This week’s top writing advice from around the web for Jul. 9, 2023

Reading Time: 9 minutes
(Image by Maria Korolov via Midjourney.)

I subscribe to more than 175 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

Podcast: Creative Screenwriting With Brock Swinson by Sacha Black

Writer and filmmaker Brock Swinson is best known for the movie Devil in the Details and a recent book about productivity, Ink by the Barrel, available for free on his website. He talks about mistakes creatives make with their time, how to be better at saying no, dealing with self-sabotage, and other lessons he’s learned from working with top industry professionals. Sacha Black is a fantasy author and writing coach, with several writing advice books including 13 Steps to Evil: How to Craft Superbad Villains. Follow her on her website, Sacha Black, on Facebook at @Sacha Black or on Twitter at @sacha_black. Sacha Black is a site that offers writing advice, courses, and podcasts. Follow the site via their RSS feed (direct Feedly link here).

Other motivational advice this week:

The art and craft of writing

3 Writing Rules You Can Break by Janice Hardy

The three rules are never using adverbs, never using words like that, just, only, and very, and never using dialogue tags. Fantasy author Janice Hardy has several must-have writing guides up on Amazon and you can follow her on Twitter @Janice_Hardy. Follow Janice Hardy’s Fiction University via RSS feed here (direct Feedly signup link), or follow them on Facebook at @JaniceHardysFictionUniversity. Janice Hardy’s Fiction University is one of the top writing advice sites out there. You can subscribe to their RSS feed here (direct Feedly signup link), or follow it on Twitter or on Facebook.

How Can I Use Handwavium? by Oren Ashkenazi

“Handwavium” is when a story has a plot problem and the author just waves it away. Many speculative fiction novels have issues, like why does magic exist, or how does faster-than-light travel work, that can’t be explained within the scope of the book. Sometimes, it works better than other times. 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.

Dialogue Tags: Everything You Need To Know About Speaker Attribution by Dave Chesson

Dialogue tags are tricky to use, and grammar checkers don’t always catch all the problems. This is a nice how-to guide about explaining who said what in your book and how they said it. It also covers the basic punctuation rules. Dave Chesson is the founder of Kindlepreneur which is pretty much the top site out there for self-published authors who want to sell more e-books on Amazon. The RSS feed is here (direct Feedly signup link). Follow them on Facebook at @KindlePreneur and Chesson himself on Twitter at @DaveChesson. And make sure to subscribe to his podcast, The Book Marketing Show. Kindlepreneur is pretty much the top site out there for self-published authors who want to sell more e-books on Amazon. The RSS feed is here (direct Feedly signup link). Follow them on Facebook at @KindlePreneur and founder Dave Chesson on Twitter at @DaveChesson.

What Fiction Writers Should Know About Passive Voice by Chris Winkle

One of the most common pieces of writing advice is to get rid of passive voice. However, purging your story of passive voice may not make it better. While passive voice can become a problem, it also has important roles to play. 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

The Seven Processes Of Publishing: Marketing by AskALLi Team

Great overview of the basics of book marketing, including how to find your readers, how to create relationships with those readers, how to do influencer marketing, and how to find comp authors. There also three detailed case studies from successful authors. The AskALLi Team is the group behind Self Publishing Advice, the advice center of the Alliance of Independent Authors. Self Publishing Advice is the advice center of the Alliance of Independent Authors. If you want more advice like this, subscribe to their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link).

Podcast: 9 Ways That AI Will Disrupt Authors And The Publishing Industry by Joanna Penn

Today’s guest is Nick Thacker, who is the USA Today bestselling author of over 40 books, including thrillers, action-adventure, and nonfiction. He also helps indie authors through his courses, coaching, and also by working with Draft2Digital. 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.

Podcast: AI Reviews Of Your Reviews by Bryan Cohen and H. Claire Taylor

Amazon is using AI to produce a summary of reviews. Will this be a positive or negative for authors? 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 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: A Few Benefits Of Niche Marketing (Niche Marketing Part 3) by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Niche marketing can be done by one person without giving up a lot of time on the important things, like writing. You don’t have to outsource the marketing at all, which saves money. Plus, you won’t be doing what everyone else does, saving you even more money. And it’s the best way to build a loyal customer base. 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.

Podcast: How To Make Money As An Author Assistant by Thomas Umstattd Jr.

If you’re just starting out as a writer, and aren’t making money from your writing yet — but aren’t independently wealthy — working as an author assistant is a great way to get paid for learning the business. Plus, you get to set your own hours and can work remotely. 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.

Video: Don’t Publish On KDP, Do It Here Instead by Dale L. Roberts

If you have a YouTube channel with over 1,000 subscribers, you can join the YouTube Partner Program and sell stuff right from the channel. Of course, you have to have at least 1,000 subscribers. Dale L. Roberts is a self-publishing advocate, fitness author, and video content creator. Self-Publishing with Dale is a YouTube channel with millions of views.

Podcast: Creating Superfans by Dan Parsons and Melissa Addey

Studies suggest that readers must read 4.5 books on average from the same author before they even remember their name. But that’s without author intervention. Use a few tricks, and you can engage fans far earlier in the process. Dan Parsons is ALLi’s product marketing manager. Melissa Addey is a campaigns manager. Self Publishing Advice is the advice center of the Alliance of Independent Authors. If you want more advice like this, subscribe to their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link).

Video: I Interviewed Brandon Sanderson on the Future of Book Publishing Under Capitalism by Savy Leiser

Brandon Sanderson talks about the evolution of the publishing industry, why he thinks we should have more free books, and why AI isn’t as apocalyptic as some might think it will be. Savy Leiser writes young adult books, including a time-travel book. Savy Writes Books is a YouTube channel about books and business.

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.


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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