This week’s top writing advice from around the web for Jan. 9

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(Illustration by Maria Korolov based on image via Pixabay.)

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.

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).

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

When An Idea “Cuts In Line” by Dallas Woodburn

If you have an idea that keeps cutting in line, begging for your attention, poking and prodding you all day and refusing to leave the back of your mind—you really should pay attention. Dallas Woodburn is an award-winning author who writes young adult fiction, hosts the podcast Overflowing Bookshelves and teaches writing classes for teens and adults. Connect with her on Facebook at @dallaswoodburnauthor , on Twitter at @dallaswoodburn, and at her website at DallasWoodburnPR.com. 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).

The 3 Biggest Writing Problems For Infj Writers by Lauren Sapala

Intuitive, emotionally-centered introverts tend to have a very specific set of problems when it comes to writing. Lauren Sapala is a writer and a writing coach. For more advice like this, follow her on Twitter at @losapala, on Facebook at @LaurenSapala, and on YouTube at Lauren Sapala. At LaurenSapala.com, Sapala offers writing advice, courses, and coaching services.

Top 10 Tips For Dealing With Writing Burnout by Lucy V Hay

It was another tough year, so chances are you may be dealing with writing burnout. Lucy Hay is a script editor, author and blogger who helps writers at her site, Bang2write.com. Follow Bang2write.com on Twitter at @Bang2write and on Facebook at @Bang2writers.

What Happens When Your Hobby Becomes A Chore? (How Finding Fun In Writing Can Boost Your Productivity) by Cisi Eze

Sometimes, it would seem, our dreams of spinning careers out of our hobbies insidiously morph into nightmares when we start perceiving writing as a chore — but writing only becomes a chore when we approach it from a place of defeat. Cisi Eze works as a freelance journalist, writer, and comic artist. More of her random musings are on her blog, ShadesOfCisi. Follow her on Twitter at @cisi_eze. Craft Your Content is a team of editors who offer writing courses, and one-on-one proofreading, content management and writing coaching services.

Best Writing Approach: Routine Or Ritual? by Scott Myers

Some of us don’t need routine. Some of us do. The admonition to write every day is perhaps the single best piece of advice for any writer, aspiring or professional. But let’s not forget about ritual. Scott Myers is the editor of Go Into The Story. For more advice like this, follow Scott Myers on Twitter at @GoIntoTheStory and on Facebook at Go Into The Story. Go Into The Story is the official blog of the screenwriting community The Black List and was just ranked as one of the year’s best screenwriting websites by Writer’s Digest. Follow them via their RSS feed (direct Feedly link here).

4 Strategies To Help Writers Focus In A World Of Distractions by Colleen M. Story

If you want to reach your writing goals this year, you’ve got to get rid of one thing: distractions. Colleen Story is a writing coach. Her latest release, Writer Get Noticed!, was a gold-medal winner in the Reader’s Favorite Book Awards and Overwhelmed Writer Rescue was named Book by Book Publicity’s Best Writing/Publishing Book in 2018. 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.

Accelerate Your Niche Writing by Marilyn L. Davis

Writing in a niche is not limiting, it forces you to focus. And when you’re focused, your brain does its job and will often take you to tangential or divergent aspects of your niche that you hadn’t thought of before. It’s accelerated or expanded activity. Marilyn L. Davis is the editor-in-chief at Two Drops of Ink. Follow her on Twitter at @MDavisatTIERS. Two Drops of Ink publishes short stories, poetry, essays, interviews, literary criticism, book reviews, and biographical profiles of authors. Follow them on Facebook at @TwoDropsofInk. Subscribe to them via their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link here).

Writers, Inspiration Will Fail You by Ryan Lanz

Inspiration is lazy, it’s inconsiderate, and it doesn’t ever show up when you want it to. Sure, sometimes we find it. Sometimes our brains spark and whisper, “Let’s write this down.” But this is certainly not the norm. Far more often, our work hinges on those days when we don’t feel inspired. Writer Ryan Lanz the author of The Idea Factory: 1,000 Story Ideas and Writing Prompts to Find Your Next Bestseller. A Writer’s Path is an advice site for writers. If you want more advice like this, subscribe to their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link), on Twitter at @TheRyanLanz and on Facebook at @AWritersPath.

Five Questions To Help You Achieve Your Goals by Rochelle Melander

How to increase the odds that you will be able to achieve your goals, by asking yourself five critical questions. 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.

Reset Your Resolution For 2022! by Brian Andrews

The problem with most New Year’s resolutions is that they aren’t structured for success. To understand why so many resolutions fall to the wayside, let’s break down the stumbling blocks and reset our resolution approach. Brian Andrews is a best-selling thriller author. Check out his website, BrianAndrewsAauthor.com or follow him on Twitter at @lexicalforge. 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.

Mindset Tools For Writers by Gabriela Pereira

There are certain components that make up the mindset of a writer. First, you must have a willingness to experiment and try new things through the process of iteration. Gabriela Pereira is a writer, teacher, and self-proclaimed word nerd and the founder and instigator of DIYMFA.com, with a mission is to empower writers to take an entrepreneurial approach to their education and professional growth. 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).

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Not Setting Goals by Robert Lee Brewer

The Writer’s Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so this series helps identify them for other writers — along with correction strategies. This week’s mistake is not setting goals. Robert Lee Brewer is senior editor of Writer’s Digest. Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer. This venerable resource for writers celebrated its hundred-year anniversary last year, but is still going pretty strong. Follow Writer’s Digest via their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link), on Twitter at @WritersDigest and on Facebook at @writersdigest.

The art and craft of writing

In Medias Res—A Very Good Place To Start Your Novel by Karen Debonis

The chronological beginning of a story is not always the best place to start. In fact, beginning a story in the middle is sometimes the best place to start. Karen DeBonis writes about motherhood, perseverance, and people-pleasing. You can see more of her work at KarenDeBonis.com or follow her on Facebook at @KDeBoniswriter or on Twitter at @KarenDeBonis. 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).

Plot And Structure: How To Use Structure And Subplot To Add Suspense by Joslyn Chase

By planning for success, you can create a story packed with suspense, with all the right twists in all the right places. Joslyn Chase is a thriller writer — you can see all her books on Amazon here and follow her on Facebook here. The Write Practice is an advice site from a group of writers. They also have a writing critique community and a newsletter. Follow The Write Practice on Twitter, on Facebook, or subscribe to their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link).

Your Novel’S Two Beginnings by Greer Macallister

It’s tempting to respond to the question “Does this book start in the right place?” with an automatic, unthinking answer: “Yes! Of course it does!” But let the question sit with you for a while. Greer Macallister writes historical novels and epic fantasy. For more, check out her website, GreerMacallister.com. Follow her on Twitter at @theladygreer and on Facebook at @greermacallister. 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.

The Art Of Masterful Fiction Dialogue by C. S. Lakin

The most important and succinct aspects of masterful dialogue in fiction. If you struggle with writing snappy, engaging, believable, and fresh dialogue, these tips are for you. 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.

How Do I Start My Plot? by Oren Ashkenazi

Starting from the end works for some people, as it lets them know where their story is going. But from other people, plotting a story in reverse is just off-putting, or they can’t even guess where their story ends because they don’t know how it starts yet. 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.

Terraforming: Worldbuilding For Sci-Fi Authors by Joseph Lallo

The limitless potential of a sci-fi setting can quickly spiral out of control if care isn’t taken to craft it with depth and consistency. Joseph Lallo writes science fiction and fantasy and helps run the Six Figure Authors podcast. For more, visit his website at The Book of Deacon or follow him on Twitter at @jrlallo or on Facebook at @JosephRLallo. 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).

Isn’t It Ironic: An Underrated Story Element To Make Your Work Pop by Ross Hartmann

Irony can create humor, suspense, highlight character flaws, and strengthen themes. Irony can make your story truly great. Ross Hartmann is the author of The Structure of Story and the creative director at Kiingo. Follow Hartmann on Twitter here. Kiingo is a writing and story telling school with online courses, how-to articles, and the book The Structure of Story. Follow them on their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link), on Twitter here, on Facebook here, or support them on Patreon.

Writing Tip: Your Character’s Past Trauma by H. Duke

A dark moment will reveal your character’s internal and external conflicts, their need, and their internal and external goal. Knowing the dark moment will help you create compelling, engaging characters that readers love. It will also help you plot your story. H. Duke is a fantasy and horror writer. You can see H. Duke’s books on Amazon here and follow her on Facebook at @hdukeauthor and on Twitter at @HDukeAuthor. The Writersaurus offers productivity, writing, and publishing advice. Their RSS feed is here (direct Feedly signup link). Check out their list of recommended writing books here and follow the site on Facebook at @thewritersaurus.

Writing Well: Foreshadow And Withhold by Linda S. Clare

Writing resources often talk about foreshadowing and withholding. When we write fiction or memoir, what we tell our readers is as important as when we tell them. But how do you use these tools? 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 writer’s 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.

What Writers Need To Know About Fashion by Ella Carey

You’ve researched your setting, you’ve mapped out the plot, you’ve got your cast of characters—now what are they wearing? Here, author Ella Carey discusses the importance of fashion details in your fiction. Ella Carey is the USA Today and Amazon charts bestselling author of eight novels of historical fiction. For further information, go to EllaCarey.com. This venerable resource for writers celebrated its hundred-year anniversary last year, but is still going pretty strong. Follow Writer’s Digest via their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link), on Twitter at @WritersDigest and on Facebook at @writersdigest.

10 Tips For Creating Your Own Graphic Novel by Joe Lee

The graphic novel has had a major impact on readers and writers for years. Interested in writing your own? Graphic novelist Joe Lee shares his 10 tips to create your own graphic novel. Joe Lee is an author and graphic novel artist. This venerable resource for writers celebrated its hundred-year anniversary last year, but is still going pretty strong. Follow Writer’s Digest via their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link), on Twitter at @WritersDigest and on Facebook at @writersdigest.

How Writing Instructors Forgo The Most Vital Fiction Lesson by Chris Winkle

A story opens with something, anything, that evokes tension. Then the story ends when the uncertainty is gone. 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.

So-Called Screenwriting ‘Rule’: Action Paragraphs — 3 Lines Max by Scott Myers

Script readers know about the trend to write shorter paragraphs of scene description so they will likely bring that expectation to a reading assignment. If they see long blocks of scene description, that will probably suggest to them the writer is an amateur. Scott Myers is the editor of Go Into The Story. For more advice like this, follow Scott Myers on Twitter at @GoIntoTheStory and on Facebook at Go Into The Story. Go Into The Story is the official blog of the screenwriting community The Black List and was just ranked as one of the year’s best screenwriting websites by Writer’s Digest. Follow them via their RSS feed (direct Feedly link here).

Relationship Thesaurus Entry: Headmaster And Student by Becca Puglisi

The dynamics that accompany the relationship between a headmaster and student and the role they can play in crafting a story. This article is part of the Relationship Thesaurus series. Becca Puglisi is one of the founders of the Writers Helping Writers website and the author of the Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression, which has sold over half a million copies. I own a copy and refer to it nearly every day. 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.

How To Structure Emotion In Stories by Stavros Halvatzis

Identifying the underlying emotions that drive our characters will help us propel them through the story. Stavros Halvatzis is a writer and writing teacher. For more advice like this, check out StavrosHalvatzis.com or follow him via his RSS feed (direct Feedly link here).

Hand Injuries That Could Prevent Using A Sword by Michael Schwarz

What are the hand or arm injuries that could permanently prevent someone from wielding a sword? Michael Schwarz offers advice about fighting and battles. Advice on how to create realistic fight scenes and characters from a third-degree Black Belt. This site is mostly in an Q&A style, with more than 500 fight-related questions answered. If you like the site, you can support them on Patreon. Their RSS feed is here (direct Feedly signup link).

Considerations When Writing Ambidextrous Characters by Michael Schwarz

What kind of advantage, if any, would a swordfighter get from being ambidextrous? Michael Schwarz offers advice about fighting and battles. Advice on how to create realistic fight scenes and characters from a third-degree Black Belt. This site is mostly in an Q&A style, with more than 500 fight-related questions answered. If you like the site, you can support them on Patreon. Their RSS feed is here (direct Feedly signup link).

Way Of Kings Shows Us The Damage Meta Mysteries Can Do by Oren Ashkenazi

Don’t make readers puzzle out what the protagonist already knows. 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.

What Fights Can Do For Your Story by Carla Hoch

Trained fighter and author Carla Hoch focuses in on what a fight is and what a fight can do for our stories, our characters, and our readers. Carla Hoch is the author of the Writer’s Digest book Fight Write: How to Write Believable Fight Scenes. Her blog, FightWrite.net, was in Writer’s Digest Top Websites for Writers 2019 & 2020. She has training in almost a dozen martial arts and competes in Brazilian jiujitsu. She regularly teaches on the craft of writing fight scenes as well as the mechanics of fighting for writers. This venerable resource for writers celebrated its hundred-year anniversary last year, but is still going pretty strong. Follow Writer’s Digest via their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link), on Twitter at @WritersDigest and on Facebook at @writersdigest.

World Building Starts Outside Your Window by Amanda Winstead

The scenery in stories plays a more significant role than most people realize at first. But without the right setting even the greatest novels would fall flat. Amanda Winstead is a writer from the Portland area with a background in communications and a passion for telling stories. For more from her, follow her on Twitter at @AmandaWinsteadd. Two Drops of Ink publishes short stories, poetry, essays, interviews, literary criticism, book reviews, and biographical profiles of authors. Follow them on Facebook at @TwoDropsofInk. Subscribe to them via their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link here).

The business side of writing

How Much Should I Pay An Editor To Edit My Book? by Jeanette The Writer

Some things to consider when you’re looking to pay an editor to edit your book. Jeanette the Writer is a freelance editor and writer based in Dallas, Texas. Visit JeanettetheWriter.com for more info and follow her on Facebook at @JeanettetheWriter or on Twitter at @JeanettetheWrtr. 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).

How To Market A Fiction Box Set by Gloria Russell

What box sets are, why they matter, and how to market a fiction box set to reap the most potential benefit from it. Gloria Russell is a freelance writer and author living in Colorado who also critiques manuscripts. 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.

Podcasts And Authors: Should You Be A Host Or Guest? by Sandra Beckwith

For the majority of writers, creating a daily or weekly podcast doesn’t make sense because of how much time it takes. Here’s alternative advice: Become a podcast guest. 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).

Most Introvert Writers Are Doing Social Media All Wrong. Here’S The One Big Thing They’Re Missing. by Lauren Sapala

Introvert authors should keep their eye on building systems that are easy to maintain and effective at gaining new readers — not on trying to chit-chat with people who are relative strangers on social media platforms. Lauren Sapala is a writer and a writing coach. For more advice like this, follow her on Twitter at @losapala, on Facebook at @LaurenSapala, and on YouTube at Lauren Sapala. At LaurenSapala.com, Sapala offers writing advice, courses, and coaching services.

3 Essential Tips For Self-Publishing by Penny Sansevieri

If you take self-publishing a book one step at a time, and check all those boxes, cross the t’s and dot the i’s, you’re not only more likely to end up with a final product you’re proud of, you’re much more likely to end up with a final product readers gravitate toward, recommend, and review positively. 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. Self Published Author is a publishing advice site from Bowker, the agency responsible for book ISBNs.

Why We Should Create Work That Divides Opinion by Lucie Ataya

More than just learning to deal with bad reviews… Should we aim to create work that is going to generate mixed reviews in the first place? We can’t please everyone, sure. But should we actually actively make sure to displease some of our readers? Lucie Ataya is the author of a dystopian thriller and the founder of The Indie Writers Collective, an initiative dedicated to promoting indie authors and their work. Kiingo is a writing and story telling school with online courses, how-to articles, and the book The Structure of Story. Follow them on their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link), on Twitter here, on Facebook here, or support them on Patreon.

How To Strategically Use Advertising To Launch A Book by Penny Sansevieri

Whether they’re marketing their first book — or their fiftieth — many authors rely heavily on advertising to launch their books. While advertising can be helpful, it’s often not used strategically enough to move the needle. 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).

The Importance Of Securing Amazon Reviews by Elizabeth Javor

If you’re in self-publishing for a long and exciting career, you need to secure Amazon reviews right now. Elizabeth Javor is the director of sales and marketing for Outskirts Press, a group of publishing consultants who focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process to help them publish the book of their dreams. Self Publishing Advisor offers tips and advice for self-published authors.

6 Tips For Effective Fiction Book Advertising by Gloria Russell

Why fiction ads are essential for authors, and how to get started advertising your fiction book, with some examples of fiction ads done right. Gloria Russell is a freelance writer and author living in Colorado who also critiques manuscripts. 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.

Business Musings: Contracts: Traditional Publishing (The Year In Review 4) by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Traditional publishing contracts are exceptionally inequitable. The contracts favor the publishers and, in some cases, actively harm the writers. 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.

Thoughts On Publishing In 2022 by James Scott Bell

In 2020, traditional publishing celebrated its best sales in a decade, and 2021 will come in at even higher levels, with 8 percent growth projected by NPD BookScan. 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.

3 Things I Learned From The Best Self-Published Books This Past Year by AJ Wells

WD competition judge AJ Wells shares what was different, unique, and special about this year’s best self-published books. AJ Wells holds a literature and creative writing MA from Auburn University and was a visiting graduate student at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. This venerable resource for writers celebrated its hundred-year anniversary last year, but is still going pretty strong. Follow Writer’s Digest via their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link), on Twitter at @WritersDigest and on Facebook at @writersdigest.

5 Things To Consider When Choosing A Book Title In The Internet Age by Anne R. Allen

Choosing a book title that people remember is essential. Here are some tips for how to do it. Anne Allen started her career at Bantam and knows her way around the publishing industry. Allen also writes mysteries and how-to books about writing. For more advice like this, follow her on Twitter at @annerallen or on Facebook at @annerallenauthor. Anne R. Allen’s Blog… with Ruth Harris offers advice from a couple of publishing industry veterans. For more advice like this, subscribe to their RSS feed (direct Feedly link).

Podcasts

119 How To Market A Book In 2022 With Ricardo Fayet by Sacha Black

The top 3 things everyone should to do market their books, according to Ricardo Fayet, the co-founder of Reedsy. 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).

Your Author Business Plan For 2022: Advanced Self-Publishing Podcast With Orna Ross And Joanna Penn by Joanna Penn

In this advanced podcast for indie authors, Joanna Penn and Orna Ross discuss the importance of planning. Orna Ross is a novelist, poet, self-publishing advocate, and founder and director of the Alliance of Independent Authors. 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. 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).

Self-Publishing, Traditional Publishing, Or Hybrid – Which Is Right For You? by Lindsay Buroker

The pros and cons of self-publishing and traditional publishing and who might want to consider which, as well as when it makes sense to look at a hybrid model, if the possibility opens up. Lindsay Buroker writes fantasy and science fiction. Check out her website at Lindsay Buroker.com or follow her on Facebook at @Lindsay Buroker or on Twitter at @GoblinWriter. Six Figure Authors is a podcast about taking your writing career to the next level.

New You In 2022? by Bryan Cohen and H. Claire Taylor

How authors can be protected from hackers, why recommending other books can sell your book, and why you should see if your book will sell before you even write it. Bryan Cohen is an experienced copywriter, bestselling author, and the founder of Best Page Forward and Amazon Ad School. You can find out more about Bryan at BryanCohen.com. H. Claire Taylor is a humor author and fiction strategist, as well as the owner of FFS Media. The Sell More Books Show is a weekly podcast focusing on helping new and experienced authors stay up-to-date with the latest self-publishing and indie news, tools and book selling and marketing strategies.

Ghosts! by Oren Ashkenazi, Chris Winkle, and Wes Matlock

Why ghosts make better villains than protagonists, how to make them protagonists anyway, and whether the three Christmas Ghosts are actually ghosts. Spoilers: no. 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.

Videos

How To Write A Query Letter by Jessica Faust And James Mcgowan

Literary agents Jessica Faust and James McGowan walk you through an agent’s perspective on the query letter. You’ll find tips on structure, personalization strategies, and how to best capture your story. 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.

The #1 Thing That Holds Writers Back Is Not Skill Or Talent—It’s Self-Confidence by Lauren Sapala

If you have the not-good-enough-wound, you will never feel good enough as a writer until you address it. It doesn’t matter how much you learn about craft and structure, or how many editors or agents tell you that you have talent. That not-good-enough-wound will always be holding you back, and you will forever be seeking outside approval in the hopes of making it go away. Lauren Sapala is a writer and a writing coach. For more advice like this, follow her on Twitter at @losapala, on Facebook at @LaurenSapala, and on YouTube at Lauren Sapala. At LaurenSapala.com, Sapala offers writing advice, courses, and coaching services.

What Is Chirp Audiobooks? by Book Launchers

What is Chirp for audiobooks and how to set your book up for an audiobook promotion with their platform. 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 Write A Gripping First Page by Alessandra Torre

Alessandra Torre talks to award-winning author Joan Dempsey about opening scenes in novels and how to create a gripping first page. Alessandra Torre is a New York Times bestselling fiction author and the CEO of Authors A.I. and BingeBooks. Authors A.I. uses artificial intelligence to provide instant, high-level critiques of your novel. Follow them on their RSS feed(direct Feedly link here).

Kindle Category Trends: 2022 Kick-Off by Alex Newton

Royalties paid out to Kindle authors via Amazon’s Kindle Select Global Fund will close with $450 million dollars for the year just ended, a 19% growth over the previous year. Sci-fi and fantasy is one of the top genres on Amazon by sales, after romance and mystery. Alex Newton is the founder of K-lytics. K-lytics is a service that helps authors sell more e-books.

The Biggest Lie Fiction Writers Tell Themselves To Self-Sabotage Their Writing Goals by Lauren Sapala

There is a very specific block that seems to especially plague fiction writers — that they have to know everything about the story before they begin. Lauren Sapala is a writer and a writing coach. For more advice like this, follow her on Twitter at @losapala, on Facebook at @LaurenSapala, and on YouTube at Lauren Sapala. At LaurenSapala.com, Sapala offers writing advice, courses, and coaching services.

Writing Goals: How To Set Meaningful Goals For 2022 That You Can Manage And Achieve by Joe Bunting

An exhaustive guide — and accompanying video — on how to set goals that actually work, that actually help you accomplish the things that you set out to do. Joe Bunting is a book coach, an author and the leader of The Write Practice community. Follow him on Instagram at @jhbunting. The Write Practice is an advice site from a group of writers. They also have a writing critique community and a newsletter. Follow The Write Practice on Twitter, on Facebook, or subscribe to their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link).

Book Launch Tips For 2022 by Kristina Adams

Kristina Adams and co-host Ellie Betts learn about top launch tips for the year ahead via interviews with Sacha Black, Daniel Willcocks, Tim Lewis, Terra Kelly, and Matty Dalrymple. Kristina Adams is a bestselling author and writing instructor. Find out more at her website, KristinaAdamsAuthor.com. The Writer’s Cookbook offers advice, podcast, videos, coaching, workshops, and writing courses. Follow the site via their RSS feed (direct Feedly link here).


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.

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