This week’s top writing advice from around the web for Jun. 12

Reading Time: 13 minutes
(Illustration by Maria Korolov based on image via Pixabay.)

I subscribe to dozens of writing advice sites and new advice articles come into my news reader at a steady pace. You can see some of my favorites at my Writing Advice Sites resource page.

Here are the best writing advice posts from this previous week. Occasionally I include an RSS feed. To subscribe to an RSS feed, add the feed URL to your RSS reader app. The most popular is Feedly, which is the one that I use. It has a website and mobile apps, and it keeps track of which articles you’ve read, synched across all your devices.

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).

This week, I’ve decided to divide the list into three categories.

The first, for the beginning writer, is about getting the writing process down. Finding time to write, discovering your own writing rituals, learning how to overcome your inner critics, fighting writer’s block, and how to finish what you start. Experienced writers sometimes hit these speedbumps as well, but they can kill a career for a new writer before it even starts.

Second, for the writer who’s already started getting the hang of the mechanics of getting the words down on paper, is improving the quality of the writing. Of course, you can’t improve writing if you don’t have any to improve, so the previous step is critical. But once you’re getting words down, you can start asking yourself if they’re the right words, or maybe you can find better words. And you can even start thinking about sentences, paragraphs, scenes, chapters, plots, character arcs — all that stuff that goes into writing readable work. And even experienced writers probably have areas where they can improve, or new things to learn.

Finally, for the writer who’s finished stories or books that are ready for the public, there’s the question of finding your publishing platform, producing the actual book, finding copyeditors and cover artists, marketing, and advertising. For beginning writers these are mostly theoretical questions, but for experienced writers, they are critical for success. And the answers keep changing as the industry changes, so staying on top of things is critical.

So here we go.

Productivity, mood management, and battling the demons inside

8 Ways To Create (And Stick To) A Writing Schedule by Katja Kaine

If you want to be a writer, then it’s important to have a solid writing habit—and the best way to establish that habit is to create and stick to a healthy writing schedule. Katja Kaine is a writer based in Yorkshire, England. She writes fantasy for children and young adults, and in the past year has placed highly in several prestigious writing competitions. She is the creator of the Novel Factory, software designed to make life easier for novel writers. It includes plot templates, character questionnaires and heaps of other useful tools for aspiring and established authors. The Novel Smithy is a site that helps writers build a robust writing toolkit. Follow them on Twitter @TheNovelSmithy.

How To Increase Your Blogging Consistency, Productivity, And Performance by Nina Amir

To write consistently and productively, focus on mastering your performance as a writer, which includes your psychology, physiology, productivity, influence, and purpose. Nina Amir is a book coach and a book proposal consultant and editor. For more information, check out her website or follow her on Twitter at @NinaAmir or on Facebook at @Inspiration to Creation Coach. How to Blog a Book is an advice site for nonfiction and fiction authors who want to use a blog to create a book. For more advice like this, follow them via their RSS feed (direct Feedly link here).

Using The Short Form To Get To The Long Form–Powerful Exercises To Boost Your Creativity This Week by Mary Carroll Moore

Short pieces of writing, taken as breaks from books, teach a lot–about pacing, dialogue, the tension arc, beginnings and endings. Mary Carroll Moore is an award-winning author, editor and book doctor. Check out her website at> or follow her on Facebook at @marycarrollmoore. How to Plan, Write, and Develop a Book is a site that offers advice for how to create, craft and sell your novel, memoir or non-fiction book. If you want more advice like this, follow them on their RSS feed (direct Feedly link here) or on Twitter at @writeabook.

Other motivational advice this week:

The art and craft of writing

Understanding The Adventure World of a Story’s Second Act by K. M. Weiland

Every story is an adventure. No matter its genre, focus, or tone, a story is always about an undertaking of some sort, whether cosmically large or familiarly small. This is why writers can use the metaphor of the Adventure World for a story’s Second Act to better understand this crucial part of story structure. 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.

3 Ways To Infuse Character Voice by Lisa Poisso

Instead of trying to build character voice from the outside in, get under the character’s skin by revealing how they experience and interpret the story world from the inside out. Lisa Poisso is a writing coach with decades of professional experience as an award-winning magazine editor and journalist, content writer, and corporate communications manager. She’s also a developmental and line editor. Follow her on Twitter at LisaPoisso. Writers Helping Writers is a great site for writing advice. These guys also have the One Stop for Writers online tool set. Subscribe to them via their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link here) or follow them on Facebook at @DescriptiveThesaurusCollection or on Twitter at @WriterThesaurus.

Tension, Microtension, And Keeping Your Reader Hooked by Tiffany Yates Martin

Tension is the propulsive force of story—the means by which the storyteller not only spins her thread, but then holds it taut and pulls her reader steadily through the tale. Let that tension drop and the thread collapses, momentum stops, and readers put down your book. 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. Writer Unboxed is a fantastic writing advice site, with lots of helpful articles from some of the biggest names in the field. Follow them on RSS (direct Feedly signup link) and on Twitter.

Story Development And Execution Part 7: Pacing, Tension, And Suspense by Staci Troilo

One technique that gets readers invested immediately and brings tension to the forefront is to start with a loss. 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).

Two Steps To Fix Flat Characters Using Voice And Personality by J. D. Edwin

You have created a character. You’ve named them and given them a colorful past, as well as lots of fun personality traits. Your character steps into your story . . . and suddenly you find that they’ve fallen flat. How can you fix them? J.D. Edwin is a sci-fi author. Follow Edwin on Facebook @JDEdwinAuthor, and on Twitter @JDEdwinAuthor. Her website is The Write Practice is an advice site from a group of writers. They also have a writing critique community and a newsletter. Follow The Write Practice on Twitter, on Facebook, or subscribe to their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link).

How To Make Your Character Sympathetic by Chris Winkle

A character with genuine hardships will get audiences emotionally invested in the story. 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

Marketing Funnel Part 6: Sharing Your Story With A Webinar by Sabrina Ricci

The webinar is pretty much the last step in the marketing funnel, where we want people to consider purchasing our product. Sabrina Ricci writes advice about indie publishing. Follow her on Facebook at @sabrinadenisericci or on Twitter at @sabsky. Digital Publishing is a site about indie publishing. Follow them via their RSS feed (direct Feedly link here).

How To Get Book Reviews: Max Visibility In 9 Steps by Jordan Kantey

Knowing how to get book reviews is crucial for building visibility for your book releases and trust in potential readers. Here are nine steps to get more reviews. Jordan Kantey is a writer, marketer, community manager and product developer for Now Novel. You can find out more about him on his LinkedIn page. Now Novel is a company that offers writing sources, coaching, and editing. If you want more advice like this, subscribe to their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link) or follow them on Twitter at @nownovel or on Facebook at @nownovel or subscribe to their YouTube channel.

Publisher Rocket Review: Will This Help You Sell More Books? by Joe Bunting

Publisher Rocket is a keyword research tool that helps you understand how readers use Amazon and choose the books they buy. Joe Bunting is a book coach, an author and the leader of The Write Practice community. Follow him on Instagram at @jhbunting. The Write Practice is an advice site from a group of writers. They also have a writing critique community and a newsletter. Follow The Write Practice on Twitter, on Facebook, or subscribe to their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link).

Another Take On Book Trailers by Terry Odell

You can make a free book trailer using Canva, and here’s how Terry Odell did it. Terry Odell is an award-winning author of mystery and romantic suspense. Follow her on Facebook at @AuthorTerryOdell and on Twitter at @authorterryo. 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:


How To Get Your Self-Published Book Into Libraries With Eric Otis Simmons by Joanna Penn

How can you make your self-published books available to libraries in every format? How can you pitch librarians so they are interested in ordering your books? The post How To Get Your Self-Published Book Into Libraries With Eric Otis Simmons first appeared on The Creative Penn. 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.

How To Write Active Settings With Mary Buckham by Sacha Black

The difference between active and non-active settings, how to make your settings more active and how characters should engage with settings. Sacha Black is a fantasy author and writing coach, with several writing advice books including 13 Steps to Evil: How to Craft Superbad Villains (Better Writers Series) May 9, 2017. 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).

Freebies, Concerning Contracts, And Incriminating Blogs by Bryan Cohen and H. Claire Taylor

How to choose the best proofreading software for you, whether blogs are are good for authors, and how to spot a bad author contract. 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.

Other podcasts from this past week:


The Heroine’s Journey (With Gail Carriger) by Kristina Adams and Ellie Betts

Kristina talks with Gail Carriger, who has multiple NYT bestsellers and over a million books in print in dozens of languages. She writes comedies of manners mixed with urban fantasy (and sexy queer joy as G. L. Carriger). She is best known for the Parasol Protectorate and Finishing School series. Kristina Adams is a bestselling author and writing instructor. Find out more at her website, The Writer’s Cookbook offers advice, podcast, videos, coaching, workshops, and writing courses. Follow the site via their RSS feed (direct Feedly link here).

Mental Health And Writing Villains (With Sacha Black) by The Writer’s Mindset

Get extra podcast episodes, free downloads, and our undying gratitude – support The Writer’s Mindset on Patreon for less than a coffee a month: Bestselling author Kristina Adams and upcoming author Ellie Betts. The Writer’s Mindset is a YouTube channel from the team behind The Writer’s Cookbook, a site that offers writing workshops and courses as well as writing and marketing services. For more advice like this, follow them on Twitter at @writingcookbook and on Facebook at @writingcookbook .

Google Play And Audiobook Narration With Ryan Dingler by Mark Leslie Lefebvre

Learn the latest from Google Play Books product manager Ryan Dingler, including what they’re doing with auto-narrated audiobooks. Mark Leslie Lefebvre is the director of business development at Draft2Digital. Draft2Digital is one of the leading publishing platforms that helps authors publish their books to multiple platforms. It also has a very nice and easy ebook creation and formatting tool.

Flying Into Fiction: Video Games & NFTs by Mark Dawson and James Blatch

Nicholas Narbutovskih is a busy man! He’s got a career flying for the US Air Force, a new baby, a series of space opera books he’s writing, and a gig writing stories for video games. Oh, and he’s also a member of the MetaStellar community! In this video, he talks about how writers can benefit from NFTs. 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.

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.

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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