This week’s top writing advice from around the web for May. 8

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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

Top 5 Causes Of Procrastination In Writers by Lauren Sapala

Are you a writer who struggles with procrastination? Well, you’re not alone. Procrastination is one of the most commonly reported problems and sources of dissatisfaction among writers. 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.

Finding That Magical Flow State As A Writer by Natasha Ruhwald

How can you attain flow when most days it’s a struggle just to find the motivation to even sit down and write for a few minutes? Natasha Ruhwald is a writer, library technician, and author of the dark fantasy novel, Black Dog of the Sea. You can visit her online at NatashaRuhwald.ca . A Writer’s Path is an advice site for writers. If you want more advice like this, subscribe to their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link), on Twitter at @TheRyanLanz and on Facebook at @AWritersPath.

Other motivational advice this week:

The art and craft of writing

How Do Characters Who Don’t Know How To Fight, Fight? by Carla Hoch

Trained fighter and author Carla Hoch discusses how to write scene with characters who are untrained for more realistic fighting sequences. Carla Hoch is the author of the Writer’s Digest book Fight Write: How to Write Believable Fight Scenes. Her blog, FightWrite.net, was in Writer’s Digest Top Websites for Writers 2019 & 2020. She has training in almost a dozen martial arts and competes in Brazilian jiujitsu. She regularly teaches about the craft of writing fight scenes, as well as the mechanics of fighting for writers. 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.

No, SJWs Are Not Reducing Diversity In Fiction  by Oren Ashkenazi

The so-called Galbrush Paradox is just an excuse to exclude marginalized characters. 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.

Macro-Level Jump Cut Scene by Sue Coletta

The jump cut is a technique where the writer drops the reader into a harrowing situation—in media res—conflict builds, tensions rise, all without the reader knowing what proceeded this scene. Sue Coletta is an award-winning crime writer. Sue also appeared on the Emmy award-winning true crime series, Storm of Suspicion and will be teaching an advanced education course on serial killers for Foothills Regional. For more about her, check out her website at SueColetta.com and follow her on Facebook at @SueColetta1 and on Twitter at @SueColetta1. The Kill Zone is the home of eleven top suspense writers and publishing professionals. They cover the publishing business, marketing how-tos, and the craft of writing. Follow them on RSS here (direct Feedly signup link). Follow them on Twitter @killzoneauthors.

Other writing advice this week:

The business side of writing

The Top 5 Strategies For Promoting A Book On Social Media by Penny Sansevieri

People typically don’t use social media for the sole purpose of spending money. But that doesn’t mean promoting a book on social media won’t serve your bigger picture of building readership and selling more books. You just need to have the right mindset. 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).

30 Book Publishing Companies For Authors Without Agents by Dave Chesson

The top 30 book publishing companies in the world that accept author submissions without an agent and provide the best benefit for new authors. 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.

Love Storytelling? You, Too, Can Be An Audiobook Narrator! by Christy Lindsay

What do you need in order to channel your creative talents into narration? And, how can you get work as an audiobook narrator? Christy Lindsay is a professional audiobook narrator and author of “Freeing Colt,” published by BookLocker.com. Her narration credits include Elk Lake authors’ Wonders of the Galaxy: A Collection of Cosmic Tales and Debra Coleman’s Sugar Sands Series books, Joy After Noon and Song of Sugar Sands. 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

Using The Loop Method To Co-Write Your Novel by Gabriela Pereira

Gabriela Pereira interviews Jessi Honard and Marie Parks about their contemporary fantasy debut. Gabriela Pereira is a writer, teacher, and self-proclaimed word nerd and the founder and instigator of DIYMFA.com, with a mission is to empower writers to take an entrepreneurial approach to their education and professional growth. 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).

Sell More Books, Working Your Backlist, And Changing Bonuses by Bryan Cohen and H. Claire Taylor

Do you think traditional publishing is going to change its mindset about backlist vs. new release? And how are you leveraging your backlist at the moment? 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.

Epistolary Stories by Oren Ashkenazi, Chris Winkle, and Wes Matlock

Epistolary stories have a number of advantages, but they also come with serious challenges. What epistolary does well, what it does poorly, and why you can’t just add a translator’s note at the beginning. Oren Ashkenazi is the 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:

Videos

How To Write Superbad Villains (With Sacha Black) by Kristina Adams and Ellie Betts

In this episode, the hosts talk with Sacha Black, a bestselling author, rebel podcaster, speaker and casual rule breaker. They discuss why we love good villains, and how to give villains more depth. Kristina Adams is a bestselling author and writing instructor. Find out more at her website, KristinaAdamsAuthor.com. The Writer’s Mindset is a YouTube channel from the team behind The Writer’s Cookbook, a site that offers writing workshops and courses as well as writing and marketing services. For more advice like this, follow them on Twitter at @writingcookbook and on Facebook at @writingcookbook .

Brainstorm With Me! How To Outline A Book Using A Plot Grid by Claire Fraise

What a plot grid is, how to outline a book using one, and the secret to pacing. Claire Fraise wrote her first novel when she was 16, and has since published two other supernatural thrillers. Connect with her on Instagram at @clairefraiseauthor, on Facebook at @clairefraiseauthor, or visit her website at ClaireFraise.com. Write with Claire Fraise is her YouTube channel.

Self-Publishing Fundamentals by Mark Dawson and James Blatch

In this episode, the hosts get back to basics, discussing the fundamentals every new author needs to focus on at the beginning of a writing career. They talk about most common mistakes new writers make, what a book package is, the importance of book covers, blurbs, taglines, newsletters and lead magnets. Mark Dawson is a USA Today bestselling author who teaches courses about book production and marketing. Check out his website at MarkJDawson.com. James Blatch writes military thrillers. For more, check out his website, JamesBlatch.com. On the Self Publishing Formula show, Mark Dawson and James Blatch talk about building a career as a self-published author.

Other videos from this past week:


Am I missing any writing advice sites? Email me at [email protected].

 

Edited by Melody Friedenthal

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.