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National Novel Writing Month is just around the corner and many of us are ideating or planning for the big 50K. But if you find yourself doing anything at all except what you want to get done within the next week and a half before November 1, check out these articles about balancing priorities and meeting goals and pick up a few tips to get through writer’s block, too. And if you’re using November to edit a draft rather than write a new story, be sure to find something that fits your niche in the art and craft section. Happy writing and editing, y’all!
We subscribe to more than 180 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
The Writer’s Kitchen: Mastering The Art Of Juggling Projects by Anne Janzer for Anne Janzer
In this post from The Writer’s Kitchen, Anne Janzer offers relatable and practical advice for juggling multiple writing projects and shares some wisdom about taking on multiple projects at once. If you’re a writer who needs to bounce around among ideas, allowing each to marinate between work, it’s easy to fall into the trappings of procrastination. Anne calls out the behaviors that stall the process, rather than enhancing it. 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.
How To Stop Your Mind From Wandering by Daphne Gray-Grant for Publication Coach
Do you find your mind wandering when you sit down to write? How about distractions? Do you take time to relax? Daphne Gray-Grant offers insight into the origin of a wandering mind and how to keep that gray-matter wanderer on the right path instead. Tips range from doodling, exercise, scheduling a daydream sesh, and more. 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.
Video: Writing Quest Offers Writers Block Solutions With Ayden Pugh by Brenden Pugh for Author Quest
If you’ve ever dealt with a case of writer’s block—or scrapped a story because of it—you know how challenging it can be to get beyond the hump. In this video, Brenden and Ayden Pugh share their perspectives on the sources of writer’s block and how to find answers and creative solutions to overcome it. Save a few tips for yourself to pull out when you need them. Brenden Pugh is a fantasy novelist who is working on the first novel of a series. Author Quest is a YouTube channel about how to write a book, write a good story that people actually want to read, and maybe make a living off of it. Also — check out their follow-up video, 5 Unusual Tips for Overcoming Writer’s Block.
Need more? Grab some extra motivation and and good vibes here:
- Can Using A Timer Help You Boost Your Productivity? by Daphne Gray-Grant for Publication Coach
- Five Writing Tips For Moms Of Young Kids by Christine Boatwright for The Write Conversation
- Have Fun: Inspiration, Process, And Approach by Rain Dodging for Women Writers, Women’s Books
- How Finding The Right Writing Community Can Support You As A Writer by Pamela Koehne-Drube for National Novel Writing Month
- What’s Your Why? by Sabrina Ricci for Digital Pubbing
- Why We Write: Artistry, Identity, And Legacy by Barbara Linn Probst for Writer Unboxed
- Video: 6.5 Tips To Writing Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible by S.D. Huston for S.D. Huston
- Can NaNoWriMo Cure Your Creativity Wound? by Anne R. Allen for Anne R. Allen’s Blog… with Ruth Harris
- Getting Past Rejection by Diana Giovinazzo for Writer Unboxed
- Video: Writer’s Block: This Indie Author Has Your Cure by Dale L. Roberts for Self-Publishing with Dale
The art and craft of writing
The key to crushing NaNoWriMo and getting your 50k? Planning. So simple, but it’s not easy for every writer. I loved this quick and detailed article from Roz Morris about how to ask yourself the right questions and get set up to meet your writing goals before you go on a “quick” Google search and wind up down a rabbit hole. Roz Morris is an author, book doctor, and a bestselling ghostwriter. At Nail Your Novel, Roz Morris offers advice about writing, publishing and self-publishing.
Figure Out Your Story’s Magic System Using Story Structure by C.R. Rowenson for Helping Writers Become Authors
Readers—and writers—love a good magic system, and why not? The excitement of something new, the added danger, the intrigue. Building a cohesive and practical magic system that invites readers to suspend their disbelief doesn’t have to be complicated, and the answer may be in story structure. C.R. Rowenson offers a practical way to incorporate magic systems into the world of your fantasy story and the two items you need to start. C.R. Rowenson is an award-winning author, blogger, and writing coach, who studies magic-building like others study oil-painting. You can visit him on Youtube at The Magic Engineer channel or his website to witness, fuel, or join his obsession. Helping Writers Become Authors is one of our favorite writing advice sites. Follow it via its RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link), on Twitter, and on Facebook.
5 Questions Your Readers Shouldn’t Have To Ask by Savannah Gilbo for Fiction Writing Tips
Many writing advice articles tell you to “leave readers guessing,” but not all tell when the guessing is too much for even the most invested readers. After all that effort spent developing your story, make sure your readers are asking the kinds of questions that keep them turning pages, not the kind that could result in a DNF. Savannah Gilbo shares questions your readers should never have to ask in this audio blog. Savannah Gilbo is a developmental editor and book coach.
Need more? There were loads of great craft articles and other media this week from the high-level to the super niche. Peruse them here:
- Video: Dall-E 3 + ChatGPT = God Mode (Author Guide) by Jason Hamilton for The Nerdy Novelist
- Video: Premise Vs. Plot With Sarah Adler by Rachael Herron for Rachael Herron YouTube channel
- Podcast: How To Write About Violence With Fonda Lee And Lauren Beukes by Annalee Newitz and Charlie Jane Anders for Our Opinions Are Correct
- How Should I Portray A Character’s Memory Loss? by Fay Onyx for Mythcreants
- How To Bridge Characters’ Thoughts In An Omniscient POV by Nathan Bransford for Nathan Bransford
- Video: How To Write Cosmic Horror by Brandon McNulty for Writer Brandon McNulty
- Podcast: The One Where Richard Chizmar Explains The Art Of Telling A Fiction Tale As ‘True Crime’ by J.D. Barker, Christine Daigle, Patrick O’Donnell, JP Rindfleisch, Kevin Tumlinson, J. Thorn, and Zach Bohannon for Writers, Ink.
- 10 Key Takeaways From Bird By Bird by Arja Salafranca for Now Novel
- 5 Steps To Writing Like Stephen King by EYE Tyler for The Write Life
- A Crash Checklist For Nanowrimo—Or Any First Draft by Tiffany Yates Martin for FoxPrint Editorial
- A Few Common Mistakes Writers Make by Crystal Bowman for The Write Conversation
- Podcast: Big: Writing Comedic Characters by Valerie Francis and Melanie Hill for Story Nerd
- Video: Can I Write A Book On My Phone In 7 Days? by Dale L. Roberts for Self-Publishing with Dale
- Character Type & Trope Thesaurus: Bossy Britches by Becca Puglisi for Writers Helping Writers
- Characterize With Clothing Choices by Becca Puglisi for Writers In The Storm
- Video: Clarity: How To Find, Fix, And Prevent Clarity Issues In Your Writing by Shaelin Bishop for ShaelinWrites
- Podcast: Creating Magic Outside Of A System by Mary Robinette Kowal, DongWon Song, Erin Roberts, Dan Wells, and Howard Tayler for Writing Excuses
- Exploring Inner And Outer Conflict In Fiction by C. S. Lakin for Live Write Thrive
- Video: Fantasy Sub-Genres Explained! by Philip Athans for Fantasy Author’s Handbook Channel
- Finding The Best Fantasy Map Generator: 15 Tools Compared by Shannon Clark for The Book Designer
- Video: Good vs Bad Fantasy Prologues by Jed Herne for Jed Herne
- Video: Holy Typo! AI’s Changing The Editing Game by Leeland Artra for Future Fiction Academy
- How The Seven-Point Story Structure Can Help Your Writing by Ryan Lanz for A Writer’s Path
- Video: How To Outline A Fiction Story by Michael Jaymes for Michael Jaymes
- Video: How To Self-Edit Your Novel: A Chat With Tiffany Yates Martin by Michael Woodson for Writer’s Digest
- Video: I Tried 31 Different AI Models. These Are The Ones That Work by Jason Hamilton for The Nerdy Novelist
- Podcast: Making Dark Stories Pay Off by Oren Ashkenazi, Chris Winkle, and Wes Matlock for Mythcreants
- Video: My Spicey Hot Take About ‘Show, Don’t Tell’ For Writers by Brenden Pugh for Writing Quest
- Pace Your Story Right by Stavros Halvatzis for Stavros Halvatzis
- Putting The Secrets Of Story Into Action With Torrey Maldonado by Matt Bird for The Secrets of Story
- Podcast: Revise Your Writing Like A Pro by Gabriela Pereira and Christa Vande Vegte for DIY MFA
- Reward Your Readers With A Battle That Earns The Ending by Lynette Burrows for Writers In The Storm
- Scary Writing by D.L. Finn for Story Empire
- Video: Self-Publishing Writer’s Checklist: Climaxes & Endings by Susan MacGregor for Writers’ Rx
- Sentiment As A Gateway To Character by Jan O’Hara for Writer Unboxed
- Video: Should Your NaNoWriMo Novel Have A Prologue? by Nicole Wilbur for Nicole Wilbur
- Video: The #1 Biggest Mistake New Writers Make by Abbie Emmons for Abbie Emmons
- The Psychologist’s View: How Characters Deal With Adversity by Stephanie Carty for The Novelry
- The Strange And Expansive World Of Narrative Craft by Angie Elita Newell for Women Writers, Women’s Books
- Three Ways To Make Readers Care About Secondary Characters by Marissa Graff for Writers Helping Writers
- Video: What Are Your Characters’ Secrets? Have None? You Need To Fix That by Stavros Halvatzis for Get Writing
- Video: What Editing Ai Writing Actually Looks Like by Jason Hamilton for The Nerdy Novelist
- What It Means To Make Your Story Relatable by Deborah Williams for Jane Friedman
- What Pain Has To Offer In Your Novel by N.L. Holmes for Florida Writers Association Blog
- When Stuck In A Scene, Look Around by Janice Hardy for Fiction University
- Wondrium Review 2023: Is It Better Than Masterclass? by Jason Hamilton for Kindlepreneur
- Podcast: Worldbuilding In Miniature by Mary Robinette Kowal, DongWon Song, Erin Roberts, Dan Wells, and Howard Tayler for Writing Excuses
- Writing A Series Is Like Creating A RPG Campaign by Casey Cooper for DIY MFA
- Writing Controversy With Paulette Stout by Sacha Black for Sacha Black
- Writing The Cozy Mystery: More About Victims by Elizabeth Spann Craig for Elizabeth Spann Craig
- Podcast: Writing The Soul Of Place With Linda Lappin by Joanna Penn for The Creative Penn
The business side of writing
Submit & Query Like A Salesman by Philip Athans for Fantasy Author’s Handbook
Most authors I talk to balk at the idea of marketing or…gulp…selling. If you’re a writer reasonably firm on your (correct, IMO) opinion that novels and books are artforms, not merely products with price tags, you may be shying away from selling because it feels gross. But selling is a reality for novelists and writers just as much as it is for producers in any other industry. Being in the business of words means we must also be in the business of selling those words. Philip Athans is the New York Times best-selling author of Annihilation and a dozen other books including The Guide to Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction, and “Writing Monsters. His blog, Fantasy Author’s Handbook, is updated every Tuesday, and you can follow him on Twitter at @PhilAthans.
9 Ways To Market Your Book With No Money by Joel Friedlander for The Book Designer
And since we’re on the topic of sales and marketing, and most authors I know aren’t raking in the dough, finding practical ways to build an audience ready to buy your novel when it’s finally available is a practice in patience and networking. This business article, adapted from a 2011 interview with Joel Friedlander (now deceased), lays out a comprehensive pathway of free marketing activities you start doing now.
Podcast: How A Publishing Services Company Can Help Indie Authors by Howard Lovy for Self Publishing Advice
If you’re the kind of author who can invest in getting some help with your novel, there are lots of options. So how can you weed through the noise to find the publishing services company that is right for you and your work? Michele DeFilippo of 1106 Design shares her insights from end-to-end book design, production, and publishing services for independent authors using an approach that values aesthetics, reliability, and perceived value for the reader who will ultimately choose to buy your book.
Want more on the business side of the writing life? Look no further than the bulleted list below:
- Profitable Amazon Ads: 5 Working Examples by Laurence O’Bryan for #PublishingReinvented
- Preparing To Promote Your Writing At Online Events by Karen Whiting for The Write Conversation
- Six Ways An Author Can Turn Away Fans Online by Alex J. Cavanaugh for Insecure Writer’s Support Group
- 6 Alternatives To Amazon KDP Every Self-Publisher Should Know by Shannon Clark for The Book Designer
- What Does The Writers And Producers Agreement Say About Ai? by Dan Holloway for Self Publishing Advice
- StreetLib The Latest Platform To Move Towards A One Stop Shop For Indies by Dan Holloway for Self Publishing Advice
- How To Get Book Reviews On Amazon by Scott McCormick for BookBaby Blog
- How To Use TikTok To Sell Books: 12 Practical Tips by Joe Yamulla for BookBaby Blog
- How To Double Down On Being Human — 5 Ways To Stand Out In An Age Of AI by Joanna Penn for The Creative Penn
- The Declaration Of Dependence by Brian Jud for Self Published Author
- Ten Things I’ve Learned About Publishing A Book by Cathy C. Hall for WOW! Women On Writing Blog
- Amazon Book Reviews Are Changing For Shoppers by Penny Sansevieri for Author Marketing Experts, Inc.
- How To Market Your Book With 13 Pre-Order Strategies by Penny Sansevieri for Author Marketing Experts, Inc.
- 15 Magazines That Will Publish (And Pay For) Your Ya And Children’s Stories by Farrah Daniel for The Write Life
- Podcast: Publishing Limits, New Features, And Outsourcing by Bryan Cohen and H. Claire Taylor for Sell More Books Show
- Should You Use A Book Cover Template? by Shannon Clark for The Book Designer
- 10 Best-Selling Fantasy Book Covers To Inspire Your Cover Design by Shannon Clark for The Book Designer
- How To Come Up With A Pen Name In 2023 (+ A Pen Name Generator) by Dave Chesson for Kindlepreneur
- Video: How To Choose Your Amazon Categories – With Dave Chesson by Mark Dawson and James Blatch for Self Publishing Formula
- Video: Level Up Your Marketing Strategy With AI by Elizabeth Ann West for Future Fiction Academy
- KDP Select Or Wide? We Need To Talk About KU by Morgana Best for Self Publishing Advice
- Podcast: Spotify’s Deal With Publishers, End Of Screenwriters’ Strike Show by Dan Holloway for Self Publishing Advice
- How To Create An Author Website: 7 Must Haves by Shannon Clark for The Book Designer
- Was The Publishing Industry Really Serious About Diversity? by Nathan Bransford for Nathan Bransford
- Video: Marketing Questions — Giving Up, TikTok Marketing, Facebook Ads by Shelby Leigh for Marketing by Shelby
Get curated advice from more than 180 writing advice sites compiled for you every Sunday. Check out our previous writing advice of the week posts here and don’t forget to subscribe to the RSS feed for this writing advice series here (direct Feedly signup link).
Are we missing any writing advice sites? Send a note to [email protected] or leave a suggestion in the comments below.