This week’s top writing advice from around the web for Apr. 2, 2023

Reading Time: 9 minutes
(Image by Maria Korolov via 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

Discern Your Best Writing Habits by Rochelle Melander

Practical advice for figuring out which writing practices actually support your productivity. Rochelle Melander is a productivity expert and writing coach. She’s the author of 12 books, including Level Up: Quests to Master Mindset, Overcome Procrastination and Increase Productivity. For more advice like this subscribe to Write Now Coach via their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link), on Twitter at @WriteNowCoach and on Facebook at @WriteNowCoach.

How Archetypes Changed My Life And My Writing by K. M. Weiland

The more clearly we see and embody archetypes within our own lives, the more intuitive our ability to write stories that resonate powerfully with readers. Likewise, the more truly archetypal stories we are able to read or watch, the more gracefully we will be able to navigate through our own triumphs and travails. K. M. Weiland is one of my favorite writing advice people, and the award-winning author of acclaimed writing guides such as Structuring Your Novel and Creating Character Arcs. If you want more advice like this, subscribe to her blog, Helping Writers Become Authorsvia its RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link). You can also follow her on Twitter @KMWeiland and on Facebook 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.

Video: How To Never Get Stuck Again! by Becca Syme

The title of this video is a little misleading. Rather than trying to eliminate being stuck, Becca Syme says, writers should focus on embracing the mess of the writing process. Also, outlining works for some people. 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.

Why So Many People Write At Starbucks by Larry Kahaner

Instead of grinding away in the same digs, change your venue. Even small changes in your work environment can move your writing to new places. Larry Kahaner’s articles have appeared in The Washington Post, The International Herald Tribune, and Popular Science. A Writer’s Path is an advice site for writers. If you want more advice like this, subscribe to their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link), on Twitter at @TheRyanLanz and on Facebook at @AWritersPath.

Other motivational advice this week:

The art and craft of writing

Make Your Cozy Easier To Read by Elizabeth Spann Craig

Many readers are grabbing their reading time in carpool lines or during a few minutes before turning in for the day. Make life easier for them by making character names more distinctive, and adding recaps and character re-introductions. Elizabeth Spann Craig is a best-selling cozy mystery author. You can her on Twitter at @elizabethscraig or on Facebook at Elizabeth Spann Craig Author. She also collates a weekly list of the best new writing-related articles, called Twitterific Writing Links, which then all get added to the Writer’s Knowledge Base database. On her website,, Craig and her guest authors offer advice on writing and publishing.

What Is A ‘Character Driven’ Story? by Oren Ashkenazi

The problem with looking at stories as character-driven or plot-driven is that it pits character and plot against each other. A good story can and should have both. Making your characters better doesn’t make your plot worse, and vice versa. Stories do have finite space, but usually there’s more than enough to develop both aspects. 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.

Subtext by Karen Lin

If dialogue is about what the dialogue is about, you’re in trouble, says Debbie Burke, award-winning author of the Tawny Lindholm thriller series. 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.

Plinko Scenes by Nathan Bransford

Plinko scenes are metastasized “darlings” that the author can’t bring themselves to kill. But they can really sap momentum and tempt readers to put down your book. Former literary agent Nathan Bransford is the author of How to Write a Novel and the Jacob Wonderbar series. Follow him on Twitter @NathanBransford and on Facebook at @NathanBransfordBooks. At, Bransford offers writing and publishing advice as well as book coaching, editing, and marketing services.

Video: LitRPG: Telling A Story With Numbers by Mark Dawson and James Blatch

Today’s guest, Dakota Krout, runs a seven-figure publishing house for one of the fastest growing genres: LitRPG. Mark Dawson is a USA Today bestselling author who teaches courses about book production and marketing. Check out his website at James Blatch writes military thrillers. For more, check out his website, On the Self Publishing Formula show, Mark Dawson and James Blatch talk about building a career as a self-published author.

Podcast: Trunking Stories by Oren Ashkenazi, Chris Winkle, and Wes Matlock

There comes a time when even the most prodigious writers among us have to put a story away for good. Despite how certain writing memes might make you feel, this isn’t a failure. Everyone trunks a story sometimes, and the trick is to know when you’ve done enough and it’s time to move on. 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.

Podcast: Heavy Lifting With Microtension by Mary Robinette Kowal, DongWon Song, Erin Roberts, Dan Wells, and Howard Tayler

A big application of tension might be an argument between two characters about a course of plot-important action. Microtension might be those characters arguing about how long to boil eggs. In this episode the hosts explore some favorite applications of microtension, and the ways in which it can be layered to ramp up the larger, plot-focused tension. Mary Robinette Kowal is the Nebula and Hugo Award-winning author of the Lady Astronaut series and other books and the former president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Howard V. Tayler is the creator of the webcomic Schlock Mercenary. Writing Excuses is a podcast about the art and business of writing. Support them on Patreon.

Video: How To Write Strong Dialogue by Susan MacGregor

Great dialogue comes about when you’ve thought clearly about each scene’s goal, about how you’ve created your characters’ personalities and voices, and the motivations that drive them. Susan MacGregor is an editor with On Spec, one of Canada’s foremost magazines for speculative fiction. Writers’ Rx is a just-launched YouTube channel dedicated to improving writing.

Other writing advice this week:

The business side of writing

Authors Who Succeed In The Book Business by Terry Whalin

A list of factors that sets successful authors apart, based on 150 interviews with bestselling writers. One key factor — professionals continue to work at learning their craft. 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 this this, follow them on Twitter at @A3writers, on Facebook at @A3writers and subscribe to their RSS feed here (direct Feedly signup link).

Marketing by Reavis Wortham

This is a nice column about how to figure out what to say in your social media posts. And — who knew! — pitching your books over and over again isn’t the best way to get followers. Award-winning mystery author Reavis Wortham is best known for the Red River series and the Sonny Hawke series. Find out more at 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 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, and check out her latest videos on the Maria Korolov YouTube channel. 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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