This week’s top writing advice from around the web for Feb. 19, 2023

Reading Time: 8 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

How Writers Fail Part 11: They Want To by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

It’s easier to stay off stage than it is to deal with one’s personal BS. But staying off stage is a lot less satisfying than overcoming the blocks—whatever they are—to achieving your dreams and goals. 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 motivational advice this week:

The art and craft of writing

The Secret Ingredient by Karmen Spiljak

The secret ingredient is time. You’re welcome. Karmen Špiljak is a Slovenian-Belgian writer and author of the award-winning short story collection, Add Cyanide to Taste. She currently lives in Belgrade with her husband and two cats. Learn more at DiyMFA offers classes, advice articles and other training materials for writers. For more advice like this, follow them on Twitter at @DIYMFA and on Facebook at @DIYMFA or subscribe to their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link).

Don’t Dribble Out Morsels Of Information Within A Scene by Nathan Bransford

Yes, you’re supposed to show, not tell. But if you take this advice too much to heart, you might wind up not giving enough information to the reader for them to know what’s going on. 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.

Podcast: The One Where Gregg Hurwitz Discusses Orphans, AWA Studios, And Writing For Morgan Freeman by J.D. Barker and Christine Daigle

The hosts discuss a wide array of publishing topics, including how allowances for machine learning have made their way into publishing contracts, and talk to guest Gregg Hurwitz who writes thrillers, screenplays — and also writes for Marvel. J.D. Barker is the New York Times and international best-selling author of numerous novels. Christine Daigle writes steampunk, sci-fi and horror. Writer’s Ink is a podcast focusing on the business of writing.

Podcast: Start Your Story Right by Valerie Francis and Melanie Hill

How are you starting your story, and is your global inciting incident fulfilling its two most important functions? In this episode, you’ll learn the key points you need to know about the inciting incident at the global story level and the scene level. 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.

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Not Trusting The Reader by Michael Woodson

Sometimes writers over-explain what’s happening in a story. But what can happen as a result is a reading experience that feels manipulated, that the reader hasn’t been given the chance to be invested enough that they want to figure it out on their own. Michael Woodson is a content editor at Writers Digest. If you want more stuff like this, follow Writer’s Digest via their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link), on Twitter at @WritersDigest and on Facebook at @writersdigest. Follow Writer’s Digest via their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link), on Twitter at @WritersDigest and on Facebook at @writersdigest.

Judging What Information Your Story Needs by Chris Winkle

If you focus on the wrong details, your story will lose its power. This article is about how to identify what information you should give the audience 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: AI Book Covers & ChatGPT by Thomas Umstattd Jr.

Great interview with sci-fi and fantasy author Danny F. Santos about how he uses AI both to generate text and to create covers for his books. Thomas Umstattd Jr. is the CEO of Author Media, literary agent, author, podcaster, and marketing expert. For more, check out his website The Novel Marketing Podcast is all about the business side of being a successful author.

Podcast: Shadow Realms by Oren Ashkenazi, Chris Winkle, and Wes Matlock

The Mythcreants team talks about caves, abysses, and how orcs can grow food when the sun is blotted out. 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 writing advice this week:

The business side of writing

The Business Skill I Wish I Could Grant To All Writers by Jane Friedman

The skill is negotiation. You’re welcome. Jane Friedman is an expert in digital media strategy for authors and publishers and publishes The Hot Sheet, the essential newsletter on the publishing industry for authors. She is also a professor with The Great Courses, which released her 24-lecture series, How to Publish Your Book. Her book for creative writers, The Business of Being a Writer, received a starred review from Library Journal. Follow her on Twitter at @JaneFriedman. For more advice from Jane Friedman writing advice site, subscribe to their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link here).

Podcast: Book Marketing Mindset, Ideas, And Ambition With Honoree Corder by Joanna Penn

How can you embrace book marketing as a creative part of your author business? How can you effectively market your backlist over time? How can you tap into ambition and drive your author business onward and upward? Honoree Corder talks about all this and more. 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.

What Story Hooks Are All About by C. S. Lakin

A story hook is a line that snags your reader and pulls them into the story. Often someone flipping through your book or looking at the first page online at will just read the first few lines, so having a great opening is important. 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.

Video: New Rules Of Publishing: Rule #1 by Becca Syme

This video discusses the first rule of the Golden Age of publishing, which is to focus more on the book than on marketing tactics. 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:

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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