This week’s top writing advice from around the web for Dec. 11, 2022

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(Image by Maria Korolov via Midjourney.)

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.

Pivoting Genres And Mindset Tips For Success With Dan Padavona by Joanna Penn

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 PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify, or Stitcher. The Creative Penn offers articlesvideosbookstools, and courses for independent authors.

Other motivational advice this week:

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 PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify, or Stitcher. The Creative Penn offers articlesvideosbookstools, 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:

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:


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.

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