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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 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
8 Ways To Create (And Stick To) A Writing Schedule by Katja Kaine
If you want to be a writer, then it’s important to have a solid writing habit—and the best way to establish that habit is to create and stick to a healthy writing schedule. Katja Kaine is a writer based in Yorkshire, England. She writes fantasy for children and young adults, and in the past year has placed highly in several prestigious writing competitions. She is the creator of the Novel Factory, software designed to make life easier for novel writers. It includes plot templates, character questionnaires and heaps of other useful tools for aspiring and established authors. The Novel Smithy is a site that helps writers build a robust writing toolkit. Follow them on Twitter @TheNovelSmithy.
To write consistently and productively, focus on mastering your performance as a writer, which includes your psychology, physiology, productivity, influence, and purpose. Nina Amir is a book coach and a book proposal consultant and editor. For more information, check out her website NinaAmir.com or follow her on Twitter at @NinaAmir or on Facebook at @Inspiration to Creation Coach. How to Blog a Book is an advice site for nonfiction and fiction authors who want to use a blog to create a book. For more advice like this, follow them via their RSS feed (direct Feedly link here).
Using The Short Form To Get To The Long Form–Powerful Exercises To Boost Your Creativity This Week by Mary Carroll Moore
Short pieces of writing, taken as breaks from books, teach a lot–about pacing, dialogue, the tension arc, beginnings and endings. Mary Carroll Moore is an award-winning author, editor and book doctor. Check out her website at MaryCarrollMoore.com/a> or follow her on Facebook at @marycarrollmoore. How to Plan, Write, and Develop a Book is a site that offers advice for how to create, craft and sell your novel, memoir or non-fiction book. If you want more advice like this, follow them on their RSS feed (direct Feedly link here) or on Twitter at @writeabook.
Other motivational advice this week:
- The Power Of Positive Thinking And Affirmations by Jane Enright for Women Writers, Women’s Books
- My First Big Book Was Published. Now What? by Joanna Kafarowski for Women Writers, Women’s Books
- Quit Isn’t A Writer’s Word: how I Stayed On The Path To Publication And You Can, Too! by Mindy Henderson for Women Writers, Women’s Books
- How I Organize My Writing Ideas by September Fawkes for September C. Fawkes
- Why Writers Can’t Rush Ripeness by Kristen Hogrefe Parnell for The Write Conversation
- Why Every Writer Should Play Dungeons & Dragons by Katharine Schellman for Writer’s Digest
- Put Writing Clubs On Your Radar For 2022-23 by Stacey Shubitz for Two Writing Teachers
- Smashing Your Blocks by Kendra Griffin for Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers
- Fear Not If Your Novel Is Really A Short Story by D.Z. Stone for Women Writers, Women’s Books
- How To Cope With Post Writing Conference Blues by Edie Melson for The Write Conversation
- Who’s Ya Buddy? by Sophia Hansen for Almost An Author
- Are Ya Scared?! New Author Cold-Feet-Syndrome Is Real! by Angela Hoy for WritersWeekly.com
- Getting Unstuck: Walking The Camino As A Creative Reset by Kathleen McCleary for Writer Unboxed
- 7 Ways To Fix (And Prevent) Writer Burnout by Emily Mccrary-Ruiz-Esparza for Written Word Media
- How To Get Past The Fact That You’ve Reread Your Book Too Many Times by Siena Sterling for Writer’s Digest
- How Writers Fail (Part 4): Aging Writer Edition by Kristine Kathryn Rusch for Kristine Kathryn Rusch
- Featured Productivity Tool: The 5 Of 7 Rule by Debra Eckerling for Writers On The Move
- What Do We Most Want As Writers? by Roz Morris for Nail Your Novel
The art and craft of writing
Understanding The Adventure World of a Story’s Second Act by K. M. Weiland
Every story is an adventure. No matter its genre, focus, or tone, a story is always about an undertaking of some sort, whether cosmically large or familiarly small. This is why writers can use the metaphor of the Adventure World for a story’s Second Act to better understand this crucial part of story structure. K. M. Weiland is one of my favorite writing advice people, and the award-winning author of acclaimed writing guides such as Structuring Your Novel and Creating Character Arcs. If you want more advice like this, subscribe to her blog, Helping Writers Become Authors, via its RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link). You can also follow her on Twitter @KMWeiland and on Facebook @kmweiland.author. 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.
3 Ways To Infuse Character Voice by Lisa Poisso
Instead of trying to build character voice from the outside in, get under the character’s skin by revealing how they experience and interpret the story world from the inside out. Lisa Poisso is a writing coach with decades of professional experience as an award-winning magazine editor and journalist, content writer, and corporate communications manager. She’s also a developmental and line editor. Follow her on Twitter at LisaPoisso. 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.
Tension, Microtension, And Keeping Your Reader Hooked by Tiffany Yates Martin
Tension is the propulsive force of story—the means by which the storyteller not only spins her thread, but then holds it taut and pulls her reader steadily through the tale. Let that tension drop and the thread collapses, momentum stops, and readers put down your book. 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. 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.
One technique that gets readers invested immediately and brings tension to the forefront is to start with a loss. Staci Troilo is a multi-genre best-selling author, editor, and ghostwriter. Learn more about her at StaciTroilo.com. 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).
Two Steps To Fix Flat Characters Using Voice And Personality by J. D. Edwin
You have created a character. You’ve named them and given them a colorful past, as well as lots of fun personality traits. Your character steps into your story . . . and suddenly you find that they’ve fallen flat. How can you fix them? J.D. Edwin is a sci-fi author. Follow Edwin on Facebook @JDEdwinAuthor, and on Twitter @JDEdwinAuthor. Her website is JDEdwin.com. 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).
How To Make Your Character Sympathetic by Chris Winkle
A character with genuine hardships will get audiences emotionally invested in the story. 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.
Other writing advice this week:
- A Cheat Sheet On Body Language For Writers by John W. Howell for Story Empire
- Looking For A Beta Reader? Flip That Question Around. by Kris Spisak for Jane Friedman
- The Ultimate Guide To Writing For Audio by Jules Horne for Self Publishing Advice
- How To Use Mentors In The Stories You Write by Edie Melson for The Write Conversation
- 4 Reasons Why You Should Travel To Research Your Novel by Colleen M. Story for Insecure Writer’s Support Group
- The Perils Of Purple Prose by Robin Patchen for Live Write Thrive
- Should I Use A Historical Or An Original World? by Oren Ashkenazi for Mythcreants
- How To Create Fantasy Creatures by Dave Chesson for Kindlepreneur
- How To Write Comedy Into A Scene by Rosalind Sterling for National Novel Writing Month
- Use Lively Verbs To Revive Your Writing by Kelley J. P. Lindberg for Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers
- Representation In Writing – Author’s Dilemma, Author’s Responsibility by Alma Katsu for Women Writers, Women’s Books
- Fear Thesaurus Entry: Humiliation by Becca Puglisi for Writers Helping Writers
- Avoiding Stereotypes In Fiction: Lgbtq+ Characters by Drew Hubbard for Writers Helping Writers
- Numinous Fantasy by Gabriel Murray for The Craft of Writing – SFWA
- Writing Powerful Scenes, Part 1 by David Farland for MyStoryDoctor
- On Writing: Why Mastery Should Matter To Authors by Kristen Lamb for Kristen Lamb
- No Conflict? No Story! by Joni M. Fisher for Florida Writers Association Blog
- Writing Turning Points by Linda S. Clare for Linda S. Clare
- Weaving A Life—The Three Levels Of Dramatic Action by David Corbett for Writer Unboxed
- Copy Edits: To Challenge Or Concede? by Kathryn Craft for Writer Unboxed
- How To Write Killer Characters by Marnie Riches for Writer’s Digest
- Tips For Handling Pacing In A Thriller Novel by James Byrne for Writer’s Digest
- Love, Laughter, And Writing: How To Write Novels Readers Really Love by Kristan Higgins for Writer’s Digest
- Six Important Story Elements Introduced Too Late by Oren Ashkenazi for Mythcreants
- Story Structure Examples: How To Create Payoffs For Readers by Jordan Kantey for Now Novel
- The Best Character Tool You May Not Be Using by Tiffany Yates Martin for FoxPrint Editorial
- Avoid Aimless Stage Direction by Nathan Bransford for Nathan Bransford
- How Accomplished Writers Use Emotion Draw Us Into Their Stories by Stavros Halvatzis for Stavros Halvatzis
- When Is Your Book Ready To Be Published? by James Scott Bell for Killzoneblog.com
- How Great Characters Make Great Stories by P. S. Hoffman for P.S. Hoffman
The business side of writing
Marketing Funnel Part 6: Sharing Your Story With A Webinar by Sabrina Ricci
The webinar is pretty much the last step in the marketing funnel, where we want people to consider purchasing our product. Sabrina Ricci writes advice about indie publishing. Follow her on Facebook at @sabrinadenisericci or on Twitter at @sabsky. Digital Publishing is a site about indie publishing. Follow them via their RSS feed (direct Feedly link here).
How To Get Book Reviews: Max Visibility In 9 Steps by Jordan Kantey
Knowing how to get book reviews is crucial for building visibility for your book releases and trust in potential readers. Here are nine steps to get more reviews. 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.
Publisher Rocket Review: Will This Help You Sell More Books? by Joe Bunting
Publisher Rocket is a keyword research tool that helps you understand how readers use Amazon and choose the books they buy. 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).
Another Take On Book Trailers by Terry Odell
You can make a free book trailer using Canva, and here’s how Terry Odell did it. Terry Odell is an award-winning author of mystery and romantic suspense. Follow her on Facebook at @AuthorTerryOdell and on Twitter at @authorterryo. 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.
Other business advice this week:
- Is Hybrid Publishing Ethical? by Meghan Harvey for Jane Friedman
- Paid Book Blog Tours by Jan Sikes for Story Empire
- Self-Publishing News: New Law Promises Better Treatment Of Freelance Creatives by Dan Holloway for Self Publishing Advice
- Book Marketing Strategies To Improve Your Website Performance by Penny C. Sansevieri for Self Published Author
- Top 7 Places To Find People To Write Great Blurbs by Colleen M. Story for Writers In The Storm
- Five Reasons Every Writer Should Have A Newsletter by Marilyn L. Davis for Two Drops of Ink
- E-Books Vs. Print Books by Bobbie Christmas for WOW! Women On Writing Blog
- How To Be An Author: Lessons In Professionalism For A Writing Career by Sarah Gribble for The Write Practice
- 10 Things Not To Say To An Agent When You Pitch Your Project by Paula Munier for Career Authors
- How To Market Your Book Without Social Media by Penny Sansevieri for Author Marketing Experts, Inc.
- How To Promote Your Reader Magnet by Randy Ingermanson for Advanced Fiction Writing
- Create 3D Book Covers In A Few Simple Steps by Jackie Pearce for The Book Designer
- Generosity Should Be Your Platform by Dan Blank for WeGrowMedia
- They’re (Not) Gonna Put You In The Movies: Beware Book-To-Film Scams by Anne R. Allen for Anne R. Allen’s Blog… with Ruth Harris
- Top 10 Tips On How To Break In As A Screenwriter In 2022 by Lucy V Hay for Bang2write
How can you make your self-published books available to libraries in every format? How can you pitch librarians so they are interested in ordering your books? The post How To Get Your Self-Published Book Into Libraries With Eric Otis Simmons first appeared on The Creative Penn. 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.
How To Write Active Settings With Mary Buckham by Sacha Black
The difference between active and non-active settings, how to make your settings more active and how characters should engage with settings. 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).
Freebies, Concerning Contracts, And Incriminating Blogs by Bryan Cohen and H. Claire Taylor
How to choose the best proofreading software for you, whether blogs are are good for authors, and how to spot a bad author contract. 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.
Other podcasts from this past week:
- Approaching A Story With Hollywood Legend And Screenwriter David Koepp by J.d. Barker, J. Thorn And Zach Bohannon for Writers, Ink.
- Being Uniquely You With Marcus Tallberg by Rachel Wharton And Joni Di Placido for Kobo Writing Life
- How To Conduct Your Own Media Tour (Without Hiring A Pr Firm) With Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith by for Author Media
- Unfocused Worldbuilding by Oren Ashkenazi, Chris Winkle, and Wes Matlock for Mythcreants
- 17.24: Ensembles and Genre by Writing Excuses
The Heroine’s Journey (With Gail Carriger) by Kristina Adams and Ellie Betts
Kristina talks with Gail Carriger, who has multiple NYT bestsellers and over a million books in print in dozens of languages. She writes comedies of manners mixed with urban fantasy (and sexy queer joy as G. L. Carriger). She is best known for the Parasol Protectorate and Finishing School series. 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).
Mental Health And Writing Villains (With Sacha Black) by The Writer’s Mindset
Get extra podcast episodes, free downloads, and our undying gratitude – support The Writer’s Mindset on Patreon for less than a coffee a month: https://www.patreon.com/writersmindset Bestselling author Kristina Adams and upcoming author Ellie Betts. The Writer’s Mindset is a YouTube channel from the team behind The Writer’s Cookbook, a site that offers writing workshops and courses as well as writing and marketing services. For more advice like this, follow them on Twitter at @writingcookbook and on Facebook at @writingcookbook .
Google Play And Audiobook Narration With Ryan Dingler by Mark Leslie Lefebvre
Learn the latest from Google Play Books product manager Ryan Dingler, including what they’re doing with auto-narrated audiobooks. Mark Leslie Lefebvre is the director of business development at Draft2Digital. Draft2Digital is one of the leading publishing platforms that helps authors publish their books to multiple platforms. It also has a very nice and easy ebook creation and formatting tool.
Flying Into Fiction: Video Games & NFTs by Mark Dawson and James Blatch
Nicholas Narbutovskih is a busy man! He’s got a career flying for the US Air Force, a new baby, a series of space opera books he’s writing, and a gig writing stories for video games. Oh, and he’s also a member of the MetaStellar community! In this video, he talks about how writers can benefit from NFTs. 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:
- How To Write A Query Letter by Jessica Faust And James Mcgowan for BookEnds Literary Agency
- Advanced Self-Publishing Podcast: Endings, Transitions, And New Beginnings by Orna Ross And Joanna Penn for Self Publishing Advice
- How To Be Better At Budgeting Your Writing Time by Daphne Gray-Grant for Publication Coach
- Writing The Fight Scene (A Balticon 2022 Panel) by Morgan Hazelwood for Morgan Hazelwood
- To Engage Readers: Be Consistent & Delight Them by Dan Blank for WeGrowMedia
- 10 Tips To Build Your Author Newsletter by Book Launchers for Book Launchers
- 5 Author Branding Mistakes To Avoid by Book Launchers for Book Launchers
- How To Write A Great One-Liner by Get Writing! for Get Writing
- The Heroine’s Journey And Reader Expectations (With Gail Carriger) by The Writer’s Mindset for The Writer’s Mindset
- How Kristina Adams Got Back Into Writing Fantasy After A 10-Year Break by The Writer’s Mindset for The Writer’s Mindset
- How To Design Amazon A+ Content On Kindle Direct Publishing (Kdp) Using Book Brush by Write With Claire Fraise for Write with Claire Fraise
- Looking Closer At The Story Nerd Podcast With Valerie Francis by Draft2digital for Draft2Digital
- How to Handle Email Unsubscribes by The Writer’s Mindset for The Writer’s Mindset
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.