This week’s top writing advice from around the web for Jul. 23, 2023

Reading Time: 9 minutes
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(Image by Maria Korolov via Midjourney.)

I subscribe to more than 175 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: Dealing With Rejection by Daphne Gray-Grant

One of the tips in this video is to make it a game. So, for example, a typical author gets 100 rejections before the first publication. If you haven’t received 100 rejections, are you even an author? Get out there, start sending out those queries or stories, and tick off each rejection as it comes in. 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.

Time, Space And Grace: 7 Success Factors For Neurodivergent And Cognitively Impaired Self-Published Authors by Melissa Addey

Authors with disabilities make significantly less than average, but those with cognitive impairments have seen a significant increase in earnings over the past year and now make more than average. Success factors included being able to control your environment, finding tools and teams that help, taking time to rest, and leveraging your strengths. Author Melissa Addey is the Leverhulme Trust Writer in Residence for the British Library, where she runs workshops for writers and other creatives who want to develop their entrepreneurial skills. 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).

Other motivational advice this week:

The art and craft of writing

How To Format Dialogue: The Ultimate Guide For Authors by Jason Hamilton

Bookmark this page. It’s the clearest, best explanation I’ve seen of where to put commas, periods, ellipses, and dashes. Jason Hamilton is a fantasy author. Check out Hamilton’s site, MythHQ. 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.

How To Write Sex Scenes by Diana Gabaldon

Where most beginning writers screw up is in thinking that sex scenes are about sex. A good sex scene is about the exchange of emotions, not bodily fluids. Diana Gabaldon is the author of the award-winning, #1 New York Times-bestselling Outlander novels. Learn more about Diana on her website, DianaGabaldon.com. 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).

How To Instantly Add Depth To Your Story by Kathryn Roberts

The best way to evoke emotion and to show your readers how you want them to feel is to focus on the little things. Get very specific. Kathryn Roberts, also known as The Fake Redhead, helps other writers hone their craft while she pursues her dreams of becoming a published novelist. 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 Mistakes That Destroy A Story’s Message by Chris Winkle

Do you want your audience to hear what you’re saying? Many books don’t actually convey the message that the author is trying to get across. Here’s some advice for how to fix that problem. 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.

A Complete List Of Book Tropes: Everything You Need To Know by Dave Chesson

Whether you want to use tropes to fulfill reader expectations, or subvert them for humorous or other purposes, here’s a great list to get you started. 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.

Video: Character Weight by Susan MacGregor

She’s not talking about physical weight in this video, but impact on story. Susan MacGregor is an editor with On Spec, one of Canada’s foremost magazines for speculative fiction. Writers’ Rx is a just-launched YouTube channel dedicated to improving writing.

Describing Characters and Action by Stavros Halvatzis

In screenwriting, where economy of space is at a premium, it is important to write action and character descriptions crisply and effectively. Although this article applies mainly to screenwriters, novelists ought to take some of these suggestions to heart too. 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).

Other writing advice this week:

The business side of writing

Podcast: Your Publishing Options by Joanna Penn

Bestselling author Rachael Herron talks about the pros and cons of traditional publishing vs self-publishing and how can you combine multiple options for a more creatively satisfying — and profitable — author career. 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.

Writers, Are You Breaking The Cardinal Rule? by Angela Ackerman

The cardinal rule is rushing through the process, which can cause needless expense, burn bridges, and make us vulnerable to scams. Writers Helping Writers co-founder Angela Ackerman is a writing coach, international speaker, and co-author of the bestselling book, The Emotion Thesaurus and its many sequels. I own a copy of this book and use it frequently, and highly recommend it. Follow Ackerman on Twitter at @AngelaAckerman. 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).

Five Main Areas To Help Authors Market Their Books by Karen Whiting

The five areas are print products like postcards and bookmarks, speaking activities, media interviews, social media, and ways to demonstrate expertise in a subject area, such as newsletters. Karen Whiting is an international speaker, former television host of Puppets on Parade, certified writing and marketing coach, and award-winning author of twenty-seven books. The Write Conversation frequently makes the top lists of writing advice blogs. Follow them via their RSS feed (direct Feedly link here).

Video: Writing Crime For Books, Film & TV by Mark Dawson and James Blatch

Bestselling screenwriter and crime author Tim Sullivan explains how he got a traditional publishing contract and why he’d always go back to self-publishing. Mark Dawson is a USA Today bestselling author who teaches courses about book production and marketing. Check out his website at MarkJDawson.com. James Blatch writes military thrillers. For more, check out his website, JamesBlatch.com. On the Self Publishing Formula show, Mark Dawson and James Blatch talk about building a career as a self-published author.

Video: Secret To A Sudowrite Synopsis (Say That 5 Times Fast) by Jason Hamilton

This is part of a series of videos about using SudoWrite and its popular Story Engine tool. Jason Hamilton is a fantasy author. Check out Hamilton’s site, MythHQ. You can also follow him on Twitter at @StoryHobbit and on Facebook at Jason Hamilton. The Nerdy Novelist is a YouTube channel focusing on using AI to write and market books.

Author Marketing Audit With Joe Solari by Sacha Black

Book marketing expert Joe Solari talks about how to self-audit your marketing, the importance of attention in the AI age, marketing structures for author brand discovery, and how to retain readers. Sacha Black is a fantasy author and writing coach, with several writing advice books including 13 Steps to Evil: How to Craft Superbad Villains. 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).

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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