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
Dealing With Ambiguity by LA Bourgeois
A couple of tips for dealing with the stress of waiting to hear back from editors, and other stresses of being a writer, including doing something physical, getting into some other type of creative activity, and meditating. LA Bourgeois is a creativity coach. For more advice like this, check out her website, LABourgeois.biz. DiyMFA offers classes, advice articles and other training materials for writers. Or follow them on Twitter at @DIYMFA and on Facebook at @DIYMFA or subscribe to their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link).
Getting More Work Done At Home by Elizabeth Spann Craig
Some advice for writing during the holidays — and for other busy times of the year, too. Elizabeth Spann Craig is a best-selling cozy mystery author. You can follow 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, ElizabethSpannCraig.com, Craig and her guest authors offer advice on writing and publishing.
Video: Keep Moving Forward by Jessica Faust and James McGowan
After many months of unprecedented times, it’s a struggle to find a way to continue working towards your goals. Sometimes there’s the issue of burnout and other times it’s an issue of procrastination. Literary agents Jessica Faust and James McGowan discuss a few tips on how to keep moving forward despite these obstacles. Jessica Faust is the owner and president of 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 BookEnds, which 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.
Podcast: Reimagining Failure With Dan Padavona by J.D. Barker, J. Thorn and Zach Bohannon
Thriller writer Dan Padavona talks about how to find the overlap between self-fulfilling and marketable writing, when to walk away from your day job, why writing can be so unmotivating and how individuality can hurt your prospects. J.D. Barker is the New York Times and international best-selling author of numerous novels. J. Thorn has sold more than 185,000 books worldwide. Zach Bohannon is a science ﬁction and horror author. Writer’s Ink is a podcast focusing on the business of writing.
The Shadow In The Wilderness by Steven Pressfield
If you’re not pursuing your dream, what are you pursuing instead? That other path you’re following — the shadow career — might be a metaphor for the path you’re actually supposed to be on. 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. StevenPressfield.com offers weekly articles as well as a free mini-course about the business of writing.
Other motivational advice this week:
- 3 Reasons Why It’s So Hard To Be A Writer by Tim Suddeth for The Write Conversation
- 6 Habits Writers Can Learn From Athletes by Henriette Lazaridis for Writer’s Digest
- Critique Group Know How by C. Lee McKenzie for Insecure Writer’s Support Group
- Goal-Setting For Authors And Why It Matters by A.C. Williams for The Write Conversation
- How To Give Yourself A Wonderful Christmas Present—The Time To Write by Edie Melson for The Write Conversation
- I Took The Plunge And Maybe You Should, Too: Writing Workshops And Developmental Editors by Kim Bullock for Writer Unboxed
- Self-Sabotage: I Don’t Deserve Success by Kristen Lamb for Kristen Lamb
- The 4 Things You Need For Writing Success by C. S. Lakin for Live Write Thrive
- The Necessity & Power Of Sitting With Your Critiques by Grace Bialecki for Jane Friedman
- Time Management For Fiction Writers — 10 Tips & Tricks To Help You Write More Words Every Day by David Villalva for David Villalva
- Why Nobody Can Tell You When Or How To Write by C Hope Clark for FundsforWriters
The art and craft of writing
Podcast: High And Low Tension Arcs by Oren Ashkenazi and Chris Winkle
It’s important to understand how high and low tension arcs work together. Even the grimmest dark fantasy story needs moments of levity, and even the lightest fluff piece needs a little something to keep readers turning the page. This week, the Mythcreants team talks about how different levels of tension interact with each other, where they go in the story, and how you decide what a story is about. 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.
Video: Inverted Tropes by Morgan Hazelwood
These days, the term trope is often used as a sign of derision, but not all tropes are bad! There are times to use them, times to subvert them, and times to invert them. As long as the story is well written, you can use almost any tropes that fit your story. Morgan Hazelwood writes from her lair in Northern Virginia. She’s a blogger, vlogger, and podcaster of writing tips and writerly musings, plus an actively querying fantasy author. For more advice like this, follow her on Twitter at @MorganHzlwood, on Facebook at Morgan Hazelwood, and on YouTube at Morgan Hazelwood. At Morgan Hazelwood, she offers writing advice and resources.
Podcast: Bodies Are Magical by Mary Robinette Kowal, C.L. Polk, Fran Wilde, and Howard Tayler
Disabilities do not grant magical powers. And yet that exact trope can be found in multiple genres, across multiple mediums. In this episode, the hosts talk about why this happens, and how we might better portray the magical awesomeness found in our bodies. 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. C. L. Polk is a fantasy author. Fran Wilde is a science fiction and fantasy writer. 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: Trope Talk: Idiot Plots by Red
Today Red talks about the plots that are driven, in whole or in part, by the characters acting dumb — and how that’s not always a bad thing! Red is the writer and illustrator of a fantasy webcomic, Aurora, and the cost and co-founder of Overly Sarcastic Productions. Overly Sarcastic Productions is a YouTube channel about myths, literature, and history with over 2 million subscribers.
Other writing advice this week:
- 12 Things To Consider When Writing Fight Scenes In Fiction by Carla Hoch for Writer’s Digest
- 4 Tips For Writing A Modern Retelling by Nikki Payne for Writer’s Digest
- A Quick Tip For Getting To Know Your Characters–And Your Plot by Janice Hardy for Fiction University
- An Argument For Setting Aside Arc In Story Development by Adele Annesi for Jane Friedman
- Video: Atticus Software Review For Book Writing And Book Formatting by Julie Broad for Book Launchers
- Video: Biggest Mistakes When Editing Your Book by Jenna Moreci for Writing with Jenna Moreci
- Campfire vs World Anvil: A Full Comparison Of The Best Worldbuilding Tools by Jason Hamilton for Kindlepreneur
- Chapter Length by Janet Reid for Janet Reid, Literary Agent
- Character Counts by James Scott Bell for Killzoneblog.com
- Character Sheets – Building A Character by Karen Cioffi for Writers On The Move
- Characterization: 6 Revealing Prompts To Know Your Character Better by Ruthanne Reid for The Write Practice
- Video: Choose The Right Names For Your Characters—Avoid These Mistakes! by Stavros Halvatzis for Get Writing
- Debunking The Myths Of Developmental Editing by Tiffany Yates Martin for Writers In The Storm
- Editing Tips From A Freelance Editor by Libby Sternberg for Women Writers, Women’s Books
- Excellent Reasons An Author Would Write A Novella by Lynn H. Blackburn for The Write Conversation
- How Do I Portray A Healthy Relationship Conflict? by Chris Winkle for Mythcreants
- How I Plot My Novels Using A Character’s Flaws To Drive The Story by Suzanne Kelman for Women Writers, Women’s Books
- How Much Backstory Is Too Much Backstory In A Book? by Kristina Adams for The Writer’s Cookbook
- Video: How To Capture Your Characters’ Travels? by Daphne Gray-Grant for Publication Coach
- How To Write Creepy Books For Adults by Gloria Russell for The Write Life
- How Writers Revise: Vaughn Roycroft And Redefining Success by Tiffany Yates Martin for FoxPrint Editorial
- Lost In Translation: Wtaf? by for Story Nerd
- Video: Reboots Rebooted – Terrible Writing Advice by Terrible Writing Advice for Terrible Writing Advice
- Revision In Writing: How To Improve Between Drafts by Jordan Kantey for Now Novel
- Show, Don’t Tell: Your Story As A Movie Script! by A.H. Plotts for DIY MFA
- Six Places To Trim Slow Prose by Chris Winkle for Mythcreants
- Stepping Beyond Your Mentor Text by Sue Bradford Edwards for WOW! Women On Writing Blog
- Podcast: The Anatomy Of Genres With John Truby by Sacha Black for Sacha Black
- The Name Game: How To Decide What To Call Your Characters by Christina Hamlett for Women Writers, Women’s Books
- The Value Of A Logline by David Farland for MyStoryDoctor
- Tips On Creating Composite Characters by Linda Wilson for Writers On The Move
- Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make Working With Script Editors by Ruth Trippitt for Bang2write
- Turning Relationship Arcs Into Plots by September C. Fawkes for September C. Fawkes
- What Legends And Lattes Teaches Us About Light Stories by Oren Ashkenazi for Mythcreants
- What Makes A Good Villain (Plus 4 Examples To Follow) by Gloria Russell for Self Publishing School
- When And How To Use Flashbacks And Backstory Effectively by Donna Jo Stone for Almost An Author
- When Should You Write In Scene vs. Summary? by Savannah Gilbo for Fiction Writing Tips
- Why Novellas? by Susanne Dunlap for Women Writers, Women’s Books
- Why Realism Is Irrelevant In Fiction: Aim For Believability Instead by Anne R. Allen for Anne R. Allen’s Blog… with Ruth Harris
- Why You And Your Characters Deserve Some Ikigai by Jenny Hansen for Writers In The Storm
- Writing The Science Right by Gideon P. Smith for The Craft of Writing – SFWA
- Podcast: Writing Tips: The Anatomy Of Genres With John Truby by Joanna Penn for The Creative Penn
- Writing Your Character’s Why by Linda S. Clare for Linda S. Clare
The business side of writing
Podcast: Spotify Cards, Staying On Brand, And Fun Tools by Bryan Cohen and H. Claire Taylor
Do you plan on changing your writing routine over the holiday, and if so, how? Also, how authors can be artists and good business people, what Amazon lawsuit is back on the table, and how to build an on-brand author brand. 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 BryanCohen.com. 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.
Business Musings: The Year In Review Part 2: Traditional Publishing by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
It’s clear to anyone who has eyes that there is absolutely no reason at all to go to traditional publishing — they provide almost no added value, writes Kristine Kathryn Rusch, with plenty of data from a recent trial between two giant publishers to back up her opinion. 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 KrisWrites.com, Rusch offers her thoughts about the publishing industry and other topics.
Podcast: How To Grow Your Platform Without Social Media With Sandy Cooper by Thomas Umstattd Jr.
The average person in 2022 spends more than two hours per day on social media platforms. Imagine how many books you could write in a year if you got those hours back! And data shows that social media does not help authors sell more books. Author and podcaster Sandy Cooper says you can communicate with people through your email list or in real life — or in many other ways. She has a free guide, 27 Ways to Grow Your Audience Outside of Social Media. Thomas Umstattd Jr. is the CEO of Author Media, literary agent, author, podcaster, and marketing expert. For more, check out his website ThomasUmstattd.com. The Novel Marketing Podcast is all about the business side of being a successful author.
Other business advice this week:
- Six Proven Ways To Sell Digital Products Like Ebooks Faster by Sabrina Ricci for Digital Pubbing
- Predatory Book Marketing by Laurence O’Bryan for #PublishingReinvented
- New Kid In Town: Five Ways To Develop A Local Readership by Elizabeth Wafler for Women Writers, Women’s Books
- Nobody Knows Marketing Like Romance Authors: Q&A With Kitty Thomas by Kristen Tsetsi for Jane Friedman
- How To Promote A Book On YouTube by Scott Mccormick for BookBaby Blog
- How Does A Top Book Publicist Think? Q&A With Pro Karen Engler by Sandra Beckwith for Build Book Buzz
- What Is The Hook, The Book, And The Cook Query Pitching Technique For Writers? by Robert Lee Brewer for Writer’s Digest
- Video: Contagious: How To Make Your Book Catch On & Go Viral With Jonah Berger by Chandler Bolt for Self Publishing School
- Amazon Verified Reviews For Books: Everything You Need To Know by Jason Hamilton for Kindlepreneur
- Video: Did We Publish A Book On KDP In 90 Days? Book Rescue Finale by Dale L. Roberts for Self-Publishing with Dale
- Traditional vs. Self-Publishing: Follow The Numbers by Steven Spatz for BookBaby Blog
- 5 Tips To Manage The Book Galley Journey by James R. Preston for Writers In The Storm
- How Indie Authors Can Take Advantage Of BookTok by Miles Oliver for The Independent Publishing Magazine
- How To Write And Publish A Book For Free by Jeff Elkins for The Write Practice
- Marketing To Libraries — A Waste Of Time? by Angela Hoy for WritersWeekly.com
- What Do I Do If My Book Or Script Is A Hard Sell? by Lucy V Hay for Bang2write
- Video: What Is The Value Of Having Social Media Followers? by Dan Blank for WeGrowMedia
- You Are Not A Brand by Dan Blank for WeGrowMedia
- Video: Using Ingram Spark Reader Insight Reports For Book Marketing by Julie Broad for Book Launchers
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.