it, the easier it gets, and the better you get at it. Anyone who exercises regularly knows that the discomfort never fully goes away, but you learn to work through it and ignore it. Eventually you get a “second wind” of energy. For writers, this second wind is called “flow state.” H. Duke is a fantasy and horror writer. You can see H. Duke’s books on Amazon here and follow her on Facebook at @hdukeauthor and on Twitter at @HDukeAuthor. The Writersaurus offers productivity, writing, and publishing advice. Their RSS feed is here (direct Feedly signup link). Check out their list of recommended writing books here and follow the site on Facebook at @thewritersaurus.
Top 10+ Survival Tips For Publishing by Bob Eckstein
Poignant advice from some of the funniest people in publishing. Bob Eckstein is a New York Times bestselling author, award-winning illustrator, and New Yorker cartoonist. He teaches writing and drawing at NYU. Follow Writer’s Digest via their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link), on Twitter at @WritersDigest and on Facebook at @writersdigest.
Other motivational advice this week:
- Maybe I Need To Cheer Up by Philip Athans for Fantasy Author’s Handbook
- Schedule Everything by Rochelle Melander for Write Now Coach!
- The Three-Step Hack For Stopping Procrastination by Daphne Gray-Grant for Publication Coach
- How To Discover And Develop Your Own Writing Voice–Your Uniqueness Manifest On The Page by Mary Carroll Moore for How to Plan, Write, and Develop a Book
- The Happy Wanderer (Or How I Follow The Hybrid Method Of Writing) by Cathy C. Hall for WOW! Women On Writing Blog
- Things For Writers To Remember When Others Cause You To Doubt by Beth K. Vogt for The Write Conversation
- 20 Fantasy Story Ideas by Ruthanne Reid for The Write Practice
- One Quick Tip For Effective First-Person Writing by Ruthanne Reid for The Write Practice
- Filling Your Writing Life by Kathryn Craft for Writer Unboxed
The art and craft of writing
How Perfect Does Your Story’s Structural Timing Have To Be? by K. M. Weiland
The positioning of a story’s important turning points is one of the keys for creating a story that feels right to audiences. As often as not, when something seems off about a story, the problem can be narrowed down to wonky structural timing. 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.
Examples Of First Person Deep Pov by Lisa Hall-Wilson
First person POV is NOT automatically deep POV. Learn the differences with examples. 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. Oh her, website, LisaHallWilson.com, Lisa Hall Wilson offers writing advice, books about writing, and writing courses.
Writing: Those Evil, Weasel Words by Linda S. Clare
Here are some tips for editing out words that don’t pull their weight: Vague Swamp Weasel. That’s because weasels are vague, and if we’re not careful, our writing can get pulled into the vague swamp. Linda S. Clare has been writing professionally since 1993 and has taught fiction, memoir and essay writing for Lane Community College for more than a dozen years. In addition to her published books, award-winning short stories, articles and essays, she works as an expert writing advisor for George Fox University and is a frequent presenter at writer’s conferences. For more advice like this, check out her website, LindaSClare.com on Twitter at @Lindasclare. LindaSClare.com offers advice about writing and story structure, as well as coaching services.
4 Steps To Create Perfect Plot Twists by C. S. Lakin
The challenge for the writer is to craft twists that are both unexpected and believable. Ah, there’s the rub. How can your twists be believable if they’re unexpected? C. S. Lakin is a writing coach, workshop instructor, award-winning author of over 30 books, and blogger at Live Write Thrive. Her Writer’s Toolbox series of books teach the craft of fiction, and her online video courses at Writing for Life Workshops have helped more than a thousand writers. She also works as a book copyeditor and does more than 200 critiques a year for writers, agents, and publishers in six continents. I’ve been reading her advice for a few years now and she is awesome. If you want more advice from her, follow her on Twitter at @LiveWriteThrive and on Facebook at @C.S.Lakin.Author. Live Write Thrive is a writing advice site by novelist, editor and writing coach C. S. Lakin, author of eight-book The Writer’s Toolbox Series. Follow her on Twitter @LiveWriteThrive. Also check out her other site, The Self Publisher.
This a long, detailed, yet clear guide to writing an entire novel. A nice article to bookmark if you’re just starting out. Joe Bunting is a book coach, an author and the leader of The Write Practice community. Follow him on Instagram at @jhbunting. 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).
How To Write A ‘Pacey’ Novel: Hank’s Sure-Fire Five-Segments Plan by Hank Phillippi Ryan
Some tips for how to write in segments to keep your novel moving at a brisk pace. Hank Phillippi Ryan is the USA Today bestselling author of 13 psychological thrillers, winning the genre’s most prestigious awards. Follow her on Facebook at @Hank Phillippi Ryan or on Twitter at @HankPRyan. Career Authors is one of Writer’s Digest top 101 websites for writers and helps authors write better, get published, and sell more books. For more advice like this subscribe to their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link), on Twitter at @CareerAuthors and on Facebook at @CareerAuthors.
Other writing advice this week:
- How Suspense And Tension Work Together To Increase Story Impact by Tiffany Yates Martin for Jane Friedman
- The Quaternary Principles Of Plot: Setups, Payoffs, Connections by September C. Fawkes for September C. Fawkes
- Writing Powerful Scenes, Part 6: Novelty by David Farland for MyStoryDoctor
- Discover What You Need To Write Dialect That Shines True by Edie Melson for The Write Conversation
- Dialogue Tags: What Are They And How To Use Them by Kellie Mcgann for The Write Practice
- Why Is Dialogue Important? 7 Roles Dialogue Plays In A Story by Joslyn Chase for The Write Practice
- Applying The Scientific Method To Writing & Editing by Jeanette The Writer for DIY MFA
- What Is Symbolism And How To Use It In Your Writing by Emily Mccrary-Ruiz-Esparza for Written Word Media
- Why Is This Love Scene Here? How To Write Compelling Love Scenes by Jo Mcnally for Writer’s Digest
- How Can I Give Aliens Strange Values? by Oren Ashkenazi for Mythcreants
- Science Fiction Writing Tips: Ideas From 8 Authors by Jordan Kantey for Now Novel
- Start With Curiosity by Anne Janzer for Anne Janzer
- Using Weather To Strengthen Scenes In Your Writing And Storytelling by Kelley J. P. Lindberg for Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers
- How Many Scenes Does It Take To Tell Your Story? by Sarah Hamer for Writers In The Storm
- The Ins And Outs Of Writing A Young Adult Novel by Dominique Richardson for DIY MFA
- What Is Your Character Hiding: The Power Of Secrets by David Corbett for Writer Unboxed
- To Tell The Truth by Kathleen Mccleary for Writer Unboxed
- 3 Tips For Writing Dystopian Young Adult Fiction by Julian R. Vaca for Writer’s Digest
- Strange New Worlds Reveals The Danger Of A Theme-Breaking Plot by Oren Ashkenazi for Mythcreants
- Your Story Needs Tension, Not Violence by Chris Winkle for Mythcreants
- 10 Tips For Building A Realistic And Vibrant Fictional World by Nalini Singh for Writer’s Digest
- How To Write A Mystery In Any Genre by James Scott Bell for Killzoneblog.com
The business side of writing
Why Amazon Keywords Matter For Your Book by Steven Spatz
Here are some important do’s and don’ts to help you choose your Amazon keywords because the better your keywords, the better your chance of discovery. Steven Spatz is a writer, marketer, and the president of BookBaby. BookBaby bills itself as the nation’s leading self-publishing services company. For more advice like this, subscribe to their RSS feed (directly Feedly link here), or follow them on Facebook at @BookBaby or on Twitter at @BookBaby.
Reader Magnets: Why You Need One [5 Examples Included] by Sarah Rexford
A reader magnet is a crucial opt-in for potential readers, subscribers, and anyone else who fits your target audience. Sarah Rexford is a marketing content creator and writer. Rexford helps authors build their platform through branding and copywriting. She also writes fiction and nonfiction and offers writers behind-the-scenes tips on the publishing industry through her blog ItsSarahRexford.com. for more advice like this, follow her on Twitter at @sarahjrexford. Self Publishing School offers online courses about self publishing, as well as a podcast, blog, and other resources. For more advice like this subscribe to their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link), on Twitter at @Self_Pub_School and on Facebook at @Self Publishing School.
Tips For Indie Writers During An Economic Recession by Andrew Deen
Here are a few tips to help you navigate the independent authorship journey even when the economy has taken a downturn. Andrew Deen has been a consultant for startups in almost every industry from retail to medical devices and everything in between. He implements lean methodology and currently writing a book about scaling up business. The Independent Publishing Magazine covers many aspects of self-publishing, hybrid publishing, traditional publishing, book marketing, publishing technology and industry news in general for both authors and industry professionals.
Other business advice this week:
- Don’t Believe These 4 Common Publishing Myths If You Want To Publish Successfully by Nina Amir for How to Blog a Book
- Book Cover 101: Fantastic Fantasy And Scintillating Sci Fi by Guest Blogger for Writers In The Storm
- Better Book Promotion On Amazon: 5 Simple Reasons Your Ads Aren’t Working by Penny Sansevieri for Author Marketing Experts, Inc.
- How To Select Great Giveaway Prizes by Becky Muth for Novel Publicity
- Why You Should Have Your Book In Multiple Formats by Elizabeth Javor for Self Publishing Advisor
- How To Write A Synopsis For A Novel by Nathan Bransford for Nathan Bransford
- Building An Email List by Jan Sikes for Story Empire
- Your Query Was Rejected Because It Didn’t Sell The Book by Jessica Faust for BookEnds Literary Agency
- 1,000 Fans by C Hope Clark for FundsforWriters
- How Are Books Adapted For The Screen? Two Agents Demystify The Process by Sangeeta Mehta for Jane Friedman
- Book Metadata: What The Heck Is That? by Indie Author Minute for BookBaby Blog
- Selling Books Direct With Shopify: The Minimum Viable Store by Joanna Penn for The Creative Penn
- How To Grow Your Audience Using Online Workshops: Part Five by Patricia Durgin for Almost An Author
- Location, Location, Location: Where Do We Find Our Peeps? by Sophia Hansen for Almost An Author
- Infographic: 6 Reasons Self-Publishing Your Ebook Can Guarantee More Sales by Penny Sansevieri for Author Marketing Experts, Inc.
- How To Format A Book: 10 Tips Your Editor Wants You To Know by Blake Atwood for The Write Life
- Five Tips For Writing A Successful Series by Helen Scheuerer for DIY MFA
- Authors: Take Some Advice From A Do-It-Yourselfer — Know What You Can’t Do Yourself by Brian Whiddon for WritersWeekly.com
- Writing The Perfect Synopsis For Beginners by Randy Ingermanson for Advanced Fiction Writing
- 9 Pros And Cons Of Writing A Newsletter by Sian Meades-Williams for Writer’s Digest
- Should You Blog, Youtube, And/Or Podcast? by Morgan Hazelwood for Morgan Hazelwood
- Why You Should Have A Newsletter by Dan Blank for WeGrowMedia
- Can You Copyright A Character Or Book Title? How About Trademarking? by Joseph Perry for Anne R. Allen’s Blog… with Ruth Harris
Selling Books Direct On Shopify With Morgana Best by Joanna Penn
Selling your books direct to readers and listeners can bring you more money, faster, and allow you to control your customer’s experience and data. Morgana Best explains why selling direct is so important for an author business, and some of her tips for implementing a Shopify store. 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.
The Matrix: Give Your Story Away by Melanie Hill And Valerie Francis
In this episode, the hosts explain how giving away the ending in the first ten pages can make the story better. Melanie Hill and Valerie Francis are literary editors and writers. The Story Nerd podcast demystifies story theory so writers spend less time studying and more time writing.
Obi-Wan Kenobi by Oren Ashkenazi, Chris Winkle, and Wes Matlock
This show manages to achieve the impressive feat of being good despite also being a midquel, but how? The Mythcreants team discusses what they liked about the show, what didn’t work as well, and why they shouldn’t make another season. 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:
- How To Build A Series With #1 NYT Bestseller Catherine Coulter by J.d. Barker, J. Thorn And Zach Bohannon for Writers, Ink.
- Tiktok For Authors With AK Mulford by Sacha Black for Sacha Black
- How To Become A Big Name Author by Thomas Umstattd Jr. for Author Media
- Building Tension by Dan Wells, Mary Robinette Kowal, Maurice Broaddus, and Howard Tayler for Writing Excuses
The Fuzzy Secrets To Writing A Decent Novel by Yuvi Zalkow
What are the general traits that can help you complete a crazy big project like a novel? Yuvi Zalkow is a novelist. His short stories and essays have been published in Catapult, Narrative Magazine, Carve Magazine, Rosebud, The Los Angeles Review, and others. 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.
Difference Between Copy Editing And Proofreading For Authors by Julie Broad
Who are different kinds of editors that do different jobs for improving your book. Julie Broad heads up a team of self-publishing experts at Book Launchers. Book Launchers is mostly aimed at non-fiction book authors, but with useful advice for fiction authors as well. You can also follow them on Facebook at @booklaunchers and on Twitter at @booklaunchers. And, of course, subscribe to their YouTube channel.
Interview Compilation – Plotting by Kristina Adams and Ellie Betts
A compilation of some of the best bits from previous interview, with guests’ top tips on plotting. Kristina Adams is a bestselling author and writing instructor. Find out more at her website, KristinaAdamsAuthor.com. The Writer’s Mindset is a YouTube channel from the team behind The Writer’s Cookbook, a site that offers writing workshops and courses as well as writing and marketing services. For more advice like this, follow them on Twitter at @writingcookbook and on Facebook at @writingcookbook .
Other videos from this past week:
- What’s Worked To Get More Book Reviews by Book Launchers for Book Launchers
- Is The Theme Of A Story Related To The Age Of Your Lead Character(s)? by Get Writing! for Get Writing
- 12 Steps Of The Hero’s Journey Explained (Episode 4: Meeting The Mentor) by Claire Fraise for Write with Claire Fraise
- Which Is Better: Suspense Or Plot Twists? by Abbie Emmons for Abbie Emmons
- 9 Things To Do Before Starting A Novel by Shaelin Bishop for ShaelinWrites
- Leader Characters by Terrible Writing Advice for Terrible Writing Advice
- 10 Worst Ways To Destroy The Chemistry Between Your Characters by Jenna Moreci for Writing with Jenna Moreci
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, 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.