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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
First Things First (Not) by Joni B. Cole
If you’re having trouble figuring out how to start writing a novel, maybe the issue is that you’re trying to start at the beginning, and haven’t figured that part out yet. But you don’t have to start at the beginning. You can start anywhere in the story you feel like starting. You can rearrange, if you like, later on. Joni B. Cole is the author of two writing guides, Good Naked: How to Write More, Write Better, and Be Happier and Toxic Feedback: Helping Writers Survive and Thrive. She founded her own writer’s center, and is a popular teacher and speaker at a variety of academic programs, writing conferences, and nonprofit organizations. She is also the creator and host of the podcast Author, Can I Ask You? Learn more at her website, JoniBCole.com or follow her on Twitter at @JoniBCole. Women on Writing’s The Muffin blog offers advice about writing. For more advice like this, follow them via their RSS feed (direct Feedly link here) or on Twitter at @ or on Facebook at @wowwomenonwriting.
Rejection Slips by Elaine Viets
An overview of some classics of literature that were originally rejected by publishers. Elaine Viets has written 30 mysteries in four series. Check out her website at ElaineViets.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 motivational advice this week:
- 7 Writing Tips That Also Apply To Life by Rita Zoey Chin for Writer’s Digest
- Becoming You – How To Develop Confidence As A Writer by Roz Morris for Nail Your Novel
- Celebrate Today’s Achievement. It Was Yesterday’s Goal by Jessica Faust for BookEnds Literary Agency
- Combat Creative Blocks With Movement by Saleema Lookman for WOW! Women On Writing Blog
- Do Your Friends & Family Support Your Writing Goals? by Dan Blank for WeGrowMedia
- Finding Your People by Karen Odden for Women Writers, Women’s Books
- Give Yourself Permission by Terry Odell for Killzoneblog.com
- Handwriting Versus Typing by Kay Dibianca for Killzoneblog.com
- How To Focus: 4 Exercises & 9 Tips For More Concentration by Johannes Haupt for Posts – The Digital Reader
- How To Get Better As A Writer Every Day — And Write Like Stephen king by David Villalva for David Villalva
- How To Overcome Creative Burnout As A Freelance Writer by Amanda Winstead for Almost An Author
- How To Successfully Tone Down Your Internal Editor And Make Progress During NaNoWriMo by Edie Melson for The Write Conversation
- How Various Media Can Change You As A Writer by Richard Thomas for LitReactor
- How Writers Fail (Part 9): They Quit by Kristine Kathryn Rusch for Kristine Kathryn Rusch
- Is It Still A Thrill? by James Scott Bell for Killzoneblog.com
- Is Your Book Any Good? by Jim Dempsey for Writer Unboxed
- Podcast: No Plan B With NYT Bestseller Andrew Child by J.D. Barker, J. Thorn, and Zach Bohanno for Writers, Ink.
- Video: Overcoming Perfectionism As A Writer by Shaelin Bishop for ShaelinWrites
- Put In The Work To Become A Proficient Blogger And Writer by C.S. Lakin for How to Blog a Book
- Restlessness: 10 Tips & 5 Methods Against Nervousness by Frauke Geuking for Posts – The Digital Reader
- Self-Management: 10 Strategies & 4 Skills For More Effectiveness by Frauke Geuking for Posts – The Digital Reader
- Self-Reflection: 9 Tips & 4 Exercises For Better Self-Awareness by Frauke Geuking for Posts – The Digital Reader
- Podcast: Sense And Sensibility: Ship Your Work by Melanie Hill and Valerie Francis for Story Nerd
- Some Favorite Writing Newsletters–And Sites To Explore–To Boost Your Creativity by Mary Carroll Moore for How to Plan, Write, and Develop a Book
- The Draft by Reavis Wortham for Killzoneblog.com
- Podcast: The Way Of The Fearless Writer With Beth Kempton by Joanna Penn for The Creative Penn
- Things To Consider When Creating An Effective Writing Schedule by Tammy Karasek for The Write Conversation
- Three Ways To “Live First, Then Write” Within Your Limitations by Jessica Natasha Lawrence for National Novel Writing Month
- Using Lists To Organize Your Writing, Reduce Stress, And Bring Back The Joy Of Creating by Edie Melson for The Write Conversation
- Why And How To Observe Your Thoughts by Daphne Gray-Grant for Publication Coach
- Writer’s Block: 5 Ways To Help Yourself Over The Hump! by Janet Forbes for National Novel Writing Month
- Writing Empathy Series: Empathy For You by Jen Braaksma for Women Writers, Women’s Books
The art and craft of writing
5 Tips To Help Bring Your Culture & Heritage Into Your Story With Confidence by Raquel V. Reyes
Award-winning author Raquel V. Reyes discusses the necessary growth happening in the publishing industry and offers 5 tips to bring your culture and heritage to your story with confidence. Follow Writer’s Digest via their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link), on Twitter at @WritersDigest and on Facebook at @writersdigest.
A Quick Tutorial Of Grammarly For Word by Jackie Pearce
If you write online, you more than likely use Grammarly. While you might already have the widget installed, you might be wondering how to use Grammarly for Word. The Book Designer, part of SelfPublishing.com, offers hundreds of articles about book design and marketing.
How Do I Test My Hero? by Oren Ashkenazi
A common trope in fiction is when the protagonist faces some big challenge, only to learn that it was just a secret test set up by their mentor. This can be done badly and come off as a cliché, or make no sense in the story. Maybe just have the mentor tell the protagonist that there’s going to be a test, and do it in a controlled setting, instead of putting the protagonist at needless risk. 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.
Video: Writing Cults – Terrible Writing Advice by J.P. Beaubien
A sarcastic take on the biggest clichés that show up when authors write about cults. J.P. Beaubien’s current project is a book series named Aeon Legion. Follow him on Facebook at @authorJPBeaubien and on Twitter at @JosephPBeaubien. Terrible Writing Advice is a very popular YouTube channel where J.P. Beaubien offers only the most sincere and genuine writing advice delivered with absolutely no sarcasm at all.
Controlling Idea — À La Robert Mckee by Stavros Halvatzis
The controlling idea is the ethical or moral point of the story. Scenes containing actions and events that stray from the path should be eliminated. 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: 401 – Special Abilities by Oren Ashkenazi, Chris Winkle, and Wes Matlock
When everyone has magic abilities, it can take a little effort to make your protagonist special. In this week’s episode, the Mythcreants team gives some pointers on how to do just that. 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.
Great article about how a screenplay is just the starting point of a movie production process. Lucy Hay is a script editor, author and blogger who helps writers at her site, Bang2write.com. Follow Bang2write.com on Twitter at @Bang2write and on Facebook at @Bang2writers.
Video: How To Find Your Story’s Theme And Make Your Book Unputdownable by Claire Fraise
Claire Fraise talks with Maxwell Alexander Drake, an epic fantasy author and the how-to book Dynamic Story Creation. He talks about how he outlines, develops the major theme, and plots out reversals. 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.
Video: How To Write Character Arcs Over A Series? by Abbie Emmons
This video is about how to write character arcs over the course of a series and how to give each book new conflicts without making the series feel repetitive. Abbie Emmons teaches writers how to make their stories matter. For more advice like this, check out her website, AbbieE.com. Abbie Emmons is a YouTube channel about writing from writing instructor and author of the same name.
Other writing advice this week:
- Video: 10 Best Tips For Writing Conflict by Jenna Moreci for Writing with Jenna Moreci
- 10 Dos And Don’ts For Writing Page-Turning Thriller Novels by Jenna Kernan for Writer’s Digest
- 10 Ways To Start Your Story by Ellen Buikema for Writers In The Storm
- 4 Ways Adverbs Can Ruin Your Writing by Michael James for A Writer’s Path
- 5 Top Tips For Converting Your Screenplay Into A Novel by Lucy V Hay for Bang2write
- 5 Fun Ways To Take Advantage Of Your Character’s Fears by Janice Hardy for Writers In The Storm
- 9 Action Story Clichés To Avoid As A Writer by Neil Chase for The Write Practice
- 9 Positive Character Arcs In The Enneagram by K. M. Weiland for Helping Writers Become Authors
- Creating Dynamic Characters And Static Types: 7 Ideas by Jordan Kantey for Now Novel
- Five Stories Undermined By Their Epilogue by Oren Ashkenazi for Mythcreants
- How To Use Goal, Motivation, And Conflict To Test A Story Idea by Alex J. Cavanaugh for Insecure Writer’s Support Group
- James J. Butcher: On Rethinking Urban Fantasy by Robert Lee Brewer for Writer’s Digest
- Learn To Use The Three Layers Of Dialogue Text Context And Subtext Effectively by MaryAnn Diorio for The Write Conversation
- Motivation & How What Drives Us Defines Us by Kristen Lamb for Kristen Lamb
- Movement: The Story Principle That’s 2,300 Years Old by Chris Winkle for Mythcreants
- Opening Your Story With Conflict To Hook Readers by David Farland for MyStoryDoctor
- Out Of Character by Kathleen Mccleary for Writer Unboxed
- Plot Conflict: Striking True Adversity In Stories by Jordan Kantey for Now Novel
- Pondering The Prologue: Keep It Or Kill It? by Janice Hardy for Fiction University
- Preparing Your Wip (And Yourself) For A Developmental Edit by Kendra Griffin for Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers
- R. L. Stine Masterclass Review: Will This Help You Write Stories Readers Love? by Sarah Gribble for The Write Practice
- Romancing SFF: “So, How’s Your Love Life?” And Other Questions To Ask Your Characters by Katherine Garcia Ley for The Craft of Writing – SFWA
- The 4 Basic Types Of Relationship Arcs (With Examples & Variations) by September C. Fawkes for September C. Fawkes
- Video: The Ultimate Character Profile For NaNoWriMo by Abbie Emmons for Abbie Emmons
- The Worst Writing Advice Ever… And How To Revise It! by Brian Andrews for Career Authors
- Tropes And Archetypes Vs. Clichés: Why It’s Okay To Use Familiar Elements In Fiction by Anne R. Allen for Anne R. Allen’s Blog… with Ruth Harris
- Using Internal Dialogue To Reveal Character by Audrey Wick for Writer’s Digest
- Why It’s Better To Write About Money, Not For Money by Catherine Baab-Muguira for Jane Friedman
- Why? The Heart Of Character Motivation by Philip Athans for Fantasy Author’s Handbook
- Write Dialogue Like A War Zone by DiAnn Mills for Career Authors
The business side of writing
Video: Reverse-Engineering A Story – With Michael Webb (The Self Publishing Show, Episode 352) by Mark Dawson and James Blatch
Fantasy author Michael Webb describes how a brutal editing experience taught him to write better stories, and how he’s built his audience. 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: Dear Writer, Stop Doing This… by Becca Syme
Authors need to delegate in order to grow. If you try to do everything yourself — writing, editing, cover design, marketing, and the million other jobs that go into creating a book — your growth will plateau, or you might get burned out. So you need to build organizational infrastructure to support future growth. And, when you first invest in that infrastructure, growth slows down for a short time since you’re now investing time and money into your business. The problem is that some authors are investing in infrastructure for things that aren’t selling. “If you build it they will come” doesn’t apply to books — or most other businesses, for that matter. Becca Syme is a Gallup-certified strengths coach, author coach, and nonfiction author who’s coached more than 5,700 authors. The QuitCast for Writers is a video podcast where Becca Syme discusses what to keep, what to quit, and what to question, if you are trying to make a go of the author career.
Other business advice this week:
- 10 Tips On Growing Your Personal Brand As An Author by Andrew Deen for The Independent Publishing Magazine
- Use These Valuable Tips To Seek And Secure Endorsements For Your Manuscript by Cindy Sproles for The Write Conversation
- The Best Book Marketing Strategies Are Simple: 7 Things You Should Focus On Now by Penny Sansevieri for Author Marketing Experts, Inc.
- Marketing Systems And Automations To Grow Your Self-Publishing Career by Stephanie BwaBwa for DIY MFA
- Video: NFT Comeback, Free Data, And Amazon Attribution by Bryan Cohen and H. Claire Taylor for Sell More Books Show
- Video: Ads For Authors: Selling Books & Growing Your Business Using Ads With Nicholas Kusmich by Chandler Bolt for Self Publishing School
- Book Launch Parties: 15 Tips For The Best Party Ever! by Jason Hamilton for Kindlepreneur
- Creative Marketing: Beyond The Bookstore by Leslie Budewitz for Killzoneblog.com
- When Should I Stop Sending Query Letters? by Nathan Bransford for Nathan Bransford
- Video: Big Picture Book Marketing Goals by Julie Broad for Book Launchers
- The Pros And Cons Of Independent Publishing by Savannah Gilbo for Fiction Writing Tips
- Video: Do Us Agents Take On International Clients? by Jessica Faust and James McGowan for BookEnds Literary Agency
- What To Expect When Hiring A Copyeditor by Elizabeth Javor for Self Publishing Advisor
- Amazon Bugs: Price Increases, Categories And Terminations by Jason Hamilton for Kindlepreneur
- What To Do If Amazon Shuts Down Your Kdp Account by Jason Hamilton for Kindlepreneur
- Video: Sustainable Series Strategies by Morgan Hazelwood for Morgan Hazelwood
- Podcast: Using Ai For Art, Images, And Book Covers With Derek Murphy by Joanna Penn for The Creative Penn
- Pros And Cons Of Small Presses by C Hope Clark for FundsforWriters
- Tales Of A Solopreneur: Teaming Up With Other Solopreneurs by Richelle Lyn for DIY MFA
- Video: 5 Tips For Running Bookbub Ads To Sell Your Book by Julie Broad for Book Launchers
- Video: Three Biggest First Book Lessons by Daniel Willcocks for The Writer’s Mindset
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.