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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
Video: Battling Overwhelm As An Author With Brandi Olson by Book Launchers
Writing a book is a big project so it’s normal to feel overwhelmed. In this video, Julie Broad talks to Brandi Olson, author of Real Flow, about practical steps to battle this feeling and get the flow back into your book writing project. 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.
If you’re not making the money you expected from your books, how can you pivot genres in order to write what you enjoy AND make a living? This episode’s guest, best-selling thriller and mystery author Dan Padavona, talks about these topics 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.
Other motivational advice this week:
- Build Your Writing Self-Efficacy by Ariel Curry for Jane Friedman
- Video: Fear Of The Blank Page by Becca Syme for QuitCast for Writers with Becca Syme
- Finding The Courage To Leap by Nathan Bransford for Nathan Bransford
- Got 15 Minutes? Write Your Book! by Rochelle Melander for Write Now Coach!
- So You Didn’t Hit Your Word Count… Did You Have Fun? by Michael Chatfield for National Novel Writing Month
- What Are The Best Places To Write? 15 Tips To Create The Perfect Writing Space by K. M. Weiland for Helping Writers Become Authors
- What If You’re New To Writing And Don’t Know How To Fix Things? by Tiffany Yates Martin for Jane Friedman
- Why Writers Should Celebrate The Pursuit And Not Just The Product by Kristen Hogrefe Parnell for The Write Conversation
The art and craft of writing
Will They Or Won’t They? Plotting With Yes Or No Questions by Janice Hardy
Basic scene structure says a scene can end in one of four ways: a yes, a no, a yes but there’s a catch, and a no and it makes things worse. You can use this yes or no approach at the end of every scene, or you can layer it throughout the scene to keep the reader asking questions and being drawn more into what’s happening. This article goes into depth about how to do this, with examples drawn from Star Wars. Fantasy author Janice Hardy has several must-have writing guides up on Amazon and you can follow her on Twitter @Janice_Hardy. Follow Janice Hardy’s Fiction University via RSS feed here (direct Feedly signup link), or follow them on Facebook at @JaniceHardysFictionUniversity. Janice Hardy’s Fiction University is one of the top writing advice sites out there. You can subscribe to their RSS feed here (direct Feedly signup link), or follow it on Twitter or on Facebook.
Podcast: Co-Writing Fiction With Generative Ai With Charlene Putney by Joanna Penn
Charlene Putney is an author and the creator of Laika, an AI-powered creativity tool. In this episode, she and Joanna talk about AI-aided writing, ChatGPT, and how you can use your own body of work to train an AI to write in your style. 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.
Podcast: Blending Family Trauma With The Supernatural by Lori Walker
In this episode, guest author Deeba Zargarpur talks about how to write a creepy book your audience will have to read with the lights on. Lori Walker is the operations maven at DIY MFA, as well as a launch manager, Web editor, and podcast producer for DIY MFA and a book coach. You can follow her on Instagram at @LoriTheWriter. 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).
The Eighth Element by Donald Maass
It’s paradoxical, but the very values that would seem to make a manuscript acceptable can be the same values that produce a novel that isn’t particularly memorable. The quality of being memorable or—let’s be ambitious—timeless, doesn’t come about by writing safe. Book agent Donald Maass is the author of one of my favorite writing advice books, Writing the Breakout Novel. The guy speaks from experience — a lot of experience — about what makes books sell. 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.
Video: Making Editing Easier by Daphne Gray-Grant
Editing should take twice as much time as writing. What? Seriously? I guess I’m totally doing it wrong. Watch this video to find out why editing should take longer. 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.
Why Save The Cat! Can’t Write A Novel by Oren Ashkenazi
Save the Cat Writes! a Novel is a must-read of writing advice — but is it any good? Not according to this article. Oren totally rips it apart. 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.
Podcast: Monologues by Oren Ashkenazi, Chris Winkle, and Wes Matlock
Why monologues exist, what their purpose is, and why you see more about them in theater than other mediums. 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.
Video: Help… My Writing Is A Mess! by Abbie Emmons
To keep scenes from getting muddled and confused, start by writing the primary plot first, then add in your secondary elements. Abbie Emmons teaches writers how to make their stories matter. For more advice like this, check out her website, AbbieE.com. Abbie Emmons is a YouTube channel about writing from writing instructor and author of the same name.
Other writing advice this week:
- 3 Easy Tips To Help You Revise Your Novel by Janice Hardy for Writers In The Storm
- 4 Tips To Write A Better Character Portrait by Monica M. Clark And Joe Bunting for The Write Practice
- 7 Ways Public Readings Can Help Your Writing by Kathryn Craft for Writer Unboxed
- Exposition In Literature: Definition, Examples, And A Complete Guide For Writers by Joe Bunting for The Write Practice
- Video: First Chapter Mistakes New Writers Make — Avoid These Cliches by Abbie Emmons for Abbie Emmons
- Five Common Character-Arc Blunders by Chris Winkle for Mythcreants
- Flash Fiction Fundamentals by Sophia Hansen for Almost An Author
- Grow Your Writing In 2023 by Dr. Erwin Wunderlich for Florida Writers Association Blog
- How Should I Structure My Series? by Oren Ashkenazi for Mythcreants
- How To Add Emotion In Fiction by Lisa Hall-Wilson for Lisa Hall-Wilson
- How To Write A Novel With Alternating Timelines by Melanie Bell for DIY MFA
- Video: How To Write Fantasy Romance With Scarlett St. Clair by Sacha Black for Sacha Black
- Radiation Hazards In Space by Dan Koboldt for Dan Koboldt
- Story Cycles And Essay Collections–How To Think About Order, Flow, And Transitions by Mary Carroll Moore for How to Plan, Write, and Develop a Book
- Story Setting And Worldbuilding: Complete Guide by Jordan Kantey for Now Novel
- Strong Act Structure Creates Stronger Stories by September C. Fawkes for MyStoryDoctor
- The Why And How Of Creating Conflict In The Stories We Write by Sarah Sally Hamer for The Write Conversation
- Three Tips For Self-Editing Your Manuscript by Hayley Milliman for National Novel Writing Month
- Tips For Excellent Twists by Johannah Davies Spero for Women Writers, Women’s Books
- When Setting Doubles As A Character In The Book You’Re Writing by Peggysue Wells for The Write Conversation
- Writing Books With Series Potential by Elizabeth Spann Craig for Elizabeth Spann Craig
- Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Dismissing Stories That Aren’t From Books by Moriah Richard for Writer’s Digest
The business side of writing
The Making Of A Six Figure Author: How Authors Evolve With Their Income by Clayton Noblit
These guys interviewed more than 1,300 authors for this survey. I bookmark it every year it comes out, and share it with everyone I know. It’s the best source to find out how much time and money authors are spending on things like covers, editing, marketing, and so on, as well as how they market and distribute their books. Clayton Noblit is a marketing manager at Written Word Media, a book marketing company. Follow Written Word Media via their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link), on Facebook at @writtenwordmedia and on Twitter at @WrittenWordM.
AI Art For Authors: Which Program To Use, Copyright And Use Cases by Jason Hamilton
This is the best article I’ve seen yet on AI art for authors. It covers the top platforms, and goes into clear detail on how it can be used for concept art, interior illustrations, promotional images, and, possibly, covers. The author also talks about the legal implications, and even about how authors are already using AI art to create graphic novels and children’s books. Jason Hamilton is a fantasy author. Check out Hamilton’s site, MythBank, full of reading and viewing guides to the most popular sci-fi and fantasy works. You can also follow him on Twitter at @StoryHobbit and on Facebook at Jason Hamilton. 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.
Video: Can A Book Be Two Genres? by Jessica Faust And James Mcgowan
Perhaps one of the most common questions a literary agent will be asked: “How do I pick what genre my book is? It’s two!” Literary agents Jessica Faust and James McGowan discuss how to categorize your genre, the difference between age group and genre, and really, whether your book is actually two — or more — genres. 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.
Video: Massive News About KDP Alternatives by Dale L. Roberts
Draft2Digital has moved forward with their Smashwords integration. D2D books can now be published easily to the Smashwords store, which offers royalties of 80% and higher. Dale L. Roberts is a self-publishing advocate, fitness author, and video content creator. Self-Publishing with Dale is a YouTube channel with millions of views.
Other business advice this week:
- Creating Bonus Content To Double Your Reader Engagement by Penny Sansevieri for Writers In The Storm
- Forming Your Strategic Vision For Your Writing Career by C. S. Lakin for Live Write Thrive
- Diversify Your Writing Skills To Earn More by Dawn Colclasure for FundsforWriters
- Unlock Better Reach: Bridge The Gap Between Online And Offline Activities by Becky Robinson for Jane Friedman
- Quick Ways To Get More Readers For Your Book From The Book Marketing Tips & Author Success Podcast by Penny Sansevieri for Author Marketing Experts, Inc.
- Six Things You Must Know Before Publishing A Book In 2023 by Penny Sansevieri for Author Marketing Experts, Inc.
- 5 Quick Literary Agent Tips & Where And How To Find One by Jackie Pearce for The Write Life
- Five Ways Being An Entrepreneur Taught Me To Be An Author by Mike Trigg for DIY MFA
- How Can I Get My Book Up For Sale Under Amazon Prime? by Angela Hoy for WritersWeekly.com
- Authors Are Moving To Booklocker After Amazon Kdp Randomly Terminated Their Accounts by Angela Hoy for WritersWeekly.com
- Podcast: More AI Art, Publishing Scammers, And Author Freedom by Bryan Cohen and H. Claire Taylor for Sell More Books Show
- How To Stalk Publishing Professionals On Social Media In An Appropriate Way by Robert Lee Brewer for Writer’s Digest
- Do I Pitch Different To Agents Vs. Editors? by Robert Lee Brewer for Writer’s Digest
- Video: Affiliate Marketing For Authors With “The Affiliate Guy” Matt Mcwilliams by Chandler Bolt for Self Publishing School
- How To Fight Copyright Infringement: 6 Tips For The Falsely Accused by Dave Chesson for Kindlepreneur
- Novel vs Novella: Definition, Word Count, And Selling Strategies by Dave Chesson for Kindlepreneur
- The Year In Review Part 3: Bestsellers by Kristine Kathryn Rusch for Kristine Kathryn Rusch
- Video: Book Marketing Collaboration Ideas For Working With Influencers by Julie Broad for Book Launchers
- Video: Want To Write A Story That Sells? Here’s How Hollywood Does It (When It Does It Well)! by Stavros Halvatzis for Get Writing
- Podcast: 20 Ways To Promote Your Book During The Holiday Season by Thomas Umstattd Jr. for Author Media
- Why Remakes And Reboots Are Here To Stay (And No, It’s Not A Bad Thing) by Lucy V Hay for Bang2write
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.