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This week’s top writing advice from around the web for July 3
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.
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
You Have To Be A Studio by Steven Pressfield
Just because we’re creative doesn’t mean we have permission to act like idiots. Steven Pressfield is the author of The Legend of Bagger Vance and other novels as well as The War of Art and other non-fiction books about creative success. Check out his Amazon author page here. StevenPressfield.com offers weekly articles as well as a free mini-course about the business of writing.
Re-Gear Your Writing Career—Take Risks To Revitalize by Kris Maze
Wherever you are in your writing career, it may feel frustrating, tiresome, or difficult to continue on your passion of writing a book. If your writing could use a boost and your writing enthusiasm is waning, consider making a calculated risk to revitalize your writing career. Kris Maze writes young adult dystopian fiction. You can find her young adult horror stories and keep up with her author events at KrisMazeAuthor.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).
Battling The Guilt Monster by LA Bourgeois
When the events of the day thwart us so that the only addition to our writing is the intent to have written, frustration, sadness, and anger can morph into the Guilt Monster. LA Bourgeois is a creativity coach. For more advice like this, check out her website, LABourgeois.biz. DiyMFA offers classes, advice articles and other training materials for writers. Follow them on Twitter at @DIYMFA and on Facebook at @DIYMFA or subscribe to their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link).
Noticing Your Muse by Anne Janzer
Creativity isn’t a gift from the gods—it’s a product of our minds. And by learning to make room for it on busy days, we can enrich our writing and our lives. Anne Janzer is an award-winning author, armchair cognitive science geek, nonfiction author coach, marketing practitioner, and blogger. Follow her on Facebook at @AnneHJanzer or on Twitter at @AnneJanzer. At AnneJanzer.com, Janzer offers writing and publishing advice. For more like this, subscribe to the site’s RSS feed (directly Feedly link here).
Other motivational advice this week:
- Why Do You Write? by Mae Clair for Story Empire
- Why INFP Writers Struggle With So Much Shame Around Creativity by Lauren Sapala for Lauren Sapala
- One Of My Favorite Writing Exercises–And A Few Reasons To Try It This Week by Your Book Starts Here for How to Plan, Write, and Develop a Book
- Top 6 Creative Writing Exercises To Sharpen Your Writing Skills by Nicholas Rubright for Elizabeth Spann Craig
- When Is It Time To Let Go Of A Story by Nicole Pyles for WOW! Women On Writing Blog
- The Best Tip To Stop Neck Pain For Writers by Edie Melson for The Write Conversation
- Brainstorming Alone? Use Storyboarding To Create Your Story by Edie Melson for The Write Conversation
- How To Overcome Doubt And Find Your Calling As A Writer by David Safford for The Write Practice
- Internet Trolls, Bullies, and the Chronically Offended — How Should an Author Deal with Them? by Anne R. Allen for Anne R. Allen’s Blog… with Ruth Harris
- How To Tackle Your Writing Confidence Issues by Katie Mccoach for A Writer’s Path
The art and craft of writing
Improve Your Own Storytelling By Analyzing Other People’s by Tiffany Yates Martin
One of the best ways an author can learn their own storytelling craft lies in what we already avidly do: take in other creators’ stories. Tiffany Yates Martin has spent nearly thirty years as an editor in the publishing industry, working with major publishers and New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling and award-winning authors as well as indie and newer writers, and is the founder of FoxPrint Editorial and author of the bestseller Intuitive Editing: A Creative and Practical Guide to Revising Your Writing. For more advice from Jane Friedman writing advice site, subscribe to their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link here).
How (And How Not!) To Write Queer Characters: A Primer by Susan Defreitas
Tips for avoiding stereotypes and tokenism, and presenting more interesting, complex, three-dimensional queer characters. Susan DeFreitas is the author of the novel Hot Season, which won a Gold IPPY Award, and the editor of Dispatches from Anarres: Tales in Tribute to Ursula K. Le Guin (forthcoming from Forest Avenue Press). An independent editor and book coach, she specializes in helping writers from historically marginalized backgrounds, and those writing socially engaged fiction, break into publishing. Find out more about her at SusanDefreitas.com. For more advice from Jane Friedman writing advice site, subscribe to their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link here).
Tired Disability Tropes In SFF: Do Better by Anessa Kemna
Science fiction and fantasy should be the perfect places for disability representation. Writers make the rules in their worlds. But it’s difficult to find disabled characters and even harder to find quality representation in the SFF genres. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America exists to promote, advance, and support science fiction and fantasy writing. For more advice, follow them via their RSS feed (directly Feedly link here) or follow them on Facebook at @SFWA.org or on Twitter at @sfwa.
Character Development: Create Characters That Readers Love by Joe Bunting
When it’s time to give your characters shape and definition, don’t waste time on extensive questionnaires that get you weighed down in details. 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).
Other writing advice this week:
- 8 Ways To Avoid Cardboard Characters by K. M. Weiland for Helping Writers Become Authors
- Fantasy And Science Fiction As Invented History by Philip Athans for Fantasy Author’s Handbook
- Top 10 Writing Success Tips From Kurt Vonnegut by Jenny Hansen for Writers In The Storm
- What Plot Is Not (How Not To Fix Your Story’s Plot!) by September Fawkes for September C. Fawkes
- Writing Powerful Scenes, Part 3: Setting by David Farland for MyStoryDoctor
- Formula: Writing To Formula Vs. Being Formulaic by Kristen Lamb for Kristen Lamb
- Writing An Un-Put-Downable Character (Part 6 Of 10): Language by Edie Melson for The Write Conversation
- Tips For Vision Problems In Speakers And Writers by Edie Melson for The Write Conversation
- 5 Tips To Keep A Series Fresh by Brian Andrews for Career Authors
- Back To The Basics: The ABCs Of Character by Brian Andrews for Career Authors
- Five Ways To Turn Your Novel’s Setting Into A Fully Realized Character by Michael Bourne for DIY MFA
- A Few, Humble Thoughts On Voice by F.E. Choe for DIY MFA
- Easy Tricks For Crafting Memorable Characters by Tessa Barbosa for Writer Unboxed
- Atticus Review: An All-In-One Writing And Formatting Tool For Authors? by Clayton Noblit for Written Word Media
- 4 Tips For Writing Gothic Horror by Ava Reid for Writer’s Digest
- Connecting The Dots Vs. Drawing The Whole Damn Picture: A Veteran Ghostwriter Takes Back His Pen And Finds Something To Say by Daniel Paisner for Writer’s Digest
- How To Write A First-Person Retelling by Chris Winkle for Mythcreants
- Can An Abusive Antagonist Get Away With Their Misdeeds? by Chris Winkle for Mythcreants
- Top 8 Best Scrivener Alternatives For Writers by Dave Chesson for Kindlepreneur
- Tips To Deceive Characters And Readers by Sue Coletta for Killzoneblog.com
- The Main Writing Skill You May Be Neglecting by Tiffany Yates Martin for FoxPrint Editorial
- The Myth Of Conflict-Free Story Structures by Oren Ashkenazi for Mythcreants
The business side of writing
Get Better Book Launch Results By Taking These 9 Steps While You’re Writing by Sandra Beckwith
If you don’t start laying the groundwork you need to sell books before your manuscript is done, your book launch results will be dismal, discouraging, and disappointing. 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).
The Secret To A Successful Book Publishing Career by C. S. Lakin
What is the most important aspect to garnering success as an author? Growing your audience or readership. And readers can’t glomp onto your books if they can’t find them online. 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.
Writing To Market: 10 Pros And Cons To Weigh by Jordan Kantey
What does writing to market mean? And should your write to leap on trends or focus on telling the stories you’d love to tell? Read 10 pros and cons. Jordan Kantey is a writer, marketer, community manager and product developer for Now Novel. You can find out more about him on his LinkedIn page. Now Novel is a company that offers writing sources, coaching, and editing. If you want more advice like this, subscribe to their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link) or follow them on Twitter at @nownovel or on Facebook at @nownovel or subscribe to their YouTube channel.
Other business advice this week:
- Writing And Pre-Release Day Checklist by D.l. Finn for Story Empire
- Using Video To Reach Readers by Sabrina Ricci for Digital Pubbing
- Book Marketing And Publicity: Why Writers Conferences Are Crucial To Your Author Success by Penny Sansevieri for Author Marketing Experts, Inc.
- Kindle Vella: Description, Features, And Tips For Authors by Jason Hamilton for Kindlepreneur
- Business Musings: How Writers Fail (Part 5) Money by Kristine Kathryn Rusch for Kristine Kathryn Rusch
- Top 10 Tips To Get Your Writing Out There by Lucy V Hay for Bang2write
- #Booktok: How Writers Can Use Tiktok To Reach Readers by Melissa hart for The Writer
How To Create An Effective Website: Book Marketing Podcast Episode by Penny Sansevieri
A writer’s website should be focused on a very particular market, and rarely does turning it into a digital resume or superficial biography of your life work in your favor. 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).
Fantasy Weapons by Oren Ashkenazi, Chris Winkle, and Wes Matlock
The Mythcreants team talks about all the cool fantasy weapons you can put in your stories. Oren Ashkenazi is a 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.
Other podcasts from this past week:
- Writing In Multiple Genres With Meg Jolly by Sacha Black for Sacha Black
- Takeovers, Going Wide, And What Readers Want by Bryan Cohen and H. Claire Taylor for Sell More Books Show
- Write Bestselling Pitches By Avoiding These 10 Copywriting Mistakes by for Author Media
- 17.27: Ensembles Behind the Scenes by Writing Excuses
10 Best Tips For Writing An Exciting Book by Jenna Moreci
How to get your readers emotionally invested in your characters, how to write likable characters, why you should give your characters weaknesses and disadvantages, and more. Jenna Moreci is a best-selling fantasy author and the host of a YouTube show about writing that has hundreds of thousands of subscribers. Writing with Jenna Moreci is a YouTube channel that offers seven years’ worth of writing advice, with new videos posted weekly.
PR Services For Authors by Mark Dawson and James Blatch
What is PR and how does it apply to writers, the difference between paid media and earned media, and tips for introverted authors wanting to market their books. 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.
Other videos from this past week:
- Why Selling Your Book Can Take So Long by Jessica Faust and James McGowan for BookEnds Literary Agency
- 10 Library Listing Lessons From The American Library Association Conference 2022 by Book Launchers for Book Launchers
- Quick Email Marketing Tips by Kristina Adams and Ellie Betts for The Writer’s Mindset
- How To Write Realistic Dialogue, Underwriting, And How Many POVs Is Too Many? by Claire Fraise for Write with Claire Fraise
- Describing characters in screenplays and novels by Get Writing! for Get Writing
Am I missing any writing advice sites? Email me at [email protected] or leave a note in the comments below.
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.