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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
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:
- How To Overcome Self Doubt And Build Self-Efficacy In Your Writing by Patricia Allen for Craft Your Content
- When You Feel Like A Hack by Christina Delay for Writers Helping Writers
- Guess Who’s In The Driver’s Seat Of Your Creativity? by Holly Lasky for Writers In The Storm
- Burnt Out On Writing? 5 Tips For A Productive Break by Erin Flanagan for Career Authors
- What To Do About Author Platforming When You’re Burned Out by E.J. Wenstrom for DIY MFA
- Business Musings: How Writers Fail (Part 2): Fear by Kristine Kathryn Rusch for Kristine Kathryn Rusch
- High Praise, Big Promises…And Crickets by Tiffany Yates Martin for FoxPrint Editorial
- Breaks, Permission, And Writing by Nathan Bransford for Nathan Bransford
- Creativity Is Work by Dan Blank for WeGrowMedia
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:
- 6 Ways To Find Your Best Ideas Before You Start Writing by K. M. Weiland for Helping Writers Become Authors
- 4 Ways Your Protagonist Is Sabotaging You (And How To Fight Back) by Marissa Graff for Writers Helping Writers
- The Frame Of A Story: The Forces Of Antagonism by Lynette Burrows for Writers In The Storm
- 4 Essential Elements You Need To Create A Workable Novel by Sandy Vaile for Writers In The Storm
- Strengthening Story With Symbolism, Motifs, And Image Systems by September C. Fawkes for September C. Fawkes
- 5 Favorite Writing Tips by Marcia Peterson for WOW! Women On Writing Blog
- Sequence Of Events In A Story: How To Order Scenes That Build Suspense by Joslyn Chase for The Write Practice
- Writing Tension In Every Line by Linda S. Clare for Linda S. Clare
- Getting To Know Evil by Dave King for Writer Unboxed
- Best Writing Software: Seven Writing Tools For Authors by Kelsey Worsham for Written Word Media
- Managing Point Of View: Mythbusting by Sharon Short for Writer’s Digest
- Things To Consider When Writing About Ghosts And The Supernatural In Fiction by J. Fremont for Writer’s Digest
- Outlining Your Novel For Success by C. S. Lakin for Live Write Thrive
- How To Write An Epilogue: 4 Easy Steps by Hannah Lee Kidder for Self Publishing School
- Should I Explain My Magic? by Oren Ashkenazi for Mythcreants
- Best Udemy Courses For Self Publishing Authors by Dave Chesson for Kindlepreneur
- Fear Thesaurus Entry: A Secret Being Revealed by Becca Puglisi for Writers Helping Writers
- True Character In The Characters You Write by Craig von Buseck for The Write Conversation
- How Useful Are Pixar’s Rules Of Storytelling? Part 2 by Oren Ashkenazi for Mythcreants
- Top 5 Solutions When You’re Stuck On Your Novel by Lucy V Hay for Bang2write
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:
- What Sells Books In 2022: How To Make A Great Author Website by Askalli Team for Self Publishing Advice
- 18 Book Marketing Tips From The Trenches by Sandra Beckwith for Build Book Buzz
- Marketing Funnel Part 3: Driving Traffic To Your Content With Seo by Sabrina Ricci for Digital Pubbing
- 11 Things You Can Put In The Front Matter In A Book by Bryn Donovan for Bryn Donovan
- Fiction Writing Contests Worth Your Time In Summer 2022 by Arthur Klepchukov for Writer Unboxed
- How To Format Your Ebook For Easier Distribution by Kelsey Worsham for Written Word Media
- 5 Tips For Successfully Pitching Literary Agents In Person (That Worked For Me At The Writer’s Digest Annual Conference) by Anat Deracine for Writer’s Digest
- Channel Your Inner Authorpreneur For Your Writing Labor Of Love by Tom Vaughan for Writer’s Digest
- 6 Effective Steps To Promote Your Forthcoming Book On Social Media And Feel Good About It by Aileen Weintraub for Writer’s Digest
- The Benefits Of Guest Posting by Daphne Gray-Grant for Publication Coach
- 6 Vellum Alternatives: Other Formatting Software [+1 That Is Better] by Jason Hamilton for Kindlepreneur
- The Best Manuscript Format: 13 Steps To Impress Agents & Editors by Dave Chesson for Kindlepreneur
- Tiktok For Authors: The Ultimate Guide by Jason Hamilton for Kindlepreneur
- Self-Publishing On Amazon: 20 Pros And Cons For Authors by Jordan Kantey for Now Novel
- How Bad Marketing Can Destroy Your Author Brand, Lose Friends, And Influence Nobody by Anne R. Allen for Anne R. Allen’s Blog… with Ruth Harris
- Book Cover Design Ideas From Bestselling Books Of 2022 by Patrick Mcnulty for The Book Designer
- 10 Querying Mistakes & How To Avoid Them by Savanna Gilbo for Fiction Writing Tips
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 Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or Stitcher. The Creative Penn offers articles, videos, books, tools, 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:
- Writing a YA Series Inspired By Superhero Stories—Interview With Brett Riley by Gabriela Pereira for DIY MFA
- Ads Help, Tik Talk, And Ditching The Day Job by H. Claire Taylor for Sell More Books Show
- The Expanded Ultimate Story Checklist: Does The Hero Have Some Fun And Get Excited About The Possibility Of Success? by Matt Bird for The Secrets of Story
- The Expanded Ultimate Story Checklist: Does The Hero Try The Easy Way Throughout The Second Quarter? by Matt Bird for The Secrets of Story
- The Expanded Ultimate Story Checklist: Does The Hero’s Pursuit Of The Opportunity Quickly Lead To An Unforeseen Conflict With Another Person? by Matt Bird for The Secrets of Story
- The Expanded Ultimate Story Checklist: Does The Hero Commit To Pursuing The Opportunity By The End Of The First Quarter? by Matt Bird for The Secrets of Story
- An Update On AI-Narrated Audiobooks by Joanna Penn for The Creative Penn
- 17.21: Casting Your Story With Character Voice by Howard Tayler for Writing Excuses
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 Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, 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:
- How To Handle Book Writing Fears by Book Launchers for Book Launchers
- 7 Author Mistakes To Avoid When Publishing A Book | Livestream Replay by Book Launchers for Book Launchers
- Website Features You Don’t Need (With Kenny Mckay) by The Writer’s Mindset for The Writer’s Mindset
- Publishing Fiction Via An App (With C.l. Peache) by The Writer’s Mindset for The Writer’s Mindset
- Free Vs Paid Website Hosts (With Kenny Mckay) by The Writer’s Mindset for The Writer’s Mindset
- The Psychology Of Email Marketing (With Email Marketing Heroes Rob And Kennedy) by The Writer’s Mindset for The Writer’s Mindset
- 5 Things I Learned About Writing From Six Of Crows By Leigh Bardugo | No Spoilers! by Write With Claire Fraise for Write with Claire Fraise
- &Quot;Can I Give My Villain A Redemption Arc?&Quot; | #Askabbie by Abbie Emmons for Abbie Emmons
- Websites For Writers With Stuart Grant (The Self Publishing Show, Episode 331) by Self Publishing Formula for Self Publishing Formula
- Create Multi-Dimensional Characters Instantly With These Three Tips! by Get Writing! for Get Writing
- Email Marketing Technique: Should You Change It Based On What You’re Selling? (With Rob And Kennedy) 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.