This week’s top writing advice from around the web for Sep. 24, 2023

Reading Time: 11 minutes
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(Image by Maria Korolov via Adobe Express.)

I 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

Do You Have The Write Stuff? by Brian Jud

Negativity abounds in every publishing adventure. You will get bad reviews. Things will take longer and cost more than you planned. Understand those conditions will occur and plan for them. Brian Jud is the executive director of the Association of Publishers for Special Sales and author of How to Make Real Money Selling Books and Beyond the Bookstore. Follow him on Twitter at @bookmarketing. Self Published Author is a publishing advice site from Bowker, the agency responsible for book ISBNs.

Doing Creative Work Amid The Sh**Tstorm by Tiffany Yates Martin

When you love what you do and you have genuine passion for it, and suddenly you are not only struggling to do it but wondering if what you’re doing is effective or good, it can pull the rug out from under your whole identity. Here’s what to do. 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.

Podcast: Edition Additions, Layout Considerations, and Writing Rituals by Bryan Cohen and H. Claire Taylor

Should books remain unchanged after they are unpublished? 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 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.

This Might Not Work by Steven Pressfield

The audience doesn’t know what it wants. It’s the artist’s job to tell them. Or, more accurately –show them. It might not work. Really. It might bomb big-time. That’s the chance you and I have to take, if we want to get ahead of the curve. Ahead of the curve is where hits happen. Steven Pressfield is the author of The Legend of Bagger Vance and other novels as well as The War of Art and other non-fiction books about creative success. Check out his Amazon author page here. offers weekly articles as well as a free mini-course about the business of writing.

Other motivational advice this week:

The art and craft of writing

Podcast: Poetic Device by Valerie Francis and Melanie Hill

The poetic devices of metaphor, simile, and allegory, and how they apply to prose. 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.

‘Woobie’ Anti-Villains — Sympathy For The Devil by Kristen Lamb

These emo, wounded souls are bound by their own perpetual torment and just waiting to be saved from themselves. This kind of anti-villain can easily create some amazing dramatic tension. Mystery author Kristen Lamb is also the author of the social media guide book, Rise of the Machines: Human Authors in a Digital World as well as We Are Not Alone: The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer. Follow her on Twitter at @KristenLambTX or on Facebook at @authorkristenlamb. If you want more advice like this, follow the Kristen Lamb blog via its RSS feed (direct Feedly link).

Story Pacers by Anne Hawkinson

Your story needs to flow with a momentum that makes logical sense based on the setting, characters, and plot of the story. Here are some ideas that will help vary the stride of your story. Anne K. Hawkinson is an award-winning author and poet. Find out more at her website, 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.

Location, Location, Location by Dave King

Most of the time, a setting is just a setting, a convenient place for the action to happen.  But if you pay attention to unique, telling details, you can push your settings to something fresh and authentic, even something that can influence the mood of your characters and shape the scene.  Then there are locations that are so memorable that they stick in the mind afterwards as much as the people who live there. The settings become characters in their own right. Dave King is the co-author of Self-Editing for Fiction Writer. An independent editor since 1987, he is also a former contributing editor at Writer’s Digest. For more writing tips, visit 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.

Why Ahsoka’s Early Episodes Are So Lackluster by Oren Ashkenazi

Even without obvious mistakes, a show can fail to engage viewers. 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.

Nine Ways To Distinguish Characters From Each Other by Chris Winkle

The more characters you have, the harder it is to make them all feel unique. Chris Winkle is the founder and editor-in-chief of 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: Avoiding Mustache Twirling by Oren Ashkenazi and Chris Winkle

Villains need coherent motivations like anyone else, and they need aesthetics that won’t seem silly to the audience. How do you do that without leaving the villain drab and boring, or making them into the latest bad guy who is actually right but kills people so you won’t notice? Oren Ashkenazi is the speculative fiction manuscript editor and Chris Winkle is the founder and editor-in-chief 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 writing advice this week:

The business side of writing

Business Musings: Platforms by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Should you depend on third-party platforms like Patreon or Shopify? Or try to go it on your own? New York Times and USA Today bestselling — and Hugo Award-winning — author Kristine Kathryn Rusch writes science fiction and fantasy. At, Rusch offers her thoughts about the publishing industry and other topics.

Video: Ghost Categories On Amazon by S.D. Huston

Ghost categories sound mysterious, but picking the wrong ones could sink your book’s discoverability. Tune in to learn what you need to know about navigating Amazon’s category overhaul and choosing the right categories to maximize visibility. Fantasy author S. D. Huston is also a military war vet and a former college literature professor and writing coach. Check out her website at The S.D. Huston YouTube channel features interview and advice related to writing and publishing.

Video: AI Video, Hollywood Strike, And Future Of Story by Jason Hamilton

Today’s guest is Tim Simmons of Theoretically Media, an experienced writer and film producer skilled in video production and artificial intelligence. Jason Hamilton is a fantasy author. Check out Hamilton’s site, MythHQ. You can also follow him on Twitter at @StoryHobbit and on Facebook at Jason Hamilton. The Nerdy Novelist is a YouTube channel focusing on using AI to write and market books.

Video: Kickstarter Basics Masterclass: What Is It & What Can You Do? by S.D. Huston

This is a three-and-a-half hour class on Kickstarter — how it works, how to prepare for a campaign, how ot launch it, from someone who’s done it. Fantasy author S. D. Huston is also a military war vet and a former college literature professor and writing coach. Check out her website at The S.D. Huston YouTube channel features interview and advice related to writing and publishing.

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.

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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