This week’s top writing advice from around the web for Aug. 28

Reading Time: 12 minutes
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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

Don’t Fall For These 5 Writing Myths That Can Set Back Your Writing by Joni B. Cole

As writers, we often cling to certain myths that suck up emotional energy and reinforce practices that undermine the creative process. 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, or follow her on Twitter at @JoniBCole. This article was posted on the Jane Friedman writing advice site. For more like this, subscribe to their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link here).

Writing Tip: Your Mess Is Your Message by Jenny Hansen

Your writing voice comes from the lessons you’ve learned and the wisdom those lessons brought you. In essence, your writing voice gets honed by understanding your mess. Jenny Hansen is a fiction writer. Check out Hansen’s personal blog, More Cowbell, or 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).

Online Creative Writing Courses by Glen C. Strathy

A list of online writing classes from Neil Gaiman, N.K. Jemisin, Margaret Atwood, and others. Award-winning author Glen C. Strathy teaches creative writing at St. Lawrence College. Check out his website at or follow him on Twitter at @glencstrathy. How to Write a Book Now offers advice about novel writing and story theory.

How To Focus: Dump Distractions by Rochelle Melander

After an interruption, it takes us about 23 minutes to refocus. If you have only an hour to write, that can eat up your time. So what’s the solution? We need to focus. But we also need to stay connected. This article offers a few tips on how to do that. 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.

Other motivational advice this week:

The art and craft of writing

Story Development And Execution Part 10: Macro-Level Self-Editing by Staci Troilo

The first step in the revision process is to work on the macro-level, or on the biggest issues. Staci Troilo is a multi-genre best-selling author, editor, and ghostwriter. Learn more about her at For more advice like this, follow the Story Empire Blog on Facebook at @StoryEmpire5 or on Twitter at @StoryEmpire or get their RSS feed here (direct Feedly signup link).

Books For Fantasy Authors: Bird By Bird by Philip Athans

Bird by Bird covers a wide range of topics around the creation of fiction and the care and nurturing of authors themselves. 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. Fantasy Author’s Handbook offers advice for authors of fantasy, science fiction, and horror.

How To Let Readers Into Your Characters’ Inner Life by Tiffany Yates Martin

Regardless of what POV you’re writing in, allowing readers to understand what’s going on inside your character is what makes a story immediate, direct, and vivid to us. 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. 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).

The Number One Tool To Help Writers Create 3-Dimensional Characters In Story by Zena Dell Lowe

The starting point is paradox, which is imperative in the construction of three-dimensional characters since paradox allows for hidden depth. Zena Dell Lowe has worked professionally in the entertainment industry for over 20 years as a writer, producer, director, actress, and story consultant. The Write Conversation frequently makes the top lists of writing advice blogs. Follow them via their RSS feed (direct Feedly link here).

Why Deep POV Isn’t Working And How To Fix It by Lisa Hall-Wilson

Deep POV is not a beginner-friendly style to write in. This article lists the most common reasons deep POV isn’t working for newer writers and offers some solutions. Lisa Hall-Wilson is a writing teacher and award-winning writer and author. She also has two courses on writing in deep point of view that you might want to check out: Writing in Emotional Layers and Deep Point Of View Foundations can help you learn the effects the tools used in deep POV aim to create, so you can use those tools to best serve your story and your voice. Follow her on Twitter at @LisaHallWilson or on Facebook at @lisahallwilson. Her website is Oh her, website,, Lisa Hall Wilson offers writing advice, books about writing, and writing courses.

Writing Truer Characters by Linda S. Clare

How to make characters feel more real by giving them backstories, getting them moving, and creating emotional connections.
Linda S. Clare has been writing professionally since 1993 and has taught fiction, memoir and essay writing for Lane Community College for more than a dozen years. In addition to her published books, award-winning short stories, articles and essays, she works as an expert writing advisor for George Fox University and is a frequent presenter at writers’ conferences. For more advice like this, check out her website, on Twitter at @Lindasclare. offers advice about writing and story structure, as well as coaching services.

Digging To Find The Theme In Your Novel by C. S. Lakin

Plot is what the story is about, but theme is what the story is really about, below the plot. C. S. Lakin is a writing coach, workshop instructor, award-winning author of over 30 books, and blogger at Live Write Thrive. Her Writer’s Toolbox series of books teach the craft of fiction, and her online video courses at Writing for Life Workshops have helped more than a thousand writers. She also works as a book copyeditor and does more than 200 critiques a year for writers, agents, and publishers in six continents. I’ve been reading her advice for a few years now and she is awesome. If you want more advice from her, follow her on Twitter at @LiveWriteThrive and on Facebook at @C.S.Lakin.Author. Live Write Thrive is a writing advice site by novelist, editor and writing coach C. S. Lakin, author of eight-book The Writer’s Toolbox Series. Follow her on Twitter @LiveWriteThrive. Also check out her other site, The Self Publisher.

Why You Should Theme Your World by Chris Winkle

To make an impression, a world must be more than the sum of its parts. 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.

Other writing advice this week:

The business side of writing

Creating An Online Presence by Susan Koehler

An online presence can help you make connections, build name recognition, and draw readers to your books. So in short, it’s an investment worth making. Susan Koehler is the author of two middle grade novels as well as several teacher resources and nonfiction books for children. Visit her website at to learn more. 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.

My Author Platform Mistakes And How To Avoid Them by Lisa E. Betz

The more clarity you have of your specific target audience and the specific topics, themes, or issues you are called to write about, the easier it becomes to provide content that is both relevant and builds confidence in your author brand. An engineer-turned-mystery-writer, Lisa E. Betz infuses her novels with authentic characters who thrive on solving tricky problems. Her debut novel, Death and a Crocodile, won several awards. For more from her, check out, follow her on Twitter at @LisaEBetz or on Facebook at @LisaEBetzWriter. 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).

Business Musings: The Business Mindset by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Writers have struggled to balance earning enough to live on and keeping their art pure for all of human history. But…the writers we remember, well, they were the ones who figured out how to manage art and business in their time and their culture. New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristine Kathryn Rusch writes bestselling science fiction and fantasy, award-winning mysteries, acclaimed mainstream fiction, controversial nonfiction, and the occasional romance. At, Rusch offers her thoughts about the publishing industry and other topics.

Other business advice this week:


Estate Planning For Authors With Michael La Ronn by Joanna Penn

How can you make sure your heirs and successors are able to manage your books and copyright licensing after your death? What aspects do you need to think about in terms of your author estate? 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 PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify, or Stitcher. The Creative Penn offers articlesvideosbookstools, and courses for independent authors.

Death Personified by Oren Ashkenazi, Chris Winkle, and Wes Matlock

In this episode, the Mythcreants team discusses why writers love making death a sympathetic character, along with how best to use death as a character in your story. 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.

Other podcasts from this past week:


What To Expect From The Revision Process by Jessica Faust and James McGowan

Literary Agents Jessica and James sat down to discuss what authors can expect from the revision process. What are all the ways your book will evolve from the minute your first draft is completed, to the minute it’s on shelves. Jessica Faust is the owner and president at the BookEnds literary agency. Follow her on Twitter at @BookEndsJessica or on Instagram at @jfaust_bookends or email her directly at [email protected]. James McGowan is a literary agent at the agency. BookEnds is a literary agency that represents more than 300 authors and illustrations, both fiction and non-fiction, including several New York Times and USA today bestsellers. They are currently open to submissions. If you want more advice like this, subscribe to their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link) or follow them on Twitter at @bookendslit or on Facebook at @BookEndsLiterary.

5 Tips To Finishing Writing Your Book by Julie Broad

In this video, Julie Broad of Book Launchers shares five tips to finally get your book written. 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.

Use ‘The Gap’ To Increase Suspense In Your Stories by Stavros Halvatzis

The Gap refers to the tension between a character’s expectation of a result and its actual outcome. This video explores Robert McKee’s promotion of this technique in stories. Stavros Halvatzis is a writer and writing teacher. Get Writing is Stavros Halvatzis’s YouTube channel. For more advice like this, check out or follow himvia his RSS feed (direct Feedly link here).

10 Worst Tips For Writing A Plot Twist by Jenna Moreci

Plot twists are unexpected developments in a storyline, and when written well, can keep readers engaged and invested. But when written badly, they can do the exact opposite. These terrible writing tips include skipping foreshadowing, winging it, overcomplicating the story, and more. Jenna Moreci is a best-selling fantasy author and the host of a YouTube show about writing that has hundreds of thousands of subscribers. Writing with Jenna Moreci is a YouTube channel that offers seven years’ worth of writing advice, with new videos posted weekly.

Other videos from this past week:

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, 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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