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This week’s top writing advice from around the web for Jun. 19
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
How To Get Out Of A Rut: 50 Ideas! by Bryn Donovan
When we break up the monotony of our days, try some new things, and switch up our habits, it makes life more interesting. Bryn Donovan is the executive editor for a publishing company as well as a writer, blogger, and writing coach. BrynDonovan.com offers writing and publishing advice and resources. For more advice like this, subscribe to them via their RSS feed (direct Feedly link here).
Reasons Not To Rush The Writing by Anne Janzer
Honor the work by not rushing through it. Honor yourself by giving yourself the time to craft. 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).
Are You Paying Attention To Your Progress? by Tiffany Yates Martin
Exercise, like writing, has incremental payoff, usually by small measures at a time. But…if we learn to take the time to step back now and then and notice—how we’re feeling, how challenging a certain area is for us compared to how it used to be, the caliber of our work—that’s when we really see the progress we’ve made. 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. FoxPrint Editorial offers online courses, workshops and presentations, and advice to authors.
Other motivational advice this week:
- When A Page A Day Is Too Much by C Hope Clark for FundsforWriters
- Reading Voraciously–Why It Matters To Writers by Mary Carroll Moore for How to Plan, Write, and Develop a Book
- What Rejection Really Is by Kelli Mckinney for Almost An Author
- Five Words Of Encouragement For Writers by Linda Murphy Marshall for DIY MFA
- Three Small Steps To Get Your Writing Back On Track by Ambre Dawn Leffler for DIY MFA
- Is It Weird To Feel Shame After Publishing? by Daphne Gray-Grant for Publication Coach
The art and craft of writing
Understanding The Underworld Of A Story’s Third Act by K. M. Weiland
A story’s Third Act is unique. We often think of the Third Act in terms of its being climactic—and therefore full of excitement and high stakes. And it often is. But ultimately the Third Act fulfills a much more symbolic function within a story. Simply put, it is the proving ground for all the character […]
The post Understanding the Underworld of a Story’s Third Act appeared first on Helping Writers Become Authors.
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.
How To Use Prologues, Part 4, Does Your Story Need A Prologue? by Harmony Kent
Hi SErs! It’s a day of Harmony here at Story Empire 🙂 Today, I’d like to talk about whether or not your story needs a prologue. Here’s a link to the previous post on Prologue Dos and Don’ts. So far in this post series we’ve looked at what a prologue is and isn’t and also … Continue reading How to Use Prologues, Part 4, Does Your Story Need a Prologue? Harmony Kent is an award-winning writer who also offers editing, proofreading, manuscript appraisal, and beta reading services. To learn more, visit HarmonyKent.co.uk. 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).
Writing Real Dialogue In Fiction by Beem Weeks
Greetings, SE’ers! Beem Weeks here with you again. Today, I am going to share my thoughts on character dialogue in fiction. Dialogue. It can make or break a story. Dialogue is the lines your characters speak aloud in a written story. They differ from the narrative voice in that even the peripheral characters are given … Continue reading Writing Real Dialogue in Fiction. Award-winning novelist Beem Weeks is an author, editor, podcaster, video producer, and a member of Fresh Ink Publishing. Find out more at BeemWeeks.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).
Create Compelling Scenes With The MRU by Lynette Burrows
The MRU, or the motivation-reaction unit, is a tool introduced by Dwight V. Swain in his book, Techniques of the Selling Writer. 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).
4 Ways To Write A More Cathartic Story by Lewis Jorstad
A lot goes into a successful novel, from compelling characters to an engaging plot, solid pacing, and a vibrant world. However, none of these things are quite as important as catharsis. If you’ve never heard of catharsis before, this is a Greek term that describes the feeling of emotional satisfaction you get at the end of a story.
Lewis Jorstad is a developmental editor, writing craft author and the founder of The Novel Smithy. MyStoryDoctor offers writing advice, editing, coaching, online courses, and live workshops. Subscribe to them via their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link here).
What Gives Our Story Meaning? by Jami Gold
We don’t need ridiculously massive conflicts or stakes to make our story meaningful. Instead, meaning can be found in the little moments of a story. Jami Gold writes paranormal romance and urban fantasy. Find her on Facebook at @Jami Gold and on Twitter at @https://twitter.com/JamiGold. For more advice from Jami Gold, check out her website, JamiGold.com, named one of the 101 Best Websites for Writers by Writer’s Digest.
Does My Hero Need A Specific Job? by Oren Ashkenazi
If you want your hero to have repeated adventures, it’s best to make them the kind of person who would credibly have those adventures. That might be an official job, a well established passion, or it might simply be the hero’s responsibility as the only one with super powers. 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.
Other writing advice this week:
- Characters And Diversity. Part 1: Race by Gwen M. Plano for Story Empire
- Fear Thesaurus Entry: Losing The Respect Of Others by Becca Puglisi for Writers Helping Writers
- Avoiding Stereotypes In Fiction: Religious Characters by Becca Puglisi for Writers Helping Writers
- “They’re All Gonna Die!” Wait, Why Does That Matter? by Jami Gold for Writers Helping Writers
- Romancing SFF: Why Romance Should Be Part Of Your Worldbuilding by R. K. Thorne for The Craft of Writing – SFWA
- Writing A Compelling First Line by Ellen Buikema for Writers In The Storm
- Research For Fiction Writers by Andrea R Huelsenbeck for A Writer’s Path
- Neurodivergent: Being ‘Different’ In Life & Fiction by Kristen Lamb for Kristen Lamb
- Writing Historical Characters: Easier Or Harder? by N.l. Holmes for Florida Writers Association Blog
- Tips To Breathe Life Into Your Writing by Edie Melson for The Write Conversation
- Planning A Story: 3 Questions To Answer Even If You Hate To Plan by David Safford for The Write Practice
- Polish Prose Professionally With These 8 Self-Editing Tips by Dana Isaacson for Career Authors
- The Importance Of Writing Flawed Characters by Neil Chase for Write It Sideways
- Why Your Hero’S Not The Most Important Character In Your Story by David Villalva for David Villalva
- How To Use The Enneagram To Create Fictional Characters by Gabriela Pereira for DIY MFA
- Managing Point Of View: Emotional Distance by Sharon Short for Writer’s Digest
- Improve Story Paragraphs By Addressing Echoes And Overused Words by Zoe M. Mccarthy for Zoe M. McCarthy
- Essential Fiction-Writing Tools Of The Trade by C. S. Lakin for Live Write Thrive
- Why Writers Should Use A Secret Sauce — Tracking by Daphne Gray-Grant for Publication Coach
- Who Wins: The Martian, Artemis, Or Project Hail Mary? by Oren Ashkenazi for Mythcreants
- How To Make Your Character Selfless by Chris Winkle for Mythcreants
- How To Describe A Person Vividly: 8 Ways by Jordan Kantey for Now Novel
- Why The Last Page Of Your Novel Is As Important As The First by Anne R. Allen for Anne R. Allen’s Blog… with Ruth Harris
The business side of writing
Amazon Ads: Step-By-Step Walk Through For Beginning Authors by Jane Friedman
Amazon ads are a valued (and sometimes expensive) tool for authors and publishers to drive book visibility and sales. Here’s a guide to getting started. Jane Friedman is an expert in digital media strategy for authors and publishers and publishes The Hot Sheet, the essential newsletter on the publishing industry for authors. She is also a professor with The Great Courses, which released her 24-lecture series, How to Publish Your Book. Her book for creative writers, The Business of Being a Writer, received a starred review from Library Journal. Follow her on Twitter at @JaneFriedman. For more advice from Jane Friedman writing advice site, subscribe to their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link here).
The State Of Self-Publishing by Steven Spatz
Insights into the current state of self-publishing, and what lies ahead. Steven Spatz is a writer, marketer, and the president of BookBaby. BookBaby bills itself as the nation’s leading self-publishing services company. For more advice like this, subscribe to their RSS feed (directly Feedly link here), or follow them on Facebook at @BookBaby or on Twitter at @BookBaby.
Creating An Author Blog Site: From Simple To Sublime by Lee Purcell
You’ll find lots of advice suggesting that writers and would-be authors need a blog to help promote their work. But where do you start? Lee Purcell started out doing technical writing in the heyday of Silicon Valley innovation and ended up in a small town in Vermont, telecommuting, surrounded by 200-year old white pines. More about his technical endeavors can be discovered at Lee-Purcell.com. Follow him on Facebook at @lightspeedpub or on Twitter at @great_grackle. BookBaby bills itself as the nation’s leading self-publishing services company. For more advice like this, subscribe to their RSS feed (directly Feedly link here), or follow them on Facebook at @BookBaby or on Twitter at @BookBaby.
Other business advice this week:
- What Came First: Color, Fashion or Book Covers? by Rainey Hall for Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers
- Paying For A Professional Book Review? Here’s How To Avoid Getting Ripped Off by Patti Thorn for Build Book Buzz
- Kindle Publishing Trends: June 2022 by Alex Newton for K-lytics
- How Your Author Bio Can Attract New Readers by Blog Editor for Writer’s Relief
- What To Wear At Your Book Launch Events by Emma Straub for Writer’s Relief
- 15 Ways To Increase Your Chances Of Landing A Publishing Deal by September Fawkes for September C. Fawkes
- How To Treat Your Writing Business Professionally by Edie Melson for The Write Conversation
- 3 Reasons Introverted Writers Make Effective Speakers by Edie Melson for The Write Conversation
- Ideas For Promoting A Book With Hybrid Author Events by Penny Sansevieri for Author Marketing Experts, Inc.
- How To Work With Your Publicist by Ann Marie Nieves for Writer Unboxed
- What Can Bowker Do For Authors? by L. Diane Wolfe for Insecure Writer’s Support Group
- The Business Of Self-Publishing by Elizabeth Javor for Self Publishing Advisor
- Advance Reader Copies: Send To These 6 Groups So You Can Conquer Your Next Book Launch by Jessica Wormley for Self Publishing School
- The Mobi File Is Dead: Long Live The Epub by Jason Hamilton for Kindlepreneur
- How To Get Epub Books On Kindle: The Ultimate Guide by Jason Hamilton for Kindlepreneur
Should I Traditionally Publish My Book? by Orna Ross and Michael La Ronn
This episode answers the question of whether to look for traditional publisher, whether a blog is necessary to be a successful author, and when to hire someone to manage your social media. Orna Ross is a novelist, poet, self-publishing advocate, and founder and director of the Alliance of Independent Authors. Follow her on Twitter at @OrnaRoss. Michael La Ronn is the author of over 30 science fiction and fantasy novels and author self-help books, and the outreach manager at the Alliance of Independent Authors. Follow him on Twitter at @MichaelLaRonn. 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).
Important Considerations For Deciding To Write Under A Pen Name by Penny Sansevieri
Pen names gives authors an opportunity to get creative! However, choosing a pen name is not a decision you should make lightly because everything you put out there is your brand. 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).
7 Business Mistakes That Ruin Author Careers by Thomas Umstattd Jr.
Some authors insist on acting like artists who don’t care about the money. Invariably these authors get terribly taken advantage of. The most tragic thing is that they not only lose the money but also their control over their art. So the authors who don’t care about the money end up having neither art nor money. Thomas Umstattd Jr. is the CEO of Author Media, literary agent, author, podcaster, and marketing experts. For more, check out his website ThomasUmstattd.com. The Novel Marketing Podcast is all about the business side of being a successful author.
Villainous Presentation by Oren Ashkenazi, Chris Winkle, And Wes Matlock
Villainous deeds are all well and good, but what about evil aesthetic sense? Does a laugh really make the villain? Should one aim for flamboyant or gritty misdeeds? Is there still a place for the classic villain speech? Oren Ashkenazi is the 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:
- The Intuitive Writer With Becca Syme by Sacha Black for Sacha Black
- Rogue One: Worldbuilding 101 by Valerie Francis and Melanie Hill for Story Nerd
Should Your Book Be Completed Before Querying? by Jessica Faust and James McGowan
The pitfalls of querying when your book is not finished yet, and what the protocol is for querying. 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.
ISBN Issues, Audio Opportunities, And Danger Zones by Bryan Cohen and H. Claire Taylor
Have you written in more than one genre, and if so, did you run into the similar issues of extra time being required to start out? 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.
Book Publishing Trends And Challenges Ahead For Authors by Julie Broad
Book sales are forecasted to be down 10% this year. Paper costs are still going up. Inflation in every industry is hitting hard. What does that mean for book publishing and authors? 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.
Dactions by Stavros Halvatzis
Dactions — dialogue-supporting actions — are indispensable to accomplished scenes. Stavros Halvatzis is a writer and writing teacher. Get Writing is Stavros Halvatzis’s YouTube channel. For more advice like this, check out StavrosHalvatzis.com or follow himvia his RSS feed (direct Feedly link here).
Other videos from this past week:
- Should You Write In Your First Language? by Daphne Gray-Grant for Publication Coach
- Chicago Manual Of Style And Other Book Editing Styles by Julie Broad for Book Launchers
- How To Write Epic Endings And Climax Scenes by Kristina Adams and Ellie Betts for The Writer’s Mindset
- Should You Redesign Your Book Covers? by Kristina Adams and Ellie Betts for The Writer’s Mindset
- Why Your Villains Needs To Reflect Your Book’s Anti-Theme by Kristina Adams and Ellie Betts for The Writer’s Mindset
- How To Create Strong Characters, Get Through The Muddy Middle, & Flesh Out Your Book’s Subplots by Claire Fraise for Write with Claire Fraise
- How To Write Realistic Dialogue, Underwriting, And How Many POVs Is Too Many? by Claire Fraise for Write with Claire Fraise
- 15 Questions to Ask When Revising Your Book by ShaelinWrites for ShaelinWrites
- Publish Low Content Books on KDP in 10 Minutes by Self-Publishing with Dale for Self-Publishing with Dale
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.