This week’s top writing advice from around the web for May. 22

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(Illustration by Maria Korolov based on image via Pixabay.)

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.

You can see all the previous writing advice of the week posts here and subscribe to the RSS feed for this writing advice series here (direct Feedly signup link).

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

The Joys And Challenges Of Accountability–Figuring Out What Keeps You Writing by Mary Carroll Moore

Books are indeed long commitments, and they require creative stamina, but they also demand a system of accountability to self, to project, to whatever keeps you writing. They take an emotional and psychological toll which can wear away at any stamina you have, unless the accountability is in place. 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.

How Nature Makes You A Better Writer by Anne Janzer

If you want to rejuvenate your writing processes, go outside. Get out in nature. Research shows that nature boosts our focus and creativity. 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:

The art and craft of writing

Story Development And Execution Part 6: Constructing Chapters by Staci Troilo

All chapters need to start with a compelling sentence and get quickly to a hook that will keep readers interested. To keep readers invested, each scene needs to build from the last. If you read a scene that doesn’t advance the plot or reveal character traits, it’s dead weight. Cut it. 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).

Writing Great Action Scenes by James Scott Bell

To write good action scenes, happens inside the character is the key, and you can make that implicit or explicit by using all the elements of fiction writing–-dialogue, internal thoughts, description, and action. Thriller writer James Scott Bell is the author of more than twenty books about writing, and you can follow him on Twitter at @jamesscottbell. His website is JamesScottBell.com. MyStoryDoctor offers writing advice, editing, coaching, online courses, and live workshops. Subscribe to them via their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link here).

How Lovable Do Characters Have To Be? by Niki Kantzios

Characters should be relatable, we all know that. But do they have to be likeable? Archeologist Niki Kantzios writes a series of novels set in the Late Bronze Age Mediterranean. Check out her website, NLHolmes.com, or follow her on Facebook at @nlholmesbooks and on Twitter at @nlholmesbooks. The Florida Writers Association is a great resource for writers, with a very active advice blog. Follow the Florida Writers Association via their RSS feed (direct Feedly link here), on Facebook at Florida Writers Association and on Twitter at @FloridaWriters1.

Other writing advice this week:

The business side of writing

Why Self-Publishing Your Book Is Lucrative If You’re Planning A Series by Penny Sansevieri

Why self-publishing your book series from the get-go might be an option you want to consider, including ebook bundles, pricing control, retail page updates, categories and keywords, and cover redesigns. 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).

Ebook Cover Design: How-Tos, Costs, And More by Hannah Lee Kidder

It doesn’t matter how fabulous your book is if no one ever picks it up to read it, and readers absolutely will judge a book by its cover. Hannah Lee Kidder is a contemporary and fantasy author, writing coach, and YouTuber. She has published two bestselling short story collections, Little Birds and Starlight. Self Publishing School offers online courses about self publishing, as well as a podcast, blog, and other resources. For more advice like this subscribe to their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link), on Twitter at @Self_Pub_School and on Facebook at @Self Publishing School.

10 Secret Reasons Why That Publisher Rejected Your Book by Angela Hoy

The publisher would probably LOVE to share the truth with the author, but he/she will not for very valid reasons… Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, the author of 19 books, and the co-owner of BookLocker.com. WritersWeekly is one of the oldest and most respected sites on freelance writing. It has been published continuously since 1997.

Other business advice this week:

Podcasts

Writing, Independence, And Selling Books Direct With Derek Sivers by Joanna Penn

Why is writing so important? How can we pursue true independence as authors? How can we stay open to technological change while still focusing on the fundamentals of craft? Joanna Penn talks to Derek Silvers about all this. Silvers is the author of four non-fiction books, as well as a musician, entrepreneur, and book publisher. 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 PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify, or Stitcher. The Creative Penn offers articlesvideosbookstools, and courses for independent authors.

The Real Pros And Cons Of Self-Publishing A Book by Penny Sansevieri and Amy Cornell

Having a publisher is not the secret to success! No more than self-publishing guarantees success. It will not guarantee you sales, reviews, or even media coverage. 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).

Factions In Fiction by Oren Ashkenazi, Chris Winkle, Wes Matlock And R. Christian Haining

Sometimes a single character just won’t get the job done, and even an adventuring party isn’t enough. That’s when you need a faction. 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:

Videos

What Are Exclusive And Simultaneous Submissions? by Jessica Faust and James McGowan

The difference between exclusive and simultaneous submissions and the power balances that exclusive submissions can create. 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.

Developing Your Personal Brand As An Author by Joanna Penn and Orna Ross

In this video, Orna Ross and Joanna Penn talk about pivots they needed to make to their author branding to make it more relevant and personal—and the lessons learned along the way. 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 PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify, or Stitcher. 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).

Publishing Via An App (With C.l. Peache) by Kristina Adams

Guest C.L. Peache, who writes chick-lit, fantasy, and horror, talks about how publishing through an app differs to other publishing methods. 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:


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.

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