This week’s top writing advice from around the web for Nov. 6, 2022

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(Image by Maria Korolov created with Midjourney.)

I subscribe to more than 150 writing advice sites and gather the best posts for you every single Sunday. 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).

Productivity, mood management, and battling the demons inside

13 Author Quotes To Power You Through NaNoWriMo by Writer’s Relief Staff

More than a dozen inspirational posters with quotes about writing from famous authors. Add them to your desktop background or mood board. Writer’s Relief helps writers submit their stories to magazines. They also offer writing advice and resources.

Video: So My Book Is Kind Of Bad… by Shaelin Bishop

In this video, Bishop talks about her personal insecurities about writing her latest book. This is a great window into a writer’s process. Shaelin Bishop has been writing for 14 years. Follow her on Twitter at @shaelinbishop. ShaelinWrites is a YouTube writing advice channel with more than 3 million views.

‘Tis The Season Of Thankfulness by Carlton Hughes

A list of some things that authors can be thankful for. Carlton Hughes is a professor of communication, a children’s pastor, and an author. Follow him on Twitter at @carltonwhughes. Almost an Author offers writing and publishing advice. For more like this, follow them on Twitter at @A3writers, on Facebook at @A3writers and subscribe to their RSS feed here (direct Feedly signup link).

Vanquishing Energy Vampires by Ambre Leffler

Energy vampires are all around us. Whether we are writing at home or mingling in the outside world, certain people, settings, or practices can zap our mojo. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are three common vampires and ways to vanquish them. Ambre Dawn Leffler writes about communing with nature and the interconnections of mind and body. Learn more about her tree time, garden residents, and wellness practices at her website AmbreDawnLeffler.com and seasonal inspiration from her newsletter Sky Earth Water. You can also follow her on Twitter at @AmbreDLeffler and Instagram at @ambredawnleffler. 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).

Why Haven’t You Written Your Novel Yet? by Joanna Penn

This article is an excerpt from Penn’s book, How to Write a Novel. In it, she goes through the top reasons why writers can’t start — or finish — their novel. 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.

Podcast: Writing As A Parent Or Carer With Megan Clancy by Sacha Black

In this episode, Sacha Black talks to Megan Clancy, a romance author and a book coach for moms, about balancing work, caring duties, and writing. Sacha Black is a fantasy author and writing coach, with several writing advice books including 13 Steps to Evil: How to Craft Superbad Villains (Better Writers Series) May 9, 2017. Follow her on her website, Sacha Black, on Facebook at @Sacha Black or on Twitter at @sacha_black. Sacha Black is a site that offers writing advice, courses, and podcasts. Follow the site via their RSS feed (direct Feedly link here).

Other motivational advice this week:

The art and craft of writing

Podcast: Using Tropes To Strengthen Your Fiction With Jennifer Hilt by Joanna Penn

In this episode, Joanne Penn interviews urban fantasy author Jennifer Hilt about tropes and how can you use them to strengthen your fiction. 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.

Sweet, Scary, Or Some Of Each by Laurie Schnebly Campbell

A few tips on writing an opening that will pique a reader’s interest and then keep them engaged long enough to draw them into the story. Romance writer Laurie Schnebly Campbell is a former counseling therapist and runs writing workshops and, during the day, writes and produces videos for an advertising agency. Check out her website, BookLaurie.com, or follow her on Facebook at @laurieschneblycampbell or Twitter at @booklaurie. Writers in the Storm is another great site for writing advice, with a group of regular contributors and guest writers who post frequently. It is very well worth following on RSS (direct Feedly signup link here).

Is A Historical Masquerade More Believable? by Oren Ashkenazi

A masquerade, according to Mythcreants, is a setting where magic is real but most people don’t realize it because, for some reason, all the magical people are keeping it secret. With everyone owning a phone, it’s getting harder and harder to justify a masquerade in modern-day urban fantasy. So what if you go back in time, to before people had smartphones everywhere? If you go back too far, it doesn’t get you anything because in the old days, everyone believed in magic. Oren suggests that the 1920s to the 1980s are the sweet spot for a masquerade plot. 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.

Pumpkin Spice And Writing by Sue Coletta

Ever wonder why pumpkin spice is so popular? The fascinating part is not only does it taste amazing, but many are obsessed with how it makes them feel on an emotional level. The lesson here is that a scene becomes more impactful and memorable when we include smell. 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.

Status Genre Conventions by Savannah Gilbo

Status stories center around the protagonist’s inner need for respect that manifests as a specific desire to achieve or accomplish something in the external world. This article covers the ten genre conventions that must be present in a status story to satisfy readers and to write a story that works. Savannah Gilbo is a developmental editor and book coach. At Savanna Gilbo, she offers writing and pubishing advice.

The Unfunny Person’s Guide To Writing Humor by Sam Beckbessinger

This is a short overview of writing funny, based on a long, nine-tip article that ran on the First Draft Pro blog last month. Lots of great advice here — well worth bookmarking. Sam Beckbessinger writes weird horror stories and kids’ TV shows, and helps people learn to adult better. NaNoWriMo is the official website of the National Novel Writing Month, which happens every November.

Podcast: How To Let Your Characters And World Building Flow In Ya Fantasy by Lori Walker

In this episode, Lori talks with fantasy author Lenore Borja about how to create a natural flow for characters. Lori Walker is the operations maven at DIY MFA, as well as a launch manager, Web editor, and podcast producer for DIY MFA and a book coach. You can follow her on Instagram at @LoriTheWriter. 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).

The Dilemma Of Narrative Distance by Donald Maass

The most difficult aspect of craft for writing workshop participants to master is immersive POV, also known as deep POV. The advantage of immersive POV is that it can capture in words non-material things, such as the mood of a crowd or the effect of a painting on a viewer. Book agent Donald Maass is the author of one of my favorite writing advice books, Writing the Breakout Novel. The guy speaks from experience — a lot of experience — about what makes books sell. 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.

Pumping The Brakes by Martin Johnson

Adding pauses or quiet moments to your text, even in a fast-paced action story, can help readers catch their breath. This article offers a few ways to do that. Martin Johnson is an award-winning Christian screenwriter. For more, visit MartinThomasJonhson.com and follow him on Twitter at @mtjohnson51. Almost an Author offers writing and publishing advice. For more like this, follow them on Twitter at @A3writers, on Facebook at @A3writers and subscribe to their RSS feed here (direct Feedly signup link).

Video: How You Can Spend Less Time Rewriting by Daphne Gray-Grant

If you’re planning on substantial rewriting — so substantial that no words will remain unchanged — that suggests that you’re not allowing enough time for thinking before you start writing the first draft. Daphne Gray-Grant is a writing coach, author of Your Happy First Draft, and host of The Write Question show on YouTube. Publication Coach offers books, courses, videos, and one-on-one coaching for authors. If you want more advice like this, subscribe to their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link) or follow them on Twitter at @pubcoach or subscribe to their YouTube channel.

The Expanded Ultimate Story Checklist by Matt Bird

This article talks about the idea of the imposed deadline. Instead of having the protagonist deal with the big bad on their own schedule, something happens that forces them to act before they were ready. It lists the pros and cons of doing this and gives some examples of movies that show it in action. Matt Bird is the author of The Secrets of Story: Innovative Tools for Perfecting Your Fiction and Captivating Readers. The Secrets of Story blog offers in-depth, detailed advice about writing and structuring novels and screenplays.

Podcast: Craft In The Real World by Matt Bird And James Kennedy

In this episode, the hosts discuss Matthew Salesses’ book Craft in the Real World, which upends the traditional, European-white-guy notions of how a story must progress. Matt Bird is the author of The Secrets of Story: Innovative Tools for Perfecting Your Fiction and Captivating Readers. Sci-fi author James Kennedy teaches writing and filmmaking and you can follow him on Twitter at @iamjameskennedy. The Secrets of Story blog offers in-depth, detailed advice about writing and structuring novels and screenplays.

Video: Midpoint Magic by Stavros Halvatzis

This video explores the importance of the midpoint to Act II and to the story as a whole. Stavros Halvatzis is a writer and writing teacher. Get Writing is Stavros Halvatzis’s YouTube channel. For more advice like this, check out StavrosHalvatzis.com or follow him via his RSS feed (direct Feedly link here).

Video: Trope Talk: Doomed Heroes by Overly Sarcastic Productions

In this video, Red discusses the trope of the doomed hero and the different ways it typically shows up in books and movies. Red is the writer and illustrator of a fantasy webcomic, Aurora, and the cost and co-founder of Overly Sarcastic Productions. Overly Sarcastic Productions is a YouTube channel about myths, literature, and history with over 2 million subscribers.

Your Story In A Single Sentence by Stavros Halvatzis

As a first step to writing a new story, try to conceive of the tale as a single sentence that states the goal and obstacles facing your protagonist. This will give you the spine of your tale. Stavros Halvatzis is a writer and writing teacher. For more advice like this, check out StavrosHalvatzis.com or follow him via his RSS feed (direct Feedly link here).

Podcast: Disease In Spec Fic by Oren Ashkenazi, Chris Winkle, And Wes Matlock

In this episode, the Mythcreams team discusses apocalyptic plagues, quests for a cure, and other disease-related topics that pop up in stories. 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.

Adding To Your Knowledge Base by James Scott Bell

This is a short essay about how one writer increases his general knowledge, and how it helps his writing. 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. 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

Video: Typewriters And Social Media by Dan Blank

In this video, Blank talks about social media as a tool, and how you might use it. Dan Blank is a marketing expert who’s worked with thousands of writers and creators over the past ten years. At We Grow Media, Blank offers one-on-one marketing consulting to help authors grow their platforms, create meaningful connections with readers, and prepare for big book launches.

Podcast: Shoptok, Recession Planning, And Collaborators With Benefits by Bryan Cohen And H. Claire Taylor

How the type of author you are can determine the success of your career, the benefits of author collaborations, why more book sales data isn’t always better for authors, how Audible has changed their return policy and why neither authors or readers like it, that TikTok wants to challenge Amazon and sell physical products, and what Goodreads is doing to your Amazon books. 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.

Video: Victory With Kindle Vella by Mark Dawson And James Blatch

Krissi Dallas explains how she went full-time publishing episodic YA Kindle Vella chapters. 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.

How Writers Revise: Allison Winn Scotch And Creating A Career On Your Own Terms by Tiffany Yates Martin

New York Times bestselling author Allison Winn Scotch talks about how her traditionally-published career hit a dead end through a combination of circumstances beyond her control — and a detour to self-publishing brought it back on track. There’s also a video that goes with this article. Tiffany Yates Martin has spent nearly thirty years as an editor in the publishing industry, working with major publishers and New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling and award-winning authors as well as indie and newer writers, and is the founder of FoxPrint Editorial and author of the bestseller Intuitive Editing: A Creative and Practical Guide to Revising Your Writing. FoxPrint Editorial offers online courses, workshops and presentations, and advice to authors.

Video: Self-Publishing Best Practices With William Bernhardt by Kevin Tumlinson

William Bernhardt is an award-winning, bestselling author, founder of the Red Sneaker Writers Center and host of the annual WritersCon writers conference. Novelist Kevin Tumlinson is also the director of marketing at Draft2Digital. Draft2Digital is one of the leading publishing platforms that helps authors publish their books to multiple platforms. It also has a very nice and easy ebook creation and formatting tool.

Other business advice this week:


Am I missing any writing advice sites? Email me at [email protected] or leave a note in the comments below.

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.

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