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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
A Strengths-Based Approach To Writing by Jenny Hansen
Pay attention to the things that are easy for you and try to do them more often. The easiest way to bring your “A” game to your writing life is to play to your strengths. Jenny Hansen is a fiction writer. Check out Hansen’s personal blog, More Cowbell, on follow her on Facebook at @JennyHansenAuthor. 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).
Video: Author Burnout by Kristina Adams and Ellie Betts
This video features an interview with Becca Syme, a strengths coach and host of the Quitcast for Writers and the teacher of the popular Write Better-Faster class. She’s coached more than 5700 authors. She talks about what author burnout looks like, why so many writers go through burnout more than once, how to avoid burning out – even if you’re on the precipice – and how long it takes to recover from burnout. 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 .
Decision Trees, Angry Bees, And Other Writer Brain Hacks by Kelsey Allagood
How to get around writer’s block by making a decision tree. Kelsey Allagood is a fantasy writer and political analyst. For more advice like this, follow Allagood on Twitter at @KelseyAllagood. Her website is KelseyAllagood.com. 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.
Other motivational advice this week:
- 10 Strange Rituals That Famous Writers Use To Fuel The Muse by David Villalva for David Villalva
- 5 Tips For Forming Your Own Distinct Voice (And Why That’s Important) by Ronald Kelly for Writer’s Digest
- Four Seasons Of A Writer by Tim Suddeth for The Write Conversation
- How Self-Integrity Increases Your Chance Of Finishing A Blogged Book by Nina Amir for How to Blog a Book
- How To Set Writing Goals The Smart Way by Patrick Mcnulty for The Write Life
- Read, Write, Suffer by James Scott Bell for Killzoneblog.com
- Seven Reasons To Attend A Writers Conference by Kay Dibianca for Killzoneblog.com
- Writing Doesn’t Have To Be Lonely: 5 Benefits Of Joining A Writing Organization by Jennifer J. Chow for Writer’s Digest
The art and craft of writing
Why Plots Fail by Tiffany Yates Martin
Plots most commonly fail when they’re approached as an isolated element of story, a series of interesting events for authors to plug their characters into, or when interesting characters are randomly loosed into an intriguing situation with no specific destination or purpose. Tiffany Yates Martin has spent nearly thirty years as an editor in the publishing industry, working with major publishers and the 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. For more advice from Jane Friedman writing advice site, subscribe to their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link here).
Want Lifelike Characters? Create A Character Bible by Angela Ackerman
Some characters are so dynamic on the page it’s easy to imagine them as real people. Everything they say, do, and think is consistent with who they are, they have a past and present, and readers never have to guess what they feel, want, or need. This type of authenticity comes about because the writer has invested a good amount of time getting to know the character inside and out, and they kept information about them on hand so they could reference it throughout writing and revising to avoid character-specific mistakes. 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. On her website, ElizabethSpannCraig.com, Craig and her guest authors offer advice on writing and publishing.
How Can I Limit Artificial Intelligence? by Oren Ashkenazi
How to write about AI without making AIs so superpowered that they interfere with your plotting. 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.
Podcast: Tootsie: Finally, Sequences! by Valerie Francis and Melanie Hill
How the first act of a story telegraphs the last, or how to break your manuscript down into easily-manageable sequences. Valerie Francis and Melanie Hill are literary editors and writers. The Story Nerd podcast demystifies story theory so writers spend less time studying and more time writing.
Short Story Tips: 3 Successful Strategies To Write A Short Story by Sarah Gribble
Chances are your favorite author started their writing career by writing short stories. Big names and favorite writers like Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut, Shirley Jackson, Louisa May Alcott, and Sylvia Plath are all short story writers. Sarah Gribble is a horror and fantasy author. Check out her website at Sarah-Gribble.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).
Other writing advice this week:
- 10 Critical Mistakes Writers Make In Writing Contests by Alice Sudlow for The Write Practice
- 10 Signs Your Plot Is Weak (And How To Fix It) by September C. Fawkes for September C. Fawkes
- 4 Questions To Ask When Writing Romantic Scenes by M.M. Crane for Writer’s Digest
- 4 Reasons To Use The ‘Save The Cat’ Story Structure In Your Writing by Rose Atkinson-Carter for A Writer’s Path
- 5 Ways To Introduce Your Character by Dana Isaacson for Career Authors
- 9 Key Elements Of A Short Story: What They Are And How To Apply Them by Sarah Gribble for The Write Practice
- Advice On Writing Characters From A Psychologist by Rebecca Alexander for Writer’s Digest
- An Unpredictable (And Fun) Trick To Keep Your Plots Unpredictable by Janice Hardy for Fiction University
- Best Grammar Checker Tools: These 9 Will Make Your Writing Super Clean by Amanda Shofner for Craft – The Write Life
- Close Off Your Protagonist’s Easy Off-Ramps by Nathan Bransford for Nathan Bransford
- Courageous Discomfort: Thoughts On How To Have Important Conversations About Race And Racism For Writers, Readers, And Other Human Beings by Shanterra Mcbride And Rosalind Wiseman for Writer’s Digest
- Does Your Novelor Movie Have An Understory? by Steven Pressfield for Steven Pressfield
- Five Overshadowed Characters In Popular Stories by Oren Ashkenazi for Mythcreants
- Five Things To Think About When Writing A Coming Of Age Story by Melanie Bell for DIY MFA
- How Do I Know When It’s Time To Let Go Of A Draft? by Lucy V Hay for Bang2write
- How Much Should You Plot Your Stories? by Tiffany Yates Martin for FoxPrint Editorial
- How To Describe: Writing Clear Places And Characters by Jordan Kantey for Now Novel
- Podcast: How To Turn A Podcast Into A Bestselling Novel – With Scott Sigler by Thomas Umstattd Jr. for Author Media
- How To Use An Actor’s Tool To Write More Compelling Characters by Ane Mulligan for The Write Conversation
- How To Use Chapter Cliffhangers In Your Fiction by K. M. Weiland for Helping Writers Become Authors
- How To Write A Great Opening Chapter: A Revised Checklist by Anne R. Allen for Anne R. Allen’s Blog… with Ruth Harris
- How To Write A Short Story: 5 Major Steps From Start To Finish by Sarah Gribble for The Write Practice
- How To Write More Compelling Dialogue In Fiction by Matthew Farrell for Writer’s Digest
- Video: How To Write Two Villains Into One Story? by Abbie Emmons for Abbie Emmons
- How We Write Monsters Matters by Rachel Dempsey for Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers
- Now Where Were We?: Embracing Interruption In A Discontinuous Narrative by Adria Bernardi for Write It Sideways
- One Last Edit: Re-Think Before Submitting by Linda Wilson for Writers On The Move
- Plotting Vs. Pantsing: The Definitive Guide by Jack Smith for The Writer
- Podcast: Questions & Answers About Structure, With Special Guest Peng Shepherd by Mary Robinette Kowal, Dan Wells, Brandon Sanderson, and Howard Tayler for Writing Excuses
- Showing The World Through Your Character’s Senses by C. S. Lakin for Live Write Thrive
- Podcast: Sticking With Your Process With International Bestseller Jeffrey Archer by J.D. Barker, J. Thorne and Zack Bohannon for Writers, Ink.
- Storytellers Must Stop Dehumanizing Prisoners by Chris Winkle for Mythcreants
- Podcast: Stranger Things 4 by Oren Ashkenazi, Chris Winkle, and Wes Matlock for Mythcreants
- Turning Points by Vaughn Roycroft for Writer Unboxed
- Why Rhetorical Questions Help You Go Deeper With Emotions by Lisa Hall-Wilson for Writers In The Storm
- Write A Book In 1 Week by Sarah Rexford for Self Publishing School
- Writing 3D Characters by Linda S. Clare for Linda S. Clare
- Podcast: Writing Bodies And Intimacy, with K.M. Szpara by Mary Robinette Kowal, Dongwon Song, Piper J. Drake, and Howard Tayler for Writing Excuses
- Podcast: Writing Tips: Outlining/Plotting Vs Discovery Writing/Pantsing by Joanna Penn for The Creative Penn
The business side of writing
Podcast: Transmedia And Self-Publishing Comics And Graphic Novels With Barry Nugent by Joanna Penn
How can you adapt your novel into a comic or graphic form? What are the different types? How does a creative career develop over the long term and when do you need to take a step back to consider how to move forward? Barry Nugent talks about all this and more. 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.
Get Connected To Publishing People by Terry Whalin
How to used LinkedIn to connect with people in the publishing industry. W. Terry Whalin, a writer and acquisitions editor lives in Colorado. A former magazine editor and former literary agent, Whalin is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing. He has written more than 60 nonfiction books including Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams, 10 Publishing Myths, and Book Proposals That $ell, 21 Secrets To Speed Your Success. 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: Book Writing Myths And Latest News In The Publishing World by Julie Broad
Many people still believe they need a literary agent to become an author. They also think being an author means they have to be a good writer. These are just two of the myths discussed in this episode. Julie Broad heads up a team of self-publishing experts at Book Launchers. Book Launchers is mostly aimed at non-fiction book authors, but with useful advice for fiction authors as well. You can also follow them on Facebook at @booklaunchers and on Twitter at @booklaunchers. And, of course, subscribe to their YouTube channel.
Video: Live From The Ninc Conference 2022 (The Self Publishing Show, Episode 350) by Mark Dawson and James Blatch
A discussion with Dave Chesson about his passion for creating tools to help authors, and with Edgar nominated author Julia Spencer-Fleming about writing craft, including creating suspense no matter the kind of books you write. 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.
Video: We’re, So We Try Harder by Morgan Hazelwood
Why writers like sidekicks. They might not be the focus of the narrative, but necessary to give the hero a reality check—and sometimes have their own heroic moments. 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.
Other business advice this week:
- Video: How Agents Really Read Queries by Jessica Faust and James McGowan for BookEnds Literary Agency
- When Is It Smart To Submit Your Work To A University Press? (You’d Be Surprised!) by Joni B. Cole for Jane Friedman
- 5 Ways To Use Community Marketing For Your Book by Amanda Miller for Jane Friedman
- 3 Tips To Boost Your Book Sales This Fall by Jim Foley for BookBaby Blog
- Paths To Publishing by Susan Koehler for Florida Writers Association Blog
- Other Valuable Reasons For Following Writing And Publishing Rules by Edie Melson for The Write Conversation
- How Libraries Help Authors Reach Readers by DiAnn Mills for The Write Conversation
- How To Sell Your Self-Published Books To Bookstores by Penny Sansevieri for Author Marketing Experts, Inc.
- Good News! Amazon Changes Ebook Return Policy by Debbie Burke for Killzoneblog.com
- 10 Common Mistakes People Make Marketing Their Book You Should Avoid by Lucy V Hay for Bang2write
- Podcast: Great Marketing Is Giving People Something They Want To Share by Dan Blank for WeGrowMedia
- Video: Are You Breaking This Unclear KDP Rule? by Dale L. Roberts for Self-Publishing with Dale
- Ripples And Results: The Value In Updating Your Online Presence by Yvonne Ortega for The Write Conversation
- How To Get Your Audiobook Customers To Buy Your Other Books by Neil Plakcy for WritersWeekly.com
- How To Publish An Audiobook: Your Guide To Audiobook Production And Distribution by Ricci Wolman for Written Word Media
- Amazon To Tighten E-Book Returns by Nathan Bransford for Nathan Bransford
- What Does ‘Just Be Authentic’ On Social Media Mean? by Dan Blank for WeGrowMedia
- Video: 5 Things To Sell More Books On Amazon by Julie Broad for Book Launchers
- Video: Self Publishing Industry Insights With Mark Lefebvre by Mark Leslie Lefebvre for Draft2Digital
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.