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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
How To Focus: Take Small Steps by Rochelle Melander
August 16, 2022 Note From Rochelle Dear Writers, I have been working with an accountability partner for several years now. There are weeks when I get tasks done simply because we are meeting—and I promised her I’d write, send a query letter, or submit a story. It’s always been like that for me. Accountability busts… Read More
The post How to Focus: Take Small Steps appeared first on Write Now Coach! Blog.
Rochelle Melander is a productivity expert and writing coach. She’s the author of 12 books, including Level Up: Quests to Master Mindset, Overcome Procrastination and Increase Productivity. For more advice like this subscribe to Write Now Coach via their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link), on Twitter at @WriteNowCoach and on Facebook at @WriteNowCoach.
How To Get The ‘Write’ Mindset by Daphne Gray-Grant
11 highly counterintuitive strategies may help get you into the “write mindset”. 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:
- Are You Writing Enough? by Philip Athans for Fantasy Author’s Handbook
- The Pros And Cons Of Workshopping Your Writing–How To Find The Best Feedback To Suit Your Writing Needs And Temperament by Your Book Starts Here for How to Plan, Write, and Develop a Book
- Where To Find Peace In The Midst Of Writer’s Block by Emme Gannon for The Write Conversation
- Tips For Writers To Begin A New Project Successfully by Lucinda Secrest Mcdowell for The Write Conversation
- 10 Obstacles To Writing A Book And How To Conquer Them by Alice Sudlow for The Write Practice
- No Time Writer: An Alternative To Traditional Time Management For Writers by Daria White for DIY MFA
- Time Management For Writers by Deborah Lyn Stanley for Writers On The Move
- When Writing Gets Hard, Sometimes We Just Need To Change Our Mindset by Tammy Karasek for The Write Conversation
The art and craft of writing
Ten Reasons Characters Might Stop Communicating by Chris Winkle
What to do when one conversation could ruin your plot. 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.
How Should I Respond To Beta Reader Feedback? by Oren Ashkenazi
Hi Mythcreants, Big fan here with a somewhat big problem. I’m currently stuck in the revision stage of my story. I’m a sucker for portal fantasy, so my story is set on a magical world populated by shapeshifters (for brevity, think of DS9‘s Founders). My protagonist is basically a kind of gamekeeper, charged with protecting […] 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.
How To Write Ya Fiction: Detailed Guide by Jordan Kantey
Young adult fiction, also known as YA, is a very popular fiction category. Learn how to write YA fiction that is age-appropriate and inclusive. Jordan Kantey is a writer, marketer, community manager and product developer for Now Novel. You can find out more about him on his LinkedIn page. Now Novel is a company that offers writing sources, coaching, and editing. If you want more advice like this, subscribe to their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link) or follow them on Twitter at @nownovel or on Facebook at @nownovel or subscribe to their YouTube channel.
How (And Why) To Write Horror That Feels Like It Could Really Happen by Michael J. Seidlinger
Author Michael J. Seidlinger shares what makes our reality perfect fodder for horror, and how to write horror that feels like it could really happen. Michael J. Seidlinger is the author of Anybody Home?, Scream, and other books. He has written for, among others, Wired, Buzzfeed, Thrillist, Goodreads, The Observer, Polygon, The Believer, and Publishers Weekly. He teaches at Portland State University and has led workshops at Catapult, Kettle Pond Writer’s Conference, and Sarah Lawrence. You can find him online on Twitter at @mjseidlinger and Instagram at @michaelseidlinger. Follow Writer’s Digest via their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link), on Twitter at @WritersDigest and on Facebook at @writersdigest.
How To Form Your Bestseller In 10 Days by James Scott Bell
This articles offers a ten-day system for beginning a novel that harnesses creativity without becoming too prescriptive, in an approach that straddles plotting and pantsing. Thriller writer James Scott Bell is the author of more than twenty books about writing, and you can follow him on Twitter at @jamesscottbell. His website is JamesScottBell.com. The Kill Zone is the home of eleven top suspense writers and publishing professionals. They cover the publishing business, marketing how-tos, and the craft of writing. Follow them on RSS here (direct Feedly signup link). Follow them on Twitter @killzoneauthors.
Other writing advice this week:
- How To Write Emotional Scenes (Without Making Them Cringey) by K. M. Weiland for Helping Writers Become Authors
- How To Use Prologues, Part 6, Spoilers Ahoy by Harmony Kent for Story Empire
- The Quinary Principles Of Plot: Reveals & Twists by September C. Fawkes for September C. Fawkes
- How To Build A Flesh And Blood Character by Angela Ackerman for MyStoryDoctor
- Mind-Mapping A Table Of Contents by Hank Quense for Elizabeth Spann Craig
- The Slow Leak: Dripping Out Those Clues by N.l. Holmes for Florida Writers Association Blog
- The Magic Of Writing: Poof! Your Words Disappear (Or Not) by Al Pessin for Florida Writers Association Blog
- Five Reasons Deleting Words Can Bring A Writer Peace Instead Of Anxiety by Katy Kauffman for The Write Conversation
- How To Choose The Right Tense For Your Novel by Joe Bunting for The Write Practice
- The Secret To Creating Conflict by Joe Bunting for The Write Practice
- Tss #013: 6 Mind Tricks That Make Readers Love Your Writing by David Villalva for David Villalva
- Go Deeper Writing Fiction With Personification by Lisa Hall-Wilson for Lisa Hall-Wilson
- Writing Better Scenes: Three Tips by Linda S. Clare for Linda S. Clare
- Does Conflict Really Belong On Every Page? by Angela Ackerman for Jami Gold, Paranormal Author
- A Look At World Building And The Reader Experience by Juneta Key for Insecure Writer’s Support Group
- Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Ignoring Your Characters’ Desires by Moriah Richard for Writer’s Digest
- Using Motifs In A Powerful Way In Your Fiction by C. S. Lakin for Live Write Thrive
- 5 Act Structure: The Dramatic Structure — With Examples by Jason Hamilton for Kindlepreneur
- Save The Cat Beat Sheet: Definition And Examples by Jason Hamilton for Kindlepreneur
- Writing Aesthetic: What It Is And How To Find Yours by Krystal N. Craiker for ProWritingAid
- The Gap In Stories a la Robert McKee by Stavros Halvatzis for Stavros Halvatzis
The business side of writing
60 Examples Of Hooks For Books by Robert Lee Brewer
This post collects 60 examples of hooks for books. Also called elevator pitches, these book hooks show real-life examples in a variety of writing genres for fiction and nonfiction books. Robert Lee Brewer is senior editor of Writer’s Digest. Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer. Follow Writer’s Digest via their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link), on Twitter at @WritersDigest and on Facebook at @writersdigest.
How To Write A Query Letter (Without Losing Your Mind) by Tiffany Yates Martin
What makes for a good query letter that will catch an agent’s attention? Here’s a step-by-step guide. Tiffany Yates Martin has spent nearly thirty years as an editor in the publishing industry, working with major publishers and New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling and award-winning authors as well as indie and newer writers, and is the founder of FoxPrint Editorial and author of the bestseller Intuitive Editing: A Creative and Practical Guide to Revising Your Writing. FoxPrint Editorial offers online courses, workshops and presentations, and advice to authors.
Why First Impressions Matter by Terry Whalin
Advice from a publisher about how to submit a query. W. Terry Whalin, a writer and acquisitions editor lives in Colorado. A former magazine editor and former literary agent, Whalin is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing. He has written more than 60 nonfiction books including Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams, 10 Publishing Myths, and Book Proposals That $ell, 21 Secrets To Speed Your Success. Writers On The Move offers writing, publishing and book marketing advice from experienced authors and marketers.
Other business advice this week:
- How To Get Your Money’s Worth From A Book Publicist by Maggie Smith for Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers
- What Would I Have Done Differently? My Self-Publishing Experience, Part 12 by Scott Mccormick for BookBaby Blog
- How To Create The Best Book Publicity Document You’ll Ever Need by Sandra Beckwith for Build Book Buzz
- 176 Resources And Tools To Market And Launch Your Book by Sabrina Ricci for Digital Pubbing
- How Much Does Genre Matter? by Laurie Schnebly Campbell for Writers In The Storm
- Looking To Give Your Backlist Books A Refresh? Follow This Guide by Rachel Wharton And Joni Di Placido for Kobo Writing Life
- The Business Of Boxed Sets by Rachel Wharton And Joni Di Placido for Kobo Writing Life
- How To Create Amazon Ads To Become An Amazon Bestseller by Susan U. Neal for The Write Conversation
- Series Or Stand-Alone? 10 Things To Consider Before You Write by Elaine Viets for Career Authors
- 5 Ways To Impress An Agent by Paula Munier for Career Authors
- How To Get Book Reviews On Amazon With Special Promotions by Penny Sansevieri for Author Marketing Experts, Inc.
- 7 Book Cover Design Secrets That Will Drive Sales by William Opar for WritersWeekly.com
- What Kind Of Reader Team Do You Need? by Becky Muth for Novel Publicity
- 11 Tiktoks Indie Authors Should Follow by Emily Mccrary-Ruiz-Esparza for Written Word Media
- Amazon Print On Demand by Sarah Rexford for The Book Designer
- Beware The Internet Egg Basket: On Diversifying Your Social Media Presence by Elizabeth Javor for Self Publishing Advisor
- Book Cover Art Ideas: 9 Insights From Ai by Jordan Kantey for Now Novel
- Writers, Are You Using Your Beta Readers Wrong? by Morgan Hazelwood for Morgan Hazelwood
- Bogus Agents, Phony Communities, Fake Conferences, And Pay-To-Play Anthologies: New Scam Warnings For Writers by Anne R. Allen for Anne R. Allen’s Blog… with Ruth Harris
What is auto-narration of audiobooks and how can it benefit authors and rights-holders as well as listeners? What are some of the common objections to auto-narration and how can we keep a positive attitude to embracing change? Ryan Dingler from Google Play Books goes into detail on these questions and more. 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.
Writing Conflict With Becca Puglisi by Joanna Penn
How can you intensify the conflict in your books to hook readers? How can you introduce different types and layers of conflict to improve your story? Becca Puglisi explains why and how to write conflict. 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.
Airships by Oren Ashkenazi and Chris Winkle
Zeppelin or Flying Tallship? The Mythcreants team talks about what makes an airship, how they work, and the challenges they pose for fiction writers. Oren Ashkenazi is the speculative fiction manuscript editor and Chris Winkle is the founder and editor-in-chief 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:
- Social Media For Authors With Suzie Speaks by Sacha Black for Sacha Black
- Word-Of-Mouth Marketing With Alison G. Bailey by Rachel Wharton And Joni Di Placido for Kobo Writing Life
- Ai Art, Kate Bush, & The History Of Blurbs (With Phoebe Ravencraft) by Bryan Cohen And H. Claire Taylor for Sell More Books Show
- How To Find The Perfect Narrator For Your Audiobook – With James L. Rubart by for Author Media
- Developing Subtext by Writing Excuses
Sell More Books With Social Media By Getting More Post Clicks by Book Launchers
Social media isn’t always an easy way to sell a lot of books, but the best way to sell books on social media is to get more clicks on your posts. This episode offers some strategies for doing just that. 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.
How To Reveal Nuggets Of Backstory Without Showing Your Hand by Stavros Halvatzis
This video shows how and where to slip in backstory nuggets into the flow of the story so that they remain unobtrusive. Stavros Halvatzis is a writer and writing teacher. Get Writing is Stavros Halvatzis’s YouTube channel. For more advice like this, check out StavrosHalvatzis.com or follow himvia his RSS feed (direct Feedly link here).
Tiktok And Reels For Writers With Rebecca Regnier by Mark Leslie Lefebvre
How to use small snippets from your work gain more views and connect with new readers. Mark Leslie Lefebvre is the director of business development at Draft2Digital. Draft2Digital is one of the leading publishing platforms that helps authors publish their books to multiple platforms. It also has a very nice and easy ebook creation and formatting tool.
Other videos from this past week:
- How To Be A Good Interview Subject by Daphne Gray-Grant for Publication Coach
- How Do I Make My Book Longer? by Abbie Emmons for Abbie Emmons
- I Tested This New KDP Book Cover Designer by Dale L. Roberts for Self-Publishing with Dale
Am I missing any writing advice sites? Email me at [email protected] or leave a note in the comments below.
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.