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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
A Master Class In Failure (To Find Writing Success) by Marcia Desanctis
Failure is often a step in finding success but navigating the treacherous terrain of rejection can be burdensome. Here, international bestselling author Marcia DeSanctis shares a master class in coming back from failure. Marcia DeSanctis spent two decades as a news producer for ABC, NBC and CBS News 60 Minutes. She has written for Travel + Leisure, Vogue, Town & Country, Air Mail, Departures, BBC Travel, Lit Hub, Marie Claire, Off Assignment, Departures, Tin House, O the Oprah Magazine, Roads & Kingdoms, The New York Times, and The New York Times Magazine, among many other publications. She has won five Lowell Thomas Awards for excellence in travel journalism, including one for Travel Journalist of the Year. This venerable resource for writers celebrated its hundred-year anniversary last year, but is still going pretty strong. Follow Writer’s Digest via their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link), on Twitter at @WritersDigest and on Facebook at @writersdigest.
Writing a novel is like running a marathon. If you want to do it successfully and not completely destroy yourself, you need to prepare for it. Jeff Elkins writes urban fantasy. Check out his website, JeffElkinsWriter.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).
Find Your Motivation For Writing Speculative Fiction by Disha Walia
Here are 4 things about speculative fiction that could inspire the motivation to get those words on the pages. And it goes beyond your dreams of seeing your name on the cover—your writing can help your future readers. Disha Walia is a lifelong storyteller and an enthusiastic writer and editor in love with the idea of exploring the creative world of words. Connect with her on Quillinary.com or follow her on Twitter at @quillinary. DiyMFA offers classes, advice articles and other training materials for writers. For more advice like this, follow them on Twitter at @DIYMFA and on Facebook at @DIYMFA or subscribe to their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link).
Other motivational advice this week:
- The Sport Of Writing: How An Athlete’s Mindset Can Help Bring Your A-Game by Simoun Victor D. Redoblado for Craft Your Content
- How A Parachute Jump Prepared Me For The Writing Journey by Edie Melson for The Write Conversation
- Tailoring A Writing Space To Suit Your Needs by Elizabeth Seckman for Insecure Writer’s Support Group
- Stay Thirsty, My Friends: On Freeing Writing From The Weight Of Perfection by Sarah McCoy for Writer’s Digest
- Beef Up Your Writing Muscles With Writing Exercises by Kelley J. P. Lindberg for Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers
- Writers: Pantser, Plotter … Roadster? by William F. Wu for Writers In The Storm
- Writers, How Do You Prime The Pump? by Marilyn L. Davis for Two Drops of Ink
- 3 Tips For Writing When Overcome By Writer’s Block by Emma Foster for A Writer’s Path
- How To Guard Your Writer’s Voice by Tammy Karasek for The Write Conversation
- Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Thinking There’s Not Enough Room For Your Story by Michael Woodson for Writer’s Digest
- Business Musings: How Writers Fail (Part One) by Kristine Kathryn Rusch for Kristine Kathryn Rusch
- Prioritizing Your Life by Tiffany Yates Martin for FoxPrint Editorial
- Why Do We Procrastinate? by Katy Segrove for Pick Up Your Pen
The art and craft of writing
Want Readers To Connect To Your Character? Include This Element. by Angela Ackerman
When readers see something within the character that resonates, something they themselves think, feel, or believe in, it becomes common ground that binds them to the character. 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 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.
Theme: Showing > Telling by September Fawkes
Many of us are familiar with the “Show, don’t Tell” writing rule, but few of us realize how vital it is to writing our stories’ themes. In fact, one of the most common problems that come up with theme, happens because the writer tells the theme more than shows it. 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).
Grammar Un-Schooling: Your 6 Hall Passes by Kathryn Craft
Great advice for fiction writers on when to obey — and when to break — the rules of grammar. Novelist Kathryn Craft has been a freelance developmental editor at Writing-Partner.com since 2006, and teaches in Drexel University’s MFA program. Learn more on her website, KathrynCraft.com or follow her on Facebook at @KathrynCraftAuthor and on Twitter at @kcraftwriter. 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.
How Useful Are Pixar’s Rules Of Storytelling? Part 1 by Oren Ashkenazi
There is a list of 22 rules purported to be from Pixar. How useful are they, really? 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.
Using Your Story’s Premise To Create Novelty by Chris Winkle
Novelty can be generated by anything the audience isn’t used to and the benefit it offers to stories is too large to ignore. 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:
- The Role Of The Antagonist In Story Structure, Pt. 2 Of 2 by K. M. Weiland for Helping Writers Become Authors
- Showing, Not Telling Emotions by John W. Howell for Story Empire
- The Vital Difference Between Plot And Story—And Why You Need Both by Heather Davis for Jane Friedman
- Reimagining Conflict by Marie Brennan for The Craft of Writing – SFWA
- 3 Tips That Strengthen Middles by David Farland for MyStoryDoctor
- Outlines, Beats, And Book Maps! by Cathy C. Hall for WOW! Women On Writing Blog
- How To Find The Conflict In A Story: Conflict Mapping And Other Writing Tips by David Safford for The Write Practice
- How To Use Scrivener To Write Scenes That Work by Joslyn Chase for The Write Practice
- When Place Is A Character: How Setting Can Serve As A Catalyst For A Story by Catherine Drake for DIY MFA
- Done With Your Draft—What Next? by C. S. Lakin for Live Write Thrive
- How To Stop Using Too Many Words by Daphne Gray-Grant for Publication Coach
- Fear Thesaurus Entry: Change by Becca Puglisi for Writers Helping Writers
- Master Dialogue Tags by Joni M. Fisher for Florida Writers Association Blog
- Six Ways To Beat Sagging Middle Syndrome And Fix Your Story by Madeline Dyer for WOW! Women On Writing Blog
- Five Ways To Tell Enough Without Telling All by EC Hanes for DIY MFA
- 12 Dos And Don’ts Of Revealing Critical Backstory In A Novel by Jenna Kernan for Writer’s Digest
- 10 Questions To Ask Yourself For An Airtight Plot by Boyd And Beth Morrison for Writer’s Digest
- How Can I Establish Measurement Units? by Oren Ashkenazi for Mythcreants
- What Is Exposition In A Story? The Ultimate Guide by Dave Chesson for Kindlepreneur
- Best Story Writing Websites In 2022 by Jordan for Now Novel
- How To Write A Fight Scene With Carla Hoch by James Scott Bell for Killzoneblog.com
- The Nearest Exit May Be Behind You by Terry Odell for Killzoneblog.com
The business side of writing
You’ve finished a book! Hurrah. Now you need to publish it. Which means metadata, back matter, front matter, and… a copyright page. But what exactly is supposed to go in a copyright page? How much legal wording do you need and what are those key phrases? The AskALLi Team is the group behind Self Publishing Advice, the advice center of the Alliance of Independent Authors. 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).
How To Crowdfund Your Book by Christopher Stollar
Crowdfunding in publishing has received a lot of attention in recent months. Successful crowd-funder and author Chris Stollar shares his tips for realistic and practical tips to make crowdfunding work for you. Christopher Stollar is the award-winning author of The Black Lens. His debut novel won Grand Prize in the 2016 Writer’s Digest Self-Published e-Book Awards. He’s now working on his next novel, a sci-fi thriller. For more, check out his website, ChristopherStollar.com. This venerable resource for writers celebrated its hundred-year anniversary last year, but is still going pretty strong. Follow Writer’s Digest via their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link), on Twitter at @WritersDigest and on Facebook at @writersdigest.
How To Revive Dead Book Sales: Managing Your Backlist by Dave Chesson
Extremely thorough and detailed article about how to figure out why sales are flagging and what to do about it, with lots of resources. 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.
Other business advice this week:
- Marketing Funnel Part 2: Lessons Learned Building A Quiz Funnel by Sabrina Ricci for Digital Pubbing
- The 5 Best Book Marketing Questions To Ask A Publicity Company by Penny C. Sansevieri for Self Published Author
- The Pros And Cons Of The Publishing Industry by Andrew Deen for The Independent Publishing Magazine
- Building A Social Media Plan by Rochelle Melander for Write Now Coach!
- Before Self-Publishing A Book Make Sure To Answer These 5 Crucial Questions by Penny Sansevieri for Author Marketing Experts, Inc.
- A Helping Hand: Supporting Your Fellow Writers by Juliet Marillier for Writer Unboxed
- The Hardworking Magic Of Book Design by Sophie Masson for Writer Unboxed
- The Writer’s Guide To Being A Great Podcast Guest by Brendan O’Meara for Writer’s Digest
- Where Do You Dream Of Publishing Your Book? And What It Might Take by Mary Carroll Moore for How to Plan, Write, and Develop a Book
- Publishing Your Ebook Is Changing On Smashwords by Lee Foster for The Book Designer
- How To Get A Book Deal In 4 Steps + Why You Shouldn’t Bother by Dave Chesson for Kindlepreneur
- Wanna Be A Paperback Writer? The Scoop On Writing Series Books by Melodie Campbell for Anne R. Allen’s Blog… with Ruth Harris
Killing A Major Character by Oren Ashkenazi, Chris Winkle, and Wes Matlock
Sometimes, an important character needs to die. But also sometimes, an important character doesn’t need to die, and probably shouldn’t. How can authors tell the difference? 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:
- How To Write About Mental Health And Trauma With Iona Wayland by Sacha Black for Sacha Black
- What Is Subediting? With Louise Bolotin by Louise Harnby for Louise Harnby | Fiction Editor & Proofreader – Blog
- Do you have a backup plan if sales dip? by Bryan Cohen and H. Claire Taylor for Sell More Books Show
- How Do I Write In Multiple Genres? and other questions by Orna Ross and Michael La Ronn for Self Publishing Advice
- Why Do Good Books Fail To Sell While Poorly Written Books Fly Off The Shelves? by for Author Media
- 17.19: Working In A Collaborative Environment by Howard Tayler for Writing Excuses
- Blueprint For A Book With Jennie Nash Of Author Accelerator by J.D. Barker, J. Thorn and Zach Bohannon for Writers, Ink.
- 17.20: Basics Of Ensemble Characterization by Howard Tayler for Writing Excuses
Pacing The Novel by Morgan Hazelwood
Eight tips from the pros on pacing your novel, from RavenCon 2022. Morgan Hazelwood writes from her lair in Northern Virginia. She’s a blogger, vlogger, and podcaster of writing tips and writerly musings, plus an actively querying fantasy author. For more advice like this, follow her on Twitter at @MorganHzlwood, on Facebook at Morgan Hazelwood, and on YouTube at Morgan Hazelwood. At Morgan Hazelwood, she offers writing advice and resources.
Publishing Wide For The Win (With Mark Leslie Lefebvre) by Kristina Adams and Ellie Betts
Today’s guest is Mark Leslie Lefebvre, the director of business development for Draft2Digital, a free and author-centric platform celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2022. He talks about the pros and cons of publishing wide, and the nuances of various publishing platforms. 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).
Other videos from this past week:
- Our Thoughts On Publishing’s “Great Resignation” by Jessica Faust and James McGowan for BookEnds Literary Agency
- Why Does My Book Need Interior Formatting? by Kaitlin Quigley for BookBaby Blog
- Squashing Author Imposter Syndrome by Book Launchers for Book Launchers
- Best Book Cover Designs – 3 Questions Your Cover Should Answer by Book Launchers for Book Launchers
- Improve Your Dialogue With These 7 Tips! by Get Writing! for Get Writing
- Our #1 Pieces Of Literary Advice by The Writer’s Mindset for The Writer’s Mindset
- Publishing Wide For The Win (With Mark Leslie Lefebvre) by The Writer’s Mindset for The Writer’s Mindset
- How To Get Over Your Fear Of Selling (With Email Marketing Heroes Rob And Kennedy) by The Writer’s Mindset for The Writer’s Mindset
- Webinar: How To Create Books2read Reading Lists by Draft2digital for Draft2Digital
- Looking Closer At Indie Unconference With Shaun Loftus by Draft2digital for Draft2Digital
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.