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I subscribe to more than 150 writing advice sites and gather the best posts for you every single Sunday. 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).
Productivity, mood management, and battling the demons inside
As writers, we often cling to certain myths that suck up emotional energy and reinforce practices that undermine the creative process. Joni B. Cole is the author of two writing guides, Good Naked: How to Write More, Write Better, and Be Happier and Toxic Feedback: Helping Writers Survive and Thrive. She founded her own writer’s center, and is a popular teacher and speaker at a variety of academic programs, writing conferences, and nonprofit organizations. She is also the creator and host of the podcast Author, Can I Ask You? Learn more at her website, JoniBCole.com or follow her on Twitter at @JoniBCole. This article was posted on the Jane Friedman writing advice site. For more like this, subscribe to their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link here).
Writing Tip: Your Mess Is Your Message by Jenny Hansen
Your writing voice comes from the lessons you’ve learned and the wisdom those lessons brought you. In essence, your writing voice gets honed by understanding your mess. Jenny Hansen is a fiction writer. Check out Hansen’s personal blog, More Cowbell, or follow her on Facebook at @JennyHansenAuthor. 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).
Online Creative Writing Courses by Glen C. Strathy
A list of online writing classes from Neil Gaiman, N.K. Jemisin, Margaret Atwood, and others. Award-winning author Glen C. Strathy teaches creative writing at St. Lawrence College. Check out his website at Glen-C-Strathy.com or follow him on Twitter at @glencstrathy. How to Write a Book Now offers advice about novel writing and story theory.
How To Focus: Dump Distractions by Rochelle Melander
After an interruption, it takes us about 23 minutes to refocus. If you have only an hour to write, that can eat up your time. So what’s the solution? We need to focus. But we also need to stay connected. This article offers a few tips on how to do that. 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.
Other motivational advice this week:
- Every Writer Should Attend A Writers’ Conference by Steven Spatz for BookBaby Blog
- Get Creative And Build Your Writing Muscles by Dawn Field for BookBaby Blog
- Reasons To Hurry Up With That First Draft by Lynn Sloan for Women Writers, Women’s Books
- Inside The World Of Rejection by Dawn Carrington for WOW! Women On Writing Blog
- Facing Burnout Head On by Renee Roberson for WOW! Women On Writing Blog
- Turns Out, Story Ideas Are Everywhere by Nicole Pyles for WOW! Women On Writing Blog
- Learn These 10 Secrets Of Being A Successful Writer by Lori Hatcher for The Write Conversation
- Top 10 Novel Ideas To Write A Bestseller by Joe Bunting for The Write Practice
- 20 Mystery Story Ideas by Ruthanne Reid for The Write Practice
- Tss #014: The Worst Writing Mistake I’ve Made That You Must Avoid by David Villalva for David Villalva
- Can’t Write? Try These 9 Ideas For Writing Motivation by Carol Tice for Make a Living Writing
- Lessons From The Climbing Wall by Kelsey Allagood for Writer Unboxed
- How To Find The Motivation To Write Your Book by Alyssa Hitaka for Insecure Writer’s Support Group
- How Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Can Help Writers by Daphne Gray-Grant for Publication Coach
- What To Do When You Don’t Feel Like Writing by Craig von Buseck for The Write Conversation
- Writers: Need Ideas? Discover Your Passion by Linda Wilson for Writers On The Move
- The Upside of Impostor Syndrome and 7 Ways to Deal with the Downside by Ruth Harris for Anne R. Allen’s Blog… with Ruth Harris
The art and craft of writing
The first step in the revision process is to work on the macro-level, or on the biggest issues. Staci Troilo is a multi-genre best-selling author, editor, and ghostwriter. Learn more about her at StaciTroilo.com. For more advice like this, follow the Story Empire Blog on Facebook at @StoryEmpire5 or on Twitter at @StoryEmpire or get their RSS feed here (direct Feedly signup link).
Books For Fantasy Authors: Bird By Bird by Philip Athans
Bird by Bird covers a wide range of topics around the creation of fiction and the care and nurturing of authors themselves. Philip Athans is the New York Times best-selling author of Annihilation and a dozen other books including The Guide to Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction, and Writing Monsters. His blog, Fantasy Author’s Handbook, is updated every Tuesday, and you can follow him on Twitter at @PhilAthans. Fantasy Author’s Handbook offers advice for authors of fantasy, science fiction, and horror.
How To Let Readers Into Your Characters’ Inner Life by Tiffany Yates Martin
Regardless of what POV you’re writing in, allowing readers to understand what’s going on inside your character is what makes a story immediate, direct, and vivid to us. 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. 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).
The starting point is paradox, which is imperative in the construction of three-dimensional characters since paradox allows for hidden depth. Zena Dell Lowe has worked professionally in the entertainment industry for over 20 years as a writer, producer, director, actress, and story consultant. The Write Conversation frequently makes the top lists of writing advice blogs. Follow them via their RSS feed (direct Feedly link here).
Why Deep POV Isn’t Working And How To Fix It by Lisa Hall-Wilson
Deep POV is not a beginner-friendly style to write in. This article lists the most common reasons deep POV isn’t working for newer writers and offers some solutions. 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 Truer Characters by Linda S. Clare
How to make characters feel more real by giving them backstories, getting them moving, and creating emotional connections.
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 writers’ 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.
Digging To Find The Theme In Your Novel by C. S. Lakin
Plot is what the story is about, but theme is what the story is really about, below the plot. 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.
Why You Should Theme Your World by Chris Winkle
To make an impression, a world must be more than the sum of its parts. 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:
- Is Your Story Too Complicated? Here Are 9 Signs by K. M. Weiland for Helping Writers Become Authors
- Series Fiction: How many books should be in a series? by Joan Hall for Story Empire
- When Characters Try To Run The Show by John W. Howell for Story Empire
- How Clear Is Your Writing? by Jerry Bellune for FundsforWriters
- Fix Fluff Words – 14 Fillers For Writers To Avoid by Kris Maze for Writers In The Storm
- Writing Powerful Scenes, Part 7: Say Something! by David Farland for MyStoryDoctor
- About Chapter Endings by Anne Hawkinson for Florida Writers Association Blog
- Give Your Readers A Deeper Connection With The Characters You Write Through The Q Factor by Ane Mulligan for The Write Conversation
- How To Start A Story: 10 Ways To Get Your Story Off To A Great Start by Joslyn Chase for The Write Practice
- What Is An Epilogue? And Is It Okay To Use One In Your Book? by Joe Bunting for The Write Practice
- Five Act Structure: Definition, Origin, Examples, And Whether You Should Use It In Your Writing by Joe Bunting for The Write Practice
- Close To You: Writing In Third Person Close by Brenda Copeland for Career Authors
- What’s At Stake In Your Novel? by Dana Isaacson for Career Authors
- What Kind Of Editing Does Your Manuscript Need? by Norma Poore for Almost An Author
- Five Tips On Character Development When Writing About Starting Over by Dianne C. Braley for DIY MFA
- Scrivener Skills: Creating An EPUB In Scrivener 3 by Gwen Hernandez for Writer Unboxed
- When That Grammar You (Think You) Learned May Be Hurting Your Writing by Ellen Jovin for Writer’s Digest
- Minor Characters: 5 Tips To Getting Them Right by Hannah Lee Kidder for Self Publishing School
- Five Stories With Too Many Characters by Oren Ashkenazi for Mythcreants
- How To Write A Book Using Microsoft Word by Dave Chesson for Kindlepreneur
- How To Write A Book Using Google Docs by Dave Chesson for Kindlepreneur
- How To Write A Murder Mystery: 7 Tips To Captivate Readers by Neil Chase for Now Novel
- How To Write A Thriller: 8 Tips For Page-Turners by Jordan Kantey for Now Novel
The business side of writing
Creating An Online Presence by Susan Koehler
An online presence can help you make connections, build name recognition, and draw readers to your books. So in short, it’s an investment worth making. Susan Koehler is the author of two middle grade novels as well as several teacher resources and nonfiction books for children. Visit her website at SusanKoehlerWrites.com to learn more. The Florida Writers Association is a great resource for writers, with a very active advice blog. Follow the Florida Writers Association via their RSS feed (direct Feedly link here), on Facebook at Florida Writers Association and on Twitter at @FloridaWriters1.
My Author Platform Mistakes And How To Avoid Them by Lisa E. Betz
The more clarity you have of your specific target audience and the specific topics, themes, or issues you are called to write about, the easier it becomes to provide content that is both relevant and builds confidence in your author brand. An engineer-turned-mystery-writer, Lisa E. Betz infuses her novels with authentic characters who thrive on solving tricky problems. Her debut novel, Death and a Crocodile, won several awards. For more from her, check out LisaEBetz.com, follow her on Twitter at @LisaEBetz or on Facebook at @LisaEBetzWriter. Almost an Author offers writing and publishing advice. For more this this, follow them on Twitter at @A3writers, on Facebook at @A3writers and subscribe to their RSS feed here (direct Feedly signup link).
Business Musings: The Business Mindset by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Writers have struggled to balance earning enough to live on and keeping their art pure for all of human history. But…the writers we remember, well, they were the ones who figured out how to manage art and business in their time and their culture. New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristine Kathryn Rusch writes bestselling science fiction and fantasy, award-winning mysteries, acclaimed mainstream fiction, controversial nonfiction, and the occasional romance. At KrisWrites.com, Rusch offers her thoughts about the publishing industry and other topics.
Other business advice this week:
- What Agents Look For In Sample Pages by Jessica Faust for BookEnds Literary Agency
- Paying Markets Seeking Submissions From Under-Represented Writers by Jennifer Mattern for All Freelance Writing
- How To Kill It With Debut Thriller: Book Promotion Chat With Vicki Weisfeld by Sandra Beckwith for Build Book Buzz
- 7 Ways Podcasting And Marketing Are The Same by Sabrina Ricci for Digital Pubbing
- Hybrid Author Events: Ideas For Promoting A Book by Penny C. Sansevieri for Self Published Author
- Making The Most Out Of Offering Free Content To Your Readers by Kobowritinglife for Kobo Writing Life
- Looking For Authors Who ‘Get It’: An agent’s advice on getting published by Terry Whalin for Almost An Author
- How To Sell Books When Your Network Fails You by Penny Sansevieri for Author Marketing Experts, Inc.
- 8 Essential And Creative Recommendations For Launching A Book by Penny Sansevieri for Author Marketing Experts, Inc.
- The Nobel Prize In Literature Awarded To: Artificial Intelligence? by Tammy Lough for DIY MFA
- 8 Steps To Prepare For Podcasts And Radio Interviews To Promote Your Forthcoming Book by Aileen Weintraub for Writer’s Digest
- The Importance Of Securing Amazon Review by Elizabeth Javor for Self Publishing Advisor
- Here Are 10 Top Tips For Hosting Twitter Spaces by Rachel Thompson for BadRedhead Media
- Problematic Publishing: Red Flags To Watch Out For by Morgan Hazelwood for Morgan Hazelwood
- Keeping Track Of Submissions by ARHuelsenbeck for A Writer’s Path
Estate Planning For Authors With Michael La Ronn by Joanna Penn
How can you make sure your heirs and successors are able to manage your books and copyright licensing after your death? What aspects do you need to think about in terms of your author estate? 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.
Death Personified by Oren Ashkenazi, Chris Winkle, and Wes Matlock
In this episode, the Mythcreants team discusses why writers love making death a sympathetic character, along with how best to use death as a character in your story. 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:
- How To Work With Literary Agents With Lucinda Halpern by Sacha Black for Sacha Black
- Ai Tools For Authors by for Author Media
What To Expect From The Revision Process by Jessica Faust and James McGowan
Literary Agents Jessica and James sat down to discuss what authors can expect from the revision process. What are all the ways your book will evolve from the minute your first draft is completed, to the minute it’s on shelves. Jessica Faust is the owner and president at 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.
5 Tips To Finishing Writing Your Book by Julie Broad
In this video, Julie Broad of Book Launchers shares five tips to finally get your book written. 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.
Use ‘The Gap’ To Increase Suspense In Your Stories by Stavros Halvatzis
The Gap refers to the tension between a character’s expectation of a result and its actual outcome. This video explores Robert McKee’s promotion of this technique in stories. 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).
10 Worst Tips For Writing A Plot Twist by Jenna Moreci
Plot twists are unexpected developments in a storyline, and when written well, can keep readers engaged and invested. But when written badly, they can do the exact opposite. These terrible writing tips include skipping foreshadowing, winging it, overcomplicating the story, and more. Jenna Moreci is a best-selling fantasy author and the host of a YouTube show about writing that has hundreds of thousands of subscribers. Writing with Jenna Moreci is a YouTube channel that offers seven years’ worth of writing advice, with new videos posted weekly.
Other videos from this past week:
- How To Deal With Beta Readers by Daphne Gray-Grant for Publication Coach
- 3 Tips To Sell Books With Libraries by Julie Broad for Book Launchers
- Webinar: How To Use Metadata To Your Advantage by Mark Leslie Lefebvre for Draft2Digital
- How To Build An Iconic Author Brand…And Attract Your Ideal Readers by Abbie Emmons for Abbie Emmons
- Selling Books With Subscriptions by James Blatch for Self Publishing Formula
- Amazon KDP Terminates Your Account For This… 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.