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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
Most INFP (a Myers-Briggs personality type) writers have a million ideas, and many have started multiple writing projects in an effort to bring every one of those million ideas to life. Then the INFP writer becomes completely overwhelmed because they have too many projects going on—most of them in various unfinished states—and they don’t know how to focus on finishing any one thing. If you are an INFP writer, you have probably been through this cycle many times. 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.
Other motivational advice this week:
- How To Know When You’re A Successful Author? by K.M. Weiland | @Kmweiland for Helping Writers Become Authors
- How To Write A Book: 8 Tips For Beginners by Michael James for A Writer’s Path
- Seven Keys To Writing Success by MaryAnn Diorio for The Write Conversation
- New Writers: 5 Irreplaceable Pieces Of Advice From The Masters by James Barrows for The Write Practice
- How To Get Unstuck When Writing by Daphne Gray-Grant for Publication Coach
The art and craft of writing
Choosing The Right Job For Your Character by Becca Puglisi
Choosing a career is one of the biggest decisions we make in life, and we often put a ton of time and energy into it. But what about our characters’ jobs? How much thought do we put into that?
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.
Pacing Within The Narrative Arc by September Fawkes
Often when people are talking about pacing, they are talking about it at a scene or line level, but the overall story has its own pacing too. September Hawkes is a freelance editor. follow her on Twitter @SeptCFawkes and on Facebook at September C. Fawkes. At SeptemberCFawkes.com, Fawkes offers writing advice. Follow the site on its RSS Feed (direct Feedly signup link).
Tips To Develop An Ear For Writing Dialogue by Edie Melson
Good dialogue is more like music than anything else. We start with the rules, learning the craft and the technique. But to become masters we must develop an ear, a sense if you will, of what translates well to the page and what does not. Edie Melson is an author, editor and blogger—a leading professional within the writing industry, as well as a popular instructor and mentor. For more, check out her website, EdieMelson.com, or follow her on Twitter at @EdieMelson or on Facebook at @Edie Mahoney Melson. The Write Conversation frequently makes the top lists of writing advice blogs. Follow them via their RSS feed (direct Feedly link here).
4 Tips For Writing Backstory by Brian Andrews
Backstory is not narrative. It is not flashback. It is not internal monologue. It is not memory. Many writers do not understand this, which is the reason why so many acquiring editors run away when they see backstory show up at the party. 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.
Other writing advice this week:
- How To Write Point Of View, Part 11, Summary And Wrap-Up by Harmony Kent for Story Empire
- Fear Thesaurus Entry: Certain Kinds Of People by Becca Puglisi for Writers Helping Writers
- 10 Hands-On Tips For Writing Flash Fiction by Maria Haskins for The Craft of Writing – SFWA
- Top 6 Creative Writing Exercises To Sharpen Your Writing Skills by Abhimanyu Chavan for The Independent Publishing Magazine
- Character Sketch Template: How To Sketch Characters In Scrivener by Matt Herron for The Write Practice
- The 10 Types Of Stories And How To Master Them by Joe Bunting for The Write Practice
- Your Self-Publishing Toolbox For Authorial Success: Writing Tools by Stephanie BwaBwa for DIY MFA
- Secondary Characters With Purpose And Pzazz by Barbara Linn Probst for Writer Unboxed
- Are You Drowning Your Story In Your Imagery? by Dave King for Writer Unboxed
- Story Strands: Using Varied Narrative Forms In A Novel by Sophie Masson for Writer Unboxed
- How To Dictate A Book In 2022 by Clayton Noblit for Written Word Media
- 8 Tips To Make An Unlikable Character Likable by Danielle Owen-Jones for Writer’s Digest
- Writing Real Relationships: 4 Strategies Starting With What You Know by Kris Spisak for Writer’s Digest
- Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Letting Others Shame Your Genre by Amy Jones for Writer’s Digest
- Be Careful When Characters And Settings Return In Later Books In A Series by Zoe M. Mccarthy for Zoe M. McCarthy
- Black Powder And Ninjas by Michael Schwarz for How to Fight Write
- The Challenge Of Writing In Slow Motion by Michael Schwarz for How to Fight Write
- How To Write Supporting Characters That Readers Love by Hannah Lee Kidder for Self Publishing School
- Five Conflicts With Weak Turning Points, And How To Fix Them by Oren Ashkenazi for Mythcreants
- Six Types Of Downward Turning Points by Chris Winkle for Mythcreants
- How Do I Write A Character That’s Smart But Lacks Common Sense? by Chris Winkle for Mythcreants
- Past Or Present? Learn Which Tense Is Best For Your Narration by Laura Fineberg Cooper for Writers’ Rumpus
The business side of writing
Which Social Media Platform Is The Best? by Caroline Topperman
Identifying the right platform for you comes down to your personality, what you like to do and, most importantly, what you want to achieve. Book coach and developmental editor Caroline Topperman is the editor of Zoetic Press and the co-founder of KW Writers Alliance. Her book, Tell Me What You See, serves as a toolkit for her writing workshops. For more information, check out her website, CarolineTopperman.com, or follow her on Twitter at @StyleOnTheSide and on Facebook at @StyleOnTheSide. For more advice from Jane Friedman writing advice site, subscribe to their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link here).
How To Make Money Through Social Media Without Being An Influencer by Ashleigh Renard
You don’t need to be famous or a tech guru. All you really need is an Instagram account, a PayPal link, and something to offer your audience. Ashleigh Renard is a former figure skating coach and choreographer who coaches writers on building platforms and connecting with their readers. She is the co-host of the biweekly Zoom platform chat The Writers’ Bridge. For more advice from Jane Friedman writing advice site, subscribe to their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link here).
Why Geeking Out Is The Key To Growing Your Audience by Chad R. Allen
Often attracting an audience — building a platform — feels difficult because we misunderstand its purpose. Building a platform is about gathering a community of people who like to geek out about the same things you like to geek out about. Chad R. Allen is a writer, editor, speaker, and writing coach who’s spent 20 years in the traditional publishing industry. Follow him on Twitter at @ChadRAllenand and on Facebook at Chad R. Allen. For more advice like this, follow Chad R. Allen via the website’s RSS feed (direct Feedly link here).
Writing: Editing Must-Haves by Linda S. Clare
Here are some tips for finding the editor you need. 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.
Book Marketing Strategies To Improve Your Website Performance by Penny Sansevieri
We don’t spend enough time on author websites, and they are crucially important to an author’s success. But you don’t have to have a website that’s big and elaborate. 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).
5 Marketing Strategies For Writers Who Hate Promoting Their Own Work by Hugh O. Smith
Your work isn’t going to promote itself. Use these strategies to market it as painlessly as possible. Hugh O. Smith writes modern fiction. For more about him, visit his website HughOSmith.com or follow him on Twitter at @HughOSmith or on Facebook at @HughOSmithOfficial. The Write Life is a writing advice site from the folks at SelfPublishing.com.
How To Make A Book Trailer: 4 Must Haves by Gloria Russell
Whether you’re choosing to go the self publishing route or the traditional publishing route, you’re going to end up doing a lot of your own marketing. Sometimes writers can get a little offended at the business side of this job—it’s art, after all, and writers tend to view books as particularly sacred objects. Gloria Russell is a freelance writer and author living in Colorado who also critiques manuscripts. The Book Designer, part of SelfPublishing.com, offers hundreds of articles about book design and marketing.
Other business advice this week:
- The Ultimate Guide To Book Fairs For Indie Authors by Askalli Team for Self Publishing Advice
- Amazon Kindle Trends – March 2022 by Alex Newton for K-lytics
- Things I Wish I Knew Before I Published: Part III by Lynette Burrows for Writers In The Storm
- 16 Ideas Of How To Promote Your Book Before And During Launch by Anna del C. Dye for A Writer’s Path
- How To Find A Good Editor For Your Book by Emily Nemchick for A Writer’s Path
- Marketing Your Books: Slow And Steady Wins The Race by Lois Stern for Sharing with Writers and Readers
- Quick Social Media Tips For Writers: Build A Writing Brand That Rocks (Part 2) by Jessica Lawlor for The Write Life
- Marketing Strategies To Help Launch Your Book: Interview With Jeff Walker by Gabriela Pereira for DIY MFA
- Where To Begin Your Book Marketing Research by L. Diane Wolfe for Insecure Writer’s Support Group
- The Best Way Writers Can Build Their Brand by C. S. Lakin for Live Write Thrive
The Secret Weapon You Need To Spend More Time Writing: Book Marketing Podcast Episode by Penny Sansevieri
The secret to spending more time writing without your marketing and brand suffering: hiring a virtual assistant. 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).
Other podcasts from this past week:
- Different Ways Of Publishing Through Substack And NFTs With Elle Griffin by Joanna Penn for The Creative Penn
- Improve Your Creativity With Dan Holloway by Joanna Penn for The Creative Penn
- Tiktok Sells Books With Jayne Rylon And Lila Dubois by Rachel Wharton and Joni Di Placido for Kobo Writing Life
- Vetting Editors, Hashtags, And Sensitivity Readers by Bryan Cohen and H. Claire Taylor for Sell More Books Show
- Character Arcs by Oren Ashkenazi, Chris Winkle And Emma Riley for Mythcreants
Scheduling vs Winging It: Which Is More Sane For Your Author Career? by Lindsay Buroker, Joseph R. Lallo, and Andrea Pearson
What are the pros and cons of planning everything well in advance? What if you prefer to wing it and not set deadlines? 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. 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. Andrea Pearson has published over 60 titles under three pen names, including four marketing books for authors. She teaches marketing through her courses and at conferences and conventions and is an instructor for WMG’s Business Master Class for Authors. Six Figure Authors is a podcast about taking your writing career to the next level.
Other videos from this past week:
- What Book Idea Is Best For You To Write? by Book Launchers for Book Launchers
- How Plot Types Guide Your Writing by Get Writing! for Get Writing
- Acting, Audiobooks, And Tiktok With Actress Sarah Sampino by Draft2digital for Draft2Digital
- Writing In A Dark Fantasy Castle On A Stormy Night | 2 Hour Immersive Writing Session by Abbie Emmons for Abbie Emmons
Am I missing any writing advice sites? Email me at [email protected].
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.