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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 the 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
The Question Of Inspiration by Sarah Lawton
Inspiration comes from everywhere and from everything. It comes out of memories and experiences but also from questions. Sarah Lawton is a thriller author and book editor. Check out her website, SarahLawton.co.uk or follow her on Twitter at @s_lawton_books. Women Writers, Women’s Books is an online literary magazine by and about contemporary women writers from around the world. Follow them via their RSS feed (direct Feedly link here).
Things I Wish I Knew Before I Published: Part II by Lynette Burrows
Lynette Burrows wishes she knew a few things before she published her first book, including how to find the motivation to learn marketing techniques, how to register her copyright, how to protect her work from piracy, and that readers are far more forgiving than she thought they were going to be. Lynette M. Burrows writes dystopian sci-fi. For more advice like this, check out her website, LynetteMBurrows.com, or follow her on Facebook at @LynetteMBurrowsAuthor or on Twitter at @LynetteMBurrows. 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 4 Traits Of Successful Writers by Lewis Jorstad
The rules of the writing are clear and consistent. Developing a solid writing is as much about rules as it is about inspiration, intuition and feedback. Nurturing, creativity, curiosity and thoughtfullness are keys to a solid writing practice. Lewis Jorstad is a developmental editor, writing craft author and the founder of The Novel Smithy. The Novel Smithy is a site that helps writers build a robust writing toolkit. Follow them on Twitter @TheNovelSmithy.
Other motivational advice this week:
- The Power Of Community In The Writing Process by Alida Miranda-Wolff for Women Writers, Women’s Books
- Sidequesting: An Antidote To “I Should Be Writing” by Rebecca Hardy for The Craft of Writing – SFWA
- Is Your Blog Sustainable? by Marilyn L. Davis for Two Drops of Ink
- The Power Of Gathering With Other Creatives by Edie Melson for The Write Conversation
- Setting Your Author Goals by Rea Frey for Career Authors
- Article Writing Rejection? Do This To Bounce Back…Fast by Carol Tice for Make a Living Writing
- How To Make Your Slow Writing Go Faster by Daphne Gray-Grant for Publication Coach
- On The Other Side Of Fear Is Success by Jessica Faust for BookEnds Literary Agency
- Deliberate Practice: How To Become Great (At Writing Or Anything) by Joe Bunting for The Write Practice
- Ideas For Overcoming Writer’s Fatigue by Amanda Winstead for Almost An Author
- Five Reasons To Start A Morning Writing Routine by Alexis M. Collazo for DIY MFA
- Going From Preparing To Write To Actually Writing by Lori Walker for DIY MFA
The art and craft of writing
How points of view are too many? It’s too many if you can’t handle them properly. Otherwise, go for it. This article sets out some rules. Roz Morris is an author, book doctor, and a bestselling ghostwriter. At Nail Your Novel, Roz Morris offers advice about writing, publishing and self-publishing.
Archetypes And Story Structure: How They’re Connected by K.m. Weiland | @Kmweiland
By its very nature, story structure is archetypal. It is a pattern as big as life itself, and therefore one about which we are always learning more. These archetypes show up in story structure and character arcs in surprising ways. K.M. Weiland is the award-winning author of acclaimed writing guides such as Structuring Your Novel and Creating Character Arcs. She also writes historical and speculative fiction and she also mentors authors. 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.
The Measure Of A Character by Christina Delay
The best characters don’t simply occupy the page but come to life—for us and for our readers. They possess intelligence, feel self-aware, and seem to be, or perhaps are, conscious. Christina Delay is a writing coach and an award-winning psychological suspense author. For more about her you can visit her website, ChristinaDelay.com, follow her on Facebook at @authorchristinadelay or follow her on Twitter at @christinadelay. Writers Helping Writers is a great site for writing advice. These guys also have the One Stop for Writers online tool set. Subscribe to them via their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link here) or follow them on Facebook at @DescriptiveThesaurusCollection or on Twitter at @WriterThesaurus.
Author Voice Vs. Narrator Voice Vs. Character Voice by September Fawkes
Voice happens at three levels: the writer’s voice, the narrator’s voice, and the character’s voice. September Hawkes is a freelance editor. follow her on Twitter @SeptCFawkes and on Facebook at September C. Fawkes. At SeptemberCFawkes.com, Fawkes offers writing advice. Follow the site on its RSS Feed (direct Feedly signup link).
Quick Tip For Timeline Continuity by Elizabeth Spann Craig
Keeping a timeline straight in a mystery can be a challenge. You have suspects giving alibis, victims being murdered, and other assorted chaos. But timeline continuity is important for any writer. One tip? Create a calendar for the timeline in your book. Elizabeth Spann Craig is a best-selling cozy mystery author. You can follow her on Twitter at @elizabethscraig or on Facebook at Elizabeth Spann Craig Author. She also collates a weekly list of the best new writing-related articles, called Twitterific Writing Links, which then all get added to the Writer’s Knowledge Base database. On her website, ElizabethSpannCraig.com, Craig and her guest authors offer advice on writing and publishing.
How Should My Hero Recruit A Crew? by Oren Ashkenazi
Some great tips here for when your protagonist needs to hire a crew of supporting characters. 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.
All about Campfire: is Campfire right for your worldbuilding and plotting needs, how much it costs, how it works, and more. 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.
The 7.5 Best Books To Become A Great Writer by P. S. Hoffman
These are the best books for everyone who wants to become a truly great writer, covering everything from how to craft a good story to how to sell books through specific platforms. P.S Hoffman is a sci-fi fiction writer. You can find his books on Amazon and support him via Patreon. P.S. Hoffman is also the name of the blog where he shares writing advice.
Content Warnings by Si Clarke
This is a thoughtful post about why authors should include trigger warnings for prospective readers. Sci-fi author SI Clarke, who describes herself as “neurodiverse and gender bendy,” writes about Martian colonization and talking space dogs. Check out all her books here. On her blog, SI Clarke offers book reviews and occasional writing advice.
Other writing advice this week:
- Evoke Emotion If You Want Your Stories To Succeed by Stavros Halvatzis for Stavros Halvatzis
- Show, Don’t Tell: The Secret To Great Writing With Show And Tell Examples by Joe Bunting for The Write Practice
- James Patterson Masterclass Review: Is This What You Need To Write A Page-Turning Thriller? by Joslyn Chase for The Write Practice
- The Seven Deadly Sins Of Speculative Fiction (And How To Fix Them) by Disha Walia for DIY MFA
- Answering The Call For Diversity by Colice Sanders for DIY MFA
- Cutting Your Way To Freedom by Dave King for Writer Unboxed
- Best Book Writing Software: Paid, Free, Grammar, & Productivity by Scott Allan for Self Publishing School
- How To Crystalize The Stakes by Nathan Bransford for Nathan Bransford
- 3 Top Tips On Describing Your Character’s Appearance by Lucy V Hay for Bang2write
- Creative Writing Courses: Best Online Classes For Writers by Hannah Young for ProWritingAid
- 9 Strategies For Using Science To Tell Stories by Jea Morris for Craft Your Content
- Fear Thesaurus Entry: Failure by Becca Puglisi for Writers Helping Writers
- Your Novel: Concept To Query In 10 Months by Fred Koehler for Writers Helping Writers
- How The Seven-Point Story Structure Can Help Your Writing by Ryan Lanz for A Writer’s Path
- Word Count Goals For The Three Acts Of Your Novel, Memoir, Or Nonfiction Book by Mary Carroll Moore for How to Plan, Write, and Develop a Book
- Improbable Action? How To Render It Believable. by Stavros Halvatzis for Stavros Halvatzis
- Adding Color Descriptions To Writing Pieces Adds Feelings by Carolyn Howard-Johnson for Sharing with Writers and Readers
- 6 Tips That Will Make You A Better Writer by Peter Rey for Peter Rey
- Alternatives To A Professional Edit by Tiffany Yates Martin for Writer’s Digest
- How Useful Are Jonathan Franzen’s Ten Rules For Novelists? by Oren Ashkenazi for Mythcreants
- How To Write Jokes by Chris Winkle for Mythcreants
- Pace Yourselves by Reavis Wortham for Killzoneblog.com
The business side of writing
Amazon A+ Content by Jan Sikes
Adding Amazon A+ content can help indie writers get higher conversion rates, increased traffic, and increased sales. Here’s how to do it effectively. Jan Sikes is a multi-award-winning author. For more, check out her website, JanSikes.com, or follow her on Twitter at @JanSikes3 or on Facebook at @AuthorJanSikesBooks. 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).
Instagram not only is the perfect place to find and grow your audience, but it is an incredibly useful platform to connect with other authors across the world. Here’s how to use Instagram to boost your reader engagement. The AskALLi Team is the group behind Self Publishing Advice, the advice center of the Alliance of Independent Authors. Self Publishing Advice is the advice center of the Alliance of Independent Authors. If you want more advice like this, subscribe to their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link).
Booktok For Book Marketing by Sandra Beckwith
BookTok on TikTok is the latest book marketing resource for authors, where book lovers create opinionated and entertaining video book reviews and share them under the BookTok hashtag. But before adding TikTok to your book marketing plan, you need to know if your ideal readers are active on that social network. Sandra Beckwith is an award-winning former publicist who now teaches authors how to market their books. Follow her on Twitter at @sandrabeckwith and on Facebook at @buildbookbuzz. Build Book Buzz offers do-it-yourself book marketing tips, tools and tactics. Follow them via their RSS feed (direct Feedly link here).
Wait, Wait, Don’t Send It! by Hank Phillippi Ryan
Are you really ready to submit your manuscript? Here’s a checklist of what to look for before you hit that send button. Hank Phillippi Ryan is the USA Today bestselling author of 13 psychological thrillers, and winner of 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.
Not All Book Marketing Services Are Created Equal: What To Look For In 2022 by Penny Sansevieri
Here is a list of six things you should definitely look for in a book marketing services company. Penny Sansevieri is the CEO and founder of Author Marketing Experts, an adjunct professor at NYU, and a best-selling author and internationally recognized book marketing and media relations expert. Follow her on Twitter at @Bookgal and on Facebook at @therealbookgal. Her book, How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon, has just been updated for 2021 and is in Kindle Unlimited. Author Marketing Experts is a book promotion company. For more advice like this subscribe to their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link).
Best Book Formatting Software by Dave Chesson
Guide to the top book formatting tools out there right now, including Atticus, Vellum, Kindle Create, Microsoft Word, Scrivener and Reedsy. Dave Chesson is the founder of 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 Chesson himself on Twitter at @DaveChesson. And make sure to subscribe to his podcast, The Book Marketing Show. 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.
Other business advice this week:
- 10 Editor Red Flags by Joellen Nordstrom for ProWritingAid
- How To Optimize Your Facebook Author Page To Sell Books by Clayton Noblit for Written Word Media
- Industry Facts To Consider When Writing A Book by C Hope Clark for FundsforWriters
- How Social Media Can Help You Find Readers by Steven Spatz for BookBaby Blog
- How I Launched My Fiction Career By Writing Nonfiction by C. Hope Clark for BookBaby Blog
- Blogging Tips To Increase Website Traffic by Edie Melson for The Write Conversation
- Building Your Social Media Profile As A Writer: 5 Steps by Jessica Fender for Almost An Author
- How To Publish Large Print Books And Why You Should by Jason Hamilton for Kindlepreneur
- Standard Book Sizes In Publishing: Which Should You Choose? by Jason Hamilton for Kindlepreneur
- Ebook Formats And Book Formatting File Types Explained by Dave Chesson for Kindlepreneur
- Business Musings: Exclusivity In 2022 Part One by Kristine Kathryn Rusch for Kristine Kathryn Rusch
How To Build A Professional Author Network With Emma Byrne by Sacha Black
Sacha Black talks to Emma Byrne all about building a professional author network. Sacha Black is a fantasy author and writing coach, with several writing advice books including 13 Steps to Evil: How to Craft Superbad Villains (Better Writers Series) May 9, 2017. Follow her on her website, Sacha Black, on Facebook at @Sacha Black or on Twitter at @sacha_black. Sacha Black is a site that offers writing advice, courses, and podcasts. Follow the site via their RSS feed (direct Feedly link here).
Self-Publishing In Jamaica And The Caribbean And The Importance Of Diverse Voices With C. Ruth Taylor by Joanna Penn
The self-publishing movement is just getting started in Jamaica and the Caribbean islands, and authors are discovering they can tell their stories in their own way. C. Ruth Taylor talks about how she became an “authorpreneur”, and why she believes in an indie-first, empowering ecosystem. 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 podcasts from this past week:
- Helpful Mindsets And Pursuing Your Passion by Bryan Cohen and H. Claire Taylor for Sell More Books Show
- Influencer Marketing For Beginner Authors by Orna Ross and Dan Parsons for Self Publishing Advice
- Draft2digital Acquires Smashwords: The Opportunities Ahead For Wide Publishing With Mark Coker And Kevin Tumlinson by Joanna Penn for The Creative Penn
- How To Rock Your Sample Pages (And Get More Sales) + Advertising Rules by Lindsay Buroker for Six Figure Authors
- Raising The Stakes by Oren Ashkenazi, Chris Winkle And Wes Matlock for Mythcreants
Start Writing Your Book Today With Morgan Gist Macdonald by Chandler Bolt
Advice from Morgan Gist MacDonald, the founder of Paper Raven Books and the author of Start Writing Your Book Today: A step-by-step plan to write your nonfiction book, from first draft to finished manuscript. Chandler Bolt is an investor, advisor, the CEO of Self-Publishing School andSelfPublishing.com, and the author of six bestselling books including his most recent book titled Published. 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.
Other videos from this past week:
- How To Create Story Conflict: The Conflict Triangle With The Stakes Character by Nicole Bianchi for Nicole Bianchi
- How To Write A Great Story Ending by Stavros Halvatzis for Get Writing
- Amazon Self Publishing: 9 Steps For First-Timers by Scott Allan for Self Publishing School
- Influencer Outreach For Authors Doing Book Promotion by Julie Broad for Book Launchers
- How Do You Plan Your Writing Time? by Daphne Gray-Grant for Publication Coach
Am I missing any writing advice sites? Email me at [email protected].
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.